Nov 22 2010

LED light tubes….awesome!

Doug bought over some more dirt today.  Four huge truck loads of fill soil to be spread out in the yard.  I am planning to use a rotary laser level to do the final spreading of the soil to make sure the slope of the yard is correct for good drainage which was why I couldnt use this part of my yard in the past.    The rain would collect in a low area and the ground would turn to mush.

Lots of work ahead!

I took my heater to Gerharts to try out.    Boo hoo, it didnt work exactly as planned.    I was focused on having lots of surface area (60 ft of 3/8″ tubing) to raise the temperature of the oil.  I found out the temperature increased nicely, but the second part of a good design is adequate flow rate.  I considered this, but thought the oil would get thin enough to easily flow through the tubing.   It doesnt. 

The flow rate is about 1.1 gpm with a 40 f temp rise.  The temp was fine if you want to spend a couple of hours twiddling your thumbs waiting, but I know I will eventually rebuild the heater using 1/2″ tubing to increase the flow rate (I hate when something is right).   Right now the overall system is good enough to last through the winter.  Next fall, I’ll tear the heater apart, sell the copper and change it over to larger tubing.

The panel is being reworked too.  I wanted each light switch position illuminated with a blue, green or orange LED.   In order to match the rest of the panel and since the LED’s are very small (T-1 type)  I decided to use light tubes with the LED’s positioned behind the panel.   Each hole had to be very carefully drilled on the milling machine.

A white LED light is shined behind the switch to see how they would look.   Awesome!

The panel will be sent back to Aerotronics to have the label replaced with a new one which corresponds correctly with the new LED lighting.

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