Using Infrared Illumination For Night Time Photography

Many people think that usable night vision technology is only available to the military or through the purchase of very expensive and high tech equipment. Today, however, the situation is rapidly changing and many cameras and camcorders have excellent built in low light and infrared vision capabilities.

The most common and least expensive method of capturing video or images in the dark is by using near infrared illumination. One example is the Sony Night Shot camcorder that first introduced this method over ten years ago.

The internal CCD recorder in many modern video cameras is capable of capturing IR light. This enables the unit to record better quality video in low light situations. And on some models, an internal near infrared light source is built into the camera to increase the quality of images taken in low light.

For close up work or in low light interiors, this system performs very well. People find, however, that the cameras seem to perform poorly in extremely low light situations, such as filming wildlife at night. There just is not enough of an infrared light source to light an outdoor scene using only the somewhat limited built in unit. But, by adding an additional external near infrared light source, excellent night time footage can be taken.

If you add more infrared light to the area where you are shooting, it still seems totally dark to the eye. But the camera now has a large additional source of infrared illumination. There are a number of different types of LED illuminators that use a group or sets of banks of infrared light emitting diodes.

Add on illuminators range from accessory units available from your camcorder manufacturer to extremely powerful individual units from OEM sources. The standard add on lights are not high priced, and higher level battery powered external light kits that allow illumination in the 100 foot range can be found in the two to three hundred dollar price range.

By using an external IR light source of adequate power, it’s possible to set up a useful night vision system without a huge cost outlay. For wildlife enthusiasts, the advantage of using your camcorder in this way is that you can set up in total darkness. The additional infrared illumination that you use can’t be seen, but you can see through the LCD viewfinder on your camera and view in the scene in what will look like near daylight conditions. The images using near infrared will be monochrome, and don’t show colors, but by adding a stronger light source your camera can record extremely detailed images. Adding extra IR light greatly reduces or eliminates the ‘graininess’ typically associated with low light photography.

One other interesting option to consider if you want to experiment with IR photography is to use an IR or infrared flashlight. These are quite inexpensive and while they won’t give you as much illumination as full light kits, they are fun to use and really do show what some of the capabilities of your camcorder are.

Try some experimenting in low light situations. You might find that your camera or camcorder has more built in features that you thought.

Current Home Lighting Trends

You walk into the lighting section of any home improvement store and are quickly overwhelmed with the number of options available when it comes to lighting the interior and exterior of your home. Experts know the best tips for lighting that can provide both enough wattage for what you are doing and be flattering at the same time. They also know home lighting trends.

Let’s begin by outlining the different kinds of lighting for each main room of the home.

Kitchen. They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is also a gathering place when company is over. When preparing meals, it’s important to have proper lighting. The key in the kitchen is to focus primarily on the overhead lighting. Additionally lower light sources (think under-cabinet lighting) can shed more direct light onto work surfaces.

Dining Room. The best tip for this room is to illuminate the table so that it is the brightest location in the room. You’ll find that in the majority of homes utilize a chandelier light fixture. Lighting experts suggest not going any higher than 100 watts total on the fixture. If a sideboard is in the room, then matching sconces can add great lighting features to the space. Pendants are popular over island seating or alternatively recessed light can also provide the same basic effect.

Living Room. Lighting this room will vary a little bit more from one home to the next. For the most part, you want to use the general rule of thumb which is to light three out of the four corners. One of these lights should be directed towards an object that you want to stand out in the room. Some homeowners like to feature a particular piece of artwork whereas others may point it at a chair or other favorite decorative element. Floor and table lamps can also be utilized in the living room space to add additional reading or task lighting.

Bedroom. The bedroom lighting should allow for an atmosphere that is primarily for reading. Any type of track or recessed fixtures should be pointed away from the bed and not directly aiming at the bed itself. Reading lamps commonly are found on bedside tables which can help create a cozier and more relaxing atmosphere.

Bathroom. Most often the first thing that comes to a woman’s mind when thinking about lighting in the bathroom is the best type of light for applying makeup. For a man, it may be shaving. Whichever the task is, lighting that flanks the mirror is the best option for the space. Additionally overhead lighting can help not to allow shadows.

Lighting Types

Now onto the various types of lighting primarily used in the home. When shopping for lighting fixtures you will find a range of prices and types varying from the cheap builder-grade lighting to the high-end and custom lighting features. No matter your budget, you will usually find options in flush mount, semi-flush, chandeliers, pendant, sconces, track and recessed.

How Many Watts Do You Need?

While the wattage will vary from one light to the next, the normal that you will usually find is 60 watts. Whether you are putting on make-up, staring at a computer screen or reading, a 60-watt light bulb will fulfill the needs. You will also notice a wide variety of bulb types when you are shopping on the lighting aisle. The normal types are LED, incandescent and fluorescent.

No matter which room of the house it is, the appropriate task lighting should be used. And, having a well-lit home can make a big difference in every-day tasks.

