home improvement turns into science fair projects?

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JR.
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Re: bionic bee?

Post by JR. » Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:56 am

This morning I checked after three sprays, and saw exactly one yellow jacket fly into the nest.

I had my pump sprayer loaded with carpenter ant/termite spray so dosed the yellow jacket nest again with mo poison.

Odds are this will be the coup de grace...

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:23 am

I have talked about this before but I just realized that my solar franken-lamps are still working.... a good thing. :lol:

Over the last few years I have made several modifications,

-I cobbled together 2 solar arrays on each lamp for more voltage during cloudy days,
-then I changed the value of the inductor in the charge pump to put less current into the efficient modern LEDs,
-then finally I substituted NIMH batteries for the cheaper nicads that only seem to last a season or two.

Still rocking.. I am pleasantly surprised that the controller chip is that flexible and robust but I guess it isn't really getting 2x voltage since the solar panels are loaded by the batteries when sunlight is hitting them.

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:20 pm

Finally getting around to finishing a project I have been chewing on for well over a year.
blower1.jpg
I purchased this blower for a crazy cheap price <$30 IIRC... The blower moves way too much air but I finessed that with a three speed switch using series capacitors to scrub off mains voltage. High speed that still has a cap in series is too high but medium and low speeds are usable. I am grabbing power from the old ceiling heater, so I have 3 speeds and off... 8-)
vent1.jpg
For over a year I had this rig sitting in my hallway between main room and back bedroom. It worked well enough but my wife would kill me (if I had a wife). The right thing to do is install the blower up in the attic, and punch holes through the ceiling, but there was no way I was going up in my attic and doing this. My compromise was to mount the blower to the ceiling of my bathroom and punch holes between the walls so I could pull air from the main room, near the air-conditioner/heat pump, and exhaust the warm/cool air into my bedroom closet.

The vent in the main room almost looks professional... the bathroom not so much, but I don't mind.
vent2.jpg
I can probably clean up the closet vent a little. I did a test with the blower on high speed, and it blew that vent grill right off the duct. Now secured with gaffer tape.

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:21 pm

I sussed out how to switch the blower between always on (summer cooling) and modulated on from back bedroom thermostat for winter heat. To avoid rewiring it twice every year, I wired up a DPDT 120V relay, so when I turn on the wall switch in the bathroom(was ceiling heater) it energizes the relay and routes power to the blower... For winter when wall switch is off, the relay normally closed contacts pull power from the back bedroom.

I wired up the relay and bolted it to ceiling back box, and it hums like a drunk at closing time when energized. The relay hum is now louder than the blower.

It works properly so that is all good, tomorrow I think I will unbolt it and wrap it in some padding to quiet it down.

So two steps forward one step back. Its always something... :lol:

JR

[update, unscrewed the relay, wrapped it in some bubble wrap, and a rubber glove. Now it is quieter than the blower so all good. Time will tell if it has heat dissipation issues. /update]
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:18 pm

JR. wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:31 am
JR. wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 8:52 am
Finally got my smaller diameter (lighter weight) 3/8" hose.

IMG_20200507_135104450.jpg

I wish I had this sorted earlier in the year... but its all good.

I can now spray closer to the tops of my pecan trees.

JR
Image

I just ordered a parade flag pole harness (belt?) that should make it easier to support the weight of this pole.
Image
When fully loaded with spry bottle and hoses full of water, not easy to manage and steer. This harness should make it easier.
===
BTW I am seeing new pecans forming already on my most productive tree...nuts on my other trees are smaller but still coming. I am optimistic that all my spraying this season did something useful. The caterpillar (bacteria) spray pretty much nuked the tent caterpillars this year. 8-)

JR
I don't want to jinx this by taking a victory lap too soon but my early pecan crop is way above average compared to previous years..

The internet rocks, I was able to find advice about spraying my trees... The DIY spraying to reach tall trees was not so simple but I feel like I finally have that sorted so next year could be even better.

[update- Today while sitting out in my yard shelling pecans a mocking bird in my yard was squawking for over an hour... sounded like mainstream media. :lol: /update

JR

PS; I have also recently refined my fire ant strategy... I use a two prong attack... acephate dissolved in water poured down into the mound, then bifen ant baits spread in the general area to prevent new mound start ups. New plan now I first hit the mound with the bifen baits, then pour some dry acephate on top of the mound. Finally I pour water from my watering can directly onto the mound dissolving the acephate and driving it deep down into the mound. The ants will never stop coming, but I can keep spanking them down.
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:24 pm

JR. wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:31 am
JR. wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 8:52 am
Finally got my smaller diameter (lighter weight) 3/8" hose.

