Tips to Repair Your Toyota Tacoma Temperature and Compass Display – Overhead Console

Toyota makes excellent, dependable vehicles despite what the mainstream media would have you believe. However, occasionally even the best designs have problems, and such is the case with the Tacoma overhead console. (Actually, the ambient temp and compass display is officially called the ‘accessory meter’ by Toyota.)

The display is designed to provide outside temperature readings, and also displays a digital compass heading. Unfortunately, the Mexican manufacturer of the part used both low quality solder and inadequate resistors, resulting in component separation from the circuit board. The result? A dead display.

You have a couple choices when this happens…if you are under warranty the dealership will repair it (actually, they replace it) for free…and word is that people are getting better quality units as compared to the originals. If you are no longer under the 3 year/ 36k warranty the news is pretty grim though…the new part and installation cost is well over $300! (There is absolutely no legitimate reason for this price…the hardware probably cost $75 to make, and the installation is very simple.)

Anyway, on to the recommendations for the do it yourselfer:

  • Removing the clear plastic cover:
  • -use a small flathead to carefully pry up each clip, bumping each one slightly over the edge until all are released. Don’t try to pull the cover off until ALL four clips are released, otherwise they break.
  • Soldering tips (get it?):

-Don’t use a gun style iron w/ trigger. These are too powerful, bulky, and generally don’t have a suitable tip. Get an inexpensive pencil style. I have a $400 digital station, but still use an el cheapo iron for day to day tasks.

-Stands are nice, and usually have built in sponges.

-Always keep the tip shiny with no hanging solder drops. Use tip cleaner and/or damp sponge to keep it that way…do this often.

-Don’t use lead-free (RoHS) solder, use 60/40.

-Take lots of breaks, and look up frequently to focus your eyes on faraway objects. It is likely that you aren’t used to working with small parts up close, and it can be frustrating. Take a break and come back later.

-If your hands are shaky, go drink a beer or two. It will help. Caffeine and sugar won’t.

-Don’t put solder on the iron to transfer to the work. The iron’s purpose is the heat up the *part* so that solder will flow.

-Your work should be bright and shiny when done, like a little bit of the liquid metal bad guy from Terminator II is holding your resistors on the board.

-Be aware of your iron. Don’t melt the plastic on your power button or cover clips. Don’t drop solder onto the board in random places.

-Put some solder on the resistor pads before installing new components. You should then have 4 shiny little bumps. You can use these to ‘tack’ the lead wires to by heating up the pad/wire with your iron. Once one lead is tacked, fully solder the other end, then come back and finish the job.

  • General tips and recommendations:

-Use new components! Go to Radio Shack (assuming they carry actual electronic parts these days) and get a couple 51 ohm lead wire resistors. 47 ohm will work, too. They are in parallel, so you can lay the leads against each other and solder to the board.

-If you use your old original SMT resistors, they WILL fail again. The ends will have oxidized and solder won’t stick well. Unfortunately cleaning/sanding won’t work, the layer of metal is too thin. Remember, time is money…just do it right the first time.

Good luck with your repair!

Portable Tumble Dryers – The Perfect Solution For Drying Clothes When Camping

If your looking for a portable tumble dryer then your in the right place to get some more information and reviews before spending any of your hard earned money. The term portable can mean different things in regards to tumble dryers because if your looking for a dryer that you can take with you maybe on holiday or camping then you can get these types of dryers but they wont be very big and are often limited to small amounts of clothes that you can dry at any one time.

You can buy portable dryers for around $200 that is about £130 in the UK, they are a 110v machine that you can use in conjunction with a small generator or a fixed wall socket as well. The other meaning of a portable dryer is the condenser tumble dryer which are hot sellers in homes. The great thing about these types of dryers is that you can position it anywhere in your house or home, like the kitchen, utility room or a lobby and even outside because they do not requires you to have any ventilation as they have a container tray which you simply empty instead.

If you decide to buy a condenser dryer then make sure you clean the lint on a regular basis as they can be a fire hazard if you get a build up of too much fluff and dust. All you have to do is open the door pull the lint out and give it a clean. After a few good cycles its also a good idea to give it a thorough clean with a small vacuum as well.

Cutting Openings in Shipping Container Sides Can Be Done With Common Tools

Most shipping container customization plans will involve adding windows, doorways, vents or even opening up a side wall. Cutting Cor-Ten steel although not as easy as cutting wood can be done with a number of different tools that you may have available in the typical handyman’s tool box.

First and most importantly is to protect yourself while working with cutting tools. No matter what tool you select, the cut steel will have very sharp edges; wear a pair of heavy leather gloves like those designed for welding. The cutting operation involves sparks and metal shavings, wear eye protection! The tools are loud and the steel shipping container will increase the noise, wear good hearing protection! Also wear a heavy long sleeve shirt and long pants. I know that may not always be pleasant however it sure beats hot metal shavings landing on you. Speaking of landing on you, shipping containers are constructed from 12 gauge steel, approximately 1/8″ of an inch thick. A big piece of this stuff like from a door opening will be heavy, be careful when finishing your cut to make sure a heavy piece of metal with razor-sharp jagged edges will not fall toward you and injure you.

To begin, use a sharpie type marker to clearly draw edge of your opening on the container steel. If cutting an opening on shipping container isn’t or will not develop into a frequent practice for you then you can use a saws-all or reciprocating saw with a heavy steel cutting blade. Save yourself some frustration here, don’t buy cheap blades, they’re cheap for a reason, this is heavy-duty work and you want several heavy-duty blades available. Drill a hole on the inside of the line of your marked opening big enough for the saw blade, put your blade in the hole and begin cutting along your line.

