How to inspect furnace filters?

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Ralph Mowery wrote:

does not meet standard. Cheap meters have those flunked chips. Radio shack sold many of those flunked stuffs for hobbyists. Problem with those are hit and miss and unreliable. If you use one of this bastard chips in a timing critical circuits. The result is very annoying.
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They have been doing that for years. Much of the stuff from Radio Shack seemed to be on the low end. I never did use very many of their components unless I had to get something going in a hurry.
I guess they probably still do, but many of the computer chips were tested and sold by price and the maximum speed they would work at. I think it was Apple that had a memory board that took a chip with the same number, but a 1 or 2 or A or B on the end. Half the memory was bad on enough chips that thwy were sorted as to left half or right half good , so to speak.
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On 10/3/2015 2:33 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

In the early 80's (? maybe flakey meatware) you could purchase "32K bit" DRAMs.
No one *made* 32Kb DRAMs -- they were 4K, 16K, 64K, etc. But, there was enough "value" in a 32K device that vendors would sell 64K parts that had defects confined to one half of the array (telling you which half you could RELIABLY use).
Of course, there was nothing that prevented you from *trying* to use the entire array! You might get lucky and discover that just *one* cell was toast. Or, as many as 32K of them!
For a business, this was folly -- you can't engage in wishful thinking ("Hopefully *all* of the components that we get will have JUST ONE bad cell!"). But, as a hobbyist, you could get a real bargain -- especially when you needed 8 of them to do anything interesting!
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On 10/3/2015 12:54 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

That;s why they make battery powered kit! :> My Simpson (VOM) came from a guy who used it for field work. It was too "pretty" to pass up, at the time. Now, it mainly collects dust as one of the smaller Fluke DMMs has about the same footprint (and I don't have to interpolate on an analog scale!)

We used to pick them up -- or whatever was the freebie du jour -- each week (no purchase required) on the way to volunteer gig. You'd find dozens of them lying around -- along with HF screwdriver "kits", scissors, box cutters, flashlights, etc. All "disposable" (not very good quality) but that's what you wanted -- you certainly didn't want to bring in *good* tools and discovered someone had walked off with them (or, simply LOST them!).
The plastic bits around the jacks for the test leads seemed to break quite frequently. But, again, no one was really treating these things like "investments".
It was there that I adopted the "disposable" mentality: picking up a meter, chasing down a pair of test leads and *then* discovering it's batteries were dead, or display cracked, or selector knob gummed up, etc. was frustrating enough -- the possibility that you MIGHT repeat this same exercise later that day, week, etc. made it much easier to just pitch the flakey items in the "recycle" bin. And, stop by HF next week for a replacement! :-/

Again, having many of them lying around, if you happened to probe the power supply on a disk drive and see "11.2V", you could pick up another meter and get a second opinion. If significantly different, take the one that is misreporting and discard it.
I had a guy I worked with at one of these places who would hold onto "partially working" things. Like, an AM/FM radio that only receives AM. "No, that's not an AM radio. That's trash! Look through that pile of AM/FM radios over there and see if you can find one that receives AM *and* FM!"
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Reminds me of old VTVMs. I still have one around. It can read HF RF rms with a probe.
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wrote:

battery that is made of 99% pure unobtanium.
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Sounds like that FET volt meter I have. Uses some odd 8 volt battery . I have a friend that has an old Triplett VOM and it uses about the same battery, or it could be a 22 volt unit. He found one but it was about 20 or 30 dollars, so he passed on it. All it does is power the high value ohms scale so it is not a total loss.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

be plugged in. FET is similar in characteristics to vacuum tube. Seldom fix MOSFET guitar or bass amps for son's friends. I still modify quality HiFi mono block tube amps to clone guitar amps and give them at cost. Poor man's Marshall, Fender, Boogie amps. These mono blocks are going pretty cheap at eBay. Always shipping costs more than price, LOL!
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wrote:

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On Sat, 3 Oct 2015 17:51:50 -0700 (PDT), Uncle Monster

It needed a bit more work than just the battery so I passed it off to someone else who had more interest in it than I did.

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On Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 2:53:03 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

http://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/battery-faq/lists/battery-faqs/is-it-a-good-idea-to-store-batteries-in-a-refrigerator-or-freezer

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On Sat, 03 Oct 2015 10:50:46 -0700, Don Y

They measure capacity in MaH. This is useful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battery_sizes
With LED bulbs I'm satisfied with AA life-span.

I don't know why they still equip smoke detectors with 9v. But when I buy some more I'll look for AA equipped. I see they sell them.
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On 10/3/2015 11:35 AM, Vic Smith wrote:

Yes, but *actual* capacity is all over the map! Like buying a "bottle" of milk and discovering it really only holds a quart -- even though it *looked* like it was gallon sized!