Crawlspace Vapor Barrier Mythbusters

Outlined below are the most common 4 methods I have seen used in installing a vapor barrier. If you talk to different builders, you usually will end up with many different methods of installing a vapor barrier in a crawlspace. Here are the most common:

1. Pea Gravel on top of plastic vapor barrier – This has to be the all time dumbest thing I have ever seen, and yet it is probably one of the most common. I have had builders tell me that the plastic on the ground KEEPS ground water and moisture from coming up from the ground. Now if there is no moisture or water in the soil, this might be possible; but if that was the case there would be no need for the barrier in the first place. So here is the basic idea – ground floor (bottom) – plastic (middle) – 4″ pea gravel fill (top). Once the crawl foundation is built, builders install a 4 – 6 mil plastic on the ground and dump about 4″ – 6″ of pea gravel on top of the plastic. Eventually, what always happens is that water comes in from the walls and the ground floor and ends up on top of the plastic. So what you end up with is a swimming pool liner that holds water in the gravel for prolonged periods of time. Nearly all the water and moisture in the gravel back fill has to evaporate into the structure. Another example of building practices and science turning a blind eye to crawlspaces for decades.

2. Vapor barrier on top of ground floor – By far the most common practice for installing a vapor barrier. A 6 mil polyethylene vapor barrier is placed over any ground floor. Here is the idea – ground floor (bottom) – plastic (top). The ground floor could be river rock, pea gravel, dirt floor, sand, etc. The seams are typically overlapped 6″ – 12″ and almost never taped. While this will temporarily stop some moisture evaporation, it does not seal out moisture from the internal perimeter wall where most water penetration occurs. Also moisture can come up from the seams, and the plastic is not durable enough to crawl on. It nearly always ends up with many punctures and holes in it.

3. Vapor barrier on bottom of floor joists – This is rarely seen, and usually only home owners attempt this. This is probably the method that accounts for more wood rot than any other method. If you are even thinking of doing this, quit thinking and call a professional to fix your crawlspace. Most crawlspaces are vented and the cooler surfaces such as duct work, pipes, and the floor will condensate in the summer. The plastic will trap the condensation up against the floor structure and mold and wood rot will occur. Good intentions do not always produce good results.

4. Vapor barrier fastened to sill plate – There is a new industry in crawlspace repair that encapsulates crawl spaces. The process of encapsulation is to install a heavy think plastic liner on the floor and up the foundation walls. The plastic liner is fastened and sealed to the foundation wall and all the overlapped seams are taped. Every potential gap or seam in the liner is meticulously sealed to prevent any moisture from evaporating. Then the vents are sealed in the encapsulation system to prevent hot humid air from entering in the summer. There is another system being sold and installed out there being represented as an encapsulation system, but is far from it.

This “other” system is a 6 mil plastic that is ran up the foundation walls and stapled to the sill plate. None of the overlapped seams are taped. It is basically a glorified vapor barrier on top of the ground floor being ran up the walls and stapled to the wood. They seal the vents without properly sealing the moisture from the ground floor or foundation walls. The problem with fastening plastic to the sill plate is that moisture will “wick” up the foundation wall, and moisture will absorb into the sill plate and floor joists. They are giving free access to all the moisture under the liner to rot the sill plates and floor joists. Not to mention that all the moisture will evaporate up through all of the seams that aren’t taped and the plastic liner is only 6 mil and eventually will puncture and tear. Be very careful in the contractor you choose to properly encapsulate your crawlspace.

What Are Fireproof Filing Cabinets?

What exactly are fireproof filing cabinets? What are they used for?

If you are like most people, you probably have never heard of fireproof filing cabinets before. So what are they? Can they really be fireproof?

Sure nothing really is fireproof per say, but you can make something extremely resistant to fire and if you think about the 2300 degrees F it takes to melt steel, well that is some food for thought.

Just consider if a fire broke out in your place of business or your home. Everything important would go up in smoke. This is exactly why fireproof filing cabinets are made. All of those things you need protected will be protected. They fit right into any work office or home. Have you ever wondered how they work?

What do their fireproof capabilities really mean?

In reality, these types of cabinets act as safes more than cabinets. This means that they will be able to resist fire until firefighters can put the fire out and thereby safe guard your property.

For arguments sake, let’s say that fire has broke out near this type of cabinet. Each cabinet will have a fire rating on them. These ratings are measured in hours. So the cabinet is currently on fire. We will assume that there is a 1 hour fire rating on this particular cabinet.

Understanding fire ratings

In comparison to a regular cabinet, this 1 hour rating sort of presents a unique opportunity. The firefighters will have at least one hour to stop the fire while your possessions remain safe!

The one hour could be all the firefighters need to get the blaze under control and save your things. So because of this, your possessions have a better life expectancy than normal. Be forewarned though. There are a lot of “so called” fireproof filing cabinets, but you should only choose those that have met the ISO standards.

Who would use a cabinet like this?

That’s easy – anyone that needs a new place for storing files or wants to protect their belongings – besides you never know when you may have a fire, right? You will need a reliable cabinet you can count on.

There are a large variety of fireproof filing cabinets for personal use and business use. At least now you know how they work and what to look for in a good cabinet. Why take a chance otherwise?

Wallpaper Removal Home Recipe

Removing Wallpaper

TIPS: Wear rubber gloves when mixing and using this solution. The vinegar will dry out your hands.

Mix together 1/3 cup fabric softener with 2/3 cup hot water, or add cup white vinegar to a gallon hot water.

Pour either solution into a garden spray and moisten the wallpaper. Allow to stand 20 minutes or until wallpaper is loosened enough to be peeled off.

Remember that vinyl wallpaper will need to be scored before you apply the wet solution, so the solution has a means to penetrate the paper.

Then remove the wallpaper, starting at the bottom and lifting towards the ceiling. If it resists, take a scraper and use some elbow grease.

Ammonia and Hot Water to Remove Paper:

I mix about a quarter cup of ammonia with about 2 quarts of hot water. Using one of those round tools called a “paper tiger” which has a little scoring wheel underneath, I score the old paper, which pokes tiny holes in the paper.

