Darryll and Alec (DCM Heating & Cooling) were back today to continue working on the garage and library HVAC project. I was talking to them as they unloaded tools and materials when I got a call back from Paul Keech.
Paul has changed the name of his company from Paul’s Tree Service to Detroit Tree Recycling and is also running American Mulch. As I was told yesterday he is trying to focus on tree removal, especially wood lots with multiple trees, rather than tree trimming. Among other reasons, the trees he removes provides the raw material for his mulch business. Also, the guy who did most of his climbing the last ten years has moved on to another job and it’s hard for Paul to run a business when he’s up in a tree, even with a cell phone. I tried to describe the trimming and removal work we need done but in the end we agreed that I would take some photos, put them in a Dropbox folder, and e-mail him the link. He also encouraged me to get a couple of quotes from some companies more local to our new location.
While I was talking to Paul, Darryll found a small leak in the reducer at the T-fitting behind the garage and tightened it. The pipe out of this reducer will bring gas into the garage and was the last piece of pipe they worked on the last time they were here. Alec reset the pressure to 12 PSI and it appears to be holding better than it has up to this point.
In the course of the day, they…
- …finished setting the Library furnace/air-conditioner and connected the parts together.
- …cut the hole for the return air register and installed the return air duct.
- …ran the supply air ducting from the top of the unit along top of the ceiling, over the top of the utility closet door, and then angled it to run along east wall at the ceiling. All of the duct outside the closet is insulated. Two flexible ducts will come off the top and run through the attic to supply air through ceiling registers on the east end of the library.
- …marked the location for the two registers that will be at the bottom of two rigid ducts running down the east garage wall to supply air to the library just above the baseboard heat radiators.
- …removed the old library window A-C unit and covered the hole with cardboard. We will have to patch the opening on both sides with drywall and paint it.
- …shut off the propane to the old library wall-hung space heater, removed the unit, capped the line (iron pipe), turned the gas back on and checked for leaks.
- …connected the double-walled flue pipe for the library furnace.
- …connected the double-walled flue pipe for the garage furnace.
- …ran the 1/2″ iron pipe for the gas supply to the garage furnace.
They will take care of the air-conditioner condenser/compressor installation on a subsequent visit. In the meantime I need to install electrical junction boxes for the two furnaces, which must have switches located within three feet of each unit. I also need to run new 12 AWG 2+g NM cable for old A-C condenser/compressor and repurpose the existing A-C condenser/compressor wiring as an outside 120 VAC / 15 Amp outlet.
We still needed to repair drywall in the library and upper east garage wall and install new drywall on the lower east wall of the garage and on the new utility closet walls. The lower half of the east garage wall is the next thing I have to do as I need to have it done before he comes back to finish the duct work.
I got a call from Chuck Spera just before noon letting me know that he was headed to his shop to pick up his old VDO bus tachometer and take it to Bob’s Speedometer Service on Bergin Road. Bergin is an east-west road about one mile north of our house. Bob’s was over at Old US-23, less than five minutes away. I met Chuck there at 12:30 PM and we met with Matt who handles their VDO instrument repairs. He tested Chuck’s tach and pronounced it broken but probably repairable, so Chuck decided to leave it there.
Matt did confirm for us that both the tachometer and the speedometer take a square wave input signal in the 3 – 5 volt range with deflection of the needle proportional to the frequency of the waveform. Presumably this same signal regulates the speed of a motor that drives the gears of the odometer. I had discussed this very situation with Mike (W8XH) just last night and he is willing to bring his 100MHz 2-channel storage oscilloscope and help us look for and trace these signals if needed. Once we have known good gauges installed knowing what waveform to look for will help greatly with troubleshooting should they still fail to indicate the appropriate information.
After we were done at Bob’s I headed over to the Meijer’s northeast of M-59 and US-23 to get a few things for Linda. By the time I got home, Glen Williams of Tenor Clocks LLC had arrived to service our grandfather clock. I “broke” it about a month ago by trying to wind it at just the wrong time and it has not chimed since then. It has also never been oiled in the 11 years since we bought it and Glen told us on Saturday that it should be cleaned and oiled every 5 – 7 years. (We saw Glen at the GLCC/CCO rally in Clio, Michigan this past Saturday when we were there.) Glen took the mechanism out and examined it and said that nothing was broken. Apparently it finally bound up the last time I wound it from lack of proper oiling. He cleaned it, oiled it, and checked it for wear but did not see any. He reassembled it, checked the operation and timing, and said it was running smoothly and keeping very accurate time “…like a well-oiled clock.”
Although my time on the computer today was limited, I managed to post my blog entry for August 1st and started selecting photos for other posts. I updated the Technical page on the SLAARC website with a document on low band antennas for Field Day use, and added a link to an online Smith Chart Tutorial. I then updated the online roster. I am at the point where I need to generate WordPress user accounts for the club members so I looked more carefully at the WP-Members plug-in documentation to see if there was a way to have the website e-mail each member as I create their account. It appears that there is, but it will take a little more work on my part to get that set up and working correctly. As I was working on this our AT&T DSL line started dropping out; again.
Linda spent part of the day preparing food ahead in advance of having company tomorrow. She held back some of the crushed red lentil soup for our dinner and served it alongside sandwiches. While we were eating we noticed that the phone said “Line In Use.” We knew we were not using it, but I picked up one of the handsets, pushed “Talk”, and got a very loud, very noisy busy signal. We checked all of the phones to make sure there wasn’t a problem with one of them. There wasn’t. When I checked again the message said “Check Tel Line.” That usually means we won’t have a dial tone when we push “Talk” and that was, indeed, the case.
Ken is the service technician that has been out twice to try to resolve the problem and he left his AT&T cell phone number in case we had recurring problems. He also left his manager’s name and phone number. I called and left a message for Ken and then called and left a message for his manager, making it very clear that Ken has been working hard to resolve our problem and we are happy with the service he is providing. I also tried to convey that the service disruptions are interfering with our ability to do things online, like edit websites. It’s bad enough that the data rate is so slow, but we depend on our “always on” DSL service to always be on.
We went to Lowe’s after dinner to buy a couple sheets of drywall. We looked for special cover plates with a switch opening in one half and a round hole in the other, but did not find anything like that. We stopped at Teeko’s on the way back and had Jeff roast two more pounds of half-caff blends for us; one Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and the other Seattle Blend. He was still out of the Sweet Dreams decaf blend, which we have him mix 50-50 with the regular Seattle Blend to make Sweet Seattle Dreams, but he is supposed to be getting some in his shipment tomorrow.
Back home we unloaded the drywall, had some fresh strawberries for dessert, and read quietly for a while. I’ve been reading the PDF version of the 2nd edition of The Mobile Internet Handbook and am done except for the glossary and the appendices. It is over twice as many pages as the 1st edition and is the definitive resource on connectivity for RVers in particular.