Thursday, September 21, 2017

Power fluctuations are expensive.

The electric grid here is doing somersaults.  It's on, then it's off.  When it is on, the amps on the line are fluctuating dramatically. So far, since power was "restored" after Irma, I've had one air conditioner and one dehumidifier go down. In both cases, the compressors appear to have been destroyed by low amperage.

There isn't much I can do about it.  The EMC here does sell a "surge suppression system" for a house, but it's expensive and it isn't surges that are destroying my equipment. It's low amps on the line and there is nothing I know of, other than buying a $10,000 Genrac system, that can help with that.

To replace the air conditioning unit and the dehumidifier will run me about $500.00.  If I do it before the buffoons at the Electric Membership Cooperative finally get their act together, those could get burned out as well.

It's not like a I have a choice , though. The environment in the apartment over the shop, where both of these pieces of gear went down, is 80 degrees and 65 %.  In the other buildings, it's 72 degrees and 54 percent. Makes a big difference. At any humidity level above 60% here, you are going to get mold and mildew.

Power still hasn't been restored to the whole county.  If your home suffered significant damage, the EMC won't turn the power back on until the damage is repaired. But most people don't have insurance that pays for them to live in a hotel while the repairs take place ( I do, no tents for me), so they have to live in the damaged house. Most of them rent generators, seal off a livable section of the house with plastic sheeting, and go back to the dark ages life style.

Cartoons:







New Magazine:




I don't usually read Rifle.  I'm not that interested in modern firearms. But this special edition was really good. I have a good many world war I weapons, and I still shoot them.  Not as much as I used to, perhaps, but I still get out behind the barn and blast away sometimes. Usually in the fall when the weather is clear, cool and the air is dry.  Since I use a lot of surplus ammo, some of it quite old, I always clean the guns three days in a row with bore cleaner designed for corrosive primers. I think soap and water works just as well, but I still use commercial bore cleaner designed for the old primers. I wish I could find World War II bore cleaner, I used it for years and it was perfect. But I don't have a source anymore.

Just a short post to let people know we are still alive up here on the mountain. Things have been very slow since the storm. We've made a couple of shopping expeditions, and that's about it.


Hillary takes a page out of the Soro's play book:




Speaking of books, Amazon is helping Hillary out by deleting negative reviews of her book.






Nothing much else to tell.  No big plans for the immediate future up here. We're in a rest and relaxation mode right now.  Between launching out on our series of little overnight trips, and then the storm, we overdid things a bit.  It's good to just stay up here. Fall is starting at our elevation, the leaves are just beginning to turn. Wont' be long til October, and it will be flannel shirt weather, and fire in the hearth time.

I've been doing some reading while our batteries recharge.  One of the books was written a long time ago, about another forgotten incident in U.S. history.  Operation El Dorado Canyon took place the month before I left the service, so I remember it well.

Operation El Dorado Canyon

link to synopsis of El Dorado Canyon above.

It was a joint Air Force/ Navy operation to pay the Libyans back  for two terror attacks, one on a nightclub in Germany frequented by U.S. service personnel, and one on an airliner that killed four Americans. They were sucked out of the side of the aircraft when a bomb exploded, and at least two of them, a young mother and her small child, were determined to have been alive during the fall according to the book.


 The book is technical, and has a great deal of information on the fighter bomber used in the attack, the Aardvark.

It goes into great detail about the planning of the attack, and the huge difficulties involved in trying to put together a plan when all the higher headquarters in Europe and back in the states felt compelled to put their oar in. I know something of how that feels from having been on Admiral Martin's NATO staff during the Lebanon fiasco. So I can sympathize with the author. He was a U.S. Air Force Colonel who was instrumental in planning the attack, so he knows where of he speaks.

One of the things I remember about that operation is that of all our NATO "allies" only England would give us overflight rights. That meant our aircraft had to be in the air for 14 hours, instead of 6, and had to conduct multiple refueling evolutions as a result. 

After the attack , the Europeans squealed and whined, saying our action put them in jeopardy. They were a bunch of wimps then, especially the French.   I'm talking about their governments here, not the guy on the street who had a different opinion.  There's a lot in the book about after the attack and the fall out that I didn't know, but found interesting.