You can also use a skill saw with a good meal cutting blade. To start your cut, first set the blade on top of your mark to get lined up. Lift the rear of the skill saw up enough so that the blade leaves the container surface and start the saw blade, slowly ease the saw blade down to your mark until the blade cuts through the steel then follow your line. You’ll have to repeat this process when you come to the corners as a skill saw does not turn. Don’t panic in the event you wander off of the line a little bit with either of these cutting methods, any error can easily be fixed.

Those who cut this type of steel on a more regular basis should have a torch available, or the ultimate field cutting instrument, a plasma cutter in the tool arsenal. These will be much quicker and simpler than saws and much less fooling around when turning corners. You can rent these tools at most equipment rental locations but practice on some scrap metal before you begin cutting on your container.

While its heavy-duty work, cutting openings in shipping containers isn’t hard and can be accomplished with any number of tools, just do it – carefully, and the easiest for you method will come to you.

Bath Waste Kits Explained – Concealed Waste Kits

The term bath waste kit is used to refer to various combinations of the plumbing required when fitting a bath, usually confined to those parts above the bathroom floor and not inside a wall. All waste kits are either concealed or exposed. A concealed waste kit is one where the plumbing under the bath will not be visible. An exposed waste kit is one which is used when the plumbing under the bath will be visible, these are usually only needed with freestanding baths and are not considered here.

In most cases of choosing a waste kit for a bath you will need a concealed waste kit. This is because most baths that are fitted are panel baths of some sort, that is, they have a side and/or end panel which hides all the plumbing that is under the bath. If you are fitting a panel bath in your bathroom then under normal circumstances you can leave everything hidden inside it or under it to your plumber.

The concealed bath waste kit consists of all the fittings you can see when looking at a fitted bath, i.e. the grills or coverings over the overflow hole and the plug hole and all the visible plug fittings. It also includes fittings you can’t see which connect the overflow with the plug hole under the bath so that waste water that goes down either hole goes the same way. It may or may not include a trap, but if you are buying a concealed waste kit yourself then generally your plumber will fit an appropriate bath trap. The trap is essentially a U-bend that traps some water and provides a lock so that air from your drain won’t come up through your plug. When choosing a bath waste kit, then, you generally only need to choose between one of three broad types of kit. Here they are:

Bath Plug and Chain Waste (with overflow, concealed )

A plug and chain is the traditional style where a chain attached at one end to the overflow is attached at the other end to a plug which you put in and out with your hand. The chain can be a ball chain where lots of little metal balls connect together to make the chain or a link chain with oval metal links making the chain. A retainer or stowaway waste is one where the plug, when not in use, fits neatly into the overflow which has a recessed grill for this purpose.

Bath Pop Up Waste (with overflow, concealed)

This is what was the continental style of plug, but that is now commonplace in the UK. A pop up plug has a dial, usually chrome, sometimes with a lever, over the overflow, usually this is round and may have 3 or more flattened edges to grip. The dial stands a little proud of the bath, so it does not affect the way the overflow itself works. If you turn the dial the plug lifts up, turn it back and the plug goes down, the movement is conducted by a cable from the dial to a lever which pushes the plug up or lets it down when the dial is turned. When you are fitting a waste kit to a panel bath this cable will not be visible.

Bath Click Clack, Sprung Plug or Push Button Waste (with overflow, concealed)

This one goes by a number or names and is the most modern and minimalist kind of waste that is generally available. With this one in order to close the plug you must reach into the bath and push the plug with your finger, it is sprung and clicks shut. To open it again you reach in again and push it until it clicks open. The overflow is usually either a contemporary round, convex, chrome grill or a convex chrome plate that is raised off the surface of the bath so as not to interfere with the overflow. With the click clack bath waste no cable is needed as part of the mechanism to the plug. The only drawback with the click clack is that if you fill your bath with red hot water by accident, then you’ll need a stick to poke the plug with to let some out to get some cold in.

You may also wish to consider these less common options.

Captive Bath Waste Kits

Captives wastes are more often found for sinks than for baths. A captive waste is one which is fixed in the plug hole by a spindle on which is pivots. So to open it you push on one side so that it pivots sideways and opens the plug hole to close it you push back until it closes the hole.

Bath Wastes Without Overflow

Some baths don’t have overflows, if you have one of these it will usually be a stone bath of some sort or a very contemporary stone cast resin bath. If this is the case then you must not use a waste intended for a bath with an it has an open connection (for the overflow pipe to join) under the bath. Bath waste kits for baths without overflows will usually be available when you buy the bath

Extended (Overflow) Bath Waste Kit

Occasionally a bath needs an extended overflow pipe, this is generally only necessary if the plug hole is directly in the middle of the bath, i.e. in the middle both lengthwise and widthwise. An extended waste kit may or may not also have a longer than usual chain.

Bath Fillers

A bath filler is a combination of a waste kit and a bath filler. Usually a click clack waste but sometimes a pop up with a dial over the overflow is combined with a filler that fills from the overflow. With this kind of bath filler you must use tap valves of some sort, these may also be called panel valves or stop valves and are usually mounted on the edge of the bath or on a surrounding platform. If you wish to mount tap vales for a filler in a wall panel valves may not be appropriate, ask an expert or the manufacturers.

