I went to start working tonight and the source control server was dead. Apparently, everyone knows it is dead, but nobody knows what to do about it, or at least the ones who know were crawling off to bed by the time I got home from my day job. There are times when I'm quite annoyed by working on a 6-hour phase shifted schedule compared to one of my employers. I might have to do some crazy sleep pattern adjustments once I go fulltime there so that I can work on a more synchronized schedule.
Anyways, since I couldn't work, I figured I'd go watch some Adult Swim and maybe a little bit more of the Firefly collection that I've been hoarding the last week or so. As I may or may not have mentioned before, the center channel on my 5.1 system was having problems with cutting in and out randomly; the other night it just died completely and has been dead since. I decided that before I turned on the TV and was forced to suffer with mere stereo sound like all the Normal People out there, I would pop the amp open (again) and just make sure there was nothing that I could see wrong with it.
Didn't find anything. Just like the last two times I tried that.
So I hooked the system back up and, heavy of heart, turned on South Park and resigned myself to hearing only two measly channels of audio. To my shock, the center channel worked fine - and stayed working. For about half an hour.
Being bored and not feeling like doing any of the other stuff that I probably should have been doing (like the dishes) I popped the amp open again. I had the unit resting on its side with everything taken out of the enclosure, and it seemed to be fine again. Happy, I settled in for Adult Swim and blissfully enjoyed about an hour's worth of full 5.1 audio bliss.
Then the sound disappeared. At this point, the entire system is utterly and totally dead. The volume control unit lights up and "works" as far as that goes, but no sound of any kind comes out of the amp.
Luckily, earlier tonight I found that I do in fact own a perfectly reasonable multimeter. Armed with this gadget of fearsome diagnostic power, I set about poking at things and looking for what part of the amp might have blown up. Thus far, everything seems to be perfectly fine in about 3/4 of the circuitry, although I'll have to do some additional disassembly sometime to really know. In any case the amp is thoroughly and utterly beyond warranty, so even if I do manage to find the problem, I'll either have to fix it myself or take a hit and buy a new sound system.
The agony of all this is only mildly tempered by the fact that today I received a box of 28-pin ribbon cable, which I have already confirmed matches the input requirements of my Sharp LCD panel perfectly. Next step is to acquire (or concoct) an 8V power supply and see if I can power the thing up. Once that's done it will be a trivial additional step to add a composite video input, which will be very cool indeed. I've reserved a time slot this weekend to hit all the vaguely electronics-related stores in the area and start collecting the spare parts that I'll need to continue with the project.