I think it depends on the device, the peak power drain and the operating ("per use") lifetime.
E.g., our portable vacuum cleaner is good for a couple of minutes of operation (batteries are old and don't hold a strong charge). This is OK for us as we only use it when we have "a few crumbs" to clean up -- and don't want to deal with dragging out the REAL vacuum cleaner for such a small task.
A cordless soldering iron that I have is similar: uses lots of juice but for just a few seconds at a time. Then, set it back in its stand (which, amazingly!, is a CHARGER! :> ).
OTOH, if I'm stringing network cables on the underside of my work benches, I will typically use something like:
<
http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_14142.jpg
sitting flat on the floor, pointing upwards to illuminate the underside of the tables. After a while, the batteries (esp if they are the original HF batteries) go dark. So, swap them out (if rechargeable) with the spare set in the charger for *next* time.
[crap! I've been meaning Harbor Freight and think I've been saying "HD" -- instead of HF! :< Apologies to Home Despot!]

I think originally it was because the semiconductor "process" wasn't as effective at lower voltages and power levels. When making safety related things, change always draws attention to you:
Atty: And why, sir, did you authorize the change from the long standing, well proven, reliable design to this NEW design? The design that was present in the home of my client's LATE parents??
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On Sat, 03 Oct 2015 12:02:55 -0700, Don Y

So THAT'S where they came from! I've got a couple of them hanging in the kitchen. Used them occasionally too. Never looked into changing batteries in them. One is growing weak.
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On 10/3/2015 1:44 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

They are particularly handy for throwing a lot of light *up*. Conventional flashlights don't stand on their ends, well! :>
Also has a magnetic back so you can "stick it" onto one of the metal workbench legs if you need the light in some other space.
And, you can store it hanging from a "teacup hook" screwed into the underside of the workbench!
I don't think I would ever *pay* for one of them (I think all I've ever bought from HF was utility knife blades?) but, "for free", the price is right! :>
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Vic Smith wrote:

Same with alarm clocks. Power failure is very rare in our neighborhood. Longest was like 5 hours once years ago during ice storm. This is there was one during severe thunderstorm, 20 mins. I have one watch runs on solar and equipped with 3 radios for time signal. Can receive and sync time in NA, EU and Asia.
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On 10/3/2015 12:21 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

That's the new trend and, AFAICT, required in new construction. But, battery is still tested while running on AC power. For our (dual AC/DC) units: If any form of battery failure is detected the red LED light will flash and the unit will “chirp” one time, followed by the warning message “LOW BATTERY”. This cycle will occur once every minute, and will continue for at least seven days. Yeah, I *really* want to listen to that if it happens in the middle of the night! (not!)
Note that the detector can be temporarily silenced for *nuisance* alarms ("Dinner will be served at the sound of the smoke detector!") but not for the low battery reminder (I guess they don't consider it a NUISANCE to babble "LOW BATTERY" every minute for 10,080 consecutive minutes!)
Also, the detector *claims* it will conspire with its peers to adjust its sensitivity -- again, presumably, to minimize spurious alarms.
But, when the battery quits, it will nag you EVEN though you have AC mains powering the unit! (OhMiGosh! What if the power fails while the battery is low??)

We had a distribution transformer for the neighborhood catch fire which cost us most of a day. Another time, a cable fire in a vault (our utilities are below grade) ate up a day while new cables were "pulled".

I have a couple of crank-powered radios -- along withone that has a large *mainspring* that will drive the generator mechanism for a full 15 minutes! And, UPS's serve for short term backup power; plug a few CFLs into a UPS and the neighbors wonder why *you* (appear!) to have power but they *don't*! :> The batteries in the electric wheelbarrow will keep the house "lit up" for close to a day!
A friend is dropping off a genset for me to "rescue". This will allow us to keep the freezer in the garage operational during outages as well as the furnace (in the event it is a winter outage). Can't do much for the ACbrrrr during an outage...
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On Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:02:13 -0700, Don Y

My generator will run the AC no problem - and a few other things at the same time if I run it on Gasoline. On Natural Gas the AC gets pretty close to it's limit (5500VA on natural gas or propane, 7200 on gasolinr with 9000 peak)
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On 10/3/2015 4:19 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

~4.5T unit so it would be close for your genset. Note have to run the compressor *and* the furnace blower. No idea how big the unit being gifted to me is. And, we'd have to stagger the compressor in the freezer with the compressor/blower in the ACbrrrr/furnace.
In any case, we can easily live without AC for short durations (days) as many folks here don't have dual cooling. And, if it's a dry part of the cooling season, the swamp cooler does a great job with a fair bit less power.
The real "need" is for the freezer -- too much $$$ stored in there to just let it thaw due to lack of power! And, trying to "cook everything before it spoils" -- on an electric range -- would just make an unpleasant situation that much worse! :>
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On Sat, 03 Oct 2015 18:11:20 -0700, Don Y

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