Thick Baths

When fitting a waste kit to a bath you must be aware of the thickness of the bath. Most plug and chain wastes will fit on almost any thickness of bath, in these waste kits the front and back of both the plug and overflow grills connect by a threaded bolt, as long as the threaded bolts are long enough both parts of the waste kit can be fitted. Some pop up waste kits have a wide bore plastic threaded tube that fits through the overflow from the back of the bath and onto which the overflow cover is tightened, this threaded tube is usually rather short and may have trouble being fitted to a thicker bath. Bath waste kits of different kinds typically fit onto baths of up to 3mm, 10mm, 20mm, 35mm or similar thicknesses. Some manufacturer can supply extension kits that modify their standard waste kits to fit thicker baths.

The Benefits of Humility

True humility means to live without a sense of ego. When we are humble we get joy through serving others and giving joy to others. True humility means we have a sense of oneness with others; when we are humble we can get joy from others achievements.

Humility does not mean self-criticism. Humility does not mean becoming like a slave to a master. Sometimes when we try to promote a false modesty and say how bad we are. Often in this case there is actually a sense of ego. We feel by making ourselves to be pitiable we may attract sympathy from others. True humility does not believe in this false modesty. When we are truly humble we avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves. We neither extol ourselves to the skies, nor do we make ourselves out to be a miserable failure.

Humility means we have a self-effacing attitude. We sublimate our personal desires and needs to the greater needs of others. An attitude of humility means that when we work towards something the outcome is not of important; we work with an attitude of detachment. If we take the outcome of efforts with an attitude of equanimity then this is real humility. It is the ego that seeks reward and praise.

“Humility does not mean that we will be always silent and shy, when inside we are criticizing others’ wrong actions and wrong judgments. Humility is the true inner wealth that unites us consciously with God.” (1)

If we are genuinely humble then people will naturally be drawn to us. When our ego comes to the fore it invariably creates conflict and tension. The nature of the ego is to compete with others; we have a constant sense of inferiority or superiority. However, an attitude of humility brings to the fore only our sense of oneness with others. When we are seeking to give equal or greater priority to others; people will instinctively respond in a positive and friendly way.

To develop humility we can think of Mother Nature and the qualities of a tree. No matter what we do to Mother Nature she continues to offer her beauty. A tree offers its shade and fruits without expecting any reward. We can also cultivate humility by seeking to think of others before ourselves. The most significant message of Jesus Christ was to “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” If we live this philosophy to the full, it will entail real humility. This is because when we think of others as an extension of our own reality we are not living to promote our own ego but to make others happy.

(1) Humility: Excerpt from Illumination-Fruits by Sri Chinmoy

Where Did LED Technology Come From?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were an accidental discovery at first. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was discovered that when electricity was applied to the semiconductor Silicon Carbide (SiC) it produced a light. This light was too dim to be of any use so the research was never distributed. This could have been the end for the LED, but it wasn’t content to die out.

Nearly 20 years later Russian and German scientists revisited the idea of light produced this way. The light was still of such poor luminance that the idea nearly died again. A report published in 1936, which helped to invent the term electroluminescence, revived the research for light from this source. The science of electroluminescence languished in obscurity for a while. It began to gain favor again in the 1950s when some British scientists started experimenting with it again. This led to the first infrared LED. From this technology came the first visible spectrum LED, in red, from Gallium Phosphide (GaP).

This was the start of the LED revolution. From that point each decade brought advances in the technology of light-emitting diodes. The use of different substrates brought brighter lights of different colors. The colors advanced from red to orange and on to pale green, then yellow and on to a brighter green. By the 1990s the use of Gallium Nitride helped usher in the era of blue LEDs. These blue lights became the basis for white light. The use of fluorescent phosphors helped change that blue light into high intensity white lights. Now LEDs can be found in almost every visible color of light.

This technology has led to additional uses for the LED as well. Due to their low light output they started out in indicator lights and display light applications only. The cost of materials was an issue at first and, therefore, they were used only in expensive laboratory and test equipment. They later began to be used in appliances, calculators and watches. The advent of additional colors increased their use in displays. They could be used in signs and digital display equipment.

The first LED flat panel television prototype was produced in 1977, by James P. Mitchell. This prototype was a red, monochromatic display. Later, in the 1990s, low-cost, efficient blue LEDs emerged moving this use along. Once a full spectrum of colors was realized in the late 1990s the flat panel LED television became a fully functional and popular option.

As the LED technology advanced and the luminescence increased, the uses for LEDs increased. LEDs began popping up in devices used to illuminate areas. Flashlights, landscape lighting, and other lighting sources became popular. Emergency lights began to use this technology. Traffic lights were replaced with LEDs. Interior lighting and headlights in vehicles became a common home for these lights, as well. As the cost of producing the lights decreased, and the availability of colors and brightness increased, the uses exploded.

From an accidental discovery to a common household name, the history of LEDs is a long one. The early discovery and limited uses of the light-emitting diode did not show much promise. Very few early researchers would probably have predicted the many, varied uses for this technology. The LED certainly earned its prominent spot in today’s society.

~Ben Anton, 2007

Vending Machine Business Review – Ten Reasons Why This Industry Rocks!

A vending machine business, when set up and managed well can be an extremely profitable venture for an entrepreneur. There are many reasons to start a business in this industry. In this article we offer a vending machine business review and examine ten of the major reasons that entice people into the industry.

