Just switched to Spectrum 400mbps service. It’s great. 400 mbps down, 20 mbps up. And I hear a rumor that they are going to provide 1 Gbps service soon. My YouTube posts now complete in a reasonable time. Fibre comes to my street and the last 100 yards or so is coax. My service is about $70 / month for internet alone.
Check out your options here if Spectrum is in your area.
Not a paid endorsement, just a happy customer. The installation procedure is much more modern and up to date with Spectrum than with the local phone company, that is still operating with hand typed username / passwords to configure DSL modem. The Spectrum modem configure operation was a photo shot of the bar codes on the router into the installer’s mobile phone with their special app, and away we go in seconds. The local phone company has no plans for faster service, in spite of the fact that my house is only a little farther away from their fibre head end box.
A long time ago I made a reading lamp using compact fluorescent bulbs.
This is the old one. It still works fine, but it has two issues. It only has one brightness and the Fluorescent bulbs take a few minutes to “warm up” and come to full brightness. This lamp is made with three 75 watt equivalent Compact Florescent bulbs. That may seem light a lot of light, but it’s directed at the ceiling, not directly at the book.
The design is very simple – a panel about 1 by 2 feet held at 45 degrees with the wall and direct the light to the ceiling. This creates enough light to read a book in bed with no glare or harsh light as you read.
Here’s the new version:
This new version is made with LED Halogen replacements from Ranpo Lighting and sockets from MyLampParts.
The lamps are found here.
The sockets are found here.
Since no dimmable LED lamps are available in this form factor, the design allows using 1, 2 or 3 bulbs for three levels of brightness. Two switches are used to turn on 1 and the other 2 of the three lamps.
Also, hot glue works very well for insulation for the soldered connections in the lamp cord. It’s good to use lots of the glue so that it won’t loosen and fall off over time.
A previous post talked about rodent damage to the kitchen faucet. Now, the Faucet lines are armored with Stainless Mesh. I thought about using two layers, but this mesh is so strong I don’t think that’s necessary. It’s pushed up tight against the counter top and held on with a pair of cable ties at each end. No place for pesky rodents to get their teeth into the faucet lines now.
No way to armor the line to the spray, but that can be replaced. The wisdom on this problem is that the rodent’s only chew lines that actually have water in them. They can probably sense the difference in temperature of the lines. After all, they are just after a drink.
Pellet stoves can’t really, in my opinion, be controlled by a thermostat. They take a long time to start, and up to 30 minutes sometimes to shut off. And in my situation, I need a fan to blow the warm air into other rooms of the house. So, there is a pedestal fan next to the stove to blow the warm air to the rest of the house. But I had to manually start and stop that fan.
The problem is that if the fan is started with the stove, it blows cold air for a long time before the stove warms up. And when I shut off the stove, I have to come back later and turn off the fan, maybe at night when I just want to go back to sleep.
So here’s the solution. There are “Temperature Controllers”. I found several on Amazon. This one looks very fancy, but was only about $35. It can control heating and cooling of something and has a large wattage rating. So the fan is plugged into the Cooling socket and the temperature is set to 85 degrees. So the fan is always off unless the stove is hotter than 85 degrees. So when the stove is turned on, the fan comes on about 5-7 minutes later when the stove has warmed up, and when the stove is shut off, the fan shuts off up to 30 minutes later when the stove has cooled down.
Notice the thin wire sneaking over to the top left of the stove? That’s the thermo sensor that controls the controller.
Works great. Now I don’t need to worry about the fan at all. Just turn the stove on and off when I need it.
I just had to replace an expensive kitchen faucet because a rat apparently chewed through one of the supply lines. See the little nip in the line on the right picture?
Apparently this is quite common. Rats seem to know that they can get a drink by chewing through a faucet supply line. Unfortunately, these very expensive faucets – about $300 for any of the major brands – all use nylon other plastic for the mesh around the supply lines rather than stainless steel mesh. As you may know, replacement supply lines for toilets and many other faucets are covered in a stainless steel mesh, which rats will not chew. But the supply lines on these expensive faucets cannot be replaced or easily repaired.
The rat only chewed a little hole to get a drink, so it drip drip dripped and I didn’t find it for a couple of days when I noticed water on the floor.
So after a new $300 faucet and a $150 plumber’s visit, I have a new faucet.
Now there’s a big rat trap in the cabinet defending the faucet from rats.
Update: I had a brainstorm early this morning. I just bought this and will slide this over the faucet lines.
That ought to keep the pesky rats off the faucet lines. So there.
3ft LED Replacements with Booster
I’m doing a project at home where I need 3ft long T8 base LED Florescent bulb replacements. These are hard to find. 4ft long T8 replacements are easier to find.
These are the ones I found: 3ft T8 LED Bulbs at BestBuyLighting
The problem with these bulbs is that they don’t work at 120 volts. The specs say they work from 85 > 265 volts. This is presumably because in China, and Europe, the supply is on the 240V 50Hz standard rather than North America 120V 60Hz standard. However, either the design or the quality control of these bulbs is wrong and they don’t work at less than 127V or so. My house power is 120.5V so these bulbs decided to blink at 1 second intervals.
After some research on forums a user supplied a very cool solution called a Boost transformer. This solution is now under test as you can see in the picture. Continue Reading
On Showroom Floor – via SmartPhone
On 7 Sept at about 11:30pm, the power glitched for long enough that my UPS [Uninterruptible Power Supplies] all started beeping. The power was out for a minute or two and then came back on. The next morning when I got up, the control panel on the stove showed the time and a red PF, as I expected.
After having the repair guy out and trying to replace the control board for $270 no luck. So the next thing to try is the key pad, which is the whole front of the stove, for about $300. So the expected cost of the repair would be over $500 with labor. Time for a new stove. Here’s the new stove. Glass top and convection oven are the requirements. This stove is about $800. Delivery today.
Continue for more pictures.
Installed and sealed
Sideboard is almost done. Backboard and granite top are installed.
Only items remaining are toe kick, new drawer fronts and pulls.
Update: Sept 9 – It’s done!!
See gallery of details. Continue Reading
Cabinets in Rustic Alder
The cabinets have arrived for the sideboard. I just need to assemble them. Bolt the cabinets together, install the Alder back splash, toe kick, and put the granite tops on top. Woops. The drawer fronts are wrong. I ordered “Five Panel” drawer fronts. They should look like the doors with stiles around the edges and panels in the center. Oh well, the right ones are on order. Continue Reading
Completed Kitchen Counters
Here are some pictures of the completed kitchen counters.
Link to a slideshow.