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About pratten

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    Backpacking, canoeing, camping and misc shop projects
  1. Either soldering or crimping, done correctly for the application, can be acceptable splicing methods. For our application of splicing wires, it’s hard to argue against a crimped butt splice covered in heat shrink. For some light reading on splice types, see page 67 of NASA-STD 8739.4A, Workmanship Standard for Crimping, Interconnecting Cables, Harnesses, and Wiring.
  2. BIG congrats. Looking forward to the pictures.
  3. There's truth about how size is limited to the transport means. Large tanks are brought in by barge to our wharf. Suspect it would be hard to barge these boosters from Utah where they mix and pour the propellant into the casings. They off load the solid boosters just down the road from my office. Here's a trivia question. On this photo, see the "Do Not Hump" stenciled on the side of the cover. Who knows what that means? And no, it's not the first thought that comes to your mind!
  4. As we’ve approached and been getting ready for going full time, we’ve been gaining knowledge of HDTs and full time living. Funny, we have a weekly video at work and I find myself as interested in make and model of the HDTs as the mission they’re supporting. This week there’s a Volvo transporting a Space Station Service Module and what looks like a Peterbilt moving the forward skirt of a solid booster to be used on NASA's next big rocket. It's pretty clear the path to space starts on the back of an HDT.
  5. Nice! Let the fun begin.
  6. For our typical applications with relatively low rate of discharge, several folks better informed than me argue for just bottom balancing the cells and leaving the BMS off. The argument is the BMS is a failure point and more likely to harm the batteries than provide any meaningful balancing. A function a BMS does perform that's useful is monitoring for and protecting against under voltage. A simple voltage monitoring circuit driving a cut out relay can accomplish same.
  7. Randy, you'll like this. Back in the day, sanitary napkins played a not so dissimilar role in the space program. One of the stories I recall from the old timers was about how the guys would stop a leaking LOX or LN2 fitting. They'd dip the napkin in a bucket of water and wrap it around the fitting. It'd freeze up in a heart beat and stop the leak . . . cold. Kinda frowned on today but you have to give it to the folks that weren't going to let a little cyro leak slow down the mission.
  8. Congrats Rick on quick sale. Somebody got a great truck and 5er.
  9. It's on its weigh Jack.
  10. Jack, I don't get it . . . you mean the front wheels don't bounce up off the ground when hitched up? Just kidding. Good job explaining and great idea to both you guys for making the video. Our truck is similar to your examples and we unload the front suspension about 1,000 lbs when hitched. This leaves about 11,000 lbs sitting on our 13,200 lb rated front axle. As you noted, there are some dimensions to consider when designing your bed. For us, we wanted a 24” deep Drom storage box. From the face of the Drom to king pin we spec'd 130” to allow for the wider Smarts and plenty of fifth wheel turning space. These two measurements drove the overall length of Ruby. We singled at 235” which gave us reasonable load distribution. Couldn’t be happier with how it tows and rides.
  11. Chatted with Winegard rep at Tampa RV show and asked about Dish hybrid plans. The are working on the software and it'll be backward compatible. Rep was surprised we are able to make it work today. User update will be through contoller port.
  12. We'll in the parking lot tomorrow and will be carrying soldering iron, heat shrink, spade lugs and the like. And there's nothing I like better than figuring out how to bypass a circuit so let me know if I can assist.
  13. I forwarded S&J’s post to my Blue Sky agent and he sent me the following info with permission to share with the forum: This statement is temporarily correct. BlueSky is in the process of changing our Program Underwriting Insurance Carrier. Until that process is completed, we are not able to do new business with Blue Sky. Also, for those policies scheduled to renew during this “interim period,” we are having to send out non-renewals for those policies. For most RVs, we have other carriers available. However, none of our other carriers insure MDTs. We are hoping this interim period will be completed ASAP, as we know this is an inconvenience for our clients. Incidentally, since you just renewed in November, you are in good shape. About 3 years ago, BlueSky initiated a change in Underwriting carriers in order to move from an “A” rated to “A+” rated carrier. Since BlueSky initiated that change, the new carrier was ready to take over as polices were non-renewed with the previous carrier. Thus in that instance, the transition was seamless. However, in this current situation, the Underwriting Carrier chose to leave the RV insurance industry rather suddenly, and so our management is working diligently to find a quality replacement.
  14. Richard, Suspect we'll have a few Smarts at Tampa RV show. We shouldn't be short of opinions and sounds like the making of a good "campfire" discussion. You can take ours for a spin if you like. Surprising how the look from the inside is different from the exterior. My son and I drove 1100 miles in the Smart to pick the truck up in Kilroy, not an experience I'd like to repeat, but around town and parking, it's sweet.