Valor Fireplaces – Why Choose The Valor Fireplace?

Valor was first used by a small business in Birmingham England in the year 1980. Initially it was attached to only oil and petroleum industries. Later they came in to kerosene heaters, which were sold world-wide in the first half on the last century. With the discovery and introduction of the natural gas the Valor became the leading UK manufacturing of energy efficient gas burning fireplaces.

Why choose the Valor Fireplace? The fireplace can be designed in three different styles which are Zero Clearance, Insert and Freestanding. Here the Zero Clearance can be fixed into a place where there was no initially a place for the fireplace. In the Insert design the fire heaters can installed into pre planned fire place. In the Freestanding design you will see some wood burning but in reality there is no wood burning and they can be installed where there is no existing fire places.

The advantages of using radiant heat through the use of Valor Fireplaces are that the heat can be shared in different quantity at different places of the house, based on the requirement. The Valor provides you a remote for adjusting the heat temperature to get from the fireplace. The unique technique used to by the Valor fireplace will also adjust itself according to the outside temperature and will also act according. The Valor heaters does not come with the heater it naturally get the room air into the heat chambers and then flow it back into the room again with the heat. Also when the power fails the valor’s heaters don not because it does not need any kind of electrical hook ups. The Valor heaters are also eco-friendly.

There are three types as stated earlier the first Valor Freestanding Stoves have two types of stoves: one known as Madorna Series and the other as Portrait President Freestanding. The Valor Fireplace Inserts types are Legend G4 Series, Legend G3 Series, Retrofire Series, Dimension Electric Series and Adorn Series. The Valor New Construction Fireplaces have Ventana Series, Vogue Series, H4 Series, Horizon Series, Portrait Ledge, Portrait Windsor Arch, Portrait Classic Arch, Portrait Senator, Portrait President, Portrait Freestyle, Portrait Bolero and Portrait Stonefire.

This different type of valor Fireplaces differs from each other on its design. But they all carryout the same function. The Valor heaters are very eco friendly as well as free of risk from household attacks. They share a great function to provide the best output as they need less energy consumption and they produce more heat.

The Valor heaters have a high input of 36000 BTU which can turn down to 15000 BTU. The heaters blow heat without fans, and also does not require any electricity to pump itself. The Valor heater comes with different type of colors and different design, which are packed in an aluminum firebox and a stainless steel burner. The Legend G4 has a feature of VDR (Valor dynamic Restrictor) i.e. to adjust secondary air automatically into the fire burners. This technology increases the thermal efficiency and heat output.

5 Simple Steps to Create Your Own Hot Stone Kit For Massages

Are you a do-it-yourself-er? Do you use home remedies to battle insects in your house or treat the common cold? Would you rather try to fix your car or appliance, instead of hiring someone else to do it? We choose to sometimes do tasks ourselves, for a variety of reasons. It could be a hobby. Perhaps we need to budget our resources more carefully. And other times, we are simply curious about how something works, or want to prove to our spouse that we are useful. The range of do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks we can do at home is virtually endless. Should hot stones for massages be included on the list?

The school of life

Today, do-it-yourself-ers perform tasks that range from plumbing to painting, and from audio systems to aircraft. But where did this trend originate from? Since the 1960s, the DIY movement has evolved significantly. Towards the end of the 1960s, society began to realize that many important “life skills” were not being learned in schools. In other words, schools were teaching abstract concepts, but few applications existed in the “real world.”

Bookmarks then and now

The first do-it-yourself projects were basic, focusing on the restoration of older homes. However, as time passed, informational “tools” such as journals, books, and classes; and concrete “tools” such as garden tools, carpenter’s tools, and mason’s tools, became the means for completing do-it-yourself projects. As the decades passed, magazines, television, and the Internet were added to the means of DIY instruction. In particular, DIY enthusiasts began to focus on personally improving their homes.

From the river to the heater

Today, as a do-it-yourself-er, you can create or fix nearly anything in your home, including hot stones for massages, with the right materials and tools. Well, you cannot make new stones, but you can prepare stones for the function of massage stones. Here is how:

1. Rock River. Go to a rock quarry, to collect river rocks. Some rock quarries and landscape companies actually sell river rocks to the public.

2. Size matters. All of the rocks that you select should be flat and relatively smooth in texture. You will need to select three sizes of rocks: small, medium and large. Choose eight small rocks whose sizes range from approximately the size of a quarter, to roughly the size of an egg. Next, you will need seven pairs of medium-sized rocks that are easy for you to grip in your hand. Finally, choose two huge oval stones. They should be roughly eight inches in length and six inches in width.

3. The heat is on. You will also require a heater for the stones. You can purchase a massage stone heater on the market. To use a more do-it-yourself approach, a slow cooker with a capacity of at least 6-quarts (to heat all of the stones simultaneously); or a huge tabletop skillet that includes a lid and sides of at least three inches tall, would be ideal.

4. Accessorize, accessorize. Accessories that you will need for the hot stone massage include:

o food thermometer

o massage rocks

o strainer

o tea towels (2)

o tongs

5. Get ready to rock and roll. Prepare the hot stone heater, slow cooker or skillet. Then clean the rocks and stack them in whichever warmer you use. Next, fill up the warmer until the rocks are completely under water. Lastly, position your hot stone kit and accessories on a solid surface, nearby an electrical outlet.

In our Information Age, do-it-yourself projects have become easier than ever. With the right equipment, some diligent studying and an innovative spirit, what we make or fix can include almost anything-including massage stones. However, keep in mind that these homemade stones can never replace the original and best smooth-as-silk hot stones!

Designing Wind Breaks

Contrary to myth, solid fencing does not provide the best wind break. The force of the wind on the solid flat surface creates both pressure on the windward side and pressure differences on the leeward side, somewhat similar to the way an airfoil works.

To illustrate this, note that snow fences are designed with porosity, allowing some of the wind to work its way through, yet decreasing and deflecting the air flow. As a consequence of the design, snow will tend to accumulate a few feet in front of the fence, as the vortices of wind redirect.

When designing a wood fence as a wind break, stagger the boards 2 inches apart for every six inches of width. The ideal porosity for windbreak fences is 25-33%, and such a gap will give a 25% porosity. This provides a protection that will extend eight to ten times the height of the fence. Another option is to slope the fencing material, if you are intending to use the fence as a shelter for livestock.

For home and farmyard applications, consider building the fence in staggered sections, with each panel offset from adjacent ones by a foot or so. This gapping increases airflow redirection, while also reducing wind load on the panels. Varying the height of the panels also will aid in this redirection. The intent, of course, is not to stop the wind, but to reduce and redirect.

When installing a wind barrier that is intended to act as a snow fence, do not install the fence right at the point where the snow is to be stopped. Rather, set the fence back several yards, at least, so that the snow that is impeded will drop and accumulate prior to the road way or clear area that you require. Remember that, since the wind break (if properly installed) will create a protection area that is eight to ten times the height of the fence, a four-foot fence will provide a dead zone that is up to 40 feet in front of the fence.

Some permanent wind breaks are nothing more than a good tree or brush line. However, solid rows of trees provide less protection than porous rows, so do not plant so that an impenetrable barrier is created. Instead, use staggered plantings, offset against each other.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, mesh fences can provide good wind barriers, as well. Materials such as the mesh seen along the perimeter of golf driving ranges, plastic and resin meshes and even chain link fencing provide a nominal measure of protection. To illustrate the effectiveness of a simple screen, open your house window on a cold, relatively calm winter day, and feel the coolness of the air coming in against the screen. Then stick your hand outside and feel the difference. That screen has partially blocked the transfer of heat due to convection. It works similarly for wind.

