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Been on the Internet since before there was an Internet. Remember UUCP, news feeds, and Gopher?


Oct
22
comment Are pull chains available for wall switches?
Ripped out a floor and the switch is now halfway up the wall?
Oct
21
comment Is AutoCAD knowledge all I needed to be a good designer of electrical drawing
Electrical Drowning? Dym Drafting?
Oct
20
comment How should I mount relays in junction boxes?
Oh, that's pretty simple then. Use Amp PIDG style 1/4" female spade crimp terminals (from spec sheet, double check the width, 5/16" is also common) and stranded wiring for the connectors. With the proper crimper, these terminals form a gas tight contact and being dual layer, form a mechanical connection that doesn't relax. No auto style stuff please.
Oct
19
comment Can I repaint and seal a window sill that has fungus growing out of it?
What you see is the fruiting body of fungal mycellium that has penetrated into the wood after it has undergone decomposition. Replacement is the only fix. Painting it is like painting blister rust on a car body, it doesn't stop the rot. As noted, trim removal and further inspection to access how far the rot has gotten into the infrastructure are necessary.
Oct
19
comment How should I mount relays in junction boxes?
If they're industry standard relays (tab) spade terminated for industrial use, they will have a mating socket they plug into available. The sockets are designed to fit into a sort of bracket that allows for solid mounting. The terminations on the socket will be screw lugs similar to what you find on circuit breakers.
Oct
18
comment Furniture needs to be attached to the wall, but my tenancy agreement doesn't allow it
@wallyk - Sorry about the facetious original answer, I grew up with whole families of Californians who'd moved here because they wanted to escape the "Big One". We know that "from frying pan to fire" is the actuality because we're destined for the "Bigger One". For them, the Cascadia Zone is a recent discovery, I've know since I was able to read and discovered the ring-of-fire. Western Oregon Klamath Knot is mostly made up of either exposed sea-floor or the remains of igneous rock overlaying sedimentary with large granite intrusions.
Oct
18
comment Furniture needs to be attached to the wall, but my tenancy agreement doesn't allow it
@wallyk - Yes, very true, but the realization that it can produce a 9.0+ earthquake used to be one of those things only believed by cranks. Many a theory was put forward as to why it was so quiescent and that there would be no major quakes until a couple geologists started looking for evidence and the source for the Japanese tsunami of 1700 was suddenly pretty obvious. Slow slippage mapping shows it's hung somewhere around Gold Beach/Coos Bay in a fault zone that extends from Cape Mendocino, CA to Victoria Island, BC. Only since the 1990's has building code seriously changed to acknowledge.
Oct
18
comment Furniture needs to be attached to the wall, but my tenancy agreement doesn't allow it
Bookcases, Armoires, anything tall requires an L bracket and a stud if you're looking to seismic-proof it. Not so strange if you live in California or Washington state. And now, Western Oregon since the discovery of the Cascadia subduction zone.
Oct
18
comment Furniture needs to be attached to the wall, but my tenancy agreement doesn't allow it
That changes when you live in earthquake country.
Oct
16
comment Can I use a traditional router bit on a small concrete slab? And if no what can I use?
Think diamond or some such if it's granite or other stone. And lots of water. For concrete countertops, you actually mold the edge in by using a proper form, that's the joy of doing a proper job casting, then you polish it.
Oct
14
comment Can I use an 11 watt bulb in a desk lamp that says “CFL max 9 watts”?
And if the CFL ballast not able to take the extra heat and the desk lamp is constructed in such a way that it contains the heat (closed fixture, open bottomed fixture with no ventillation), 11 watt CFL bulbs will experience early failure. Chalk that one up to experience. Higher quality bulbs may have ballasts built with components that will take the higher heat rating. Otherwise get used to the stink of electronic death every so often. Newer Phillips LED equivalents are getting really cheap, so more light, less heat might be your option.
Oct
13
comment Is a double 60 amp breaker really feeding 120 amps?
House current is split phase with only a single phase available across 240V. The circuit passes only 60A, there are two breakers to ensure each hot leg is shut off during a fault.
Oct
13
comment Is this HVAC capacitor dead?
Smoke and goop, both signs of electronic death, it's dead.
Oct
11
comment How can I stop my basement from filling with water?
Lower the water table. Sealing the inside is just an exercise in creating blisters and always fails.
Oct
6
comment How do I interpret the type of steel used in a tool?
That product sheet says that AK Steel 400 Stainless Steel is non-hardenable. Something that isn't desirable in tool steel.
Oct
5
comment Toxicity problems with using propane gas to pressurize water
Really good simulation of Natural Gas leakage into the water table during failed fracking. You get fire water and not in a good way.
Oct
4
comment How do I remove black rings on a wood kitchen top formed by a tin can?
@HerrBag - Heh, combine oxalates, phosphates and a dusting of calcium for maximal effect.
Sep
30
comment How can I tell if the bladder in my water tank is damaged?
Check to see if there's some sort of sticker or dataplate near the Schrader valve that tells you what PSI to pressurize the bladder to. As noted, it should hold this pressure with the tank emptied of water.
Sep
30
comment Old wiggy going to blow up on me?
What I do know about a Wiggy is this. It's solenoid based so with AC you can tell the voltage by the sound it makes. Also, you use it for momentary contact voltage testing, the solenoid coil draws current and it will heat up if left in contact too long. As to catastrophic failure, that I don't know.
Sep
30
comment Old wiggy going to blow up on me?
Oh, one of those. Never heard it referred to as a Wiggy before, went and looked it up. Was invented by George P. Wigginton around the end of WWI. Given the various technicians I've known, I've heard a lot of various pet names, historical names for test equipment. It's always interesting to learn a new one and then why it's called that. Witch finger = wiring spoon as used to insert new wires into a loomed wiring harnesses. If you've seen one you know why.