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Bow to the bow wave...

July 11, 2008 11:07 AM

So we had one hell of a downpour and storm come through. It was actually pretty cool. Here’s a picture of the wall cloud:


It started down-pouring immediately once the wall cloud was past as you can see by the last picture. That lasted a while and then it sprinkled and rained until late into the evening. At about 3:30 a.m. both my wife and I were awoke but massively loud thunder. Fortunately our daughter slept through that part. But I of course couldn’t really get back to sleep by then.

In other news a friend gave me a really good solution to the beetle problem - “tobacco tea”. (The beetles are Japanese garden beetles BTW.)

What you do is grind up some old stale cigars and brew them then spray the resulting mixture on the plants and it keeps the beetles away. Since you have to wash your food anyway any nicotine on the fruits gets washed off then. Pretty neat.

Supposedly you can make a similar spray out of the beetles themselves but I’m kind of wondering what the karma rating is on that one...

My battery in my UPS died so I’ve got to get another one. It might be cheaper for me to just buy another UPS but that damn thing has been such a good UPS that I really don’t want to get rid of it. I may buy an extra one anyway but not for another couple of weeks.

We mailed August’s mortgage payment today so that means if we play our cards right we _could_ mail September’s payment by the time we get into August and then by the time September hits we’ll be a payment ahead! Once that happens we’ll decide how much extra we can give to the mortgage principle to get us moving towards the removal of our PMI. A pretty good plan in my opinion.

Managed to get the CV flange bolts removed on my truck’s front differential last night except for two on either side. I need to roll the truck off the ramps to take those out. Once those are out I’ll put it back on the ramps and unhook the u-joint. After that it’s the trans jack and those annoyingly large mounting bolts which are probably rusted solid. I should start spraying them with penetrating oil tonight.

It’ll be a relief once this truck is fixed. Even if I still have to do the transfer case that’s not too much harder than what I’m doing now so I should be able to take care of that fairly quickly. Then the truck will be out of the garage and I will have space to work on the bikes and get all the other stuff organized. I think I might leave the recycling bin outside for a while just to give me the extra space. And frankly it’s convenient to dump cans and bottles from the vehicles into to when you roll into the driveway.

Need to mow and trim again tomorrow provided it’s not raining like mad. Once the garage is emptied a bit I need to move the riding mower in there so I can fix it. I’m tempted to just put a different motor in there. It’s only a 12HP so swapping something like a 14HP or an 18HP is not unheard of. I’d love to make it electric but I don’t think I can effectively do that yet. I’ll have to see. That’s an expensive proposition but it depends entirely on what kind of motor and batteries I can get my hands on. Forklift motors are in much demand but I don’t think they’ll run in a vertical format. The big thing for stuff like this is which direction the bearings are oriented and if they are designed to be run on-end otherwise they wear out rather quickly and that’s not what you want. If the electric motor wasn’t made for it you’d almost have to have steel bracket with a thrust bearing underneath the drive belt pulley so that the central shaft of the motor is supported. Not impossible just more work.

Definitely worth looking into as a project though...

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 14th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
I definitely recommend a replacement battery, and off-brand will save you a chunk of money too. There are plenty of places on the internet. If your UPS is old enough it may be easier to search for your battery than for your UPS; slight variations in amp hours probably don't mean much but the shape is important and so are the connector termainals. Unless you're going to try to Frankenstein a car battery onto it (assuming, of course, it's a 12V battery you're replacing; I've never tried this so I don't know if it will actually work. Definitely replacing a 6V battery with a 12V battery, or vice versa, won't work...)

If it's an APC UPS, the replacements might not be as cheap but at least you can search for a "RBC-10" or whatever yours takes.

If you actually need an additional UPS, or experience frequent power issues and need a working UPS immediately, then maybe getting a second UPS (perhaps a comparable one that takes the same battery size and connector terminals!) might make sense.
Jul. 14th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
Those are the conclusions I came up with as well. An off brand is about $60 and you can't replace a SmartUPS with anything remotely as good for that price - even with shipping.

As for "frankensteining" in a different battery that has something to be said for it except for the current draw and charging load. I'm kind of wondering if the existing charge circuit in there would support charging two sealed lead acid batteries in parallel for a longer run time. (Yes, 12V BTW.) Regardless a car battery is the wrong thing but a deep-cycle boat battery would work quite nicely.

I don't mind taking the thing apart either. I could easily find a way to safely contain the batteries and integrate the thing into the bottom of the computer rack as well. *cough*Sheet metal bending brake at work.*cough* ;-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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