Wind breaks, then, are not so much wind barriers as they are wind speed bumps. Holding back the wind, to paraphrase Jim Croce’s song about spitting in the wind or tearing the mask off the old Lone Ranger, should not be foolishly attempted!

Joseph Campbell – Permanent Human Values

At the start of the US involvement in WWII Joseph Campbell was put in the position of having to defend culture and truth rather than go along with the crazed nationalism and outright invasion of so many public institutions through all manner of propaganda. He ended up being accused of being a Nazi by many who should have known better. The Bollingen Foundation was backed by Mellon family money and it sought to establish an integrative disciplinary approach including the mystical precepts of Mircae Eliade and Carl Jung. It was a truly good effort that still brings culture and Brotherhood values through the many books they published. Their efforts at Eranos deserve close attention for any scholar seeking to understand the positive side of the old-money families or elites. I wonder if the Elite sometimes do demonstrate a beneficent paternalism when I see these good efforts. The speech that follows stands as true or truer today, than when he gave it to the ladies at Sarah Lawrence College, where he was a professor.

“Permanent Human Values

I have been asked to tell you what seem to me to be some of the important things–permanently human–which men are likely to forget during hours of a severe political crisis.

Permanent things, of course, do not have to be fought for–they are permanent. We are not their creators and defenders. Rather–it is our privilege (our privilege as individuals: our privilege as nations) to experience them. And it is our private loss if we neglect them. We may fight for our right to experience these values. But the fight must not be conducted on a public battlefield. This fight must be conducted in the individual mind. Public conquerors are frequently the losers in this secret struggle.

Permanent things, furthermore, are not possessed exclusively by the democracies; not exclusively even by the Western world.

My theme, therefore, forbids me to be partial to the war-cries of the day. I respect my theme, and I shall try to do it justice. I am not competent to speak of every permanent human value. I shall confine myself, therefore, to those which have been my special disciplinarians: those associated with the Way of Knowledge.

Which of these are likely to be forgotten during the hours of a severe political crisis? All of them, I should say. I think that everything which does not serve the most immediate economic and political ends is likely to be forgotten.

I think, in the first place, that the critical objectivity of the student of society is likely to be forgotten–either forgotten or suppressed. For example: The president of Columbia University has declared that the present conflict is a war ‘between beasts and human beings, between brutal force and kindly helpfulness,’ Yet Columbia professors laboriously taught, during the twenties and thirties something about the duties of objective intelligence in the face of sensational propaganda: and no educated gentleman can possibly believe that the British Empire or the French Empire or the American Empire was unselfishly founded in ‘kindly helpfulness.’ without gunpowder or without perfectly obscene brutality.

It is not surprising, of course, that there should be a strain of opportunism in those public gentlemen who are in a position to tell the multitude what to think; but that our universities–those institutions which have plumed themselves in their dignified objectivity–should begin now to fling about the gutter-slogans of our newspaper cartoons, seems to be a calamity of the first order.

Perhaps our students must prepare themselves to remember (without any support for our institutions of higher learning) that there are two sides to every argument, that every government since governments began, has claimed to represent the special blessings of the heavenly realm, that every man (even an enemy) is human, and that no empire (not even a merchant empire) is founded on ‘kindly helpfulness.’

When there was no crisis on the horizon, we were told that objectivity was a good. Now that something seems to threaten our markets–or to threaten perhaps even more than that–we are warned (and this by still another of our university presidents) that the real fifth-columnist in this country is the critical intellectual. What kind of leaders are these men, anyhow?–snorting through one nostril about the book-burnings in Germany, wheezing through the other at critical intelligences in our own Republic?

In the second place we are in danger of neglecting the apparently useless work of the disinterested scientist and historian. Yet if there is one jewel in the crown of Western Civilization which deserves to take a place beside the finest jewels of Asia, it is the jewel cut by these extraordinary men. Their images of the cosmos and of the course of earthly history are as majestic as the Oriental theories of involution and evolution. But these images are by no means the exclusive creation, or even property, of democracies. Many of the indispensable works which you must read, if you are to participate in the study of these images, have not even been translated into democratic tongues. Let me say, therefore, that any serious student of history or science who permits the passions of this hour to turn her away from German is a fool.

Whatever may be the language for hemisphere defense, German, French and English are the languages of scholarship and science. (Biblio: At Sarah Lawrence, as at many schools and universities, German and Italian were being eliminated from the curriculum, as if somehow the boycott of the language would enforce some kind of sanction on the country or its political leaders. It was probably this practice Campbell was decrying.) German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Scandinavian, English, Irish, Polish, Russian, Swiss, Christian, Pagan, Atheist, and Jewish have been the workers in these spheres. Chauvinism has no place here. The work is international and human. Consequently, whenever there is a resurgence of the nationalisms and animalisms of war, scientist and scholar have to cork themselves tightly in. They are not anti-social parasites and slackers when they do this. It is with them that Western Culture, as opposed to Western Empire, will survive.

In the third place, the work of the literary man and the artist is in danger. We need not worry about the popular entertainer: he will be more in demand than ever. But we may worry about the artists of social satire: theirs will be a plight very like the plight of the objective social scientist. And we may worry about the creative writers, painters, sculptors, and musicians devoted to the disciplines of pure art. The philistine (that is to say the man without hunger for poetry and art) will never understand the importance of these enthusiasts. But those of you whose way of personal discipline and discovery is the way of the arts will understand that if you are to keep in touch with your own centers of energy, you must not allow yourself to be tricked into believing that social criticism is proper art, or that sensational entertainment is proper art, or that journalistic realism is proper art. You must not give up your self-exploration in your own terms. The politicians are such a blatant crew and their causes are so obvious that it is exceedingly difficult to remember, when they surround you, anything but the surfaces of life….

The artist–in so far as he is an artist–looks at the world dispassionately: without thought of defending his ego or his friends; without thought of undoing any enemy; troubled neither with desire or loathing. He is as dispassionate as the scientist, but he is looking not for the causes of effects, he is simply looking–sinking his eye into the object. To his eye this object permanently reveals the fascination of a hidden name or essential form…

Now this perfectly well-known crisis, which transports a beholder beyond desire and loathing, is the first step not only to art, but to humanity. And it is the artist who is its hero. It cannot be said, therefore, that the artist is finally anti-social, even though from an economic point of view his work may be superfluous; even though he may seem to be sitting pretty much alone.

In the fourth place, the preaching of religion is in danger. God is the first fortress that a warlike nation must capture, and the ministers of religion are always, always, always ready to deliver God into the hands of their king or their president. We hear of it already–this arm-in-arm blood brotherhood of democracy and Christianity…

And how quick the ministers of religion are to judge the soul of the enemy; when the founder of their faith is reputed to have said: ‘Judge not, that you may never be judged.’ How quick they are to point at the splinter in the enemy eye, before they have looked for the plank that sticks in their own! ‘Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,’ is not the phrase for a political emergency. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ is not the phrase for a political emergency… And perhaps it would be well to remember that even the inhabitants of the democracies were born with original sin on their souls: and that not even the President of the United States has any objective assurance that he is the vicar of Christ on earth.

We are all groping in this valley of tears, and if a Mr. Hitler collides with a Mr. Churchill, we are not in conscience bound to believe that a devil had collided with a saint (Biblio: This phrase was quoted out of context, with a predictably horrifying impact on modern sensibilities, in the New York Times article of 1989 on Campbell’s alleged bigotry.)–Keep those transcendent terms out of your political thinking–do not donate the things of God to Caesar–and you will go a long way toward keeping a sane head.

