Radiant Floor Heating Elements Installed

This was a long work week. 4 x 12 hour shifts and workouts afterwards meant I had little energy left at the end of the day to work on the master bathroom. With the weekend here I finally was able to complete the installation of the heating elements.

The first step was cleaning the living piss out of the floor. I’m installing an insulating layer, which the manufacture of the heating system says will improve heat transfer. It’s not required but I would like to try to use this as the primary heating system for the house. (One Project Closer did this same project and there’s some debate in the comments on whether or not insulation is needed. They went without the insulation.)

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The insulating materials is a dense closed cell foam that’s about 1/8″ think. It has a black plastic mat on the under side and attaches to the floor like contact paper. I have to first put a tacky glue on the floor and let it set for about 20 minutes.

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If I was experienced at this, I could have cut the mat in one or two sections and applied it all at once. But I’m not so I cut it into small pieces and applied it to the floor a little at a time. It was much easier that way.

Installing the heating elements was a little more involved. Not only did I need to cut it, I had to do some manual wire layout where the floor was not square in front of the shower.

Since I will be embedding the elements in self leveling concrete, it’s important that they are anchored onto the floor so they don’t float up in the SLC.

The heating element is sewn onto the green mat but the round edges are not. They can easily stick out and have to be glued down. The manufacturer recommends using hot glue, a procedure I tried. After about a half hour and when I ran out of glue I thought there had to be a better way. There’s no way I can do this when I do the much larger master bedroom.

I found double-sided carpet tape at Lowes. I taped the green mat to the floor then taped the rounded edges to the mat. Not only does the double sided tape do a better job of holding down the mat it’s a lot faster and easier to put down.

Next up is to lay the self-leveling concrete. Concrete is still kind of magic to me and SLC is just that much more of magic. I will definitely need help with this part.

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Rio Rancho Police Get A Badly Named Robot

The Rio Rancho Police are getting a $5000 robot named NERD, short for Negotiations Emergency Response Droid. It’s supposed to keep officers from getting close to someone who is in a standoff with police.

It’s not very robotic or droid like. It’s a small remote controlled car with an independently moving camera. Based on the video, it sounds pretty noisy too. I think someone in a standoff will just shoot the robot.

Continue reading “Rio Rancho Police Get A Badly Named Robot”

100 – 200 Laid Off At Rio Rancho Intel

Today we got the news, 100 – 200 people will be laid off (or redeployed as they like to tell us) at Intel’s Fab11X, Rio Rancho. I won’t publicly discuss more than what the local news is reporting only that the management just got the directive and they haven’t quite figured out how they are going to go about it. We should know if we are in or out at the beginning of Q2 2009.

Also see local TV station coverage KOB, KOAT and KRQE

Update 1/28/08: 500 are being cut from the Chandler, AZ site.

Installing The Electrical Controls For The Radiant Floor Heat

IMG_1504 - Version 2It’s been months since I have worked on the Master Bathroom project, I think the last update was in July or August. Call it a lack of motivation. My friends have noticed a lack of progress and have really been lying down the guilt.

Sometimes it takes some mocking and peer pressure to give me a kick in the pants.

This weekend I ran wiring thought the wall. The plan here is to run the main power from the breaker to a GFCI receptacle. From there it goes up to the thermostat. Power runs from the thermostat to the radiant floor heating elements and a temperature probe runs from the thermostat and will be embedded in the floor.

I still need to drill the hole through the top plate in the wall cavity and run the wire over to the breaker box. I don’t need the connection to the breaker box right now.

Another interesting thing I have noticed is the walls are filled with cellulose insulation. The insulation has settled over the years and there is a good 6 inch gap at the top of the celling that is missing insulation. I suspect the rest of the house is like this.

I’m thinking that at some point I will have all of the stucco removed and I will put a layer of styrofoam around the house and put new stucco over that.

500 Internal Server Error

Last night around 11 pm MST greginthedesert.net went into a “500 Internal Server Error” state. The main WordPress page or admin pages were unresponsive. My first real issue since going with real web hosting about 3 weeks ago. Even though I hadn’t messed with WordPress since the morning, I assumed it was something I did or it was a plugin that failed.

I logged in via FTP and copied everything from the plugin folder to my hard drive then deleted them from the server. Still no response. Determining it was late and I needed to work in the morning, and that my blog was not mission critical, I sent a note to support about the problem and went to bed.

