Spent the weekend digging 50’ of trenching, to hard-plumb the new to us (thanks you know who are) Hayward S210T and 1.5hp pump. We placed these near the house, and ran 1.5” PVC out to the pool, about 12” beneath the surface. To prevent losing all the water heat to the earth (because by golly I want the heat from the solar going into the water) I’ve got it encased in 3” of extruded polystyrene. Now that I know I don’t have leaks in the plumbing, it’s time to bury everything back up and reseed the grass. Yesterday I replaced the pressure gauge on the filter – the old one was broken and not reading pressure. After that I added DE to the sand, raising the pressure by 1psi. With everything being smooth-wall hard-plumbing, we shouldn’t be loosing a ton of power.Read More
It is filled. All 7800+ gallons of water have been pumped from the well into the pool. I’ve added 3 gallons of muriatic acid. After two gallons, the TA was around 300. Based on last years water chemistry lessons, I may need another half-gallon or more to get it to ~100. I’ll be making a store trip to get another gallon and a new set of heavy duty gloves (mine have developed holes in them) later today.Read More
Welcome to 2021, where the air is the same as it was before but we’re not wearing masks quite as much. Also, dining out has become a thing for my family again. That’s nice.Read More
Day 2 - Filling
Our neighbor tore out their 30’ above ground pool last year, and donated his 20” pool filter and a couple of pumps for us to use. I picked up 200 pounds of filter sand for this filter over the weekend.Read More
A little maintenance update post… because it’s been hardly any work to keep the pool up and going lately.Read More
So I read some more on the balancing act of TA & Acid. Turns out, I was doing it wrong. I could have saved quite a bit of money on waaaay less acid and soda ash. The secret? Aeration.
In doing this over and over, I noticed the following: Adding acid drops TA & pH (duh). Adding soda ash increased pH … and TA. Not what we want.Read More
The pool has been a hit. Any day over 80, and the kids have been in it. I’m thrilled.Read More
Day 2 (or 3 now? I guess 2 full days) of the pool being open.Read More
8:30 AM: TA is at 220. Down from yesterday, but due to the rain not as far down as I’d have liked it to go with 24oz of Acid. PH is at 6.8. I expected that from the acid + rain. Another 30 oz of ph UP and we should be at 7.6… I had 12 oz left in the bag. Uh oh. Made a trip to the stores with the boy and we got a gallon of acid and two bags of PH UP. Clearly I’ll be using more UP than DOWN, so long as I don’t overdose the UP. Got home, added 18 more oz.
Took about 20 minutes to manually skim some spots, maintain the pool vacuum, clean it’s micro filter, backwash from the clarifier last night, etc. Twenty minutes a day I can do. I can take a cup of coffee out with me and knock that out in no time.
11:00 AM: PH is at 7.6. OK. Pool is OPEN.Read More
Monday Morning, Memorial Day:Read More
Sunday Morning: Has it really been a week since I got the plumbing working? Water tested at 130. I hate this part of the process.Read More
Saturday Morning: Water is pretty darn clear. Like. Really clear. The 3” chlorine tab in the skimmer is nearly gone . Huge change from yesterday there.Read More
Friday Morning: Water is less cloudy. Yay. Still a bit milky. But it’s clearer than it was yesterday. I won’t be adding any more clarifier today, if I can resist the urge.Read More
Thursday Morning: Water less cloudy. Lots of pale sediment on the floor of pool. Not the dark brown stuff we had from the initial well water. This is different. But, you can see to the bottom of the pool, even though it’s somewhat milky water.
TA Tested at 28 drops to clear, or 270. We dropped it 50 with a pint of acid. Oh My.Read More
Wednesday morning: Water still cloudy. Bottom of the pool has a nice even coating of light-brown, very fine sediment . It’s not filter sand. Yay. Spent an hour hand-vacuuming the bottom of the pool. Every 45-seconds to two minutes I had to backwash the filter, as the fine sediment from the bottom seemed to be clogging it up and keeping water from flowing. I think I’ll need to disconnect the sand filter and backwash with fresh hose water. In the next day or so.
After an hour of vacuum, backwash, rinse, repeat I had the bottom of the pool cleaned up considerably more than when I started.
Did another total Alkalinity test. Results are still Over 250. Re-read the instructions for my test kit last night , and it looks like the water should turn yellow or clear. I can see drops briefly turning clear now. So there’s progress. Added another pint (16 oz) of Acid. The jug is getting light.
Wednesday Mid-day: Added 2oz of super-clarifier. Retested TA. Over 250. Dropped another pint of acid. Waited an hour, turned the pump back on.
Wednesday Evening: Tested TA. 33 drops (320) and the indicator solution went clear. Hot dog! We’re closing in. Added another pint of acid. Let it sit for an hour, turned the pump back on. Let it run all night.Read More
Tuesday morning: Water is cloudy. Bottom has lots of sediment. Likely to be the brown nasty water stuff. I tested the TA , and it was again > 250. I stopped adding drops at 25, knowing I need to drop it at least 100. Turned off the pump , added 16oz of acid, let is sit for a while (~45 minutes) then turned the pump back on. Another 45 minutes later I started manually vacuuming the pool floor. Got the kids involved for 10 minutes. Floor vacuuming went well. Cleared up a lot of brown junk. Got to the point that the suction was terrible, even after emptying the catch net in the vacuum several times. I figured there was just too much junk in the filter sand. Backwashing took more than 60 seconds for the filthy rust-colored water to run clear. I rinsed, and turned the filter back on. Removed the vacuum and figured we’d circulate and skim full-bore, letting the filter do it’s thing. At this point, it feels like a numbers game against all the metal contaminates. The water will clear up. It’s just going to take perseverence and time.Read More
Monday morning lots of stuff had settled to the bottom and the top of the pool was skimmed pretty clear. You could actually see the bottom of the pool through the cloudy brown water.Read More
We found the valves (and all the other couplings) from the last post at a big-box store on the other end of town. The ‘pool valves’ that I found aren’t stocked at all those big-box locations. But a 20 minute drive to the other side of Indianapolis got us what we needed.