I believe, finally, that education is going to suffer during the next few years, as it did during the last war. You will be tempted to forget that you are educating yourselves to be women: you will imagine that you are educating yourselves to be patriots. Primarily you are human beings; secondarily you are members of a certain social class. Primarily you are human beings; secondarily you are daughters of the present century. If you devote yourselves exclusively, or even primarily, to peculiarities of the local scene and the present moment, you will wonder, fifteen years from now, what you did with your education…

I would not say that the Way of Knowledge is the only way to human fulfillment: but it is a majestic way; it is a way represented by the innumerable sciences, arts, philosophical and theological systems of mankind. The final danger is not (let me repeat this emphatically in closing), the final danger is not that mankind may lose these things (for, if Europe and America were to be blown away entirely, there would remain millions and millions of subtly disciplined human beings–who might even feel relieved to see us go!). The great danger is that you–unique you–may be tricked into missing your education.” (4)

I am such a fan of Mr. Campbell and there are so many things of his which I quote in different books that some think I am nuts about him. The facts he presents have been added to in the archaeological and linguistic or anthropological, so I really end up quoting more of his pure spiritual ecumenicism thoughts. But when a potential editor from my alma mater who had 14 years post secondary education and had been a professor commented about Campbell being a Nazi sympathizer – I lost interest in him. He also was stupid enough to suggest the Pyramids had nothing unknown to academia – RIGHT!!

The Advantages And Steps of Goal Planning

Before you are going to do something, there is nothing as sensible as goal planning. A plan as we know it is something thought about and chalked out in advance before the real action takes place and is actually a recipe for success. Pretty good definition, huh? I made it up myself.

But then, the word ‘plan’ does not need much of a definition. It has been used so much that it has become quite hackneyed. So, we all know what it means, but how many of us really resort to planning before we start a course of action.

No, I’m not referring to a mental picture that we chart out in our minds that is in one word, vague. I mean a real plan in black and white, that is, put down on a piece of paper. Please do not underestimate the importance of a written down plan. Once we write down something it clears up a lot of hazy areas and opens aspects that we probably overlooked.

And the most important of all is that with a plan and only with a plan can we get a rough estimate at least, of how much time the course of action would take. Plans should always be time bound and there we get the relation between time management and planning. In fact, planning is as fundamental to time management as organizing and prioritizing. The advantages of planning are given below.

The advantages of planning

  • Planning helps us to have a better idea about the course of action that we propose to take.
  • Planning better defines the course of action that we propose to undertake.
  • Planning gives a rough estimate of the time required for a project.
  • Planning gives us a fairly good idea about the expenses involved in the project. In fact a budget is also a plan, a financial plan.
  • Planning helps us to get prepared for emergencies that may arise during the course of the project.
  • A well though about plan gives us a clear idea about what is to be done every day, every week and every month.
  • Planning helps avoid duplication of labor.
  • If a plan is followed, every one will have a clear idea about his or her role.

A point that I would like to add while we are talking about planning is, we should have both short term plans as well as long term strategy plans. At the same time we should also try to draft out contingency plans to deal with a crisis if it arises. There are lots of good free planning resources online. Just try a search and you’ll have a long list of sites to choose from.

I thought it would be useful for you to have a brief overview of the different steps involved in planning.

The steps in planning are

  • Set objectives
  • Assess you present situation
  • Survey your alternatives
  • Decide on the course of action
  • Provide for control
  • Implement the plan

But whatever be the plan, I again want to stress the point that a plan should always be time bound. As the project moves along, the plan should be flexible in the sense that it should incorporate any changes that might prove necessary once the project is put into action.

Why Installing a Stair Nosing on the Edge of Any Kind of Stair Step Edge Is a Must

The durability and the safe use of stairs have always been a concern for architects and constructors.

The stair nosing has been around since the early 20th century.

For instance if you visit the gorgeous Plaza de España in the historic city of Sevilla in Spain please pay attention to the step edges of the stairs that direct you to the upper floor from where you get a spectacular view of the palace’s square. You will notice superb step edgings that most properly inspired today’s stair nosing designers. This superb palace was constructed in the late 1920s.

There is no doubt that you will notice diverse step edgings in several old buildings with stone, ceramic, marble or parquet overlaid stairs.

The stair nosings that are installed on the step edge of ceramic tile, marble or wood covered stairs in contemporary buildings and particularly in public ones such as shopping malls, schools, governmental institutions are subject to heavy pedestrian traffic.

Installed on the edge of the ceramic or similar stair steps the aluminium stair nosing trim is designed to provide protection to the stone, marble or ceramic tile edge on the stairs by preventing chipping and fractures. The use of the stairs is safeguarded as stair steps may become hazardous particularly when wet or worn out.

A great deal of accidents occur going down on stairs when the proper attention is not paid. Many of these accidents may result in serious injuries.

Presently several models of aluminium stair nosings are suggested for the protection and secure use of the concrete, ceramic tile, marble, stone or wood covered stairs:

Stair nosings which are installed directly over the concrete stair step edge.

Tile-in stair nosings with or without replaceable pvc insert, designed to accommodate ceramic tiles in various thicknesses. These stair nosings may only be fitted during the tile, marble or stone installation process; as the bottom of the frontal edge of the nosing should get under the ceramic tile to ensure a firm grip.

The incorporated and durable ribbed PVC strips which come in a variety of colors (i.e. black, grey, brown or cream) achieve perfect compatibility with the ceramic tile colorations and furnish improved slip resistance.

Retro fit step edges, with or without replaceable vinyl insert that are fitted after tile, stone or marble installation.

There are no other major distinctions between the two stair nosings, both serve the same purposes. Worn out stair steps not only portray an unpleasant look, but on top of that the secure use of the stairs is endangered. As a consequence this form of anti skid stair nose is a perfect choice for upgrading and renovating existing stairs in poor condition and in need of repair. The worn out stair edges would be covered up and masked.

The grooves on the upper surface of the stair nosing will add an anti slip feature assuring the safe use the stairs. The utilization of non slip stair nosing is highly recommended to protect tiles on stairs from chipping and to prevent costly and unnecessary ceramic tile installation expenses afterwards.

An aluminum stair nosing fitted at the edge of the wooden stair would prove to be highly beneficial as well. The parquet and laminate flooring stair step edges will be protected from wear and the unsightly appearance of fractured and damaged stair step edges will be avoided. Subsequently damage to stair edges and its disagreeable appearance are averted as well as high-priced renovations.

Diverse stair tread nosing profiles that can withstand extensive influx secure the use of the wood stairs, and their anti-slip ribbed top surface and the grooves create slip resistance and enable the safe use of the stairs.

Slip and fall accident risks are reduced, injuries no longer become a concern and a decorative feature perfectly fitting the stairs is provided.

The retrofit stair tread nosing may be fitted with glue, adhesive tape or rather screwed to the tile, stone, parquet or similar flooring to allow a long lasting tight grip. When supplied predrilled and with countersink holes the installation with screws will turn out to be faster and smoother.

For complementary information you may go to our website.

http://www.akteknik.net/index-eng.asp

Shopping for Outdoor Patio Furniture: Why Is Hanamint Cast Aluminum Furniture So Popular?

Maybe you have just moved into a new home or just expanded your outdoor living space, either way if you are shopping for new patio furniture you have likely seen the brand Hanamint in you search. Hanamint sells nationally from coast to coast and is in almost every patio furniture store. But why is it so popular?

Over the past few decades, as patio furniture has evolved, one frame material seems to have moved to the forefront in popularity. That material is Cast Aluminum. Cast Aluminum is a process that molds the most maintenance free material into beautiful pieces of patio art. Casting processes enables unique old world styling to become a standard feature in the furniture.