Next, soak the aforementioned solution onto the old wall paper with a sponge. After 30 – 60 seconds, scrap the paper off. Repeat if necessary.

Fabric Softener Used To Remove Paper:

I just removed 2 layers of wallpaper using the fabric softener. I used a spray bottle and filled it about 3/4 of water and then 1/4 fabric softener. I sprayed the paper and by the time I had sprayed one wall, I was able to go back and started to strip the paper off. I was lucky that it came off fairly easy. On parts of the wall that did not come as easily, I just sprayed it again and got it off. You do need a drop cloth as it tends to be a little messy. But I had the wall done in about an hour.

Home Recipe for Wallpaper Removal:

Removing wallpaper can be a real drag, but there is an easy “home recipe” to help make the job less messy and a lot easier. You should already have the stuff in your kitchen. All you need is a big spray bottle, and some white vinegar. Just fill the bottle or sprayer equally with 1/2 HOT water and 1/2 WHITE vinegar. Spray equally over wall paper and allow it a few minutes to soak in. Then just simply begin removing the paper steadily, from top to bottom, if you can get a corner started before you spray, the job will be that much easier. Just remember HOT water and WHITE vinegar.

DIY Home Improvement Information

Vitamin – Essential Nutrients for Health

Vitamins are the stars of the nutrition scene. Nutrition,

the science of food, is the study of the nutrients and

substances in foods. Scientists examine how the balances

of food compounds relate to health and disease, and explore

how they interact during the process of ingestion,

absorption, utilization, and excretion.

There are six essential nutrients for health and body

maintenance: vitamins, minerals, water, fats, proteins, and

carbohydrates. They are the building blocks of life, and we

obtain them through our diet. Our bodies don’t make them.

At this time, it is known that there are fourteen vitamins

required by humans. Vitamins, first discovered in the

late 1800s, are organic compounds found in foods. Since

they are organic – containing carbon – they can be

destroyed by heat, unlike their companion essential

nutrient group, the incombustible minerals.

In the early 1900s, when scientists were continuing to

discover new vitamins, they named newly found compounds by

alphabet: A, B, C, D, E~. K. Note: The compounds that had

been named F, G, H, I, J were later disqualified as

vitamins, not fitting the definition: organic compounds

needed in small quantities for life growth and maintenance.

Compounds that have been given letters with numbers, B-1, B-

2~ were originally thought to be one compound, but later

determined to be several different compounds with specific

functions for each.

Vitamins are in one of two classes: fat soluble or water

soluble. Vitamin C and the B vitamins (such as niacin and

riboflavin) are water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are

fat soluble. Which type of solubility each vitamin has

will indicate which foods contain them. Basically, non-fat

food has no fat soluble vitamins. However, highly colored

vegetables like carrots do contain beta-carotene – a proto-

vitamin which can be converted to active vitamin A.

Water soluble vitamins are easily shed by the body and

lost from foods during preparation. Since they aren’t

stored by the body, we need to ingest them every day.

Nevertheless it is best to avoid taking them excessively.

On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins are readily stored

by the body. Thus caution is necessary to avoid excessive

quantities; it is possible to build up toxic levels of the

fat soluble vitamins.

People commonly wonder if they need to take vitamin

supplements, and which vitamins should be taken for good

health. The situation today is that our foods are coming

to us from conditions that previously were never the case

for humans. Modern food is highly processed, and is

frequently grown in depleted soils. Our foods are picked

unripe and therefore incomplete from the standpoint of

nutrition. Then they are shipped and handled more than the

ideal. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the average

person’s diet provides sufficient amounts of necessary

nutrients – vitamins and minerals in particular. Instead,

we are consuming excessive amounts of harmful compounds

like preservatives and refined sugars.

A suggestion. Do your own research project. Keep track

of what you eat for a week or two. Eat normally, and just

write down what you ate and how much of it. Then either

buy or check out from your library a book on vitamins that

will tell you approximately what you got from each food

source. Add it up and compare to the recommended daily

allowances. See how you’re doing, and if you think it’s a

good idea to make some improvements, consult with a

professional nutritionist, naturopathic physician, or other

healthcare professional to come up with a good plan of diet

and nutritional supplements. You’ll see what a profound

difference good nutrition can make in your health.

Drain (DWV) Piping For Commercial Buildings

Designers, contractors and building owners face a myriad of factors in selecting the appropriate drain, waste and vent piping for new construction or retrofits. Issues such as flow capacity, longevity, joint tightness, certifications, corrosion resistance, capital cost, installation cost, environmental effects, noise generation and thermal effects all warrant investigation.

The three main products used today in Canada for commercial construction are cast iron (CI), copper and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). This paper briefly addresses how each pipe rates in terms of the key design factors.

Flow Capacity – PVC and copper would each qualify to use a Mannings ‘N’ flow factor of.009 for gravity flow while cast iron would typically require N=.013 to represent its rough interior. Net result means up to 33% more carrying capacity for PVC and copper versus CI when one considers actual inside diameters.

Longevity – CI is susceptible to many forms of corrosion including galvanic, electrolytic, acidic, moisture induced, road salt attack and stray current effects. Copper has better resistance but is still vulnerable to shortened life due to acidic attacks from aggressive pipeline contents. PVC is virtually immune to all forms of corrosion and thus will outlast the other two, with copper rating second best.