MacHighway support responded about 2 am with the following:

Greg,

Your site should work now. It looks like a glitched PHP binary (part of the PHP scripting system) was causing a problem. I recompiled PHP and things are working now.

That’s a quick turn around and a great response in my opinion.

WordPress ran since 2 am this morning without plugins. Once I copied them back over via FTP they started working again without issue. Only 1 spam managed to make it through without the Akismet anti-spam plugin running.

Where's The Paseo Del Norte Interchange On The Stimulus List

 

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The State of New Mexico has $628 Million of “shovel-ready” projects to spend stimulus money on.

According to the New Mexico Indpendent, there are 29 projects. One project that is desperately needed, is missing from that list: The I-25 and Paseo Del Norte interchange. This interchange is located in District 3 and is probably one of the most heavily traveled interchanges in the city. There are only 3 river crossings from the west to east side and Paseo Del Norte is like an expressway so when all the Paseo traffic gets to I-25 it has to merge into a few lanes and stop at the lights. Creating a huge back up.

Here’s a list of all the projects from the NMI:

District 1

I-10, from the I-25 Interchange to Texas State Line; $50 million; Target bid date: May 2009

I-10, NM 404 Interchange Improvements; $7.04 million; Target bid date: May 2009

NM 11, Columbus to Deming; $3.5 million; Target bid date: May 2009

District 2

NM 128, MP 22-38.5; $22 million; Target bid date: March 2009

US 62/180, MP 6-26; $28 million; Target bid date: March 2009

US 380, Priest Gulch Bridge; $2.3 million; Target bid date: Sept. 2009

US 54, Tularosa to Vaughn MP 163-175; $27.5 million; Target bid date: May 2009

US 54, Tularosa to Vaughn, MP 85-96; $22 million; Target bid date: June 2009

US 62/180 MP 16-26 Southbound; $20 million; Target bid date: March 2009

District 3

I-40 Paseo del Volcan/West Central Interchange MP 150-151; $34 million; Target bid date: March 2009

I-25 Tramway to Bernalillo; $70 million; Target bid date: April 2009

District 4

US 64 Raton to Clayton MP 378-390; $30 million; Target bid date: April 2009

US 64 Raton to Clayton, Wetland Mitigation; $250,000; Target bid date: March 2009

US 64 Raton to Clayton MP 360-378; $45 million; Target bid date: August 2009

District 5

US 84/285 MP 187 to MP 189; $12 million; Target bid date: February 2009

US 84/285 MP 186-188; $23 million; Target bid date: February 2009

US 84/285 MP 183 to MP 185; $20 million; Target bid date: April 2009

US 84/285 Pojoaque Pueblo Interchange; $10 million; Target bid date: April 2009

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 67-75; $30 million; Target bid date: May 2009

US 64, MP 141-148.7 $24.2 million; Target bid date: February 2009

District 6

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 15-75 Southbound; $13 million; Target bid date: February 2009

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 59-67; $19 million; Target bid date: June 2009

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 53-59; $19.5 million; Target bid date: June 2009

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 45-53; $15 million; Target bid date: July 2009

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 37-45; $22.6 million; Target bid date: January 2010

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 31-37; $17.7 million; Target bid date: January 2010

US 491 Tohatchi to Shiprock MP 20-31 Northbound; $31.7 million; Target bid date: January 2010

US 491 Navajo 9 to Tohatchi MP 15-20; $7.4 million; No target bid date set

US 491 Navajo 9 to Tohatchi New Bridge MP 17; $1.4 million; No target bid date set

What To Do With Excess Scorpions? How About Drink Them

Since I have had problems with scorpions, I keep finding in my house in the last few years, I’ve been trying to think of something to do with them. Instead of just releasing them back outside maybe I could sell them on the internet or something.

68C374AC-6802-44DE-B159-ED385683F73D.jpgOr how about turn them into Vodka.

Scorpion Vodka is made with farm raised buthus martensii scopions, made in china of course.

According to their website:

Alcohol infused with a scorpion is said to possess many excellent health properties when drunk, such as helping to increase libido, lowering blood pressure & helps remove toxins in the bloodstream.

If scorpion vodka doesn’t do it for you, they have other stuff such as edible worms or crocodile curry.