All posts by Randy

Window replacement project – Weekend 2

So we begin the second round of windows, we started on the back side second story, getting the hardest ones out of the way first.

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We managed to finish the last 3 second story windows and the last double window on the back side of the house, I think cleaning these rooms took us the longest time.  Grayson enjoyed watching us and the phrase “Dada and Papa making noise” was born.

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Window replacement project – Weekend 1

After our trial run it was time to start on the rest of the house, we started with the most difficult windows, the 3 second story double windows.

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In 1 day we managed to get all 3 front second story windows finished, and the 2 second story windows on the left side of the house, leaving 6 windows on the back of the house to be done, and then planned on doing more 2 weeks from now

Window replacement project – Pre-weekend 1

WP_20150703_063We began with 13 windows (4 of them double windows) to replace all but the bay window.  Late on a Tuesday night we decided to replace 2 windows and see how it would go before we committed a weekend.

The initial install went quite well and only took us an hour or so to do both windows.  We began by cutting the siding back first to limit dust inside then pulled out the window.

The next step was to flash the window opening and slide the windows in securing them to the house by using the nailing flange with some silicon caulk for sealant.  Finally the last step was the exterior flashing, preventing water from penetrating the opening, all in all it went well and we planned on installing as many as we could in a couple weeks.

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Post leach field lawn, take 2.

My first attempt with Scott’s EZ Seed was disastrous, I bought 7 bags of the stuff spent almost $400 and got basically nothing.  So second attempt after watching some “this old home” videos, I started by raking the top layer loose, putting down starter fertilizer, then seeding.  After seeding I used the backside of a plastic rake o cover the seed and distribute it evenly.  The last phase was a top layer of compost to keep the seeds moist and promote growth.  Got a watering schedule of 15 minutes each morning to keep moisture at the seeds because I have sandy soil.



Problems with the Jeeputer…

Sometime this winter my “Jeeputer” broke, would not boot, wasn’t getting power basically. First I pulled the computer and test booted it on my bench as all the other accessories were fine, I assumed hardware issue.  The PC tested booted right up with my power supply so the next step was to check the PC leads.  There are 3 leads; 12v power, Ground, and 12v ignition on.  The power supply is smart enough to only trigger boot on 12v ignition. The headers on the motherboard connect to the power supply (DC to DC) and trigger a power button action when 12v ignition is sent.  When 12v ignition is cut it waits 30 seconds and triggers the power button again.  I currently have the  power button set to sleep so it’s a fast resume when I start the Jeep back up.  I have a relay feeding the 12v always on power in case I need to hard reboot or if I don’t want the computer on for whatever reason.

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I started by checking the neon power distribution unit I put in to control all of my accessories.  I pulled it out, checked all the connections underneath, and everything looked good.  I put the PDU back and moved on to the switches.  These are LED switches so I know they are getting power, but I moved from 1 spot on the PDU to another (from 1 to 7) to see if there was a break in the switch wire that triggers the relay.  As I moved over to check the power coming from relay 7, I traced the power line to the PC and found the culprit, a bad wrong sized connector…  Lesson learned here, no more connectors and I’ll be checking these connections first next time.

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Garage door problem and solution

So the garage doors looked alright from far but as I started to use them more and more I noticed that both of them were having problems where the steel cable mounted to the bottom.  After months of using the left garage door (the only one with an opener) one day the cable let loose from the bottom and stopped functioning at that point.  I am pretty sure the brackets were more rust than metal.


I spent some time researching prices and and looks, and decided on the doors with the 4 windows.

To get them home I decided to take out my passenger seat as the only Home depot that had them in stock was down in Merrimack.

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The first door disassembled in a few hours very slowly and I replaced the rotted boards where the track would mount so that I wouldn’t have to worry about this again for years. To trim the garage doors I used vinyl instead of wood, which costs more to start but will never need replacing.

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My overnight blockade.


The next day I continued working and with some help the garage door went up in a few hours, track and all, and was left with a working door, and a mismatched facade!


A few weeks later when I had spare time I finished the second door, but for now re-used the track as it was customized for my garage due to width issues.


VM server 2 prep

I have a new VM server coming in soon and preparing the basement for it.  Installing a wall mount rack system and giving the wall a little organization.  Had to prep the wall first as the Landlord installed “walls” to separate storage in the basement but they were quite flimsy.


Added 2 more 2×3’s spaced 2ft apart and screwed in from the back side as well as the top and bottom.


Added my 2×2 sheet of 3/4 ply and mounted the rack and an 8 port gigabit switch to the wall and tied up the minimal wiring for now.