Joint Tightness – CI is joined with rubber lined, metal reinforced mechanical couplings which will adequately meet industry standards and can be easily re-tightened if required during a leaking field pressure test or while in operation. Both copper and PVC are more permanently joined through the soldering process for copper and solvent welding for PVC. Both of these joints could qualify as pressure-rated joints and helps installers by permitting commission-testing of multiple floors at once in buildings.

Certifications – All products must be third-party certified to CSA or ASTM standards. CI must be certified to CSA B70, copper to ASTM B306 and PVC to CSA B181.2. Both cast iron and copper are permitted in all types of buildings while PVC must use a compound (proprietary mixture of resin plus additives) listed by ULC S102.2 to exhibit a Flame Spread Rating of not greater than 25 for all non-combustible construction. In addition, PVC must be listed to also exhibit a Smoke Developed Classification of not greater than 50 for High-Rise Construction or Plenum installations. PVC is not permitted in vertical shafts in most provinces. Products are presently commercially available in the Canadian marketplace to meet these Flame and Smoke requirements.

Capital Costs – Both CI and PVC score well here with stable competitive product pricing while copper tends to be the most expensive and subjected to the high volatility of global copper index pricing.

Installation Costs – CI is heavy to transport and handle on the job but has a relatively simple assembly method when ready to install. Copper is lighter weight and easy to cut but time consuming for soldered joints, especially for smaller lines where many fittings are required. PVC is both light weight to transport and handle and quick and easy for joining due to the straight forward solvent welding process. In sizes 8 inch and larger, users should receive some basic training to assist in properly solvent welding pipe in these sizes.

Environmental Effects – To get a true grasp of this issue, one should insist upon a Life Cycle Analysis on each piping material to capture all aspects of the pipe material’s life from raw materials, to production processes, energy consumption, transport issues, manufacturing locale, ease of recycling, waste product generated and longevity. All three products have some drawbacks, specifically high energy costs for CI production and transport, very long distances of transport and a joining system involving open flames for copper, and a difficulty in using large amounts of recycled material in finished PVC DWV pipe due to strict compound and high performance requirements of local building codes. PVC scores well for local manufacturing, in-house recycling of scrap PVC, low energy consumption in production and transport, and longevity.

Noise Generation – Both CI and PVC have superior sound deadening of drain flow than copper mostly due to thicker pipe walls. PVC offers much better sound attenuation than the common ABS drain pipe used in most single family homes. CI benefits from its rough interior to slow down flow velocities and its rubber couplings act as flexible shock absorbers. Designers agree that if noise suppression is an important concern in building design, it is best addressed by specifying external pipe insulation to the DWV system regardless of material.

Thermal Effects – For storm drains inside buildings, the high rate of thermal conductivity for both CI and copper will warrant external insulation on the pipe to prevent condensation from occurring. PVC has a very low rate of thermal conductivity and as a result is many times used without insulation. It is common however to be conservative and use insulation for the first several feet of the upper horizontal run of rain water leaders from roof drains.

In conclusion, each of these materials CI, copper and PVC offer some advantages and drawbacks towards their use in commercial construction in Canada. Designers, contractors and building owners are encouraged to consider all factors to ensure that well-informed decisions are made.

Suspended Ceilings – Why Should You Install Them?

Is your existing ceiling looking damaged and cluttered with pipe works and wires? Well why don’t you think about getting suspended ceilings installed? What are suspended ceilings? Well if this is what you are saying then read on to find out.

Suspended ceilings are like an extension to your existing ceiling, they are built up of a grid made of metal which is suspended from the existing ceiling by a set of wires. Once the grid is set up, tile panels are placed into metal channels in the grid, they all fit into place and make the ceiling solid and in place. This is what suspended ceilings are made up of, you will usually see ceilings like this placed in big offices or buildings as such to hide all their air ducts and wiring etc.

There are plenty of reasons why you should choose to install suspended ceilings over other types, read on to find out what these are.

Suspended ceilings are typically installed to cover up air ducts, piping, wires and any other objects that are cluttering up the ceiling areas. Other reasons for installing suspended ceilings include sound absorption, insulation and levelling.

Suspended ceilings have come a long way since they first started being used and now a main reason why they are installed is for sound absorption, there are a lot of different tiles that you can put into the grid that are brilliant for sound control. If the room is going to be loud and you do not want the sound travelling far then these sorts of tiles will suck all the sound in making your room practically sound proof.

Also you may find that you want to add some insulation to your ceiling as there is now a ceiling void above you, there are a few things that you can use in you suspended ceilings to offer more insulation including foam but there are also special tiles that you can buy which will provide all the insulation you need.

The next reason for installing suspended ceilings is to help with levelling; if you have an uneven ceiling existing at the moment then you can add a suspended ceiling which can be easily changed so that the ceiling is level. All you need to do is get the grid adjusted on installation to the correct height you want. Suspended ceilings are great in this way that they can be adjusted to practically any height.

Once you have your suspended ceilings installed you don’t have to be stuck with a completely closed ceiling of white panels, oh no, you can do so much with the panels and add in what you like, read on for a few examples.

You could add in fluorescent light panels that will give you light, these come in so many different varieties you will have problems deciding which ones you want, you don’t have to install the fluorescent lights only, you can add other methods of light as long as they are securely attached to the grid.

Next suspended ceilings can be changed from just white; you can get panels with all sorts of designs, colours and shapes on that will brighten up your room. If you are going to paint your tiles then you should make sure that you use latex paint to get a professional and decent finish.