No one comes close to the value that Hanamint provides in their cast aluminum patio furniture. You could shop other brands but would probably be wasting your time. Hanamint has many different sets including; Grand Tuscany, Tuscany, St. Augustine, Mayfair, Berkshire, Stratford, Bella, and St. Moritz. If you want it for your patio, Hanamint makes it. Chaise lounges, dining sets, deep seating sofa arrangements, bar stools, bar height tables, counter stools, counter height dining tables, benches, fire pits, sectionals and bars.

Typically, the most desired finish is Desert Bronze but they also offer some sets in Black. Desert Bronze is a great finish because it looks great with most exterior home colors and patio color schemes. In the daylight, desert bronze shows a rich bronze color with many textures or layers in the finish. At dusk or in low light, desert bronze almost appears black. Desert bronze is that dark.

Hanamint offers and unbeatable amount of high end fabric to compliment their beautiful frames finishes. Sunbrella is the industry leader in outdoor fabrics. Hanamint will buy many Sunbrella fabrics to offer as options on their cushions. Sunbrella became synonomus with quality after being one of the first to offer 100% solution dyed acrylic fabrics. An acrylic fabric will last and last because the sun can only fade the fabric one percent per year. Do yourself a favor and only by acrylic fabric on your Hanamint cushions.

Hanamint recently introduced a 2014 collection called Stratford. Stratford appears more contemporary in design with straight line cross design.

No matter what Hanamint collection you choose, you will be making the right choice. I bought my Hanamint Grand Tuscany Collection online and had a wonderful experience.

Now all you need to complete you ideal outdoor living space is a grill!

Until next time, happy shopping. – Dave

Find Out the Difference Between a Patch Cable and a Crossover Ethernet Cable

If you are trying to setup a local network or LAN at home then you probably already know you need an ethernet cable and maybe even a hub or a switch. If things were that easy it would be great, but matters are only made more difficult when you discover that there are different kinds of ethernet cables. Do you get a patch cable or a crossover cable? What’s the difference between the two? The problem is that both of these cables look identical, and unless you specifically ask for help there is a good chance that the sales person will assume you know which one you need and say nothing at all. It is not until later when you get home that you find out you’ve purchased the wrong cable as they are not interchangeable. Here is a quick guide to help clarify the difference between patch and crossover cables.

For most of the time the kind of cable you will need is called a patch cable. Patch cables are the most widely used and generic form of ethernet cable available today. Put simply they are referred to as straight though cables. What this means is that wire 1 on one end of the cable comes out as wire 2 on the other end. The wires run straight through and do not swap or change along the way. This kind of cable is used for connecting computers to hubs, switches or routers. If you are setting up an ordinary LAN or just connecting your computer to a router, then this is the type of cable you’ll need. It simply transfer data along specified wires and does nothing beyond this. Crossover cables, as you may already guessed from the name, actually do something to the wires along the way.

Crossover cables actually crossover. Meaning that wire 1 on one end does not come out as wire 1 on the other end. The wires are crossed over and this is why if you try to use this kind of cable in the previous setup, nothing will work. The data along the way changes wires and it means that the router or hub you are trying to connect your computer to has no way of understanding the information that it is receiving. So when would you need a crossover cable? These cables are used for connecting two computers together directly or connecting two hubs or switches together directly. This is done so that the wires are swapped over to match the correct pins on the receiving end. If you’ve ever looked at a hub or switch, you may have noticed a port called an uplink port. This uplink port functions exactly how a crossover cable does. You can use this uplink port to connect two switches together with a patch cable because the uplink port actually crosses over the wires internally and makes it possible to receive data directly from another switch.

While patch and crossover cables may look the same, they are used for two very different situations. Connecting networks or computers together directly will require a crossover cable. However, if you are connecting computers to a switch, hub or router then a patch cable is what you’ll need.

5 Mistakes That Will Prevent Your Boyfriend From Ever Proposing

Have you been with the man you love for a long time, but he has yet to pop the question? Are you thinking about giving him an ultimatum? If so, you better read this now before he leaves you for the hot blonde you work with. Despite the fact I work primarily with men and dating issues related to men, I’ve encountered this question from women often – normally whenever I tell a female what I do for a living. I could never articulate the answer very well, so I decided to interview a couple of female dating coaches. These women are all intelligent and accomplished dating coaches who specialize in helping women naturally convince (with NO actual convincing) their boyfriends to commit and pop the question. This article will focus on the number one mistake that results in couples breaking up over marriage, and tips on how to ease your man in the right direction in a short amount of time. It’s not what you are thinking! Also, pay special attention to mistake number 5!

Mistake 1: Stop being so nice. Women often think that cooking, playing house wife, and being overly sweet will result in reciprocal behavior. Actually, men want to marry a woman that is strong, will be able to handle the tough times, kids, and all the downturns that come with life. A recent study showed that the vast majority of men feel that confident women are in “short supply.” Do not be scared to show him you have your own life and you radiate confidence. Take it from a man who has dated countless women, nothing urges me to commit monogamously like a woman that has dignity and pride in herself – rather I’m in the picture or not. Go out with your friends, pursue your career, and spend time with your family. He doesn’t have to be invited to every girl’s night out. Let him see you can hold your own in this world – with or WITHOUT him. In-fact, nothing lights a fire under his ass like knowing you do not need him.

Mistake 2: Stop bringing it up. If you mentioned marriage once, then he heard you loud and clear and it is engraved in his frontal cortex. If you continue to bring it up, it will only add unnecessary pressure on the relationship. This also includes making sure your friends and family does not mention it around him. If you guys have been dating for a long time, it is commonplace for sisters and mothers to ask, “so, when are you two tying the knot?” Make sure your family and friends know not to bring the subject up around him. He knows that if they mention it, it is only because YOU mentioned it to them.

Mistake 3: Is there a recurring argument that pops up cyclically? Perhaps financial issues, living arrangements, sexual performance, etc., are common examples. These issues have the potential to turn into a vicious cycle. It comes up maybe every week, maybe every year. Arguing about the same thing multiple times implants in his brain that a life with you wills continuous arguing. Maybe this is the only reason he hasn’t popped the question. Show him you are mature enough to let something go and to NEVER bring it up again. So what he flirted with your co-worker at the Christmas party 2 years ago – DROP IT or drop him!

Mistake 4: Let him know he is not responsible for your happiness – even if he is. Many psychologists have written papers about this very fact. If a man feels he is responsible for your happiness, he will feel pressure. Pressure equals a breakup if you have not noticed by now. Men tend to feel at ease when he doesn’t have to be fully responsible for someone else’s happiness. When a man sees you are happy with him but you can be just as happy having nothing to do with him, that’s when he won’t want to leave your side. Next time he cancels last minute plans to watch a chic flick with you, laugh and say “OK.” Then call a girlfriend and go out with her. When you get home later that night, initiate sex and “blow” his mind. He will love you for not getting mad over a silly movie. Plus, he will respect that you are grown enough to be responsible for your own happiness.

Mistake 5: Should you use an ultimatum? Using an ultimatum to get that sought after wedding ring is like committing relationship suicide. If you feel the need to present your boyfriend with an ultimatum concerning your relationship, it MUST be authentic! Even if authentic, marriage is not necessarily going to be the result. When it comes to women who so badly want to be engaged to their boyfriend, ultimatums are a commonplace. The waiting game drives desperation and desperation can lead to threats! Yes, ultimatum is just a fancy word for “threat”. Women who throw marriage ultimatums at their boyfriends obviously do not realize that this kind of pressure and “all or nothing” attitude commonly results in the demise of the relationship. Regardless, women want to know if an ultimatum is ever acceptable. According to those dating coaches I interviewed, it is only applicable when you are ready to deal with the truth and act on the response! If you give your boyfriend a “now or never” lecture, you best be prepared to pack your bags and leave if he comes back with a “never” response. Staying in a relationship after he says “never” will only result in your losing all credibility and leverage in the relationship. Bottom Line: Only give an ultimatum if you’re ready to hear the truth and are willing to act on it, whatever the response may be.

