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Rheem Pronto Tankless Water Heater Repair

Appliance failure #2! The culprit was our Rheem Tankless Water Heater and took a fair amount of spelunking through the web, service documents, and a good old fashioned teardown to resolve the issues - plural as there were actually two error codes generated. Error Code "76" The first error code indicated communication failure between the "Remote" (HMI device which attaches to the wall next to the water heater) and "PCB" (as there is only one printed circuit board in the unit, Rheem refers to it as "PCB"). Upon examination of the PCB, I noted a few of the capacitors had bulged. Typically one would desolder and replace with comparably rated parts, but with 1/2" of potting compound encasing the board, it would be quite the operation to selectively remove and re-pot. I came across a  random post on Amazon which mentioned resolving the issue by shorting the communication terminals with a capacitor - this implies that degradation of the capacitor(
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GE Profile Microwave Oven - 3D Printed Turntable Wheel Repair

With the COVID-19 lockdowns in effect we're tapping our frozen reserves of past harvests and prepared foods more frequently. The microwave has certainly seen an uptick in meal prep. Unfortunately one of the turntable wheels on our GE Profile dislocated and became damaged beyond use which prevents rotation while cooking -  game over for achieving reasonable cooking performance. Lengthy shipping delays and complete shutdown of business is the norm at the moment so I decided to 3D print a replacement. With such a simplistic part, reverse engineering one of the working wheels took only a few minutes as did whipping up a model in SolidWorks. Print took ~15 minutes then snapped on and rotated like an OEM part. For those in a similar situation, I'm releasing the STL file for fabrication on your own 3D printer - hopefully there's someone out there who's life got a tad easier during these crazy times. https://github.com/TKBrown/GE-Profile-Turntable-Wheel

Hardwood Propagation of Hybrid Willows

Our Hybrid Willow is one of my favorite trees - nectar source for the bees in the spring, cool shade in the summer, while keeping algae and cattail growth in check. I wanted to add a few more around the pond this year and decided to try my hand at hardwood propagation. Start off with branches of pencil thickness in the spring and cut down to ~6 inches in length. Place the clippings in cups and fill with 3 inches of water. Clippings release a hormone which promotes rooting, dense occupancy in the cup promotes rapid rooting. Within a few days roots will appear. Interesting observation - thinner cuttings root more rapidly. Keep a close eye as the roots may quickly become tangled. Once the roots reach a few inches in length they're ready for transfer to soil - add an inch of potting soil, careful place the clipping, then add the rest. Ensure the soil stays moist, but not waterlogged. I kept the these clippings in a grow tent with my other springs starts, but a sunny window should suffi

Building Custom Beeswax Molds with 3D Printed PETG and Silicone Resin

Through my beekeeping operation I accumulate dozens of spent frames from which I salvage beeswax. Until recently I created candles as a means of storage for refined wax, though it reached a point where candle creation exceeded consumption. I decided to cast the refined wax into blocks for long term storage and began the process of creating molds. I pursued a number of concepts before settling on one which fit my needs; this post is will hopefully save others a fair amount of time as little information is available on the web for fabricating custom beeswax molds. Guidelines for the project: Use materials on-hand: 3D Printed PLA or PETG Silicone Resin Must be capable of reliably imprinting fine detail; minor defects are acceptable so long as it fits within the definition of "rustic" Technique must be adaptable across a range of sizes: 1/4 Lb to 5 Lbs Preheating of molds prior to casting not required Mold release agent (silicon spray) not required PETG Mo

Particle Connectivity Agent Library

Particle's default connectivity agent is great for rapid benchtop protos, though becomes problematic for scenarios which require long-term connectivity and non-blocking operation. Spotty WiFi will cause the agent to eventually go offline indefinitely; requiring a power cycle Internal clock is not automatically synchronized and drifts considerably over the course of a few days Upon boot, the Setup() will not be invoked until WiFi connectivity is established - preventing initialization of IO Cloud connection related functions will block execution of the application Due to these issues, I built my own class to manage connectivity with the Particle Cloud. Basic usage is simple: set the system mode to manual, instantiate the class, and call Process() during loops. Check it out on GitHub - https://github.com/TKBrown/Particle-Connectivity-Agent Install via Particle CLI `particle library install Particle-Connectivity-Agent`