IMG_20200507_135104450.jpg

I wish I had this sorted earlier in the year... but its all good.

I can now spray closer to the tops of my pecan trees.

JR
Image

I just ordered a parade flag pole harness (belt?) that should make it easier to support the weight of this pole.
Image
When fully loaded with spry bottle and hoses full of water, not easy to manage and steer. This harness should make it easier.
===
BTW I am seeing new pecans forming already on my most productive tree...nuts on my other trees are smaller but still coming. I am optimistic that all my spraying this season did something useful. The caterpillar (bacteria) spray pretty much nuked the tent caterpillars this year. 8-)

JR
I finally got to give the flag pole harness a try.... It didn't help as much as I hoped. What i need it to be 10-20 years younger and stronger.

I did manage to get some dormant oil (neem oil) up on the trees to kill insect eggs before they can hatch.

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:34 pm

JR. wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:16 am
I am already losing interest in this project (again). My long term plan still is to keep the rain water out in the first place.

In recent weeks I have successfully unclogged my gutters (pine straw and wet leaves) and installed gutter guards (covers) so they should not clog again.

I have plastic drain pipes routing water from the down spots further away from my house. Originally I used solid drain pipe but upgraded to slitted pipe when there was standing water accumulating in the drain pipes... I have converted back to solid drain pipes to effectively get the roof rain water runoff a minimum of 15-25' away from the house.

I am still pumping out water that accumulated under my house from before my sump pump discharge hose failed and my gutters were clogged and overflowing. The typical pattern is that it can take several days to finally get all the water out after it stops raining because more water slowly seeps in from the surrounding ground water.

Yesterday the sump pump ran about 20 minutes, this morning it ran only 10 minutes (despite another 1" of new rain overnight). I am optimistic that I may keep it dry after getting it dry this time with my recent gutter improvements.

If I only have to manage the sump pump manually for the occasional extreme storm, I can keep doing what I have been doing for decades.

JR

PS: My silt trap buckets look like they are working to keep silt out of my major buried drain pipe. I am very tempted to use my left over slitted drain pipes to help move water out of my mid-to-back rain ditch. The slow draining rain ditch causes the ground in the immediate vicinity of the ditch to trap and hold water, causing swampy muddy conditions that wreak havoc with my lawnmower's fat tires, making it too easy to slide into the ditch. The slitted drain pipes buried into the bottom of the rain ditch will help move ground water out of the area. I am draining the swamp literally. :lol:
Yesterday I fired up my pressure washer with jetter nozzle to flush some silt out of my buried drain pipe.

Today I noticed that my DIY silt trap above the drain box was blocked up from too much silt. A good thing shows they are working but looks like I need to keep them clean more frequently. I have decided to route my mostly clean sump pump discharge water into the drain box. Lately the sump pump has been pumping out several gallons a day from the crawl space. It is now always on with a float level switch.

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:58 pm

This is a cross between science fair and home improvement.

I just installed a small UVc lamp (6-7W) inside the blower exhaust duct in my bedroom closet.
UVc duct.jpg
Not sure how much it will protect, but can't hurt as long as I don't stare at it. The blower sucks air from the living room and exhausts it in the bed room so house air gets well circulated.

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by JR. » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:03 pm

My 25 W UVc CFL lamp and socket arrived so I installed it inside the air duct at the blower... The 25W CFL lamp failed to start... it glowed momentarily then failed so in queue to be returned.

I had a old 15W UVc CFL and it seems to make more than enough UV to kill the little buggers. These throw off a little ozone but should be pretty diffuse in that much flowing air.

Another step forward...

JR
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Re: home improvement turns into science fair projects?

Post by mediatechnology » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:24 pm

I had an Ozone experience once from an unvented Xenon projector lamp.
Took awhile running the projector for me to figure it out.
I told the studio manager about it and they didn't take me seriously until the day he ran it.
Within a week it was vented.

I doubt your 15W will have much build-up.
Can you use UV-LEDs for that?
https://ka-electronics.com

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