After finishing the hard-plumbing on Sunday, it was time to start water filtering / treatment. Oh Boy.Read More
Wow. First post of 2020. We’re almost half-way through this disaster of a year. At risk of my kids seeing this before we make up for the failed plans, I’ll just say this. We had plans. We had big plans this spring. We had to … “postpone” them. As of this writing, we have a penciled-in date, but I seriously doubt we’ll do those plans at that time. In order to partially salvage our summer I decided early on that we’d get a pool. The question was: how big, what kind, etc.Read More
While the printer upgrade is waiting on a few additional parts… (more on that later) it was time to revisit another project I’ve had going in parallel. Building my own model rocket engines from easily accessible goods you’d find in a store near you, or already around your house. I’m using supplies that are as close as your mailbox (for the newsprint), the local hardware store, and your neighborhood grocery. What follows is the account of an initial test firing. :-)Read More
The Varnerized Prusa has been around for over a year now, turning plastic strings into plastic parts. It’s been a bit magical. But like all good things, it’s time for it to get a bit better. I’ve experienced some problems over the last year, and I finally decided to invest in some upgrades.Read More
In my early sugar motor experiments I was using fuses to light the propellant grains. This resulted in the motors burning from the bottom of the core to the top, which had a few significant effects on the burn rate, internal pressures, etc. It just wasn’t good. In keeping with the rest of my goals for this project, I looked into making my own electric matches, pyrotechnic triggers that would get hot enough to ignite the propellant.Read More
I had my right wrist rebuilt a few months ago in an amazing surgery. Since I have a severe weight restriction (and associated activity restrictions) I decided to take up a project / interest I’ve been playing with for several years off and on. Trying to make model rocket engines from household supplies and ‘r-candy’ (sugar based propellants) recipes.Read More
There. I said it. As a normally backend kind of guy, who likes things to be very predictable and easy to work with… npm just feels ghetto. By ghetto, I mean really thrown together and not very polished.Read More
Since the printer has been working for a year now, it’s time to document some things I’m doing with it.Read More
I spent the first two weeks of February waiting for the hotends to arrive. In the meantime, I did some tweaking and what-not of firmware, and got acquainted (as best I could) with mesh bed leveling, the Marlin firmware, and getting my heated bed working properly. That last bit…. there was magic smoke involved.Read More
All in all, this has gone surprisingly well so far. I have worked my way through the MK2s and MK3 assembly guides (switching between the two – the frame and y-axis is MK3, the X, Z, and extruder are MK2s and have a mounted PSU, Heatbed, and extruder assembly (minus the hot-end, which I’m still waiting for… cringe). I also have a mess of cables. In the MK3 guide, they recommend doing cable management ‘all at once’ at the end. I have to agree that deferring cable management to the end seems to be the easiest route.Read More
Over the last week, nearly all the parts have arrived. The linear bearings are in, my replacement rods from Amazon are in, and cut to size. Most importantly, the stepper motors are in. This makes it possible to start assembling the motion axes. So I have.Read More
The wooden parts of the frame are nearing completion. Six orders from Aliexpress remain in-transit. All in all, this is going swimmingly… albeit the anticipation of the linear bearings and stepper motors arriving is just driving me crazy. I’m nearly able to start assembling. This post may be low on photos. I didn’t stop to take many.Read More
So far, I’ve placed 18 orders on AliExpress.com. 11% of them are ‘in dispute’. This is my first experience with this level of importing, and I feel I can confidently say that the reduced costs carry an extra level of risk. When you order from a place like Amazon, you pay a higher price to insulate yourself from… complications. One order was sent from the supplier to AliExpress for shipping. The shipment records were created, then canceled, twice. I asked the supplier about it, they got in contact with AliExpress, and apparently it had something to do with the ‘security’ of the package. The seller said they’d give me a refund, so I opened a dispute for a refund. I have no idea if I should have done that. The other order in dispute, contained my stainless steel rods. Two of them (the shortest) were still in the packaged when I got it. Four of them had created a hole in the corner of the package, and fallen out in transit. Somewhere. I never got the goods I paid for, and the shippers are giving a collective shrug. There’s an open dispute on that one.Read More
After reprinting a PLA template at 6mm thick and sticking it to a new piece of wood, I took it out to the shop to see what would happen. The tl;dr is: SUCCESS.Read More
While we’re waiting for the import parts to arrive, there is plenty to do. I’ve been making progress on the wooden frame, and first iteration of ABS parts have been printed by my friend Sam. All the source for the STLs and DXFs and what-not are in the Varnerized Prusa i3 development branch. Let’s have a look at what we’ve done so far.Read More
After spending a bit of time with a Prusa i3 MK2 3-d printer at the office, it’s become apparent to me that this is a tool I’d love to have access to at home, in the shop. So begins my effort to create a Varnerized open-source Prusa clone, aided by information from others who have pulled this off, and a friend with an Original Prusa i3 MK2s at home.Read More
Whole-house power consumption - Metrics Metrics Metrics. :-)Read More
Hacking the Bryant / Carrier Touchscreen ThermostatsRead More
Last week I ordered a couple of the brand spanking new Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless boards from adafruit.Read More
Let’s see if this Jekyll thing works and is as simple as it seems to look like it ought to be.Read More