I have a ~13 year old snowblower. Its been great. Built right here in Kitchener-Waterloo by MTD. The tires, however, have been awful. It takes a 10" snow-hog. The ones that came with it were on plastic rims and were subject to a safety recal (which I ignored). They leak constantly, and its a real pain. To fix it, i put a strap around the circumference, wrench it tight, which pushes the sidewalls out to the rim, and then put some air in. Its like every time it snows I find this needs doing. So, i did what you would expect, I went and got a pair of tubes. Those were even worse, nearly impossible to install, and they shift and leak through the valve stem. So I went and bought a new tire to replace the worse of the two, and, to my surprise, the exact same part number is different:

And, not only is it lop-sided now, but, it still leaks. Argh.

OK, lets not panic. Maybe a little trip to home depot will find me the answer. And here it is (I think). Expanding foam. It says windows + doors, but i'm pretty sure + tires is implied. Here you can see I've prepped the tire by removing the valve stem (and the tube from that attempt).

First, we are going to put some gloves on. Last time I used this stuff without gloves, well, its hard to get off.

And here we are all full. It came out the valve hole a bit, i'll clean that off later when its fully hard with a utility knife. But I'm pleased to report the tire is now fully 'poofed' and seems pretty sturdy. I'll give it a few hours to harden, and see how it goes!

Now, this might be 'unorthodox'. And I'm pretty sure all of you tire-repair professionals are gnashing your teeth at what that rim will be like inside. But, I just don't care. These are wretched plastic rims with average rubber outers. They go a maximum speed of 5km/hr, and a distance of about 125m down my driveway. There's no suspension, no brakes, and nothing life-critical here.

As always, add your comments below. 

What will happen first snow fall?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

So I've got the auxiliary humidifier going max, and have installed a ultrasonic one for my office. But the main two furnaces also have 'power humidifiers' and those should work, and yet somehow my humidity is dropping. Hmm. What to do? Maybe its time to check these big power humidifers?

OK, the 2 main furnaces have GeneralAire 1042L. These were installed in 1996. Basically, they work by re-routing some of the cold air-return into a big vat of water with a sponge on the side of the hot plenum. When the thermostat calls for heat, a 24V solenoid opens and some water trickles down the sponge. Not too complex. I have a water softener so these things tend not to get too crusty... Lets open it up.

The horror! Its a rusty mass of crusty coral. Probably not that absorbent. Um, lets see, who carries these 'filters' for a 21 year old product (hint amazon!). OK, several cases of tetanus later and I have removed and CLR'd and installed. Lets see what this graph looks like in a couple of days!.

OK, a couple of years ago I mounted my Nexus 7 tablet in the dash of my truck. It worked great, added a usb-hub, an amplifier, a software-defined-radio, a can-bus receiver for steering wheel controls, a backup camera plus usb composite decoder. All was good. At the time I had this internal mental battle about how to charge it. I ultimately removed the internal battery and just ran it straight of a buck-converter. I also had this internal mental battle about using the 'Retained Accessory Power (RAP)'. This (documented in the GM upfitters guide) gives you power to accessories until about 30s after you open a door. However, the tablet is slow to boot. So my thinking was, when I turn off the key, have the tablet go to sleep. It only draws about 2mA when sleeping (just refreshing dram), and that is about the leakage current of a big lead-acid battery anyway, so how could this matter?

Fast forward a few years. It mattered!

So some wretched app updated itself and did the usual 'hot-pocket' thing we all know from our phone. Went beserk and prevented sleeping. So I get home yesterday, the truck in the garage so the hood is right tight to the front and corner, w/ a shelf on the other side. I turned it off. It hooked to the garage WiFi, upgraded something, and, well, never went to sleep.

So I get up this am, and i have an 11am meeting (yes us unemployed people have meetings!). I go out about 1030 am and.... nothing.

Now, my truck. Its this weird combination of high and low tech. Solid live axle, drum brake, leaf springs? check. But, tt has a cool feature, a low-voltage cutoff. If the battery hits 9V, some high-power actuator moves a bar, and cuts it off. So this is what has happened, we have drained to 9V, and hit the cutoff.

Sigh. Now what, i mean, its wedged into the corner, can't get @ the hood.

OK, lets drop it into neutral and give it a shove right? Wrong, need hydraulic pressure to release the parking pawl. Hmmm.

OK, its a true 4-wheel drive, so i can put it into dolly-towing mode by disconnecting both transfer cases right? Argh, that is an electric function. OK, think. We are not going to let this beat me. So, if i was to take 3 x 18650 battery, and some not-too-thick wire, and jam them into the cigarette lighter, that would put ~12V there, but the thinnish wire won't pass more than the 20A the fuse is rated for (those 18650 can pump serious current otherwise). OK, do that, now we have accessory power. No, we are not going to crank the starter, that would be crazy. But, we can indeed move the 4WD switch, and, we can drop it into neutral front-to-back and neutral front. Now, we can give it a shove (its heavy!), and, get in there w/ the quick-charger. And boom, we are started.

Well, that was easy.

I have made the assumption that the hard-reset of the tablet resolved whatever miscreant app was there, so no point in ever checking that again, i mean, how could this re-occur? Look for updates later 🙂