About General Custom Cable Assembly

Cable manufacturing outfitters have a far reach into many industries. Making an impact on the medical, transportation, extreme sports, furniture, and other industries, custom cable assembly products are in high demand. The following article relays basic information about custom cable assembly and cable stretch to better inform present and potential customers.

All wire rope and mechanical cables are made from individual wires twisted together into a strand. Most small, commercial cables are crafted by starting with one core cable while a given number of additional cords are wrapped around this central cable. The number of wires in a strand and the number of strands in cable manufacturing are dictated by the specified construction.

Some cables are designed to perform one function, while others are orchestrated to address many, making every application unique and different. Cable stretch is one factor consumers are interested in knowing about in relation to custom cable assembly. There are two types of stretch – constructional and elastic.

All mechanical cables contain tiny clearances between individual wires and strands. With the application of the initial load or trial, the clearance is minimized allowing the mechanical cable to stretch in length – this is constructional stretch. A mechanical piece with more wires in its cross section will stretch more during load or trial.

Elastic stretch refers to the actual elongation of the individual wires in a strand or mechanical cables. This happens when a piece is susceptible to a load that is less than the yield point of the metal. When the load is removed from a proof loaded cable, it will return to its original length. The elastic stretch of a cable can be calculated using the following formula: ES = PL/EA.

Mounting Window Shades Using Home Sewing Fabric

The method I usually use is to use a 1 in. x 2 in. (Actually measuring ¾ in. Thick and 1 ¾ in. Wide) wooden board that is custom-cut to the desired length. I usually paint the board before attaching the shade so the board matches the nearby woodwork (I really hate painting, but I find that the end result is worth the extra effort it takes). I usually cover this board with matching fabric from the window shade that I am hanging for a more professional look.

For a custom finish, cover all the sides and ends of the board by stapling sewing fabric around it. This makes any window covering look attractive when the board will be visible, as it would be on the outside of a window frame. But keep in mind that shades can also be hung inside a window frame so that the front of the shade is flush with the frame.

You can also hang a shade on a standard C-shaped curtain rod or on a rod designed especially for shades.
To mount a window shade on a wooden board, have:

• a 1-in. X 2-in. board, cut to a length that equals the finished width of the shade;

• a staple gun;

• two angle irons or L-shaped brackets (if your shade is wider than 2 feet, you will need three or more);

• a screwdriver;

• one large screw eye for the wall and several small screw eyes for the board to act as guides for the cords; and

• wall screws appropriate for your wall construction (wall mollies or toggles may be needed along with a drill).

Instead of stapling, you can use a hook – and – loop tape fastener to attach the shade to the board. However, if you prefer the shade mounted on the inside of the window, place the angle irons at the board ends and screw them into the side wall. For a little added support, use screws through the board and window-frame ceiling.

Standard C-shaped curtain rods are most appropriate for shades that are shirred across the top so they hide the rod returns. Select a rod with a shallow return on 2 ½ in. to 3 ½ in. The rod comes with wall brackets but you must purchase the cord guides for the rod separately.

The shade is usually attached to the C-rod with hook – and – loop tape fasteners. A special type of shirring tape used at the top of the shade already has the looped side of the tape fastener attached to one side of the shirring tape; the hook side of the tape fastener is then attached to the front of the rod.

For shades designed with vertical gathers, use shirring tape with rings or shirring tape without rings. For shades that are flat when lowered, use a roman shade tape with only rings attached.

I'm sure that we are all aware that there is a special rod that is made specifically for mounting window shades above the window frame or on the frame. This consists of a straight rod without returns and is mounted about 1 in. out from the wall. The rod is custom-cut to the needed length and is finished on each end with end stops. The face of the rod has the hook side of a fastener tape already attached. Also included with the rod (usually) is a bottom rod for weighting down the bottom of the shade, wall brackets, cord, several cord guides for the individual rows of cord, and a weighted cap to secure all the cord ends together; a multiple-cord guide replaces the large screw-eye used above and is installed just inside the end stop on the side where the cords will be pulled.

Years ago, when renting a house, I discovered that they had simply glued the top valance of the window coverings to the rod. Believe me; this is not appropriate for laundering and proper hanging reasons. For your sake, do not even consider using glue when hanging any window coverings!

Toolbox Essentials: The Hammer

In 1949, Lee Hays and Pete Seeger wrote the song "If I Had a Hammer." The lyrics go like this:

"If I had a hammer I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, All over this land …"

I'm glad they're not (or were not) my neighbours because all that hammering would drive me nuts! However, when I moved in to my very first apartment, I uttered the words "If I Had a Hammer" many times before I actually went out and bought one. Of course, the song is really not about having a hammer in the physical sense, but it is a catchy tune. The hammer is one of those tools that belong in every toolbox or tool drawer in every home. You do not even need a big one – a small 5-in-1 hammer is an excellent little tool that's not only a hammer, but it has four different size screwdrivers hidden in the handle.

The hammer is probably the oldest tool around. Evidence shows that stone hammers date back at least two million years. Early cave man constructed this tool using a stone attached to a sturdy wooden stick with strips of leather or animal sinew. I'm certain they were not using the hammer for hanging pictures in their homes, but I am certain that they were using the hammer for shaping bones and rocks into other useful implements.