Flooring – Different Methods of Installing a Bamboo Floor

What is the best way to install a bamboo floor? You could install the floor as direct stick, floating, plank on ply, using an AcouBond system, or using joists/battens to name a few. Each method of installing a premium bamboo floor has both its positives and negatives but when weighed up you are able to determine the more suitable method of installation.

DIRECT STICK

Our preferred and the most commonly accepted method of installing a bamboo floor in WA is direct stick. This is where our boards are glued directly to the sub floor resulting in a very quiet floor to walk on. Glue is trowelled onto the floor and the boards are laid directly on top. It is a strong and permanent method of installation. We use a rubbery drying adhesive called Sikabond T55. Using alternative glue for this method of installation which is not elastic bonding will usually result in stress put on the boards causing cupping and the widening of gaps in between boards. A direct stick bamboo floor is strong and stable, stopping the boards from moving too easily and can be walked on the same day it is installed. However this floor will be difficult, but not impossible to remove if needed, and does require a reasonably level sub floor.

FLOATING FLOOR

Installing a bamboo floor as a floating floor involves using a thin high density oam underlay. The boards are not glued or fixed to the sub floor rather they are glued along the tongue and groove on all sides. The floor literally floats. This type of installation is commonly used for cheaper laminates in Perth having an inferior quality image. Floating a bamboo floor is the most common method for DIY customers as it is a cheaper and easier method of installing a bamboo floor than direct stick. It is regarded as softer to walk on, but is regarded as structurally inferior and noisy to walk on. A floating bamboo floor is easily damaged by excess water spills and can’t be lived on for a day or two until the pva glue dries.

PLANK ON PLY

Plank on ply is commonly used for fixing timber floors and is regarded by the industry as superior. In terms of timber flooring, this is usually correct. Plank on ply uses 12mm sheets of plywood that are glued and nailed onto the sub floor and the bamboo floor boards are glued and secret nailed onto the ply. The ply helps even out floor undulations and gives an easy surface for the installer to pin the timber down. It also helps protect the floor against moisture from the concrete slab. In terms of premium bamboo flooring we gain little to no benefit from installing over plywood. The reason for this is premium bamboo flooring is not required to be pinned because it is dimensionally straight and square, it is also more moisture resistant. The glue and installation technology that we have available today enables us to even out small floor undulations. Ply can be useful in building up floor heights.

ACOUBOND

Acoubond type of installation was developed in Europe by Sika International to overcome the problem of impact noise transfer from upper floors to lower living areas, such as high rise apartments. Australian building legislation now stipulates that solid floors in multi level dwellings must be installed with sound absorption systems. The bamboo boards are laid over a 5mm foam mat, which has slots cut out for the application of triangular beads of Sika T53. According to Gabriel’s Environmental Design Pty Ltd this has a reduction in impact noise by 16dB compared to a reduction of 7dB for direct stick. A bamboo floor installed with the Acoubond system is a little noisier to walk on and is not as strong as direct stick, but it does improve walking comfort and compensates for surface irregularities.

JOISTS/BATTENS

Installing on joists or battens is a traditional type of installation using timber or ply battens fixed to bearers or concrete. The bamboo floor boards are fixed using glue and nails to the Battens. This type of installation was commonly used for timber floors but is not so popular with bamboo floors, yet it is a safe, stable and an easy way to bring bamboo boards up to existing floor types by using appropriately sized battens. Joists (battens) are usually 12mm thick and 40mm wide and made from plywood or a stable hardwood like Jarrah. This floor is commonly thought to be more absorbent of foot fall and therefore more comfortable to walk on. It does however produce the sound of a traditional timber floor which is quite noisy.

While each method of installation has obvious benefits, overall we do prefer installing our premium bamboo floors as direct stick, specifically with Sika bond T55. It is by far the more suited method of installation for our product and ensures for a secure and quiet floor to walk on. It is a very convenient method of installation as you won’t need to move out of home and can walk on your beautiful bamboo floor straight away.

Common Issues With Low-Pressure Mechanical Fuel Pumps

Older model cars with carburetor engines use low pressure mechanical fuel pumps to pump fuel from the fuel tank to engine. They are mounted outside the tank, mostly on the side of the engine. With the advent of fuel injection systems, most mechanical fuel pumps are being replaced with electrical ones, albeit, few old car owners are still retaining these pumps.

Low pressure mechanical fuel pumps are less functional compared to electric versions and incur frequent problems that lead to driveability issues. However, on newer model cars with GDI equipped engines, they are making a comeback. There is an electric fuel pump in the tank delivering fuel to a high pressure engine mounted mechanical fuel pump.

In this article, we will discuss only about the common issues with low pressure mechanical fuel pumps used in carburetor engines along with the ways to identify and resolve them.

Vapor lock: Vapor lock happens when the liquid fuel in the delivery system changes to gaseous form and blocks the passage of the fuel. As it is located in the engine compartment, the high engine heat on the pressurized side of the pump boils the fuel in the fuel lines leading to vaporization.

Due to vapor lock, the operation of the fuel pump gets disturbed. It causes loss of feed pressure, which results in loss of power transmission to the engine or complete stalling of vehicle. Common signs of vapor lock are no or low fuel pressure, dry carburetor air horn and no accelerator pump discharge, stalling, hard starting and low power.

Fuel foaming: It occurs when cold fuel enters a hot carburetor leading to a series of short jerks on acceleration and finally results in dead engine. The common signs are black smoke emitted from the exhaust pipe, wet carburetor air horn and starting of engine after a long wide open throttle crank.