1) Passive Income

Many people perceive a vending machine business to be one that runs on autopilot and assume that they will be able to sit back, relax and have a bunch of machines make money for them. It doesn’t always work out like this though. Most business owners in this industry find out that it does take a fair bit of work before you can put you feet up and enjoy an income that is semi-passive.

2) No Income Ceiling

Many people are drawn into the vending business by the earnings potential. As with any small business the owner can decide how much effort they want to put into the business and thus how much profit they will make. Rather than having your earning capacity capped with a salary structure in the workplace that is hard to break out of, the sky is the limit in terms of income when it comes to running your own enterprise.

3) Choose your Schedule

Vending business owners can, to some extent, decide their own working schedule. You will have some limitations as to when you can access areas where your machines are located. However, once you are set up you can basically work the hours or days that you want.

4) Freedom from the Boss

It is refreshing to not be directly under the control of an employer and to be able to control your own destiny. You will always be answerable to someone in business though if you want to be successful. In the vending business you won’t be answerable to customers as much as you would be in other industries. However you will have to work hard to keep people happy if they are giving you the right to locate your machines on their property.

5) Avoid the Daily Grind

You can escape the grind of a nine-to-five job and the commute that goes along with it by having the freedom to schedule trips during off-peak hours. You can also target machine locations that are within a reasonable drive time from your home base.

6) Minimal Startup Costs

Startup costs can be kept to a minimum and you can even get started in business with a few basic second hand machines for less than a thousand dollars. As you won’t have the overheads that other businesses face you will find that there is much less downside risk in vending. While high profits are not guaranteed, it is unlikely that your business would become insolvent as monthly costs are relatively minimal if you run your business from home.

7) Hype and False Claims

Many are drawn to the vending industry after reading promises (usually by machinery distributors) about how much money it is possible to make per machine per day. While most of these claims are hype and are untrue, vending can provide you with an excellent income for very little effort if you learn the tricks, focus on the fundamentals and become good at it. It won’t happen immediately as many claim it will but if you stick at it you will be well rewarded in the long run.

8) A Cash Business

Vending is a cash business and this gives operators an opportunity to very easily avoid taxes or pay a lot less than what they are supposed to. While not all vendors are dishonest with their taxes this is undoubtedly one of the reasons why vending is attractive to some.

9) Low Barriers to Entry

Aside from machine repairs the work involved with a vending business is relatively simple and anyone can master it within a short space of time. That fact that no qualifications or specific training are needed to run this kind of business is one reason that attracts many people.

10) Choose your Coworkers

Avoid the stress of working with a group of people that you may not get along with. As a vending business operator you may be happy working alone or you may wish to select a partner or team to help you.

There are so many different reasons to start a vending business and every entrepreneurs reasons will differ. As an industry it can offer so much to those who are prepared to work hard, learn the ropes and grow their businesses over the long term.

The History of Mixed Media Art

Mixed media art is a kind of artwork in which several mediums are employed. There’s an important difference between “mixed-media” artworks and “multimedia art”. Mixed media mean a work of visual art that mixes numerous traditionally unique visual art media. To provide an example, a work on canvas that mixes paint, ink, as well as collage can appropriately be called a “mixed media” work – but not a work of “multimedia art.” The term multimedia art indicates a broader range than mixed media, merging visual art with non-visual materials (including recorded sound, for example) or with elements of the other arts (such as literature, drama, dance, motion graphics, music, or interactivity).

What we all know nowadays as mixed media art began during the early twentieth century, when artists looking for a substitute for what they saw as hidebound academicism started including things and pictures that were not regarded as art materials in their works. Examples of everyday materials being included in ceremonial or aesthetic objects could be found dating back to prehistory, however, these were produced with different motives, and served quite a distinct social purpose compared to the objects all of us refer to as “art.”

Picasso’s Still Life with Chair Painting (May 1912) is often considered the 1st modern collage, it is actually an assemblage of oil paint, oil cloth, pasted paper, as well as rope, turning it into a low-relief, three-dimensional work. The first collages constructed solely of paper, on the other hand, were made by Braque in the summertime of 1912, when he utilized wood-grained wallpaper in a series of charcoal drawings. After a brief lull in collage activity, the 1920s’ art scene experienced the arrival of German dada artist Kurt Schwitters’s remarkable array of personal expressions accomplished in collage and assemblage. He fixed everyday found papers as well as things of all types to canvas, paper, and board supports, giving them another and most likely more notable life.

In the 1930s, Henri Matisse utilized cut-paper shapes as preparatory work for commissioned items to be executed in some other media. But in 1947, he published a small collection of twenty color plates of his cutout designs. Joseph Cornell’s work in stage like boxed assemblages during the early 1940s began the abstract expressionists’ search for collage as an art form. The liberty of expression engendered by means of collage explorations headed directly to the assemblages, constructions, and also combine paintings of Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jean Dubuffet, and Ellsworth Kelly, as well as to their experimental work in the 1950s as well as 60’s. And their particular work in turn created the conditions for the installations, appropriations, settings, and new object works of the eighties and 1990’s.

Mixed media art, drawing from the efforts of early artists, made mixed media an accessible art form for both skilled and novice artists. Assemblage as well as collage can be obtained combined with acrylic and watercolor painting, rubber-stamped art, sculpture as well as altered books. Fibers, torn papers, inks, glitter plus beads are discovering their way into works of fine art as well as commercial items such as greeting cards and quilts. The near future of mixed media, it appears, is bound just by the creativity of artists and whatever they could possibly get their hands on.