There are a wide variety of hammers available, designed for specific uses. Here are a few of them:
• The most common is the claw hammer, used for driving or pulling nails or for opening crates and other general maintenance type work.
• Framing hammers, used for framing wooden houses, are heavy duty rip hammers with a straight claw.
• The ball peen hammer, with its rounded head is usually used for metalworking. It's the perfect tool for securing rivets.
• Sledgehammers, which are much larger than most other hammers are designed to distribute force over a wide area. They are most commonly used in destruction work, like breaking through drywall or masonry walls. They're also great for pounding in posts.
• Roofing hammers are used for, you guessed it, roofing. The hatchet side of the roofing hammer is designed for splitting wood shingles to size. The hatchet part of the roofing hammer can also be used for chopping out old roofing cement or flashing.
• Rubber mallets are used for work that requires a "softer blow" than that delivered by a metal hammer. They may be used for forcing tight-fitting parts together, for shifting sheetrock or plasterboard in to place, for upholstery work or for forming sheet metal. Typically they are used on materials where you do not want to leave a mark. A rubber mallet works great when securing the hub caps onto the rims of your car's tires, although I believe hub caps have become a thing of the past.
• Blacksmiths use a variety of hammers including twist hammers, dog-head hammers and cross-face hammers, just to name a few.
• A geologist's hammer, or rock pick is a hammer used for splitting and breaking rocks. These hammers are commonly used by paleontologists.

I have only scratched the surface of the types of hammers that are available. Whatever project you plan to undertake, be sure to select the right tools for the job. Regardless of the type of hammer you decide to purchase and use, remember safety first!

Mosaic Tiles Used in Bathrooms

Choosing the right tiles for the bathroom is really important and time needs to be taken with your choice of design and colour. Your own unique style and design preferences will come into play here as we all have our own design ideas. Replacing bathroom tiles will give your existing decor the boost it needs and will leave your bathroom looking new and fresh once more.

Traditionally uniformed colours were always used in bathrooms, normally crème or white but over recent times, homeowners have become more adventurous and are using more elaborate designs. Mosaic tiles are a great addition to any bathroom and there are so many colours and designs to choose from that will transform your bathroom into a place of beauty.

Both Mosaic and ceramic tiles are favourites for the bathroom because they are excellent at not absorbing moisture and are easily cleaned and maintained. Mosaic Tiles have been used in bathrooms for years and are made using small pieces of coloured stone, glass or many other materials. There are many, many designs to choose from and some of the designs depict nature, animals and the outdoors, of course there are other designs and you are sure to find one that suits your taste and the design of the existing decor in your bathroom. Knowing what style you want is the first aspect to consider and you don’t have to go for elaborate designs, you can keep it simple and still manage to create a dramatic look. Smaller bathrooms need smaller and less elaborate designs to ensure that the room is not overcrowded and larger designs can actually make smaller rooms look smaller.

Larger bathrooms can carry off larger designs with ease and you can have real fun with lots of design ideas. Glass Mosaic Tiles can also be purchased and make great additions to bathroom and kitchens. Glass Mosaics help reflect the light and can make rooms look larger and more spacious. Glass Mosaics can also be used on the backsplash areas and real focal points can be made of the backsplash area in both kitchens and bathrooms. A real design feature will stand out and softer uniformed colours can then be used on walls to create a plain design that will reflect the backsplash designs. Showers are another place where Mosaics make a real addition. Uniformed colours can be used or different colours on different walls can be used to add real elegance and style to any bathroom

The important aspect is deciding the design style you prefer and then not being afraid to really experiment. Tile companies stock a wide range of Tiles to choose from and looking around before you buy will help you make a decision that works best for you.

Metal Detecting – For Fun And Profit

Your great-grandfather was courting your great-grandmother. Her diary tells you that they frequently sat down under the old oak tree just behind the house. You take your new metal detector and anxiously scan the ground beneath the tree. Your heart is pounding as it suddenly rings in your headphones. What treasure have you discovered? Did it actually belong to the young lovers…dropped years ago when their love still new?

Read on…

There are four basic types of metal detectors.

There are small metal detectors designed to be used to scan people or things. They are hand-held and usually used for security purposes.

Other metal detectors are used to find large buried metal objects. They consist of a sending loop and a receiving loop joined by a bar that is held horizontal to the ground as you walk along at a fairly rapid pace. You might use it to find cars and trucks buried in a mudslide, or a steel plate buried in a construction site, or steel culvert pipes, or a chest of gold. Big metal things.

However, the two types of metal detectors that this article refers to are the type that you will see people using in parks for land ‘hunting’, and the type that you will see folks using in the water or on the sand at the beach.

The land detectors are used to find smaller objects like old coins, rings, lockets, small metal toys etc. You would have been using a land detector while looking under the oak tree in the back yard for coins or jewellery that your great-grandparents may have lost. Or around that old log cabin that used to be a trading post in days gone by.

My favorite sites are old schools, old churches, old cemeteries, parks, old racetracks, old dance halls, ghost towns or anywhere else people used to gather in those great days before television. A visit to the museum will dig up (pun intended) some great, forgotten locations. The library often contains books about the roots of the town, and surrounding area. Or visit the local nursing home or seniors’ complex and chat with some of the residents there. They are a magnificent source of information.

One such old-timer told me about a site that, when I went there, just looked like a small field. It was in a small town nestled between a new arena and the new high school’s ball field. He told me that the field used to be the entrance to the racetrack that was the local attraction from the mid-1850s until it was shut down in 1923. He said there were lots of booths and a small carnival as well as the pay-booth to get into the racetrack. Well…let me tell you…I started to retrieve coins and didn’t quit for 4 hours. I came back again and again and STILL the coins kept coming. I retrieved well over 500 coins from that empty field, most of them silver. When I went back to the nursing home to thank the old gentleman, I was told that he had passed away.

Modern metal detectors are able to discriminate against ferrous metal, so you won’t waste time retrieving bottle caps, tinfoil, rusty nails etc. It rings out on copper, silver and gold. Isn’t it a great co-incidence that most coins are made from those metals. Modern detectors will, after you find the loudest part of the signal, which, of course, is under the center of the coil that you skim the ground with, give you a readout of what the object is likely to be, and how deep it is.

To retrieve an object that you have located, use a heavy-duty knife and a narrow trowel. Put your finger on the spot under which the object lies, and cut a horseshoe in the turf around it. Fold back the sod, and use the trowel to loosen the dirt until the object is retrieved, being careful not to nick or scrape it with the tools.