Start implementing these tips right away. You must do these before you can move on to the second part – which is offensively convincing him (without actually convincing him or talking directly about the subject with him) to believe in his subconscious mind that you are the one and that he can not live without you by his side!

The Movie "Pretty Woman" and the Law of Attraction

Pretty Woman is the movie that made the brilliant Julia Roberts, famous. It is an excellent movie to discuss the Law of Attraction. What one focuses on, EXPANDS and everything that comes to us, we attract through our EMOTIONS, or often called, our VIBRATION. Julia plays the role of Vivian, a woman who is prostituting in order to make enough money to pay her bills. She lives with Kit another prostitute. Right from the start of the movie, it is clear that Vivian so WANTS more in her life.

The concept of WANTING is integral to the teachings of the LAW OF ATTRACTION. Everything that we WANT (or ask for) is always given, ASK AND IT IS GIVEN. In order to receive that which we ask for, we must get into high positive emotion and trust and know that it will come forth.

In the beginning, Kit has just used their rent money to pay a pimp and Vivian is furious. When Vivian confronts Kit, Kit says, “don’t irritate me,” Vivian responds by saying angrily, “irritate you, irritate you, I just saw a girl being taken out of a dumpster, don’t you want to get out of here! This sets the audience knowing that she believes there is much more for herself in life and that her present situation is temporary in her mind.

Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) is an unhappy very rich man, who is, as he states, “screwing” people for money. He is introduced by not having a good time at his own party. He decides to leave in his lawyer’s car and go back to his hotel. As he is driving past the spot where Vivian and Kit are hustling that evening, he is having trouble driving the Lotus Supreme that he has borrowed. Vivian just happens to know a lot about cars and as she approaches him to solicit him as a customer, she offers to show Edward the way to his hotel for $20. One can see her fiesty nature in this exchange. She has a confidence that is strong and she speaks with clarity.

Edward invites her up to his penthouse suite. At first, she is only going to stay an hour, then the evening and then Edward invites her to spend the week with him for $3000. “I will pay you to be at my “beckon call” for the whole week, he declares. For both of them it is a business venture. Their romantic relationship begins the first night.

Their first evening together, Edward works all night. In the morning Vivian says,”You don’t sleep, you don’t drink, you don’t do drugs, what do you do Edward? “What do you do?” she asks. “I buy companies and sell them, then, I break the companies up into pieces and sell them parts off. Parts of a company are worth more than the whole.” Vivian then comments that he actually does not sell anything or make anything. This begins the process for Edward of being more conscious of what he actually does. It creates a dissonance inside that was not evident before. Where is the meaning for him in what he does?

Vivian’s entrance into the world of wealth and beautiful things that she has been WANTING, begins. She is given money by Edward to buy clothes and jewelry, that transform her into an even more gorgeous woman. The whole week is filled with activities that only people with money enjoy. Her ease into abundance clearly shows that she has already been seeing herself as abundant. It has been part of her plan for a long time.

The understanding that something never just come forth into one’s experience, it has been “being manifested” for a while in one’s mind and emotions. This is how the Law of Attraction works, everything is created in thought first before it manifests.

In the beginning, Barney, the hotel manager, sees Vivian walking through the hotel dressed as a prostitute. He calls her into his office to scrutinize her for her “inappropriate behavior.” He elicits her frustration during this meeting because she has just been denied service in some clothing stores because of how she is dressed. Being moved by her distress, he calls his good friend, Bridget, who works at a women’s clothing shop. Bridget is kind and relaxes Vivian, as she assists her in outer beauty transformation.

As a viewer, seeing Vivian’s transformation happen so quickly is exhilarating. It shows her confidence and her self-esteem bloom.

Edward Lewis’ unethical and unkind business practices show themselves at the dinner with Mr. Morris and his grandson David. Morris, another business man is in financial difficulty and has to sell his company, even though he does not want to let it go. Mr. Morris and David both abruptly leave the dinner early because they are so upset with Edward’s practices of tearing up companies and selling the pieces and mostly his arrogance.

Later that evening, Vivian says, “I think you like Mr. Morris.” She begins to become his conscience. Edward has obviously not been feeling good about his work because he is quick to dismiss her. He replies, the truth is, it is really totally irrelevant whether I like this man or not, I will not let myself get emotionally involved in business, insists Edward”

Vivian shares “when I’m with a man I just stay numb, I don’t get involved……I don’t get emotional when I am turning tricks, I don’t kiss on the mouth. When I’m with a guy, I’m like a robot, I just do it.”

Edward replies, “You and I are such similar creatures Vivian, we both screw people for money.” His realization that he has attracted someone with similar vibration is clear. Also, his discontent about who he is increases. Edward’s transformation and new desires begins as Vivian heightens his awareness of what he does for money It is clearly beginning to trouble him. As well, his affection for Vivian is becoming stronger.

One evening at a polo event that he takes Vivian to, Edward ends up telling Stucky, his lawyer, that Vivian is a hooker. Stucky makes a very unkind remark to Vivian, when they are alone and Vivian is furious with Edward. Her anger is refreshing and empowering for her and here Edward realizes that he has crossed a line that is unacceptable. Just before she is about to go into the elevator to leave the apartment, he comes and apologizes to her, promising never to do something like this again, admitting, “it was stupid and cruel. He also admits he was jealous of her talking with David Morris.”

“You hurt me, DON’T do it again,” she firmly states. After this encounter, they begin to gain a much better understanding of each other and their love begins to blossom. Vivian shares how she got into being a hooker and comments that “if people put you down enough, you start to believe it.” He replies,”I think you are a very bright, very special woman.”

Obviously, they both have been asking for a love relationship of great significance because they have attracted each other. It is fun to watch the unfolding of their love. I like the humor, mixed with affection that is displayed.

Edward begins to soften into who he really is, behind the tough business man façade. He starts to play, have fun, be light and fall in love with Vivian. And at the next business meeting with Mr. Morris he invites him to go into business together and build ships with him. “I know longer wish to buy your company and take it apart and I find myself in unfamiliar territory, I want to help you!” Mr. Morris says “I am proud of you” to which Edward replies, thank you.”

It is clear that Edward is moving into his true self, the loving, kind and powerful man he truly is. Vivian has inspired him into his kindness. The day before their deal is up, Edward says “I’d really love to see you again. I’ve arranged to have an apartment and a car and some money and any number of other things arranged for you.” It is then that Vivian reaches clarity and shares her dream of what it is that she really WANTS. “I want to be loved by a handsome prince, I WANT the whole package, the house, the white picket fence, the husband, everything. She realizes that she will not settle for less than the entire dream.

In a conversation with Kit, who came to the hotel to visit her, Kit realizes that she has fallen in love with Edward. In their conversation, the the only person that they can think of that it has fully worked out for is “Cinderella.” They both laugh. In the last scenes Vivian says to Edward “you made me a really nice offer and now everything has changed, you changed that and now I WANT more.” Edward replies “I know about wanting more, I invented the concept. The question is how much more.” Vivian says “I want the fairy tale.”

Edward says “impossible relationships.” Vivian leaves saying to him “I think you have a lot of special gifts.” This is a wonderful moment where one realizes that even though he has all the money, it is not what really matters. This is not what brings true happiness and joy.