Information About Terrazzo Restoration and Tips For Restoring Your Terrazzo Floors

The situation has played out over and again: homeowners rip up old carpet to find a gorgeous terrazzo floor underneath and say, “What now?” The flooring is likely dulled, stained, and full of holes from those pesky carpet tacks. It may seem like a big job with a lot of headache, but restoring terrazzo floors doesn’t have to be such a pain. It is a rather simple process that just needs a little care and know-how to back it up.

Terrazzo is a compound mixture of marble chips and either concrete or epoxy. Knowing what your terrazzo flooring is made with is the first step in determining what the best course of action is. This will determine a variety of factors-from what materials you should use to patch holes or cracks that you find-to what products are safe for cleaning your terrazzo floor.

This is an important point to bring up first. There are hundreds of products on the market for cleaning terrazzo flooring. But do not trust that being on the shelf of your nearest Home Depot means the product is effective or right for your floor. There are many products out there that are not only inappropriate for certain types of terrazzo, but could potentially harm the floor. So be aware of what cleaners you choose to do your initial cleaning, and consult a contractor if you have any doubts or confusion when it comes to these chemical products.

In many cases, just giving the flooring a good mopping with warm water to get the grime up will be sufficient-then after making necessary repairs, you will be able to polish your terrazzo. This will clean it without the use of chemical cleaners and is beneficial for many reasons. If you require patching for holes in your flooring, a terrazzo technician will already have to sand the patch down to match and level with the surface of the flooring. Also, polishing terrazzo as opposed to using chemical cleaners is much safer for your family, and the environment!

Polishing terrazzo involves grinding down a thin layer on the surface of your floors. This strips any discolored or stained terrazzo from the surface and exposes a bright, fresh layer. If you have any patches, you can be sure that they will be even after polishing your terrazzo. The amount of shine should be entirely even as well, and shine it will! Terrazzo restoration and polishing will bring out a gorgeous sheen in your flooring. Want more great news? After polishing, your terrazzo floor will last a lifetime with proper maintenance.

Knowing the right steps to proper upkeep is essential following terrazzo restoration. It’s gorgeous now! It’s up to you to maintain that beauty and sophistication. This can be as easy as sweeping or dry mopping your flooring a few times a week, having a penetrating sealant applied to prevent staining, or having an annual professional cleaning. Your local area contractor is your number one resource for information, and he or she will help you determine a maintenance schedule fitting to your particular flooring. Regardless of what avenue you take, however, sit back and enjoy your (well, sort of) new flooring!

Nondestructive Examination (NDT) – Hydrostatic Test On Steam Boilers (Fired Pressure Vessels)

Since my area of expertise is in steam boilers, I will not discuss the hydrostatic test (HT) in unfired pressure vessel or power piping.

Hydrostatic test is a form of NDT (nondestructive test) and is the most preferred method to detect leakage and cracks in boiler under water pressure. Other NDT’s such as magnetic particle test (MPT) or penetrant test (PT) are normally done to confirm the extent of damage after the leak point has been discovered. Only water pressure is allowed for HT. Steam or air is not allowed. “Hydro” itself means water. Water for all practical purposes is incompressible, and the pressure developed by the hydrostatic pump can be relieved instantaneously by releasing very small quantity of water, which would happen on leak occurring. Air is compressible and could be dangerous under pressure. The same goes with steam. Under steaming conditions, any failure of the structure would result in the boiler water flashing into steam, or steam leaks, subjected personnel to a danger of burn.

In Malaysia, the local jurisdiction, the Factories & Machinery Act 1970, stipulates that a boiler shall be hydrostatically tested every 7 years in which the authorized inspector will issue a Certificate of Hydrostatic Test in 6th Schedule, stating the date, test pressure, holding time, result, and authorized safe working pressure. The Certificate is valid for 7 years until the next HT. However, this is only a time frame, and your local jurisdictions may require different interval.

As a preparation for the HT, clean boiler waterside and fireside, nozzle flanges, manhole surfaces, and welding joints. Observe all safety precautions (procedures can be obtained from the eBook). The safety valve must be removed. However, if for some reason the safety valves cannot be removed, a test gag may be used following the safety valves’ manufacturer guidelines. Remove electrical connections such as high pressure limit switches and sensors. Note that when a HT is being applied to a boiler, a calibrated test pressure gage must be connected to the hydrostatic pump. This precision test gage shall have the accuracy of 0.5%. Countercheck it with the calibrated pressure gage mounted on the boiler. Blind the nozzles by installing blind flanges or blind plates to fittings connection such as safety valves, main stop valves, feed nozzles, mombrey connections, and gage glasses. Rubber or normal gaskets will do just fine.

Fill up with treated water (at ambient temperature of 26oC) for the entire volume of the boiler and vent air from the system. Use water hose and fill up through one of the top nozzles until water overflows from the nozzle. Because the boiler may remain standby after the test, it is important that the water in the boiler is treated to prevent corrosion pitting. Consult your local chemical vendor for the treating method. The metal temperature for HT shall not be less than 60oF (16oC) and not more than 120oF (50oC). This is as per requirement in ASME Code AT-352. I have heard an engineer used boiler makeup water from the feed tank at 90oC for the HT just because he wanted to use the feed pump. Don’t do this! If the temperature of the water is above the recommended temperature (exceeds 50oC), the boiler metal is subjected to brittle fracture. This brittle fracture is a phenomenon where rapid crack propagation occurs when temperature decreases under extreme stress condition. Moreover, there is a direct relationship between pressure and temperature. As the temperature drops, the pressure also drops, so you will notice a pressure drop from the pressure gage despite there is no leakage.