Using a waterproof metal detector at the beach or swimming hole is a lot of fun

Besides the metal detector, you will need some other tools. As you will be wading up to your neck, it’s going to be pretty tough to retrieve items on the bottom unless you have a scoop. You can buy one made for this purpose from a metal detector supplier (Google it), or, if you’re handy, make one with a 5 foot handle. Make sure the drain holes are small, as you don’t want small coins going through them. Make it heavy-duty, as you will have to scoop through heavy sand, even clay at some swimming holes.

Your target retrieval will be faster if you use a floating sieve. You will dump the sand from the scoop into the sieve, then go ahead and get another scoopful. The sand will fall through the sieve, and the target will be left in the sieve. There isn’t any thrill to match being on the water on a hot summer’s day, scooping up some sand and finding a gold diamond ring glinting in your sieve box.

Making a sieve is easy. You lash a motorcycle inner tube around a box that you made out of 3/4 X 3″ pine, with holes drilled big enough to pass the 3/8″ rope through. Paint or otherwise seal the wood to make it last. I use polyester rope so I can melt the ends instead of tying a knot. Staple a sheet of 1/2″ rabbit screening to the bottom to sieve the sand through.

There is less junk in the water than on the beach, and you will be amazed at the quantity of coins, jewelry, watches, etc., you will find. Especially gold and silver rings.

Now that gold has increased in price, they are worth retrieving, and the inset valuable stones could be rubies, diamonds, emeralds etc. You will find plenty of these.

You will want to wade out to at least knee-depth before you start sweeping with your metal detector and zigzag your way out to neck-deep. Don’t avoid underwater weeds, as they will trap coins and rings to prevent them working their way deeper into the sand. Dig ALL signals, even the faint ones, because rings, because they don’t have a flat surface like coins, will work their way deeper into the sand with the wave action. I attached a small plastic can to the inside corner of the sieve, that I can put the trash that I retrieved so I wouldn’t have to retrieve it over and over again.

I found that the small, old, inland swimming holes, like the conservation areas on small lakes, produced best. Little or no wave action.

Good luck and have fun treasure hunting!

Photo to Art Painters

Painters are the most important person in the art world. Without them, our photo to art canvas would be impossible. You have to know that not all people are gifted with the talent similar to those professional painters. That's why, we are hiring one to create a very beautiful and lovely photo to art canvas.

Painters In The Ancient Time
If we go back in the ancient days, the talent of a single painter was very expensive. This is the reason why only a few could able to afford to have their personal portrait painting. Basically, only the royalties like kings, dukes, and high officials could get their own painting and they were required to pose for hours. As we imagine, the process was very difficult for both the costumer and the painter himself.

Photo To Art Painter Of A New Generation
In today's world, it is not a requirement to be a royalty or a high class individual in getting your dream artwork. In fact, there are lots of portrait painters that could offer an affordable charge if you want to get your own masterpiece. All you have to do is to select the printer that you like and have an arrangement of your canvas. There's a wide range of designs, sizes, mediums and styles to choose from. Well, the appearance of the canvas depends on your decision, plus the fact that you are the one who will going to give the original photograph that will reflect to the end product.

Choice Of A Painter
Like other valuable things, photo to art canvas must be done by an expert and professional artist who has a true passion towards art. Here below are some characteristics of a painter that could surely create a lovely product with the association of a good working habit

1. You have to choose a painter who is comfortable to work with. It means that he has a good attitude towards his profession as a painter. He is willing to give a further evaluation of your original photograph for some edition and changes. But, he has also a limitation towards it by following your final decision to your dreamed canvas.

2. It is also an advantage to your part if your prospect artist have a lot of samples in of paintings with the assurance that he did it all. Well, this is an indication of his expertise in the field of art. Then, another proof of his reputation in his work is the feedback and comments of his past clients. Therefore, have an initiative to ask for some contact details of his costumers. A true and effective painter will never hesitate to give such favor for he is confident that his paintings and other artworks are in a high quality an absolutely lovely.

3. Choose a painter that could give you a high quality canvas, To have a clear picture for this statement, you have to ask him if he is putting a protective coating to the finished product. Perhaps, you may already seen that to his samples but it is still an advantage to hear it personally from a painter.

Famous Chandeliers

Once upon a time, chandeliers were a sort of status symbol; a symbol of wealth and sophistication. While the purpose of the fixture was to light the room, much care was given to make it a work of art. The earliest chandeliers held candles, of course, and were later converted to accommodate gas and electrical bulbs.

While many of the world's oldest and most opulent chandeliers are at home in European castles, some are found in the United States.

The White House boasts two famous chandeliers. The one located in the Blue Room is 79 x 36 feet, and takes the staff 2 days to clean. A beautiful crystal chandelier located in the Red Room, has held its place of honor since 1805.

The United States of America is a democracy, but it is not without 'royalty'; the aristocracy dating back to the days of the Industrial Revolution. One of those families is the Vanderbilt family. The Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate is home to a wrought iron chandelier that lights the grand staircase with 72 lights.

Graceland, home of the late Elvis Presley, had a beautiful Italian cut glass chandelier installed in the dining room of his home that still gives the thousands of people who visit his home each year, to speak of its remarkable beauty.

The world's largest chandelier is located in the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul. The fixture, a gift from England's Queen Victoria, has 750 lamps and weighs over 4 tons!

Other 'famous' chandeliers include the one made of antlers in the lodge where Gaston sings his intentions to make Belle his wife in Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast', the chandelier that does not stand a chance in Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt's new house in 'Cheaper by the Dozen', and of course, the chandelier which crashes dramatically to the floor in 'Phantom of the Opera'.

Today, chandeliers are not nearly the status symbol they once were. Chandeliers are available from any home improvement or lighting store. Chandeliers can be as simple or ornate as you want them to be, in any style you want, and with as wide of variety of lamp shades as there is for conventional lamps.