When Edward gets driven to the airport with the same driver who drove Vivian home the day before, he ends up stopping to buy flowers and then asks the driver to go to Vivian’s with opera music blaring in the background. Vivian hears the music and as Edward climbs up the steep stairs to her apartment with the flowers in his mouth and says, “so what happened after he climbed up the tower and he rescued her,” she replies, “she rescues him right back.” A statement expressing her own self-confidence and sense of empowerment and clarity on exactly what it is she WANTS, having been willing to lose it all with Edward if the whole dream was not in place.

Two people are now in alignment with Source Energy and their deepest desires. Both Julia Roberts and Richard Gere do a wonderful job in this movie. Their acting is exquisite. The LAW OF ATTRACTION is the process of desire, reaching for that which is WANTED and then calling it forth with our thoughts and emotions, until it feels right to act from inspiration. I delight in how the movie makers here have created such a great story.

LCD Monitor Problems – Easy Way To Repair It

Today’s article talks about repairing the CMV 19″ LCD Monitor problems model CM-922D. The complain was no power as what the customer told me. This power supply was not built into the circuit thus it need an external power adapter to power it up. The input to the LCD Monitor is 19V with 3.1 Amp from the adapter. Since the complain was no power, we have to test it out to check if the power adapter is at fault or the LCD Monitor.

The ac supply was plugged in to the power adapter and I could see the power LED was lighted up. Checking the output voltage of the power adapter I got about 19 volts which is good. Even though the LED has lit and correct output voltage, this doesn’t mean that the power adapter can maintain when there is a load (the LCD Monitor) connected to it. I once came across a Compaq 17″ LCD Monitor that have a precise output voltage from the power adapter but when connected to the Monitor, the display appeared for a fraction of a second before shutting down. Usually in this case, your experienced would tell you that it could be the inverter circuit are faulty or the lamps have problem. You would be surprised that the actual cause of the shutdown was due to the power adapter. It can’t sustain the output voltage when there is a load on it.

This kind of fault was normally due to a bad filter capacitors located at the output of the secondary circuit. If you have ESR meter, you can actually locate the defective electrolytic capacitors fast. If you don’t have the meter, just direct replace the caps. As mentioned in my previous repair articles, to confirm if the power adapter is truly working or not you need a light bulb to act as a load. Make sure the power LED light doesn’t blink whenever the light bulb is connected. Even if it blinks one time, this proves that the regulation is not good and need to be check entirely. In the above china made LCD Monitor, the power adapter work perfectly fine!

Since I have already confirmed that the power adapter is good, my focus now was on the LCD boards. Removing this cover was very easy and you can easily access to the board when the metal casing was removed. The first thing that I checked was the SMD fuse located in the main board. If the fuse opens then there would be no supply to the ADC/SCALAR and the CPU IC thus the power LED would not light! Checking this SMD fuse was rather simple as the method of checking it is the same like a normal fuse. Use either an analog or a digital meter set to ohms range or continuity check. You can check the fuse while it is still in circuit. Yes, the fuse was found to be open circuit.

Now there is one question that needs to be answered by us. What makes the fuse to go open circuit? Well from what we have known about electronic repair, there are three possibilities as why a fuse opens circuit. First, the fuse can become open circuit due to its lifespan. Some fuses can last for many years while some only couple of years. In other words, the life span of a fuse depends on the qualities of the materials used. Secondly, the external factor such as a surge causing the fuse to open circuit in order to protect the main board. Thirdly, the main board itself have problem (such as a shorted IC’s and other electronic components) that caused the fuse to open circuit.

If the LCD Monitor problems falls in the first and the second categories then replacing only the fuse will definitely solve the problem. However, for this LCD Monitor, replacing only the fuse didn’t work at all and the fuse open circuit again. You have only two choices to solve this kind of problem. First you can use an external regulated power supply as explained in my previous repair articles and connect the negative output of the power supply to ground and the positive to the fuse (the line that leads to other circuitry) in order to detect the short circuit. Slowly vary the output voltage and monitor the current drawn. Once the current drawn about a amp or two, now place your finger to any electronic components in the main board. If you found any components that get very hot then that is the cause of the short circuit.

In this article, I’m going to do it differently to detect the short circuit. Are you ready? Now instead of replacing the fuse with the exact rating which is 3 amperes, I replaced it with a 5 amperes fuse. The purpose for me to put the 5 amp fuse instead of the 3 amp fuse was because “if the fuse doesn’t blow then the component that have short circuit would blow”. Do you get the idea? Three things can happen when you use this way to force out the culprit. First the power adapter may shut down due to heavy current draw from the main board. Second, the short circuit electronic components (either be a IC, diode, capacitors, transistor and etc) will get hot and you can quickly locate it easily by touching them. Remember don’t on it for too long otherwise if the shorted components get too hot it will go open circuit and now you will have a hard time to locate the fault. Third, you may hear a pop sound and spark from the shorted component. Trace from where the spark came from and you can easily identify the location and sometimes to the actual component that generate the spark.

For the above LCD Monitor, I actually saw a small spark at the top part of the main board once the power input jack was connected. It prompted me to the exact location and when I check the SMD ceramic capacitor (that generated the spark underneath it) with analog meter set to X 10 K ohm range; it actually developed a slight short circuit. Replacing only the fuse and the SMD ceramic capacitor solved the no power problem in this 19″ LCD Monitor. This Monitor uses the inverter IC (OZ960G), A1084-25CM (2.5 volts voltage regulator), AMC1117-3.3 (3.3 volts voltage regulator), ADC IC (MST8136B) and CPU IC (MYSON MTV312MV64).

Conclusion-There are always options as to which methods that you want to use to detect the short circuit. If you prefer the latter one, then I suggest you to take some photo shots first before anything really burnt out beyond description. With the photos, at least it will give you some hints of what the components might be or even the part numbers. Well, there’s always an interesting way to solve electronic problems and this is one of the reason that I like electronic repair so much because you can always act as a detective to find out the culprit-real satisfaction! Oh! By the way, you can use the above method to any other electronic equipment and it is not limited only to problems repair. Have a great hunt my friend!

Different Types of Wax For Candles

Different Types of Candle Wax

With the various types of candle wax on the market today, it is hard to determine just which candle wax will suit your candle making projects the best.

Widely used candle waxes are:

Natural-Vegetable Based

Bayberry

Bayberry, also known as Myrtle Wax or Candle Berry is a rare, expensive natural wax made from Bayberry shrubs. The wax is made by boiling berries from the shrubs. The wax then floats to the top and is collected and processed for making candles. Bayberry wax has a natural greenish color and a fresh scent to it. With a melt point of 118 degrees, this wax is very hard and brittle.

Candles that are made from Bayberry wax are most commonly known as the Christmas Candle. Tradition is, a candle made from Bayberry wax that is burnt all the way to the socket, will bring “food to the larder and gold to the pockets”.

BeesWax

Beeswax has its own unique fragrance to it. Used without fragrance, studies have shown that beeswax actually helps to purify the air. Beeswax can be naturally filtered which results in natural white or yellow beeswax. Naturally filtered beeswax is filtered without using chemicals. White beeswax is highly refined by the Dilco Refining process, a well trusted method of naturally filtering & bleaching the beeswax. Not all beeswax suppliers naturally filter their wax. It is important to know if your wax is chemically bleached. Beeswax has a melt point of approximately 146 degrees.

Pure beeswax is known to burn longer and cleaner with minimal dripping. Candles made from Beeswax are considered a very high quality, expensive candle.

Candelilla

Candelilla wax is a vegetable wax found in great quantities in Northwestern Mexico. Candelilla is extracted from the scrub called, Euphorbia Cerifera. Like Bayberry, the wax is made by boiling the shrub, and skimming off the resultant wax. The raw material is then refined to a light yellow color..