The other book I've been plugging away on is a collection of reminiscences by Marines who fought in the Pacific theater in World War II.  My dad, my  Uncle and my father in law all fought in that theater so it's of particular interest to me.

  
Some of these books I've been writing about over the past year, I get at our library. Some of them I'm reading again, and have in my own collection. Lucky thing as both of these are out of print at the moment, but I'm sure there are used copies to be found on Amazon. If they aren't too busy deleting negative reviews of Hillary's self exculpatory masterpiece, anyway.

Thought for the Day:









18 comments:

  1. FWIW, last year I installed an 11K watt Generac for my parents. Its a propane fueled 600 cc four stroke engine. Purchase cost was just under 3000 $ including the automatic switching system and delivery. I poured the concrete pad, installed the unit and hand dug the gas line trench. By the time we were done purchasing the two two hundred gallon propane tanks required for cold weather ops,(evaporative surface area in the tank) and paying for the gas line hook up and the electrician to wire it all up we spent close to double that figure. Now they don't even know when power is gone unless they hear the generator running which is amazingly quiet. 11K watt was a bit overkill for their needs. They probably could have saved 35% of that cost if they had bought a 7K watt unit as that would have a smaller engine and only require one propane tank instead of two.

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    1. I tried to work out a deal with Home Depot for a full installation on one of the Generacs, big enough to run my whole place. My brother had one on his retreat in the Sierra Nevada mountains ,and it was wonderful. Not noisy, no stink, economicial, and seamless. It was terrific.

      But, I had problems because the way Home Depot works, you buy the system and then they contract out the installation. When the contractors saw what getting up to my place was going to be like, some of them didn't want the job at all, and some wanted exorbitant "compensation" for not being able to get "big" machines up here. The lowest I could get it as a package was $10,000 and the contractor who agreed to do it for Home Depot turned out to be one of those guys who have a bad reputation with people they have worked with before. I sure do wish I had one of the systems. I don't know, really, if ten grand is a good investment on something you might or might not use frequently, but it sure would have a good peace of mind factor.

      As always , I admire your ability to do so many things on your own. I don't have a lot of weaknesses but my inability to do so much of my own repair work is certainly in that category.

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    2. Though we were originally inspired by the Home depot Generack display and brochure, we bought the machine from an online vendor, if I recall correctly somewhere in South Carolina and they delivered it to dad's driveway via an independent trucking service. I arranged for an electrician and the gas hookup and did all the dirty work of the actual placement of the unit and trench digging for the lines. We did have buy the two 200 gallon tanks from a local vendor and have him do the plumbing. I suppose in your case the best they could do is to deliver it to you gate and you'd have to figure out how to get it up your driveway on the mountain. And then you'd have to get the local contractors to do the hookup. It had its moments and it took a few months to get all our ducks in order but we got it done. The hardest part was locating the contractors. I suppose in the end we lucked out.

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    3. Usually, if someone wants to sell me something, they can figure out a way to get it up the Jeep trail. But those are people I work with myself. The Home Depot uses just a few outfits their head office chooses, and overall, I am not impressed with them. They come out and act like they are doing you a big favor to take on the job. I was going to put a new roof on the main building a few years ago, and the guy who came out was so arrogant and snotty , I told Home Depot I wouldn't deal with him, and they told me, "too bad, then."

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  2. I used to live on a part of the grid that would get a huge amperage drop every day at 5 p. m.. The power company would do some sort of switch over every day. I think there was a huge draw at that time at a local factory. My computer would crash every single time. Once I figure it out I just shut down for 10 minutes.

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    1. That's very similar to my situation, except they are entirely sporadic and impossible to predict. The power grid here is one of the big negatives of the location, it's just something I've had to put up with for 30 plus years.

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  3. Hmm... could you get a couple of big batteries and run the two devices off them through an inverter while the battery is chargin off your uneven service? That is to say, run the devices of the large battery and the battery acts as a stable buffer between your devices and the uneven power flow.