How to Replace a Toilet Seat

Your toilet is one of, if not the most, important element to any bathroom. After all, everyone uses a toilet. Whether a seat is cracked, rusted or falling apart, toilet seat replacement can be, well, a dirty job. To make the job as easy as possible, follow these steps and you'll have a new 'throne' in no time!

Step # 1: Gather the Tools
Like any good handyman or handywoman, it's always important to make sure you have all the tools you will need prior to beginning the task. Tools you will need are the following: an adjustable wrench, a standard screwdriver, pliers, an additional Phillips head screwdriver, a hacksaw, painters or masking tape and penetrating oil.

Step # 2: Purchase a Replacement Seat
Before you go ahead and uninstall your current toilet lid, it's important to determine that your replacement seat actually fits. Be sure to measure the length, width and height. Most seats come in circles or elongated ovals; note which style your current seat is shaped.

When you are browsing for the ideal replacement seat, consider your current seat. If your seat matches the porcelain, you might want to keep the color scheme consistent. For a bolder style, choose a rich, dark color such as black, burgundy or hunter green.

Step # 3: Remove the Current Seat
Now that you are equipped with all the proper tools and the replacement seat, it is time to remove the existing seat. Close the toilet seat. Loosen the nuts on the bolts with an adjustable wrench; they are typically located underneath the toilet rim. These bolts are usually covered with a plastic cap. To remove the cap, use a flathead screwdriver. If they are rusted or corroded, be careful.

If you are having difficulty loosening the nuts, use your pliers to hold the bolt steady as you loosen the nuts. Apply penetrating oil to help; for very difficult nuts, allow the oil solution soak over night. If you are concerned about stripping the porcelain, wrap tape (painter or masking) around the nut and then apply gentle pressure.

Before you call a professional to remove stubborn nuts, try using a saw. Before you use the saw, however, tape cardboard around the toilet bowel rim to protect the porcelain. Additionally, raise the lid (both the cover and the actual toilet bowel rim) and cover the top of the toilet bowel as well with cardboard. Now saw through the bolts with the saw.

Step # 4: Clean the Area
Before you install your new seat, properly dispose of the old seat as it may be covered in germs. Additionally, examine the area to wipe away rust stains or other debris from the toilet area. Be sure to check under the toilet bowel rim to remove any rust stains.

Step # 5: Install a New Seat
You're now ready to install your new toilet seat. Align the seat correctly and insert the two bolts that fasten the seat to the toilet; there should be two holes where the previous fasteners were located. To prevent a difficult removal process the next time, coat your existing bolts with petroleum jelly juts in case. Next, slip on the washers and then the nuts. First tighten the nuts with your fingers, and then tighten the nuts with your adjustable wrench. If you find that the nuts are turning the bolt as you are attempting to loosen, hold the bolt in place with a pair of pliers. Be sure to lift the seat up and down a few times to be sure the lid moves freely. If the unit seems too loose, continue to tighten. Finally, apply the plastic caps to cover the ends of the bolts.

Five Essential Gardening Tools

When we need to choose new gardening tools we often are not sure which of them we need for the work in our lawns or gardens. If you plan to begin with the gardening hobby, here you can check out a list of five useful gardening tools:

1. Watering Can

The watering of your plants and flowers could be done easily with a watering can which is a portable container.

Some of the most important parameters of the can that you should consider before purchasing one are the handle and its capacity.

2. Garden Shovel

You can use the garden shovel to dig up, plant your flowers, and even to move your plants.

The garden shovel is a garden tool which is made of two parts: a handle and a blade. The handle allows you to control the shovel while you're using it and the blade actually cuts into the ground.

Before purchasing a garden shovel, it's recommended to consider the blade's shape, the handle's length, and the entire shovel's weight.

3. Pruners

You can use the pruner to keep your flowers for too wild growing as well as for cutting dead growths.

The rule when buying new pruners is to choose smaller ones only if you intend to cut stems and twigs. In all of the other cases, you can choose larger pruners which will help you to cut trunks and branches.

4. Gardening Gloves

If you spend a lot of time working in the garden, you should protect your hands. The garden gloves are specially designed for these purposes. Before buying gardening gloves, do not forget to consider their size.

5. Hoe

We can use hoes to break up, weed, and cultivate the ground. There many different types of hoes such as mounted on wheels and excavating machine. Before purchasing one, you should consider which hoe's type is the most suitable for your garden or lawn.

Seniors and Lift Chairs

For those who are elderly or have mobility related health issues, such as problems with their hips or knees, it can be difficult to stand up on ones own. This can often result in needing assistance when it is time to get out of the recliner to eat or to go to bed. Inherently, this presents some difficulties, especially for those who might not always have a caregiver available. To help get around this accessibility issue, using a lift chair can often present a safe means of standing or sitting without help from others.

Lift chairs are a type of durable medical equipment that were made popular by Golden Technologies and Pride Mobility Products during the mid-eighties. These are devices that look and operate similarly to a recliner, but also provide a means of making standing safer and easier, by raising the user to a standing position. Typically, a scissor lift system is installed in the base of the lift chair, which subsequently raises and lowers the entire chair frame when the user pushes a button. When fully raised, the user can remain seated or exit the chair on their feet, leaving it extended for when it is time to sit again.

As a result of using a home lifting aid, like a lift recliner, users are able to sit or stand without needing to wait for someone else to give them a hand. Instead, using a simple and easy to use hand control, the chair can be completely controlled electronically by the user. This not only includes raising and lowering the lift chair, but also moving the chairs backrest to a reclined position or extending the recliners footrest.

Most lift chair manufacturers also offer extra features, such as a built in back massager or a heating system, that can make the device much more comfortable to use. Since many seniors use their chairs for extended periods of time, it is usually possible to get an additional full length sleeper pillow, which safely and securely fits the lift chair, adding an additional layer of comfort to the chair.