Alcohol mixtures: Gasoline additives such as alcohol mixtures and octane boosters affect the volatility of the gasoline and result in performance and driveability issues. These additives also cause fuel system corrosion, dislodge rust and foreign particles into the tank leading to filter clogging and finally affecting the functionality of a fuel pump.

Causes of failure: A worn-out or a leaky diaphragm inside a mechanical fuel pump leads to its failure. A leaky diaphragm either results in fuel leak or loss of fuel pressure. This eventually increases the pressure on the pump making it fail. Even leaky inlet or outlet valves and broken spring also result in the same.

Before your fuel pump completely ceases to work, it displays some signs of failure. Identify these signs and rectify the problem as early as possible. Though there are professional troubleshooting techniques to check the functionality, there are few other simple ways which help you identify the bad one even if you are an amateur.

• In the initial stages of a bad fuel pump, you may experience lack of power, starting trouble, sputtering, etc.

• Dripping of fuel from the pump indicates failed diaphragm, hence, replace it.

• Inspect the throat of the carburetor by removing the air cleaner, then pump the throttle linkage and check if any fuel is squirting into the carburetor. No squirting of fuel can indicate its failure.

• Disconnect the fuel line at the carburetor and place it in a container. Start the engine and see whether the fuel pump is pumping the fuel. Steady spurts of fuel indicate that it is functioning properly, while weak stream or no fuel can indicates that it is failed.

• Pull out the dipstick to check the oil level. Oil level above the full mark can indicate leaking diaphragm, as it lets the fuel leak into the crank case therefore thinning the oil and raising the oil levels.

Timely repair/replacement avoids engine problems: Engine performance gets affected negatively if the issues are not addressed in a timely manner. If it is unable to deliver the fuel with required pressure, it starves the engine and finally ceases its operation. Hence, timely identification and fixing of the problem is quite essential to avoid engine problems.

Make sure that you are using reliable after-market products while replacing engine components. It is important for better performance of the fuel delivery system.

Why Lean Muscle Is Better Than Bulky Muscle

If you search around the internet and read through lots of fitness magazines, you will find out that the male fitness industry is full of all kinds of personalities who believe in different things, for example for some an aesthetic physique may be a Frank Zane or Surge Nubret type physique which is more of a classic overly muscular bodybuilder type physique whereas others favour the fitness model type of physique like Greg Plitt or David Kimmerle. Everyone has their own take on what is aesthetic and we all work out towards our own personal goals. Now I will tell you which kind of physique is more favourable in terms of real world situations.

Think about the fitness magazines and body-building magazines, magazines with huge monstrous guys are generally not for your average Joes and that look is not something most people would work towards looking like. The magazines with the big guys are for body-building fans and people obsessed with gaining size. The fitness magazines and men’s magazines on the other hand have images of smaller sized men with acquirable physiques, they are in better shape than the average man but they are still considered normal sized and athletically built. You would never see those huge monstrosities you find in some body-building magazines in men’s magazines like men’s health, mainly because it is not how most people would want to look.

So now that I have given you a picture of what kind of physiques appear in which type of magazines I will give you some reasons why having lean muscle is better than being bulky.

The first thing is that getting the lean physique can be done naturally, using supplements to aid you is a personal choice and they are legal, whereas getting to an unnatural size like those Olympia guys is not a healthy thing to do, you put a lot of stain on your body and that level of body-building is filled with use of steroids which are illegal and have very bad side effects.

The second thing is that being lean is about having functional muscle that makes you more athletic, just look at sprinters they have lean muscle that allows them to run faster and be more powerful, and having functional muscle is what most people want. Being bulky on the other hands makes you and ogre, you can hardly move and you sure as hell can’t be fast with an unnatural amount of muscle putting stress on your skeletal structure. Most of that muscle mass is for show.

Another thing is that you can dress in trendy clothes and they will suit you if you are a lean guy but if you are abnormally large you will struggle to find clothes that look good and fit right, instead you will always be wearing baggy pants and shorts because your legs are too thick.

You will not look good at the beach topless if you are bulky, you have worked out so much that you have passed the beach body ideal which is a fitness model, lean muscle type physique.

And finally people of the opposite sex are more attracted to lean muscular guys with fitness model and Hollywood type physique’s, being too big will most likely decrease the number of women who find you or your physique attractive if you care about that sort of thing.

I have given you some reasons why I feel the lean muscular holly wood look is the look to go for if you care about functionality and general appearance. I know there are others who disagree but all that I mentioned above is what most people think as well.

Lateral Pelvic Tilt – What it is and How to Get Rid of It?

Proper biomechanics demand a lot of things, one of which is a person’s ability to maintain proper muscular length-tension relationships. As is the case with any joint, a postural abnormality and pain can develop when a muscle is tight while its antagonist is lengthened and weak. The pelvis involves a number of muscles that allow it to tilt anteriorly, posteriorly, and laterally. If a sizable disparity in those length-tension relationships emerge, then pain ranging from nagging low back pain to something more severe, such as piercing or radiating pain in the buttocks and legs can result. In this article, I’m going to be specifically exploring how the pelvis can become fixed in a lateral tilt and what can be done to both identify and correct the problem.