Carnauba

Carnauba is a vegetable wax grown only in Brazil and comes from the leaves of the Brazilian “tree of life”. Carnauba palm grows in the northern and northeastern part of Brazil where the soil is dark and fertile. Quality and color vary with the age of the leaves, with the younger leaves providing the prime yellow color, and the older leaves provide the darker color.

Palm

Palm Wax is 100% natural wax made from the oil of Palm Trees. It is a hard wax with a melt point of approximately 140 degrees. It usually comes in flake form. It can be used straight or as an additive to other natural or synthetic waxes. The natural characteristics of a candle made from palm wax is the beautiful crystal effect that it produces.

Pillars made from Palm Wax naturally tunnel giving your candle a beautiful hurricane effect.

Soy

Soy wax, also commonly called, Soybean wax is a renewable and environmentally preferable alternative to paraffin wax. Soy wax is considered a safe and non toxic vegetable candle wax. Some of the great characteristics of Soy wax is that it can easily be removed from glass, tin, and other material for efficient recycling and easy clean up.

The eco movement has made Soy wax candles one of the most sought after candles on the market today.

Paraffin Based Waxes

Gel

Gel Wax is a polymer type wax that produces beautiful clear container candles.

Granule

Granular Wax is a paraffin based particle wax. Used to make candle art just like sand art and is easy to use with children.

Jelly Candle Wax

Jelly Wax is a premade wax that comes in a tube. Like Granule wax, it is generally used for craft making with children.

Microcrystalline Wax Type I

Microcrystalline wax is used to help harden other candle waxes such as paraffin. Due to it’s durability, Microcrystalline is becoming a popular candle wax used by itself. Fragrance load within Microcrystalline is higher than most waxes due to it’s ability to bind with oil, which allow for a highly fragranced candle

NOTE: This is an additive most generally used to add rigidity to taper candles, help wax adhere to the walls of a container, and reduce or eliminate mottling in pillars. Mottling can be a beautiful visual effect for candles giving you a one of a kind finished product.

Paraffin

Paraffin Wax is a refined petroleum based product.

Paraffin Beeswax Blend

This Paraffin blend usually consists of 50 percent paraffin and 50 percent Beeswax.

Paraffin Soy Blend

As with the Pariffin Beeswax blend, Paraffin Soy is also blended with a 50 percent pariffin and 50 percent Soy.

There are many types of candle wax on the market today. Each has its own characteristics and performance. The use of a particular candle wax is a choice that is individual to the candle maker.

4 Important Steps in Starting a Barber School

The demand for barbers and beauticians will continue to increase over the next several years. This industry will always be in high demand as long as men, woman, and children grow hair. Individuals with a barber’s license from an accredited school will always have the potential to earn top dollar with in this industry. With the demand for barbers, beauticians and stylist continuing to grow, so will the demand for schools where a potential barber can enroll and attain ample knowledge and training in order to become licensed.

The First Step: Creating a Business Plan & Raising Capital

Taking the time out to write an in depth business plan for your barber school. With this step it is imperative that you include a description and mission statement of the school. Include your marketing strategy, researched facts regarding other barber schools in the immediate area and any information on the schools insurance coverage. It is important to provide all documentation highlighting the financial records and needs. These needs should include how much capital you will begin with when the school starts and how you plan to raise the additional needed funds.

The Second Step: Raising Capital

By contacting your states Department of Education you will be able to apply for government grants and loans that are available. This is an important step to begin the process of getting the money you need to raise your start up capital. Working with a bank to complete and submit your loan applications is a must, unless you have all the money you’ll need to get started.

The Third Step: Attaining Insurance Coverage

Begin this step by speaking to local insurance providers. Be mindful that you will need to purchase enough insurance to cover damages (fire, flood & theft), as well as sufficient liability coverage. Speak with your insurance provider about employee coverage, such as workmen’s compensation, disability and unemployment benefits. Doing this will guarantee your school has ample coverage your students and instructors.

The Fourth Step: inventory

Communicate with different beauty wholesalers to get the best priced equipment for you. Comparing the costs of styling chairs, work stations, hair products, mirrors, scissors etc., will be beneficial to you when making sure you purchase enough inventory to supply sufficient training

Once these first 4 steps are complete you will be able to breathe a little easier. Nobody said this was going to be easy; however anything you work hard enough to attain will posses huge advantage when it’s all said and done. Being the owner of your own barber school will be extremely rewarding if you give it your absolute best. Providing individuals with the knowledge they’ll need to succeed in a field they love will make all the hard work worth it in the end.

Using a Circular Carbide Blade on Your Weed Whacker or String Trimmer

A Weed Whacker has various names: String Trimmer, Garden String Trimmer, Tree Pruner, Brush Cutter, Weed Eater, etc. As other articles have aptly pointed out, these versatile garden tools come with various cc-power levels, electric versus gasoline, and 2-stroke versus 4-stroke capabilities. But what has not been addressed is the use of a “BLADE” on such a tool for all the versatile work a blade can perform in the garden environment.

ADDED VERSATILITY AND USES WITH A BLADE:

A circular saw Blade specifically made for and attached to a Weed Whacker gives the following versatility uses in the garden environment:

1. Tree trimming (aka Pruning) which in many cases actually works better than using a cumbersome heavy chain saw for pruning since the circular blade can be wielded at the end of a lighter longer 6 foot Weed Whacker shaft for reaching up into trees. Such a blade can typically cut a tree branch/ limb up to the diameter of the blade provided you cut from both sides of the limb.

2. A blade can be used for clearing large patches or even acreage of heavy thick wood stock brush and sticker brambles (aka: Blackberry sticker bushes) where a common string line spool would be much too weak to cut through adequately.

3. Hedge trimming is a dream with a blade attached to a Weed Whacker; the hedging action is faster and less jagged as compared to a standard hedging tool. So in conclusion, a blade attached to a Weed Whacker augments your common standard string trimmer into a full-on chain saw, hedge trimmer, and large acreage clearer of wood stock weed, saplings, and heavy tall growth brambles (ergo, Black Berry bushes).

BLADE HARDWARE, ARBOR HOLE MATCHING:

Each Weed Whacker on the market is different and so each owner of their particular Weed Whacker will have to contact their respective Weed Whacker Manufacturer to inquire about BLADE attachment hardware. Most electric-powered versions are UNDER powered for handling a Blade so will probably NOT have blade attachment hardware available. On the other hand, most gasoline powered Weed Whacker’s will have Blade attachment hardware available. Blade attachment hardware normally consists of a standard blade guard along with a few small metal parts that fit on (slide onto) the little threaded shaft that the String Spool screws onto. These little pieces of hardware will consist of the lower part that will have a raised circle about the size of a common 25 cent piece (quarter) or as small as a nickel (5 cent piece). This raised circle is how the hole in the center of the Blade fits on, then the upper part hardware piece variously called “the cap piece” is applied on the top of the blade, then a nut that is screwed on top of the cap, followed by a cotter pin.

The hole in the blade is known as the ARBOR Hole. So it is important to know your “Arbor Hole” hardware diameter in order to match the blade’s Arbor Hole to your hardware when purchasing Blades for your Weed Whacker. The most standard Arbor Hole diameters in the industry are 1″, which is the same as 25.4mm, but also 20mm as well. From my experience I would say approximately 90% of all blades fit these two common ARBOR HOLE diameters. (Note: there are some Arbor Holes in these much lesser used diameters: 0.75in & 0.50in). SPECIAL NOTE: A table saw blade should never be used on a Garden String Trimmer as such blades are more brittle and built for only up to 3,450 rpm. Such blades can shatter when hitting a rock or something very hard which could be a safety concern not protected by the attached blade guard. Garden String Trimmer blades are specifically built for 10,000+ rpm and are manufactured with a more malleable flexible metal.