Lift chairs themselves are the size of a standard recliner, so do not present a portable solution for safely standing and sitting. Some people opt to also use a seat-lift, which is a more portable lifting option. A seat-lift is a small lifting system that can be placed into the seat of almost any type of chair. It provides a comfortable cushion on the bottom and when activated, elevates at an angle to make it easier to exit the chair. These can be great for the holidays, as people travel to their relatives home, although are not as robust as an actual lift chair.

The lift recliner can be an important tool for the home or for those living in an assisted living facility, or nursing home, providing a mechanism for independent living. Since, in addition to providing a safe way to stand or sit-down, lift recliners also provide the full functionality of a regular recliner, they can safely replace almost any existing sitting chair, with a number of attractive styles and designs available.

Thoughts on The Elevator Speech

What

“An elevator speech is a term taken from the early days of the Internet explosion when web development companies needed venture capital. Finance firms were swamped with applications for money and the companies that won the cash were often those with a simple pitch. The best were those that could explain a business proposition to the occupants of an elevator in the time it took them to ride to their floor. In other words, an elevator speech that worked was able to describe and sell an idea in 30 seconds or less. Today, an elevator speech can be any kind of short speech that sells an idea, promotes your business or markets you as an individual.” The quote above synthesizes a common business approach to the Elevator Speech. In the following this tool has been adapted to actual situations when strangers meet. In that context it is important to keep in mind the distinction between products and individuals. Human beings are much more than their image. De-mystifying the personal elevator speech, it can simply be defined as:

  • A communication tool
  • A short message that conveys a core message
  • An answer to the question. “What do you do?” or if you are looking to do something different “What do you want to do next?”

There are 3 key ingredients to a personal elevator speech:

  1. Who you are
  2. What do you do/ What you are interested in doing
  3. How you can be a resource to your listener / What resources you are looking for

What it is not

Try to set aside your stress and your fears. When someone asks you in the elevator: “How are you?” Don’t entertain them with recent upsets, unless that is the core message you want to convey. The elevator speech is not about how you feel.

Why prepare an elevator speech

It is important to know that using an elevator speech is not a natural way of communicating and it is even harder to use when we are stressed. So why prepare one? Whether you are looking for a job or not, you will be confronted with the question of what you do. This of course happens more frequently when you are in a new place, meeting people who do not know you. Even if you have no plans of using an elevator speech ever, the process of formulating one can be more important than actually delivering it, because it helps

  • clarify your situation, align and improve your self-image
  • present yourself to the world, in both a professional and a personal context
  • save time and energy when you re-cycle your speech in different situations

When you deliver it, remember

  • an elevator speech can be used as a starting point for a dialogue to continue
  • first impressions are important

When

In the elevator or at a dinner party, at other gatherings and networking events. In general when someone asks; “What do you do?” or “What kind of job are you looking for?” Who Who are you talking to? Adjust to the audience and recognize the power of networking. You never know, who knows who or who needs what. Again if you do not let the world know, they will not know.

How to write it

Our short term memory can’t contain a lot of information. Most of us are on overload most of the time; if you want someone to remember a brief encounter with you, make it memorable. “She was the marketing specialist from Paris who… ” “He was the father of 2 who loves cooking and is looking for recipes…” Make it authentic, interesting and relevant for the person you are talking to. Use a format that works for you!

A possible format to use is: “I do (XYZ), so that (XYZ)”

Let’s network!

Remember to initiate. Be curious. Ask people the questions you would like them to ask you! Yes, even if it does not come natural at first.

Anette Due Rosenzweig Career & Life Coach

PS: You are welcome to use this material as long as you credit ADRCoaching LLC.

Marine Refrigeration

How does Marine refrigeration work? The major parts of a DC refrigeration system include the refrigerant, a compressor, and a condenser, a cooling system for condenser, and a plate or plates inside the refrigeration box.

The compressor is part of a closed loop pumping refrigerant through the system and through the evaporator plate in the ice box. The compressor has two sides the High side or discharge side. The discharge side pumps refrigerant under pressure to the condenser. The suction side or low side and sucks refrigerant after it passes through the evaporator plate back to the compressor. The cold plates in the fridge space have either expansion valves or capillary tube that separate the low and high pressure sides of the refrigeration system.

The refrigerant in the compressor starts as a gas. The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, from low pressure to high pressure between 100-150 psi. When the pressure is increased like this its temperature rises dramatically. This hot high pressure refrigerant is then fed to a condenser, where it is cooled and turned into a liquid. The condenser is cooled by either air or water. The refrigerant is now a cool high pressure liquid and is fed to an evaporator plate inside the boats refrigerator box.

The evaporator plate takes the refrigerant from the condenser and here it boils rapidly & evaporates back to a gas, at a very low temperature. This change of state absorbs vast amounts of sensible heat from the evaporator which in turn removes heat from the insulated refrigeration box, thereby lowering its temperature. The BTU is the measurement of heat removed. From the evaporator plate the refrigerant is returned to the low side of the compressor, to start the process again.

Evaporator or Holding Plates

Marine refrigeration systems use either an evaporator plate or a holding plate in the boats refrigeration space or freezer space. Each type of plate works differently in drawing heat from the boats refrigerator and ice box space.

Marine Evaporator

Marine evaporator are just like the ones found in household refrigerators. They can get quite cold (thermostat setting) and many evaporators have the ability to make ice next to the evaporator plate or inside the evaporator box. Evaporators come in several shapes and sizes; they can be horizontal plate’s, vertical plates and rolled plates. Evaporators are constant cycling, or short cycle. Most use a Danfoss marine compressor with H134 refrigerant.

Thermostat controlled evaporator temperature. Turn to lower ice box temperature. Evaporator plates are less expensive, but need Constant power supply.