So what is lateral pelvic tilt and how is it best identified? Lateral pelvic tilt can best be described as simultaneously involving two motions: hip hiking and hip dropping. When compared to a neutral pelvic position, where the iliac crests appear level, hip hiking requires that the hip on one side is raised above a neutral position, while the other iliac crest must drop below a neutral level. When standing as evenly as possible, one should be able to determine with a mirror or another set of eyes whether or not their iliac crests appear level. But where are these iliac crests, you ask? The iliac crest is a term used to describe the pelvic border that stretches from the anterior superior iliac spine to the posterior superior iliac spine. Part of the anterior portion can be felt as the bony point of the pelvis situated beneath the oblique while the posterior portion is laterally offset from the base of the spine. If necessary, practice tilting the pelvis forwards and backwards with your hands on your hips to determine their respective locations.

Another important, albeit indirect, screening method requires scrutinizing the walking gait. If there is weakness in the gluteus medius or the tensor fasciae latae, then the gait is characterized by a lateral shift of the trunk when the opposite leg swings forward. A similar conclusion could be reached by standing on one leg with the opposite leg flexed to 90 degrees at the knee and the hip and then assessing the opposite hip’s position. If the hip drops then the abductors are likely weak. Let’s now take a closer look at some of the common dysfunctions that accompany hip hiking and hip dropping.

First and foremost, for hip hiking to take place one most likely has a tight quadratus lumborum, which is a muscle that connects the lumbar vertebrae to the iliac crest and is primarily used in extension and lateral flexion of the lumbar spine. As a result, the hiked side must create adduction in the hip, which likely means that the adductors are tight as well. Consequently, the hip abductors, namely the gluteus medius, are likely to be in a lengthened and possibly weakened position.

On the other side, the dropped hip is likely to have a lengthened quadratus lumborum and a tight gluteus medius, which connects the ilium to the top of the femur. Due to this position, the dropped hip must therefore be in abduction. This then places the hip adductors in a lengthened and possibly weakened position. Another potential contributor to the hip drop could be a tight tensor fasciae latae muscle, which connects the iliac crest to the iliotibial band. Now that the typical dysfunctions have been clarified, what is recommended in terms of treatment?

Before proceeding, I advise everyone with marked pain to consult a physician before initiating any self-treatment program. With that said, the simplest fix for those with only a slight impairment might only require a subtle alteration in posture and walking mechanics. In other words, practice standing with the weight evenly distributed over the feet and with the pelvis in a neutral position. This may seem painfully obvious, but too many people are unaware that they stand in “postural adduction” which is when the hips are shifted outward and the weight bearing leg sits underneath the hiked and shifted hip. If symptoms are a little more pronounced, then some other provisions that include stretching and strengthening will be necessary. When walking, one should use a walking stick or a cane in an effort to support the weak gluteus medius. This should only be necessary in the beginning stages of treatment so as to better manage the pain. If sleeping in an adducted position is painful, then a pillow between the knees might be appropriate. On the side of the dropped hip, one should stretch the tensor fasciae latae by standing on one foot on a sturdy platform 2-4 inches thick and with the other foot on the floor. Be sure that the knees and feet are facing forward. Next, posteriorly tilt the pelvis and hold for 20-30 seconds. Corrective exercise is certainly a vital component to eliminating any movement impairment. Those who have experienced some pronounced pain would be advised to start conservatively in their corrective exercise. Hip abduction exercises from a prone or supine position are recommended initially. Progress to a side-lying position once 20 pain-free repetitions with a full range of motion can be performed in the introductory positions. Eventually, one should move to standing exercises where one places a leg on a 2-4 inch platform to practice dropping the hip so the foot touches the floor and then hiking it back up to a neutral position by recruiting the gluteus medius.

Hopefully, this article has helped clarify the ways to identify and understand lateral pelvic tilt and what can best be done to correct it. I’m confident that with a little diligence and patience your lateral pelvic tilt will soon become a thing of the past.

All-wheel Drive for Porsche 911 Targa

Porsche enthusiasts are excited about the new offer from Porsche. This offer is all about the permanent all-wheel drive given by the automaker to Porsche 911 Targa. The vehicle is now on sale.

All-wheel drive (AWD), otherwise called as four-wheel drive, 4×4, 4WD, is a term used to describe a 4-wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that is capable of allowing all the four wheels to simultaneously get power from the engine. This feature is commonly associated with off-road vehicles nonetheless; all-wheel drive is crucial in providing better control on slippery ice and race tracks on paved streets.

The term is originally used to describe truck-like vehicles that necessitate switching between a 2-wheel drive mode for roads and a 4-wheel drive mode for low traction conditions like ice, gravel and mud. AWD is common for identical drivetrain systems that will be marketed for both the upmarket and downmarket branding. However, it is also common for different drivetrain systems that will be marketed under the same name for brand homogeny.

Porsche aficionados can now enjoy the fact that AWD is now made permanent for Targa. Aside from the AWD, Targa is equipped with lots of breath-taking Porsche car parts. Both Targa and 996 have common denominator and said feature contribute significantly to its “wow factor.” The striking feature is the huge glass roof and opening rear window. The glass roof plus the rear window are capable of inviting light and fresh air when they are left opened. The glass roof can be opened by up to half a meter in a matter of 7 seconds. This can be done by employing 2 electric motors. According to the automaker, to fully open the roof, it would take about 0.45 square meters.

Porsche factory parts for the roof panel of Targa are built of 2-ply tinted glass, which is lighter by 1.9kg than its predecessor. The automaker has developed a sealing system that minimizes wind noise. Also, wind deflector reduces turbulence inside the car. Targa also allows open-air free-spirited driving when outside temperature is accommodating. Subsequently, the semi-translucent roller sunblind is used to provide shade in the interior of the car when the roof is closed. The roller blind and the glass roof can be maneuvered using a rocker switch.