Make sure all air is removed before connecting the pressure hose from the hydrostatic-test pump to the boiler venting line. If the water overflows from the vent, shut off the valve tightly. Do not allow air pockets from forming inside the boiler. Do not use feed pump during HT although it is the fastest way to build up pressure. You have to standby an operator at the pump and he must be alert enough to stop the feed pump immediately once the test pressure is attained. Any negligence can be catastrophic, so why take chances? Hydrostatic-test pump or hand pump is preferred as the pressure and throughput can be easily controlled whereas the pumping rate of feed pump is high and could subject the boiler to overpressure if there is no precaution. Operate the hydrostatic pump and increase the pressure at the rate of 1 bar per minute and look at the gage carefully. Raise the pressure up to 1.5 times the maximum allowable working pressure (MWAP). MAWP is another term for design pressure. If the MAWP of the boiler is 2,000 kPa (20 bars), the required test pressure is 2,000 X 1.5 = 3,000 kPa (30 bars). Stop the pump operation at the test pressure and close the ball cock of the pump.

Wipe dry or spray with compressed air at all flanges and manholes to get rid of water residue. Hold the water under static pressure for 30 minutes. Visually examine all areas for leaks and cracks, giving particular attention to welds. I recommend you to not spend longer because besides exerting extra stress to the pressure parts, there shall be no leakage if there is no pressure drop within 30 minutes. In addition, 30 minutes is long enough to satisfy the code requirement. Some engineers maintained HT for only 15 to 20 minutes, which is OK IMO. If there is a leak, mark the location, snap photos showing water shooting out from the crack (important for documentation), and if no pressure drop, the HT is conducted successfully. Release the water via the bottom blowdown connection. As a standard procedure, after completion of any repair involving welding at pressure parts of the boiler, carry out a HT at 1.5 X MAWP again.

After the HT is successful, fill up the HT report, stating testing conditions, accessories, and procedures. Include pressure increase and holding time data in the report. This record must be kept for future reference.

5S in the Office Today

Picture this scenario- an organized workspace, less stress, less chaos, a semblance of order. It would be nice to be surrounded by this thriving and productive environment. The goal of organizing a productive office like this one is attainable and sustainable.

More than sixty years ago Toyota created the 5S system, a method of organizing and maintaining neat and clutter-free manufacturing facilities that encouraged productivity. Today, manufacturing plants and offices world-wide have implemented the philosophies and practices of the TPS (Toyota Production System). 


Lean Office principles of 5S may seem mysterious at first, but are quite sensible when focusing on each one individually. After 5S-ing the office and committing to keeping it in place, you will be able to concentrate on the tasks at hand more easily, and productivity will increase.

Let’s take a look at the 5s’ and see why they are a necessity in today’s busy office environment.

S #1 –Sort

Scenario: As you look around your office, notice the items that have been tucked under your desk, piled on top of a filing cabinet or inherited from a previous employee when you began your job–three years ago. Even though you’ve never needed these items, you still have them. It’s time to implement the first S – Sort.


Begin by considering: “What do I need to do my job every day?” Think of your office as expensive real estate. Only items that add value to your daily routines and tasks deserve to sit on your desk and take up space. When in doubt, move it out! (Or, in the environmentally-conscious spirit of recycling, give it to someone who needs it!)


Application: Conducting a sort/purge of filing drawers and hard drives will free up much-needed space. Reviewing your company’s retention policy before starting this process helps you to make quicker decisions and gives you permission to either hang on to an item or release it. To help speed up the Sort process, have a large trash can and shredding bin available.

S# 2–Straighten/Set-In-Order

Scenario: You’ve just been handed a new project and your boss suggests a similar proposal which you worked on a year ago for another client. You open up your hard drive files and within sixty seconds, you’re reviewing the previous file. It feels great to be able to locate an older document without having to spend hours looking for it. Straighten up your area by creating specific “homes” for files, objects and equipment. You’ll use things more often and easily put them away when they are designated to a specific location.


Application: We’ve all seen pictures of a workbench pegboard with outline drawings for each tool. This is a prime example of Straightening and Setting in Order. You can do the same with the office supplies on your desk. Using electrical tape (available in several colors) create an outline on your desk for your stapler, 3-hold punch, phone, laptop, and other desk accessories. Instantly, you’ll be able to see if something is missing or out of order.   


Using labels will help in the Straightening process too. You can apply them to individual shelves, cabinets, and drawers in your office. They will act as visual reminders of what goes where and help keep you from stashing items where they don’t belong!


S #3–Shine/Sweep

Toyota discovered that maintaining the equipment and deep cleaning the facilities decreased the number of breakdowns and the cost of repairs. A clean environment encourages organization and also is an attitude-booster.


Scenario: You need to retrieve something from the dreaded storage room. The last time you were there, it took an hour to uncover what you were looking for in the dusty, cluttered mess. Thanks to 5S, when you flip on the light switch, you discover that someone has already cleaned and organized to help this space undergo a major transformation. Ahhh, life’s simple pleasures.


Application: Once a week (I like to do it on Fridays), wipe off flat surfaces such as desktops, filing cabinets and book shelves with a damp paper towel, cleaning cloth or disinfectant wipes. Talk to your IT department about their preferences for cleaning your keyboard and monitor. Use a can of air to deal with the dust bunnies hiding amongst the cords behind your computer and under your desk. Your equipment will run better, and you’ll breathe easier in a clean, dust-free office.  