BLADE TEETH TYPES:

Blades typically come with steel teeth or CARBIDE teeth. Carbide is well worth considering since a Carbide Tipped (teeth) blade reputably can last up to 10 times longer than a standard steel blade but cost nowhere close to ten times more money. In fact, a Carbide tooth blade normally doesn’t even cost twice as much for 5 to 10 times the longevity over plain steel (maintaining sharpness for continued cutting power is the key to a blades value in relation to cost). It should be noted that Carbide is not really easily sharpened but steel can be. However, it should be also noted that the price of these steel blades makes them more of a throw away item once used up since the cost to re-sharpen (in time or money) is typically more than the cost of a new blade.

BLADE DESIGN:

Standard Weed Whacker blades come in various styles:

1. THREE-PRONG or five-prong for simple soft green weed cutting. Each large prong has a cutting edge rather than actual teeth. The deeper inner most part of each prong does not often get the same cutting time as the outer edge part of each prong so dulling occurs in an imbalanced manner. This type of blade will not be suitable for pruning trees or hedging, nor for cutting heavy duty wood-stock type weeds, brush, or brambles. This type of blade is the cheapest and dulls the quickest since it spreads its cutting surface over only three to five cutting edges and only comes in basic steel, not carbide.

2. Thirty (30) to Forty (40) TEETH Blade: This is the next step up in Weed Whacker blade choices. Obviously 40 teeth offers substantially more aggregate cutting surface than the blade type mentioned above (3-prong). This type of blade is very adequate for cutting heavy stock weeds (e.g. tumble weeds), heavy thick brush and blackberry type sticker brambles but are not suitable for Pruning or Hedging. It should be added that these type blades must be sharp, otherwise the teeth tend to grab and tug wood stock weeds when dull. The reason Pruning and Hedging are not suitable for this type blade is too few teeth make this blade tend to seize inside green moist tree limbs when pruning and make it tend to tear and create jagged-tugging-yanking cuts on a hedge rather than smooth and attractive cuts. This type of blade normally comes in plain steel that dulls quickly but some are now available in carbide tipped teeth as well.

3. Eighty (80) to one hundred (100) TEETH Blade: This is the highest level in the Weed Whacker Blade choices. It should be clear now that the more teeth you have cutting, the more aggregate cutting surface area you are applying to the job at hand. In addition, an 80 tooth blade costs more money to make as compared to a blade with half as many cutting teeth as mentioned in (2) above (40 teeth). But the cost is not typically much more if at all for having 80 teeth over 40 teeth. The 80 plus teeth blade offers the most versatility, stays sharper longer and is the best value for the buck. The 100 teeth type blade is the absolute best value since if offers 25% more cutting surface area (teeth) over an 80 tooth blade.

The one main consideration is that the typical 80 tooth blade comes in 8 inch diameter that fits with the safety blade guard ON your Weed Whacker, and the 100 tooth type blade is normally 9 to 10 inch in diameter and therefore will not allow a blade guard to fit. We recommend that the maximum size diameter blade be limited to 9 inches unless you have a very powerful Weed Whacker, otherwise the large circumference of the largest blades can bog down the motor. So in conclusion: 8″ and 9″ diameter blades are best, offer the most aggregate cutting surface, therefore stay sharper longer, and offer the most versatility of jobs in the garden. NOTE: We think Carbide teeth are so worth the small extra purchase cost that we would say a 40 tooth carbide blade would be recommended over an 80 tooth plain steel any day of the week. But the 80 tooth or 100 tooth blade with Carbide Teeth is the absolute best there is.

Bill Brower

B & G International, LLC, Tacoma, Wa

The Pros and Cons of Wireless Lighting Control

Turning off lights when they are not needed is one of the best ways to save energy. This is especially true in commercial buildings, where lighting can account for up to 40% of the building’s total energy cost.

With wireless lighting control, you don’t need to rely on employees to turn lights on and off. Instead, you can take advantage of scheduling, timers, occupancy sensors and photosensors to deliver the optimal illumination level in all situations while minimizing wasted energy.

Many traditional building and lighting control systems are fully wired, with all lights, sensors and switches hard-wired to a central controller or gateway.

Newer lighting systems take advantage of wireless mesh networking, which allows the lights, sensors, switches and the central controller to communicate with each other without the need for wires. Removing the wires provides more flexibility in terms of where switches and sensors can be placed, and makes it more affordable to include additional sensors in the network.

Wireless mesh also supports more flexible and easier control of larger systems with more devices. It allows you to run your lighting control solution as a single system that covers an entire building (or multiple buildings), as well as room by room (or floor by floor) deployments. This provides a system-wide view of operations, current power usage, savings, and more.

So how does a wireless mesh network work?

It consists of a mesh of interconnected devices (such as luminaires, switches, and controllers). Each device contains a small radio transmitter that it uses for communication. The transmitters can be built in to the device or can be fitted externally.

In a wireless mesh network, each device is typically connected through at least two pathways, and can relay messages for its neighbors.

Data is passed through the network from device to device using the most reliable communication links and most efficient path until the destination is reached. Two-way communication also helps to increase reliability, by allowing devices to acknowledge receipt of data and to require retransmission of data not received.

The mesh network is self-healing, in that if any disruption occurs within the network (such as a device failing or being removed), data is automatically re-routed. The built-in redundancy of having multiple pathways available helps to make the mesh network both robust and reliable.

Mesh networks are also highly scalable, in that you can extend the network simply by adding more devices. The network’s self-configuring capabilities identify when a device is added: working out what type of device it is, where its neighbors are, and what the best path is through the network. Weak signals and dead zones can also be eliminated simply by adding more devices to the network.

Pros and cons

While mesh networks provide many benefits for lighting control, and removing the wires provides even more including increased flexibility and reduced installation costs. But no single solution is perfect for everyone. Below is a summary of both the pros and cons of wireless mesh lighting control:

  • Cost: Installation costs are greatly reduced without the need to run control wires from each device back to the central controller. However, wireless sensors and controls are sometimes more expensive than their wired counterparts, so some of the money you save on wiring may go back into purchasing the wireless devices.
  • Security: Both wired and wireless solutions provide effective security. Most wireless lighting technologies use 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) security for communications. This security is robust enough that, in June 2003, the US Government announced that AES may be used to protect classified information.
  • Scalability: Wireless mesh solutions support more devices over greater distances than wired ones, which makes wireless ideal for multi-office and multi-floor installations. The nature of mesh networks means that simply adding new devices can extend the communication coverage of the network. And the wireless nature of the controls allows you to place them in areas that were previously difficult or costly to access.
  • Reliability: Both wired and wireless networks use mature technologies that offer great robustness and reliability. There is the potential of radio interference and data loss with some wireless technologies that share the same radio frequency (such as Wi-Fi® and ZigBee®). Fortunately, this problem is easily avoided for your lighting solution by selecting channels within the radio frequency that are not commonly used by other wireless devices. You can further protect yourself by selecting a wireless mesh technology like ZigBee, which can automatically switch to a new channel if it detects interference on the current channel.
  • Flexibility: This is one of the biggest benefits of wireless. Devices can be installed where they will provide maximum benefit instead of where it is easiest to run wires. Devices are also grouped into “zones” using addressing and software rather than hard wiring, which allows changes to be made at any time through simple software reconfiguration (no costly or disruptive rewiring required).
  • Complexity: Wireless allows you to avoid the complexity of connecting wires from hundreds (or thousands) of devices back to a controller, but that comes at a price. It can be more difficult to locate a device when you don’t have wires to follow. The good news is that tools are available to help you locate and identify devices during installation and commissioning, and for the ongoing operation, monitoring and maintenance of the system.