Porsche 911 Targa is powered by 3.6-litre six cylinder 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine that delivers 239kW. The S variant, the most powerful among the variants, uses a 3.8-litre engine that produces a top speed of 355bhp. The car is also equipped with Porsche VarioCam Plus valve control system, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), and other striking car features.

5 Simple Steps in Making Your Own Patio Sun Shades

DIY is one of the best ways for people to save money on their every home and needs like design and other functional items. This is why many guides that will help people make their own patio sun shades for their home.

If you will look closely, many stores are now offering quality awnings and sunshades at cheap prices but nothing will beat the savings of making them on your own. So if you want to have your patio sun shades set up at home, you may want to follow these steps so you will get them set up and save money on them.

1. Buy your preferred fabric for your patio sun shades. Typically, sunshades are made from sort of transparent fabric or thin fabric and not necessarily waterproof. These are like canvases that will give you shade but still feel the sun. Choose the size and color that you want to create the right ambiance for your home.

2. Next, buy grommets or eyelets for your fabric. This will serve as the fabric support where you will place the rope in tying the sunshade. Without these eyelets, your fabric will easily tear since it will get pressure and move because of air as well as its weight. Aside from the grommets, you may also need to get stands or beams if you don’t have poles at home where you can tie your sunshade. You need these to spread out the fabric and give you shade.

3. Cut the canvas to your desired shape. You can sew the edges of the fabric to keep the threads from loosening or just leave it that way.

4. Place the eyelets on the corners of your patio sun shades.

5. Tie your rope on every eyelet and then attach it to hooks. If you don’t want to use hooks, you can just tie the rope on the support beams or on your house’s beams. Pull it until you reach the right height that you want. Now, you can relax on your patio just the same as what you can do while on the beach or in a resort.

Making your own patio sun shades is simple by following these steps. This will help you the best relaxation you can get in your home without spending too much money and protecting your skin from direct contact with sunlight. Just be sure to get quality materials and your sunshade will last for a long time.

RV Replacement Awnings: Vinyl or Acrylic?

When you search the internet for RV awning replacement fabrics you will soon discover you have 2 basic choices, acrylic or vinyl, with acrylics getting most of the attention. You’ll also find many acrylic manufacturers marketing their fabrics (this is not true for vinyls) which will lead you to the conclusion acrylics are it and vinyl is no more than the poor mans substitute for the real thing. In the RV world that leaves you with A&E (Domestic corporation) using primarily vinyl and Carefree of Colorado taking the high road and using primarily acrylics. Rich man…poor man. The choice couldn’t be simpler.

But, not so fast! I’ve worked for RV dealers throughout the west, have had my own mobile RV repair service, I’ve worked on RV’s for the weekend camper as well as the “full timer” who lives in his or her RV permanently. With the passage of time the weekend RV’er will come to learn what the fulltimer discovered long before and that is RV slide out awnings take a beating…that OEM vinyls are substandard and OEM acrylics stretch.

I’m a specialist in the area of slide out awnings. I’ve worked on them, repaired them, replaced them, and now have my own slide out replacement fabric company so what follows is based on my experience.

First, I’m not going to disparage acrylic fabrics. They are good, reasonably tough, and can last a long time. However, I’ve found they have their place. If you drive through any RV park in the winter filled with hundreds of Snowbirds and if you have a little bit of wind you see and hear some slide out awnings “whipping” in the wind and in most cases they will Carefree of Colorado acrylics. Why? Because they are prone to stretching unfortunately in their most vulnerable area, right at the ends where the wind easily gets to them. Another negative of Carefree awnings is the rest of the awning often outlasts Carefree’s stitching…so what good is the best fabric on the planet if the stitching doesn’t live up to its end?

Carefree has switched from Sunbrella, an established name in acrylics, to Recasens, a Spanish company with an established history. Recasens advertise their fabrics do not stretch. Carefree is hesitant in going that far and have matter of factly told me “all fabrics stretch”. I’ve found that indeed is their belief and their policies bear it out as I’ve seen them reject warranty claims on stretched material. Enough said!

Before we go any further we need to take a closer look at RV Slide Out Awnings. Most people do not understand that slide out awnings “take a beating” compared to their patio awning counterparts. One may think they’re “up there and out of the way” but nothing could be further from the truth. When the conditions are “right” they form neat wind tunnels that will drive RV inhabitants “crazy”. Whenever the RV is in use…the slide out awning is in use. (This is not true for the patio awning) and are susceptible to wind, rain, sun, storms, hurricanes, etc. On the other hand any responsible RV’er knows if his patio awning is left “out” in a storm…he may no longer have an awning after the storm has passed.

Both A&E and Carefree (Carefree does use vinyl on some of their awnings) use substandard vinyl fabrics on their slide out awnings. (If you get 3 – 5 years lifespan…you’re doing good). Surprisingly it appears they think no one will notice. OEM vinyls tend to delaminate because of their poor tensile strength and just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse I have a case where A&E sends me an even lighter fabric for a warranty claim. When the customer and I discovered what was obvious we just stood their with our mouths hanging open. He knew it would only be a matter of time before he would be going through this again. So Tough Top Awnings use a heavier and stronger vinyl( a very high tensile strength) which has stood the test of time through out America. Go figure!

In conclusion acrylics have their place. I wouldn’t hesitate to use an acrylic fabric on patio awnings but for my money (and all of my customers) a high grade vinyl may be a better choice for RV slide outs.