S #4–Standardize

Bringing standardization into the office allows for systems to be put in place so everyone follows procedures the same way. This might mean creating a form used for inbound customer service calls, creating a color-coded filing system or using a checklist before sending product to the customer. Standardizing processes and procedures lowers the error rate (referred to as Waste of Defects) and ensures that 5S techniques will be applied.

Scenario: Several individuals in your department handle inquiry calls for new business. Your job is to follow up on the initial calls once leads have been qualified. However, the format of the information that you receive varies by who handled the call.


Application: Develop a standardized form (electronically or paper) for all initial inquiries to ensure that complete and thorough information will appear in the same format every time. Standardizing any process will cut down on errors (Waste of Defects) and increase productivity.

S #5–Sustain

We do not live in a paperless society yet, and the paper trail often leads to your desk. Paper, projects and “stuff” are constantly streaming into our offices so we must be proactive in returning items to their designated areas (straightening) and developing processes for handling incoming information and projects (standardization). After developing a daily routine of Sort, Straighten, Sweep and Standardize, the final 5S step of Sustain will occur more naturally.


Application: Just keep it up! Fight the urge to “put things away tomorrow.” Make a checklist as a reminder to sustain all of your new good habits. Check the list at the end of every day, or at least at the end of every week.


S # 6–Safety

Many companies have added a sixth “S” – Safety. While this topic is common in manufacturing settings, it isn’t considered a very relevant topic in the office. But safety issues always exist and are worth our attention. Obviously, any accident – whether on the manufacturing floor or in the office – costs the company money in lost labor and health benefits, and costs the employees in pain and lost salary.


Injuries related to tripping over loose cords, tangled cables or piles of “stuff’ being stored on the floor is easily fixed. Also, if your desk surface is so full of papers, stacks and “stuff”, you may be using your lap as a work surface, putting yourself at risk for strained neck and shoulder muscles. Addressing the well-being of employees will enhance the other S’s and improve quality of work. Always put Safety first. The dividends are too high to ignore.


Application: Wrapping up this “S” is easy. Use bag ties or wire ties to keep cords from becoming tangled. Staple “snaky” cords to the baseboards, and file those piles away each day. Approaching your office with 5S in mind will eventually become second nature. Soon you’ll find yourself sorting and straightening things at home and spotting areas that could be improved with a little standardization.

Selling with Non-Verbal Communication

Non-Verbal Communication can be mightier than your words; this is especially true in-person. Your words are important, but your body language and “para-language” may transmit a louder message.

Studies have shown that people can “size up” another person in as little as three to four seconds. This judgment is a basic mammalian response that uses all our senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. In addition, we call upon our past experiences with others to help us sort out friend from foe. If we had a bad experience with a tall, bald man once before, we might be wary of others who fit that description.

Body language may make up to 55% of communication. This includes posture, facial expressions such as smiling or frowning, hand and arm movements, and the tilt of your head. A hand moved in front of your mouth can indicate that you uncomfortable or don’t agree with the other party. Arms crossed can be sign of aggression or disagreement.

Akin to body language is the amount of space you maintain between yourself and others; while this space can be cultural and learned, it can also be an indicator of someone who is aggressive or unskilled socially. Standing too close to another person can make others very uncomfortable in western cultures, while in Middle Eastern cultures standing nose to nose is considered polite and a sign of friendship or trust.

Para-language is the use of intonation, sighs, and pauses in your speech; studies have shown that para-language accounts for 38% of communication. Once again culture may play a big role in use of para-language. For example, Japanese business people will use long pauses in meetings to reflect upon important points. These pauses show respect and wisdom; these pauses also allow for time to think and help you avoid saying something stupid. Para-language can be heard on the phone such as a sigh or an inflection of voice; our listening for these signals is more acute when on the phone. In-person you can actually see a sigh which involves a deep breath and its release.

Our words may say one thing while our body language and para-language may say another. For example, on a job interview you may try to say the right things while your nervous hands and sweaty brow may communicate another. The interviewer will know that you are nervous despite your confident words.

Another example is the behavior of a liar. Typically someone who is lying is stiff and uses few arm and hand movements. They avoid eye contact and they will turn away or turn sideways. Sometimes they unconsciously put things between you and them such as a stack of magazines or some other object to hide behind.

For business people the best advice may be to “be yourself”, since you cannot hide behind words.

Your Energy Efficient Solar Screens Are Not Working – Learn Before You Buy

Why solar screens do not work

This article is meant to point out why your solar screens might not be doing what you expect them to do. If you are considering solar screens for your home or building’s windows then this article is going to help you make the right decision.

Solar Heat is a very misunderstood phenomenon. This misunderstanding leads to a lot of solar and shade screen misinformation. Sometimes the misinformation is due to ignorance and sometimes it may be due to someone just outright mis-stating the facts. Let’s talk about Heat and how a solar screen will reduce it.

Solar Screens Block Heat. Solar Heat Gain is the amount of heat that enters through the window. Conversely, Solar Heat Loss is the amount of heat that is lost through the window and Solar Window Screens block this also. Both are measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. You may recall studying this in school. One BTU is equal to the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of one pound of water, one degree, in one hour.

