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About RandyA

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  • Location
    Mechanicsville, VA - Souix Falls, SD or whever we park.
  • Interests
    Fast cars, electronics, big trucks, RV's, boating and my family.

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  1. Last year I was doing some painting with urethane and a catalyst like super glue. Nasty stuff to breathe, get on your face or body. I had a face mask and filter along with a set of coveralls (very hot inside). They did the trick and I do have a new set of unopened filters. But, we are in a rural area, have no close neighbors and I have more yard clean up and work than I know what to do with so I won't be bored with nothing to do. No need to see anyone or go anywhere. Anyway, cleaning up I opened an old plastic chest containing pool toys and stuff and noted the swim mask and snorkel. So, if you want to really freak someone out put on the face mask covering your nose and eyes, mount a carbon block filter (of which I have several for our ice maker) on the end of the snorkel and you might be OK if you can get enough 02 through the filter. For the full effect add the swim fins. Oh, I almost forgot, I have a SCUBA rig in the barn. The air tank is full. That would be a good one. Or I could repurpose a wagon or cart to haul the cylinder of Oxygen from my gas welding rig around and make a mask and hose for the tank. Personally, I think I will just stay home with granny's shotgun close by to persuade any unwanted visitors to avoid coming up my driveway. I am pretty sure my boat and fishing gear are devoid of COVID-19 - what better place to be than alone in the middle of the river with a line in the water?
  2. We left the eastern part of Florida Tuesday (Melbourne). I like to break the trip back to VA into 3 driving days logging about 300 miles a day. Our entire route was up I-95. Traffic was heavy - I would honestly say that 8 out of 10 vehicles were from Canada. I came to call it the GREAT EXODUS - both RV's and 4-wheelers but mostly 4-wheelers. Rest stops were packed full. Again, many Canadian tags on vehicles trying to get back home. This virus will be with us for a good while. Many of the short term closings will become much longer. I just don't see places like Universal, Disney, Schools, etc. reopening in 10 days. We are back on "The Ranch" in VA unloading into the brick and mortar. We have plenty of toilet paper. Funny thing about that... while the regular shelves at Wal-Mart were devoid of potty paper the section where they keep RV supplies had plenty on the shelves. Guess not too many folks thought to look there. I hope everyone gets home safely.
  3. No matter what, the guy was in a lot of hurt. Think about it....... he was leaving a parking spot in a rest area. End slot so he had to make a sharp turn. BEFORE he pulled into the rest stop he was most likely booking up I-95 North at 70 mph. I hate to think of the mayhem he would have created if the trailer had come lose while traveling.
  4. This truck was blocking an exit for a NC rest stop today. I snapped the pics as I swung around him to get out. I could not tell if the problem was a shifted load, broken trailer pin or hitch failure. Maybe someone can tell?
  5. Chee wizz....... come on guys I made a stupid spelling mistake (thongs rather than tongs). I'm referring to those clam shell things that are used to pick up salad or whatever. But, now, I have something to share....... we are in Florida - a short hop to the beach. This past Sunday we were enjoying the sun and surf when this "woman" appeared wearing a true string bikini. You know, full buttox hanging out and everything but the center of the breast fully exposed. Only issue is she was not one of those hard body swimsuit models you see in Sports Illustrated. Now, I am not one to criticize or judge a person's body, but this woman was well into her 50's and had considerably extra inches around her midriff. OK - that is only part of it. Her "companion" was a gentleman I would guess well into his sixties. He was darkly tanned, moderately muscular for his age. He was wearing a "Speedo" that possibly had a sock stuffed down in the front. Nancy commented that she thought they were "body builders" as they did have some signs of muscle that I do not possess. Anyway, it is not what I went to the beach to see - not that I expected to see anything - but, well.....you get the picture.