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    1. You could do that, but you'd need some African Engineering skills and I don't really shine when it comes to electronics in that respect. I'm sure somebody with the technical expertise could design a decent work around for the problem, based on that idea.

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  4. Harry, you certainly have had a heap of trouble these last few weeks! Hopefully this will be the end of it.

    Have you tried Sweets 7.62 Solvent? It is made in Australia and I have always used it when shooting my Lee Enfields (and back in the distant good old days my M14). It cleans copper and lead fowling as well as powder residue, it is ammonia based and really works, just oil the barrel after using it.

    The competition shooters here all swear by it and I have also found it to be excellant and I am pretty sure you can get it in the US.

    Cheers

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    1. I have some Sweets bore cleaner, but not the one you mentioned. Maybe they don't sell it here. The biggest problem with the corrosive ammo is the mercuric salts they leave in the weapon, that attract water. Some people say Sweets works fine with that, and some say it doesn't. There isn't that much corrosive ammo left out there and I think the Alleghany Arsenal was the last I know of to manufacture bore cleaner for corrosive ammo in particular unless somebody out there knows something I don't, which is always possible.

      Things are slowly getting back to normal , Sgt, but it's taking some time. For whatever reason, I'm finding it harder to settle down after all the fufara this time.

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  5. Is this the bore cleaner that you're looking for?

    http://www.omahas.com/ww2-bore-cleaner-6oz-can#.WcTwXMiGOM8

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    1. Taminator, I just checked it out and ordered two can from them. Looks like a good price, and they say the cans are rough but I don't care about aesthetics. Thanks for the heads up. I appreciate it very much. Been looking for some of this for a long time.

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    2. You're very welcome. I know how it is to run out of something and not be able to find it anymore. That's where I am with IMR-PB shotgun powder. It's been discontinued and nobody has any left in stock. It won't be a big problem to change to a different powder, but that's the one I've loaded uncounted shells with and I really like it...........

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    3. It's hard for old dogs to learn new tricks. Once I get settled into using product X for whatever, I hardly ever change unless I'm absolutely forced to. I can remember when you could buy a full case of those cans of WW2 bore cleaner at the surplus store in Antelope, California for $7.00. 90 cans per case. That was around 1967.

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  6. Harry, hopefully your electrical issues get resolved soon. I'm trying to imagine what those folks in Puerto Rico are going to do without power for more than a month.

    I think I'll take a look at those books. Interesting reads. The last few days I have been watching that PBS Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam, it has been a fascinating learning experience for me. --Troy

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    1. Troy, watched the Weather Channel this morning, and it looks like Maria hit Puerto Rico hard. Now they say it will be "months" before power is restored down there. Better them than me, as long as this doesn't cause thousands of Puerto Ricans to move from there to Florida and New York. I notice the Mayor of New York personally flew down there to distribute "relief supplies." Guess he has his eye to that segment of his constituency.

      I like Ken Burns. I have his series on the Civil War, and have been watching his series on World War II and the Old West on Amazon Prime, really enjoying them. I'll have to see the Vietnam series, that goes on the list for sure.

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  7. My uncles had the same problem - what the power company delivered was poorly regulated. For their sensitive equipment, I got Tripp Lite power conditioners, sized to handle the devices in question. It was a lot less expensive than replacing the CNC boards in their mill.

    You'll find them on Amazon. Find the power draw of the equipment you want to protect (the starting spike, not the steady state) and pick a size that covers it comfortably. Alternatively, state the make/model of the A/C and dehumidifier you want to protect and I'll figure it out for you.

    After my last uncle passed away, their place got broken into and stuff stolen. Those Tripp Lite power conditioners weren't there anymore when we did the estate inventory, although the CNC mills were. Interesting, no?

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    1. Tweell, I remember Tripp Litte conditioners. I worked for an oil company for twenty years, and I saw them being used just about everywhere. I had forgotten the name until I saw your comment. I don't remember ever seeing them on anything but computer or communications equipment but I can't for the life of me think of any reason they wouldn't work on ac units or room humidifiers. Do you have an email address I can contact you on?

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