“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I need to go to the post office.


I have been doing some carpentry work at the house.  I'm not a good carpenter, but I can do simple things like replacing boards in the porch, putting on a metal roof on the porch, etc.  All of my buildings, as most people know, are cedar log.  That's good in that bugs don't eat them, they don't split or crack, and they are great for keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer.



But a wooden house is like a wooden boat.  You never stop fixing, replacing, or repairing.

I need to get into town and I guess tomorrow I will just declare a short hiatus on the projects I have going. I have some books, some magazines, and a few other things I need to get mailed off to friends.  I guess I'll go in there, do that, and then go to the grocery store for more of the fizzy water I like. Also the grocery store is supposed to have ordered me a case of the dog's favorite dog biscuits and they should be in by now.

Still cool and dry here.  The phones have been going out, on and off.   I suppose the telephone company must be doing more work on the lines out here. They're in rough shape, some of our telephone lines have been in use since the days of the Rural Electrification Program.

I need some way to monitor the line current in the house. I know I could get an amp meter, but I have more in mind a meter I can just plug into an outlet that gives me a constant reading of the line current. I don't know if they make such a thing.  I have battery backups on all my sensitive equipment, and the alarms have been going on and off intermittently for three days now. I called the EMC and they just gaffed me off.  They lie about everything anyway so asking them what the problem is , becomes a waste of time. If I had some sort of meter, I could stand in front of it and look for spikes or dips , and perhaps keep a log.

Time to go feed the chickens.

22 comments:

  1. I've heard of those types of monitors, but in the context I heard of them they all came from the power company itself. They would come out and set it up and leave it for a period of time. It would record the data itself and download to a computer or printer when they picked it up.

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    1. I need to get something I can control. I don't trust our EMC at all. What I really want to be able to do is give some substance to my problems with low amperage on the line out here. Until they know I can prove otherwise they will just keep telling me there's no problem.

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  2. Harry couldn't you just get a scale and weigh the packages then print off the postage and leave them in the mail box by the road?? Or is it better just to go into town now and again to see what's new??? Stay safe.

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    1. Rob, my mailbox is down on the hard surface road. Someone would steal any packages left down there in short order.

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  3. Doesn't a Kill O Watt do what you want? I was reading a blog post where a woman plugged in something and left it to get some kind of read out.

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    1. I have never seen or heard of them, but I will research their name on line. That sounds like what I want.

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  4. What Matt Said..I bet the company might have what you are looking for. Senior and I keep thinking of a log home, but then I remember some of your excapades with yours, and we shy away.. But Golly would I love one.

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    1. I think whatever you build, there will be some issues unique to that material. My cedar log buildings have served me well but the cedar shake roofs have proven to be a very bad idea.

      I asked the EMC to come out and check the line current, but they said no one else had complained. That means nothing as the few people out here don't use electronic devices that require battery backup so the only way they would be aware of low amperage would be if the lights dimmed and it's not that bad. At least not yet.

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    2. I like the look of log, but I am in love with the fire-proof, bullet-proof, weather-proof, and bug-proof qualities of these concrete log homes. They make them locally here in Montana. They look *exactly* like log...texture, shape, grain, etc, but are about 6" thick of concrete and foam insulation.
      http://everlogs.com/

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    3. I would like those qualities, but in 1986 cedar log was about the best you could do. Those materials weren't available so long ago.

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  5. I have used the post office more in the past 5 weeks than I ever did!! Out here they don't have very long hours so you have to catch them when you can.

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    1. I don't go to town much lately, so thinks stack up. I need to send a couple of books to people, some magazines to another, and an envelope to yet another. Long drive in so I want to get a lot done at once when I do go in.

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  6. Harry,

    I would combine your visit to hit as many places as possible since you have a long ride into town. Are you looking for a Network Meter (like the phone companies use)?
    Check this website out, they may have what you're looking for. http://www.sandman.com/loop.html#LoopCurrentTester

    *note I haven't used this company before.

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    1. Sandy, I found a good meter at Amazon and have ordered that. It should work for me, but I'm keeping the URL you sent for future reference. You never know what I'll need next week.

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  7. Glad you got your porch sorted before winter :)

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    1. There's a lot to do here before winter. Snow and Ice shut everything down for weeks at a time out where I'm at, and even if there's no snow and ice, the cold makes outdoor work so much harder.

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  8. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Hardy Board construction is the standard down here on the Texas Gulf Coast. I got an all Hardyboard exterior. The Hardy board really stands up to all the salt, humidity and heat down here.



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    1. I never heard of Hardy Board but it sounds like very useful material.

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  9. Harry,
    Just what problems are you having with the power? Some terminology - the line voltage is like water pressure, the line current is like how many gallons per minute flow. It sounds like the voltage may be dropping when the current exceeds some amount. If so, the power company can measure the voltage at your meter when your rated service (say, 200 amps) is being drawn. Or they may offer to leave a voltage data logger connected for a while to look for voltage variations over a week or two. But it will help if you can describe the problem accurately.

    Also - they will likely not deal with the problem beyond the meter. If it's OK and you have problems somewhere inside, they will probably tell you to hire an electrician.

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    1. It's not in the house. I am at the very end of a 1930's era power line and we frequently get serious low amperage that makes the lights dim. Sometimes the electronic gear switches to battery backup. If I call the old guy down at the foot of the mountain during these instances he is having the same manifestations in his house. Our EMC just doesn't want to put any money into the line out here because nobody "important" lives out here.

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  10. I hear you on the wooden house. Still - I think it's worth all the hassles. I love the way it smells when we walk inside.

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