  6. I have two one hour presentation sessions scheduled at the 2020 ECR. One of the sessions is on RV Fire Safety. This will not be a generic presentation. Some of you may remember we had our Cedar Creek consumed by fire at 2:30 a.m. on February 22nd of 2018. We were asleep when the fire started. The entire trailer and contents were destroyed by fire, smoke and heat. The speed a fire and the toxic smoke and heat spread through an RV is almost unbelievable. If you are in the RV when a fire starts you only have a few seconds to escape. I have done a lot of research and thinking since that horrific night and have taken steps to better protect our lives and property should another fire ever occur. I want to share all of this with you as a “real” experience and allow time for you to share your own ideas to protect you and your family in case of fire. A second session is one hour in length and will focus on 3,000 watt or less commonly available 12/24 volt input Inverters (and converters?) typically used in our trucks and trailers. How and why DC is changed to AC, current and cable considerations, Inverter types; square wave, modified sine wave, and pure sine wave. What does or does not work well with each type. Examples of each wave form output will be shown on an oscilloscope. What “surge” is actually available from inverters and what type of battery bank is needed for inverters. I am an EE, Master Electrician and Professor Emeritus that taught Electrical Engineering classes to hundreds of students. The session will be fact based, not derived from Internet drivel. The presentation will be technical but understandable to the lay individual. Time will be allocated for questions.
  7. I don't fool with the pins. Just carry some aluminum (or wood) blocks with a rope on them. Kick under landing gear feet when needed. Like you said, hard on knees - back too. Pins also can cause greasy/dirty fingers.
  8. I like SS bolts. Otherwise, put duck tape on the inside of the hole. Use JB Water Weld putty (off white) that comes in a roll. Mix well and push in hole. Scrape over the filled area with a single edge razor blade then spit on your thumb or finger and smooth out putty. Let harden and paint as you desire.
  9. Hand sanitizer is gelled rubbing Alcohol. You can put a spray pump in an off-the-shelf bottle and spray your hands as needed with the same results as the gelled stuff. I personally like the wintergreen stuff. Hydrogen Peroxide is yet another approach. Keep on-hand for wiping down tables, chairs etc. You may also obtain from Sams or Walmart packets of eyeglass cleaner that are nothing more than alcohol swaps - or get alcohol swabs from the drug store or a medical supply. Same as used for disinfecting your arm or leg before getting a shot. Also consider Lysol disinfectant wipes in the pop-out round containers on tables and near food. Perhaps it would be wise to adopt a universal fist bump rather than a hand shake when contacting each other at the rally. The "common" spoon, fork or thongs (corrected - TONGS!) used for serving from dishes at a pot luck is risky for transferring a virus. Just having some plastic serving gloves available for one to slip on when picking up plates at the head of the food table is a sensible step. Of course, a trash can at the end for disposal. Tips come from another former health professional - Paramedic and teacher.
  10. Guess I will have to spend my millions on land somewhere else. I would have loved to own that land and build a new house on the lake. But, I probably would have closed out most of the campground messing up the current camping activities. I hope the new owners are not as selfish as I would have been and carry on the facilities as Kim and Rolando have. It is a beautiful piece of land and surely is attractive to developers that could care less about campers. I hate to see them leave but understand how a 7-12 work schedule can lead to an early demise. May God bless them and give them a new life of enjoyment with less stress.
  11. RandyA

