Friday, March 12, 2010

i will not go gently in that strep

ok, we left the house again and came home with yet another illness. tristan got it the worst and yesterday kassi finally showed signs of strep. we packed up and headed for the closest urgent care.

kassi is the sickest in this group.

i am fighting the good fight. everyone else is very sick and i am feeling it. only brief visits outside to do chores are allowed. lots of throat coat tea, echinacea and astragalus tinctures are my armor. i will win this battle...

so yesterday was devoid of any farmstead progress. i didn't even get to make my green house heater controller.  i figured that i was up for the task today if i were to do it all in the comfort of the kitchen table.

here is my schematic of what i did:

it was a home schooling moment. as is every time i get out my tools. this was especially true since were controlling 120 volt electricity with a 24 volt thermostat. luckily i had all the stuff to do it. i collect stuff and is a great example where it payed off.

first i built a little box to hold everything and mounted the outlet and power cord.

then i proceeded to test my components. i forgot which terminals did what on the relay. the used transformer worked. i figured out the relay and found that my thermostat was broken. luckily i had another one. i bought it before we moved here to control the heat in our house. ha that controller is me and a the next stick of wood from our front porch. sacrificing am new thermostat for which i had no true use i moved on. the good thing about new components is they come with instructions. i had forgot which terminals controlled heat and cool and fan. the instructions really came in handy.

tristan was intrigued by my multimeter. i showed him how it worked. we tested high voltage, low voltage and ohms. the ohms setting has a little beeper, toly liked that. i wired it up in a step by step manner as to keep things straight. my schematic only just happened while i type this. things were progressing wonderfully and bob called just as i was putting on the final touches. ah, someone who can appreciate my nerdy desire to make such a contraption.

i plugged in my dremmel tool to the outlet and punched up the desired temperature. ha, it worked the first time. whirrrrr.....  bob asked what the capacity of my relay was. i replied ten amps and the high setting on the heater is 900 watts. 900w ÷ 120v = 7.5a everything is perfect. i can even plug in a small fan if is desire.

kassi sat there and drew pictures of what i was doing. her little illustrations of my tools and parts laying around were great. tristan and toly ran around the house testing the conductivity of different household materials. toly held the meter while tristan probed different stuff. he started to develop a hypothesis that anything magnetic would conduct electricity. albeit mostly true many things like aluminum conduct electricity wonderfully while are not ferric.  they ran off to test more stuff.

i took my prize to the green house and plugged it in. i can now be confident that my seedlings won't take a chill and i won't be paying for unnecessary heat. theoretically i could hook up the cooling side of thermostat to a fan and louvered vent. that is for another day.
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