Marine Holding plates

Marine Refrigerator Holding Plates act like large blocks of ice and the cold temperature of the holding plate sucks heat out of the boats refrigeration box. Holding plates can keep ice boxes cold for long periods.

The main advantage of a holding plate over an evaporator is that they only need to be recharged 1 or 2 times per day. This charging can coincide with attaching to shore power, running the engine and so the refrigerator does not rely on the battery bank. When incorporated into a properly designed system, holdover plates can significantly reduce energy consumption. However DC holding plates are also possible. The holding plate is filled with a solution that has a freezing point below 23 degrees F. As the compressor runs, the refrigerant passes through the holding Plates coil, freezing the holding plate solution. The compressor turns of and as the holding plate thaws out, heat is removed from the box.

Powering the Compressor

The power supply to the compressor is one of the key elements of the boats refrigeration system. Refrigeration is one of the largest energy consumers onboard, so the power supply is an important element of the system. Power supplies to marine refrigeration systems include AC, DC, Shore Power, Engine power, and hybrid systems. Hybrids are combinations of say 12 volt and engine drive, or engine and shore power. The whole point in looking at power supply to your boats refrigerator is to couple it into onboard power requirements for all your boats marine systems. If you run a generator much of the time then adding on an AC refrigeration unit may make sense, but unless you do, you would be better at looking at 12 V, engine or shore power.

Power can be decided on how you use your boat. Are you tied up at a dock for much of the time and take days trips. Or do you cruise and spend large amounts of time at anchor. Finally are you Power boating or Sailing will also influence power supply. Sailing means no charging of batteries or power from the engine. Here a solar panel or wind or towed generator can help replenish batteries. If you spend time at the dock, a DC system has plenty of time to recharge on shore power. If you spend time motoring and at the dock and engine drive with shore assist works well.

AC 110 volt marine refrigeration

These drop in refrigerators are like the one in your home and are commonly seen on larger boats with an abundance of AC power and space. The AC powers the marine compressor, and the condenser is typically air cooled. A reliable AC supply is needed in the form of a generator.

DC marine refrigeration with Evaporator plate

One of the cheapest marine refrigeration system and easiest to install is the 12 v or DC system. Air cooling is the simplest. The DC system combined with an evaporator plate that is thermostatically controlled gives flexibility over cooling requirements. Many 12 volt systems use the Danfoss compressor. With the increased efficiency of the Danfoss compressor, DC refrigeration onboard is getting more efficient, but is still power hungry.

For most boats with a small box, a single 12V compressor, air-cooled condenser, with evaporator type plate will be about the cheapest option. The Adler Barbour Cold Machine has been around for around 25 years and provides great refrigeration for small to medium size ice boxes.

Shore powered marine refrigeration

Shore powered systems are made to maintain the boat’s ice box at set temperature when the boat is at the dock. They offer less power than direct from an engine drive but since you will be at the dock for a while that is not an issue.

If you use a holding plate and shore powered system you can keep the plate cool while away from the dock for 12 hours or so.

Engine powered marine refrigeration

The idea behind an engine driven compressor system is that the engine gets used anyway for at lest an hour or so. If you are Power boating this makes sense, if you are sailing calculate how much time you use the engine.

If this is the case an engine drive with a holding plate can draw down the ice box in a short period and after that it can be left for 12 plus hours.

The compressor is run directly off the engine. Belt driven or direct compressor, There are two plates and you can add more, plus add a separate freezer unit. This creates power and fast cooling of the holding plate. More power than a 110 volt system. Larger systems and multiple plates are possible. Engine driven systems cost more and also involve a labor higher cost

Condenser Cooling

The marine refrigeration systems condenser needs cooling. This is how the refrigerant gets cooled and turned into a liquid. There are 3 ways to cool the condenser;

Air Cooled

Air cooling simplifies installation plus it does not rely on water or adding through hulls. It is therefore the cheapest installation. For smaller units air cooling is OK, say 4 cu ft or under 6 cu ft you will get adequate performance. The air cooling unit needs a sufficient supply of re-circulated air for it to work. Ducting and space around the unit will help this.

When you cool by air flow you remove heat from the condenser and add it to the ambient temperature. The temperature inside of the cabin only has enough capacity to disperse this heat.

Water cooled Condenser

Water cooled compressors will work better in higher ambient temperatures and are more efficient and can be 30% more efficient. Water cooling may be best and is better for larger installs especially if freezer is concerned. Water cooling needs a through hull and a pump to get the water to the condenser. The most efficient way to cool the condenser

Keel cooler Condenser

The keel cooler or keel condenser requires no through hull fitting and will not be subject to clogging. The keel cooler is a 3″ x 7″ bronze plate that mounts on the outside of the hull and it is the condenser heat exchanger. The bronze plates are connected direct to the compressor which is the only moving part in the system. The Keel Cooler is for a box up to a 15 cu ft refrigerator or 5 cu ft freezer. Since all the heat is passed into the water outside the boat it will does not heat up the interior. Since it works without a water pump there is never a pump or strainer to maintain and best of all it is nearly silent in operation.

Refrigeration Compressor & plate Combination

Before we pick a size of marine refrigerator we need to understand what factors are involved in keeping the refrigeration box cool. They are mainly box size, insulation and cooling water temperature, number of people aboard and the temperature you are setting the plates for.

Refrigerator Box Volume

This is obvious, the larger the box the more heat removal is necessary. A larger box will need more BTUs of heat removal. After this basic size issue we have things like, Front opening or top opening. Front opening lets cold air out quickly but does allow you to get to the bottom of the box. Drains, if you had a drain for you ice box plug it. You will not need to drain water out of the ice box and this will only let cold air out and heat in. Gaskets, are a must. A trick to identify if there are gaps in the gasket is to put a piece of paper in between the lid or door and the cabinet and close it. Pull on the paper and you should feel some drag if the gaskets are sealing properly. It comes out easily there is a gap. Get new or better gasket material.