    Staying Grounded

    Sometimes being a "senior" means our stories impress youngsters as boring and irrelevant to current technology. Still, there is much to be learned from our old dumb luck and experience (right Scrap?). Some decades back I spent untold hours installing General Electric Progress Line radios in emergency vehicles. If one simply dropped the radio in and connected power it was a given that the amount of noise accompanying the radio signal generated by the vehicle would be significant. Of course, the first item we added if not already present were resistor plugs and wires, additional component condensers, some shielding and ALWAYS multiple ground straps between body components. IMHO, not much has changed with unibodies, alternators, electronic ignition, noise blanking circuits, etc. The grounds on new vehicles are marginally better but are still a source of RFI and faults in electronic components. The approach given by rickeieio is still a necessary solution if you want to avoid those phantom electrical issues that can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars as today's techs throw components at a vehicle in hopes of solving a issue - only to have it return in short order.
  12. RandyA

    Staying Grounded

    If I may add my 2 cents worth...... IMPEDANCE, or a "high impedance ground" is really only relevant to an alternating current circuit. True, some of the electrical devices in a vehicle use an alternating current in their communications and polling protocol and impedance in those situations may be relevant to proper operation - but, generally, no. Vehicles are routinely powered by direct current as are their peripheral devices. The good and the bad of this is the commonly encountered problem of creating "ground loops" in AC systems is not of great concern in DC derived power systems. So, possibly in the name of saving cable and a few pennies the vehicle frame is often used as a DC ground point from the back to the front of the vehicle. All of the vehicle's metal body is suppose to be bonded to the frame (if a frame does exist) which in turn is bonded to the engine and vehicle battery. I would bet a doughnut to a dollar that the referenced fuel pump motor was simply grounded to a tab on the tank which in turn is grounded to the frame which is then grounded to ???? before the engine.......... Unfortunately, electrical ground connections made to the vehicle body over time may develop a high resistance at the connection point that adds strictly an ohmmatic value to the needed 2-wire circuit. When a device ground connection is dependent upon a bridge to yet another body ground connection which is dependent on even another body ground connection and so on, any added resistance in this pathway will result in the intermittent or non-operation of that device. This is what brings out the crazies for anyone attempting to trouble shoot a vehicle problem that includes a "bad ground". Fortunately, the fix is often simple - add a new ground wire directly from the existing device ground wire connection of the same (or larger) AWG and run it directly to the vehicle engine and battery negative. Yea, you've gotta find a way to run the wire which often presents a problem. Also, on a vehicle be absolutely sure you are using pure copper marine grade wire and not some lower grade aluminum wire with a copper outer coating graded according to foreign standards. Junk wire like this abounds, is cheap, and is often unknowingly used. This will relieve many headaches, future problems and most likely fix some other issues you didn't even know you had. Proactively adding ground home runs to devices or specific frame areas is never a bad idea either. Unlike AC systems, you can have as many grounds as your heart desires in DC systems. Over the years, I've collected some decent checks from area auto repair and RV shops that have devoted hours trying to resolve what turns out to be a bad ground issue after their wasting hours in tech time and parts to find themselves back where they started. The strange thing is the solution(s) are not rocket science, yet they are repeatedly overlooked. BTW - I like the jumper cables running over the cab of the Ford truck. Not a permanent solution - but heading in the right direction.
  13. RandyA

    BlueFire scanner

    Looks like a nice unit. Just for the record, I am still running my Silverleaf VMSpc on my Volvo D12 into a netbook on the dash. It has worked flawlessly for 5+ years. I can design my own gauges and select from virtually any truck or motorhome engine ever built. The number of gauges displayed is dependent on your wishes and screen space available.
  14. What type of "battery tender" you choose will depend on what the draw is on your battery bank when the truck is sitting in addition to the number of batteries you have and the temperatures (both extreme heat and/or cold) you expect to encounter. Speaking in "general terms" for a truck with 4 batteries you would want to allow about 1 amp per battery from a "smart" charger for periodic boost voltage to achieve desulfation and longer term float charging. Some of the crew here disconnect the EECM fuse or the ground to the entire battery array during storage which lowers the discharge of the batteries considerably, to the expected "sitting" discharge rate of rate of no more than .3 volts per month. In that case you might be able to get by with a 1 or 2 amp microprocessor tender if you do not expect extremely low or high temperatures (median on a FLA battery is about 80 degrees F - anything over or under reduces battery efficiency). Keep in mind a "tender" is not designed to recharge a dead battery and any batteries placed on a tender need to be fully charged beforehand. While Harbor Freight products often get a bad rap on here they do have a microprocessor controlled 4 amp charger that I have found does an excellent job for a relatively small investment. It is often on sale for as little as $25. It has consistently done a good job for me on both AGM and FLA batteries . This is not a product endorsement, only sharing my experiences - I now own six of these that I use on my tractor, mowers, boats and vehicle batteries. While I do not have Geico insurance I do like saving money on basically equivalent products over a branded name 😀. On my Volvo with 4-1000CCA batteries I have a RV converter/charger similar to the one NeverEasy referenced built into the truck. I keep it plugged in whenever possible since I like to keep the the 120 VAC refrigerator cold. When shore power is not available I depend on a 50 watt solar panel connected to an inexpensive PWM controller (4 stage microprocessor) to keep my battery charge fresh.
  15. Nancy and I are in. Please be sure we can participate in a tasting as well as a tour.
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