That’s enough technical stuff for now. This is going to direct you to a series of articles that identifies 3 principles of physics which will lead you to make the best choice in solar screening for your windows. The 3 principles are as follows;

1. Heat always seeks a colder atmosphere.

2. Dark colored objects absorb more heat than light colored objects.

3. Heat always seeks the path of least resistance.

Once these 3 principles are understood we can then explain why your solar shade screen may not be working properly. We will also discuss how to avoid having an untrained and mis-informed individual or company sell you a product that only works half as well as they claim. You are going to become an expert in solar screening when you finish these series of articles.

One of the most important factors for blocking the maximum amount of heat with your solar screens is the manner in which they are installed. 99% of solar screens are improperly installed which leads to a variety of issues which go beyond the effect on energy efficiency. In the next article we will discuss the 3 principles of physics as they relate to windows and sun screens. We will also discuss the proper methods of installation and further educate you on how to get the most effective solar screen product for your windows.

Top Three Reasons to Wear Running Arm Sleeves

Running arm sleeves have become a common sight at races and favorite local running trails everywhere. These running sleeves became popularized by elite athletes looking for that next PR and are now used by every day athletes. There are many reasons to use running arm sleeves ranging from increasing comfort during runs to speeding recovery. Below you will find the top three reasons why every runner needs a pair of arm sleeves.

1. Compression

Some runners use compression sleeves for arms to help reduce swelling induced by longer runs. This swelling is due to muscle vibrations and tears, which induce an inflammatory response. This draws excess fluid into the arms. Wearing compression arm sleeves helps prevent arm swelling.

Compression arm sleeves can also be used as a recovery tool. After a long run simply put on a pair of recovery compression arm sleeves. These compression sleeves increase blood flow, which helps the removal of lactic acid that built up in your muscles during your run. This speeds the amount of time it takes to recover from a long run and also reduces muscle soreness.

2. Sun protection

Most runners spend at least a portion of their runs outdoors, especially as the weather gets better in the spring and summer months. Running outside is a great way to get through those challenging runs by having more to look at than the treadmill in front of you at the gym, which is a great tool to keep your mind active. While there are many benefits to running outside, doing so increases your exposure to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Over time this exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer.

It is recommended to wear sunscreen while spending any time outside but many runners find the greasy feel of sunscreen unpleasant. Wearing a pair of running arm sleeves with a high UPF factor is a great solution. These sun sleeves are made by a number of manufacturers and can block 97.5-100% of the sun’s harmful rays. If you are a casual runner or a pavement-pounding veteran, the sun protection that running arm sleeves offer is one of the top reasons to have a pair in your running kit.

3. Versatility

How often do you start a long run when it is a little chilly outside and then end up around mile 4 regretting that extra layer you put on? It happens to the best of us. Even if you take off that long sleeve tee, you’ll have to carry it with you for the rest of the run. Which leaves you with two choices, be too hot or deal with the annoyance of a shirt tied around your waist and slog through the rest of your run.

This is where the beauty of running arm sleeves comes in. If you had a pair, you could start your runs comfortably warm, and then just slip them down toward your wrists when you warm up. Worst case you have to take them off, which is easy to do while staying on that 8 minute pace. They can easily be tucked into your amphipod belt or case and be out of your way, adding little extra weight to carry. This works great if your run travels through some forested areas that are noticeably cooler than the uncovered portions of your route.

No matter what type of runner you are, you will thank yourself time and again by having a pair of running sleeves.

Istanbul Property For Sale

Istanbul is located in the Europe and Asia continent, frequently referred as Eurasia. Between two continents, Istanbul is considered as a cultural and commercial bridge. The Bosphorus not only separates the two continents, but also bonds the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Beyond the political and commercial importance, the Bosphorus reflects its beauty to Istanbul.

The Bosphorus plays a crucial role on public transportation in Istanbul. Europe and Asia are connected with two suspension bridges: Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Bosphorus II) Bridge. This is the shortest route from European countries to Asian countries and both in commercial and public transportation the importance is obvious.

The Bosphorus has a strong influence on people and culture that may be seen on poems, novels and songs. Kéraban the Inflexible by Jules Verne and Eylül by Mehmet Rauf are just two examples of novels that are inspired from Istanbul and the Bosphorus.

Beyond appealing to visual pleasure and giving inspiration to people, the Bosphorus hosts an international athletics event: The Istanbul Marathon. It is the only marathon that takes place at two continents. It has four categories: 42 km, 15 km, 10 km and 8 km fun walk. All of them starts at Asian side of the Bosphorus Bridge and ends at different areas of European side.

The Bosphorus is a reflection of Istanbul. It is a mixture of old times and modern times. While taking a walk, you witness history. Consider the Istanbul property options and let Istanbul and the beautiful Bosphorus inspire you.

Also the bridges are covered by color-changing LED armatures. At nights the view of the Bosphorus is inexpressibly beautiful. Every year on the Republic Day of Turkey, it is celebrated with light performances and fireworks shows at the Bosphorus Bridge.

There are two important projects in Istanbul that will multiply its value: The Third Boshporus Bridge and Third airport. The Third Bridge is named after an Ottoman Sultan, Yavuz Sultan Selim. It is located north of the two existing bridges on the Bosphorus and when finished it will be the 8th longest suspension bridge in the world. The construction is expected to finish at the end of 2015. Third airport will be connected to Third Bosphorus Bridge which will be a part of, now under construction, Northern Marmara Motorway. And it is planned to be the largest airport in the world. 150 million passengers annually are expected when finished completely in 2018.