Insulation

Typical insulation to a fridge or freezer is foam insulation like Dow Blue board. The recommendation is for 3-4 inches for refrigeration and 4-6 inches for freezer for medium sized boxes. Foam has an R value of 5 per inch thickness, R being a thermal unit. This means in terms of thermal units 3-4 inches represents 15-20R value for the refrigeration unit, and 20-30 for the freezer.

There are manufacturers of vacuum panel thermal insulation. The Glacier bay Barrier Ultra-R super-insulation at R-50 per inch provides lots of insulation without taking up valuable volume. These panels are vacuum panels and are sealed to work. It is very important that you do not drill through or puncture these panels. These panels are custom made, so you would need to provide the manufacturer, exact sizes with locations for copper plate tubes to enter the box. These are built into the panels.

Water temperature

In the tropics water temperature is a lot warmer than northern climates. For every degree water temperature increases a corresponding 2 % increase in required BTU. If you are in the Atlantic portions of the east coast US, you have some cool sea water temps, but of you then cruise down to the Caribbean you may strain your refrigeration system.

Plate Thermostat

The evaporator plate temperature is set by the thermostat. Dial the box temperature down and the system will have to work harder.

Number of people aboard

More people means the box gets opened more and the heat build up from more people adds to the ambient temperature.

How big a Refrigeration System?

To calculate how big a refrigeration or marine freezing unit required, you will need to start with an estimation of the BTU requirements of the box. A simple rule of thumb for estimating the BTUs is based on the box volume.

These BTU estimations are based on these assumptions;

– Insulation has an R value of 30 no leaks.

– Water temperatures are tropical in the mid 80s F.

– 2 people aboard, for each extra person add an additional 1,000 daily BTU

– Top opening box, for a front opening door add 15 BTU/inch of door

BTU estimate on refrigeration volume;

Refrigerator daily heat load; 600 BTU per cu. ft.

Freezer daily heat load; 1200 BTU per cu. ft

Lets look at how this works for the 4 cu ft refrigeration system, using the above formula

4 cu. ft. times 600 = 2,400 BTU.

Two additional people on board = 2,000 BTU.

Total required per day = 4,400 BTU

Choosing 12 volt unit with Evaporator

Match this number to the compressor capabilities, and then calculate amps needed to power the system, and then work on the battery bank capability. Start by using the 4,400 BTU form the above example. The Adler Barbour Cold Machine uses the Danfoss BD50 Compressor is rated at 650BTU / hr based on 25F evaporator temp.

This is well above the 4,400/day we need for the 4 cu ft fridge, using only about 1/3 of the power. We could easily go down the Danfoss DB35.

Amps

To calculate how many amps the system will draw we start by converting BTUs to amps with this formula, using an assumption of 5 BTUs per watt hr of energy used. BTU/5/volts. so say we have 4400 BTUS and 12 volts, 4,400/5/12=74 amp hours/day.

Battery Bank

The Amps needed to power the compressor should be 1/4 of the capacity of the house bank. So for the above 74 amp hours needed multiply by 4 to get recommended house battery capacity = 296 amp hrs.

Conclusion

These days being on the water means keeping food and drinks cold. 12 volt refrigeration units are becoming more popular with technological advances. Greater compressor efficiency and evaporator technology brings 12 volt cooling to the smallest of boats.

Heating With Wood – Wood Stove Efficiency

When it comes to heating with wood, there is a question I usually get from wood heat aficionados, “How efficient are your stoves?” My answer is usually, “Just as efficient as I can make them.”

For most of us, our concern for wood stove efficiency is commensurate with the price of wood that goes into the stove. At least that’s the way it is with me – to some extent. My wood sources are free of charge, so I’m not concerned so much with efficiency, but I do take measures to increase the efficiency of my stoves. I might as well get as much return on investment as I reasonably can.

Generally speaking, the more you pay for a stove, the higher it’s efficiency will be. Modern stoves that cost $2,000 or more tend to be well built with air injection and hot gas scavenging capability that reduce emissions and maximize the heat you get from the wood. They might be as high as 70% efficient.

Less costly stoves in the $300 range are little more than cast iron boxes with a door to toss in wood, and a chimney at the other end that gets attached to the flue. Efficiency might be 40% or less.

Efficiency of older stoves can be improved in several ways:

  • Use a fan to rob hot air off the surface of the stove. I blow air on the face and top of my fireplace insert in the kitchen. It pushes hot air off of the stove and down the hall, greatly improving the efficiency of the stove over simple radiation and natural convection.
  • Use a stove pipe heat exchanger to rob heat off the exhaust and blow it into the room. These products are thermostatically controlled to operate when stack gases are hot, and turn off when stack gases cool down.
  • Install a baffle in “straight through” stoves that requires the flame to take a longer route before leaving via the flue. The longer the flame stays inside the stove, the more heat is given up to the stove instead of going up the stack.
  • Improve combustion efficiency with enhanced air intake. This results in cleaner combustion and higher internal temperatures.
  • Rob heat off of the stove surfaces in the form of a heat exchanger to use the energy somewhere else in the house such as domestic hot water or hydronic heating.

Even the simple act of blowing air across a stove can force combustion air out of the stove and into the room, so do this with great care. Having a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the house is always a good idea.

Please note that any modifications to wood stoves will void warranties, and may create hazards in terms of carbon monoxide poisoning, release of sparks, and overheating of the stove. Modifications are ill-advised unless you are very familiar with the combustion process, and are willing to do extensive testing to ensure that your modifications aren’t going to create a health or fire hazard.

Also, if you’re going to incorporate hydronic heating or domestic water heating, you’ll need to take care to install expansion tanks, pressure relief valves, and otherwise make certain that failure of the system doesn’t cause a flood in your house.

Lastly, check your insurance policy. It might not cover any damage or injury covered by a wood burning appliance that has been modified.

