The Fixer topics

The Fixer archives

whatta day

The gas log fireplace was not working this morning. My studio space was at 35-degrees while outside was 10. Not good. Definitely wins the “Highest Priority” award for the day. It was mostly a repeat of my outta gas post from the other day except I didn’t have to eliminate so many possibilities before going straight to the problem. The thermopile was not heating up enough to generate the millivolts necessary to keep the gas valve turned on.

This time I cleaned up the pilot light flame to put out slightly more heat. I think it will go […]

Darby Hams

FCC amateur radio license testing came to Darby November 9th. Five people interested in entering the world of ham communications tested for their Technician levels. All Five passed.

Already a technician, I took the exam for General – and passed as well. It was a great day for Darby emergency communications.

We want to continue to meet. learn and work together. We have scheduled the Darby Library meeting room for Saturday, November 30th, 10:00 for a Darby radio club meeting.

We are actually from Darby, Sula and Conner, but that pretty much is the nature of this […]

outta gas

The projects are backing up on me… all pretty much centered around my new studio space / radio room. Piling on, the nifty little gas-burning fireplace that heats not only the studio, but the whole dang house when it runs, decides to stop running.

Bloop. No pilot light. No gas. No flame.

Hold the pilot light restart button and it stays lit … but only as long as you hold the button down.

Odds are heavy on the thermopile. The owners manual lists a Honeywell part number for the entire gas valve setup available online for $250 to […]

my promotion to General


I passed my FCC General Class License test Saturday!!! I can now add “learning to install, operate and maintain amateur radio” to my resume.

I was neither confident nor optimistic going in. I was failing 3 of 5 practice tests online (300-question test pool from which each test has 35 covering all 9 areas, with 26 correct passing). Worse, I was guessing at some of the answers I got right. I was prepared to pay $15 each for two re-tests before giving it up for this go-round.

Then I got lucky. The first test they handed me was […]

winter salad

I mixed a couple of types of bagged mulch/compost with some native ditch silt to make a somewhat balanced potting soil. Then put some winter salad seeds in. They got germinated and up before the frost. But it is getting colder here and snow will soon be sticking to the ground. I figured it was time to give the little guys some survival help … so I could EAT THEM!.

It certainly isn’t fancy. We have to pick up the front corner and swing the whole frame out of the way for watering and harvest. But it did use […]

Good day to review power outage preps

NYC in 2003 blackout

Federal, state, local government agencies along with the relevant private organizations are practicing grid failure throughout Mexico, the USofA and Canada THIS WEEK – Wednesday and Thursday. (web search or see this NY Times article)

Be as smart as they are and practice it yourself. Use this as an opportunity and motivator to pretend their grid down will really take place. Plan TODAY what you would do if the power goes off this Wednesday and doesn’t come back on for a day – several days – a week … go as far as you […]