14 Easy Cooking Tips for Meat and Poultry Slow Cooker Recipes

The first Christmas we spent with my in-laws in their new country home, my mother-in-law wisely gave me a slow cooker. Her thoughtful gift helped Dan and I enjoy the most convenient of all cooking methods, even with our long work days and commute.

I'll always treasure the memories of delicious aromas wafting through the front door as we stepped into the house after a long day at work and a nerve-jangling commute in heavy traffic.

Most of the slow cooker recipes I used were based on meats and poultry. Here are 14 easy tips to make your slow cooker recipes tasty and safe:

Tip # 1 – According to the US Department of Agriculture, bacteria in food are killed at a temperature of 165 ° F. Meats cooked in the slow cooker reach an internal temperature of 170 ° in beef and as high as 190 ° F in poultry. It is important to follow the recommended cooking times and to keep the cover on your slow cooker during the cooking process.

Tip # 2 – It is best not use the slow cooker for large pieces like a roast or whole chicken because the food will cook so slowly it could remain in the bacterial "danger zone" too long.

Tip # 3 – Always defrost meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker.

Tip # 4 – Meats generally cook faster than most vegetables in a slow cooker.

Tip # 5 – Trim all fat from meat and poultry. Fat can increase the temperature of the liquid in the slow cooker and decrease the cooking time. This will cause the food t be overcooked. Fats will also melt with long cooking times, and will add an unpleasant texture to the finished dish.

Tip # 6 – Cooking at higher temperatures will generally give you a tougher piece of meat. for all day cooking or for less-tender cuts of meat, you may want to use the low setting.

Tip # 7 – The slow cooker recipes are best used with the tougher cuts of meats.

Tip # 8 – For the best color and texture, ground beef is best browned before using, except in meatloaf or other similar dishes.

Tip # 9 – It is not necessary to brown meat before slow cooking, but it gives more depth of flavor in the food and removes some of the fat, especially in pork, lamb and sausages. If the meat is lean, well trimmed and not highly marbled, it does not need to be browned.

Tip # 10 – For roasts and stews, pour liquid over meat. Use no more liquid than specified in the slow cooker recipes. More juices in meats and vegetables are retained in slow cooking than in conventional cooking.

Tip # 11 – Dark meat takes longer to cook, so if a whole cut up chicken is used, put the thighs and legs on the bottom.

Tip # 12 – The slightly coarser texture of corn-fed, organic or free-range poultry is ideal for slow cooker recipes.

Tip # 13 – Most meats require 8 hours of cooking on LOW. Use cheaper cuts of meat – not only do you save money, but these meats work better for slow cooker recipes. Cheaper cuts of meat have less fat, which makes them more suited to crockpot cooking. Moist, long cooking times result in very tender meats.

Tip # 14 – Farberware FSC600 6-quart Oval Slow Cooker oval design accommodates oversize roasts, whole chickens, hams, and / or ribs. It features a large, 6-quart capacity stoneware liner, which nests inside a chrome slow cooker base and the auto setting switches to a lower 'keep warm' setting after cooking food.

For those who are not concerned about cooking in aluminum the West Bend Versatility 6-quart Oval Slow Cooker will work well to cook meats. It has a removable aluminum insert that can be used on the stovetop to brown meats and caramelize onions before slow cooking. The bottom unit can also be used on its own as a small griddle. Its dishwasher-safe insert has a nonstick interior and an included roasting rack.

DIY Solar Panel Installation Project

You have just finished reading you new utility bill that seems to have risen again but there does not seem any alternative, or is there?

One thing you may consider is free renewable energy from solar panels and you could save even more by doing a DIY solar panel installation. If this route interests you then read on because there are some great tips here for you to follow.

There are companies out there who supply everything you need for you DIY solar Panel Installation and they may even provide plans and some assembly advice. You can also always source the part individually online saving even more.

If you have done any DIY before then the tools you already have in the garage are probably all you are going to need, hammer, saw, knife, screw driver and a soldering iron.

You will find the list of materials slightly longer, but the majority of people have some spare wood lying around that they can use to make the frame to mount that panels onto the roof, also you will need some screws and wood paneling to fabricate the cells housings.

You should buy the pv cells that are pre-tabbed with the tab wires already connected to them. Get some blocking diodes to prevent the current reversing. You will also need EVA glue, flux and solder. It is a good idea to use some clear plastic sheeting to act as a lid of the housing and that is it, this is where the fun begins.

Now you are this stage it's time to sit back and decide where best to place your panels. Ideally you are looking for a nice South facing slope, away from any shade (and remember this moves throughout the day) where possible you also want to this area to be convenient for wiring up the panel to your battery storage area.

Before to begin to assemble your panels, clear a nice space on your workshop floor try to get it as dust free as possible. As soon as you get the cells secured onto the backing board (a 6×6 configuration is the most common) you are essentially just putting a jigsaw puzzle together so making sure you have a good space to work in, as it will definitely help.

After using the wire to join up the cell tabs you will need to install the blocking diodes and the cable that runs to your storage batteries. Once this has all been done it's now time to cover the unit with the plastic top to protect the cells, get your silicone gun out and seal it up. It is essential to get this seal perfectly as you do not want any moisture getting into the unit.

The final fabrication stage of your DIY solar panel installation is to apply some insulation to the rear of the unit and paint it all black – please do not paint the lid though! It may seem obvious but you would be surprised!

The panels are now ready to be mounted into position. The unit will be fairly heavy and cumbersome so an extra pair of hands here is advised, especially if you are working at height, it is better to be safe than sorry. All you need to do next is connect your unit up to the storage battery, if you are unfamiliar with wiring or even if you are not, I would say ALWAYS get a qualified electrician to check your wiring at the very least.

That is it, well done! This project, if done correctly and properly planned is a great deal of fun. You can now go off the Grid! saving money and the environment.