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"What Software Developers Do When They Are Not Developing Software".

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While there were some bugs left at party time (Ray and his lovely wife Francine had a ton of other prep for their fantastic party), the Family Feud game was a success! Kerry and I drove the 3 hours North from our home to attend and were very glad we did!

 

We didn't fly, but does travelling internationally for a party make us "Jet Setters"?  A point of interest, when crossing the border into Canada, having told the agent that the purpose of our visit was a party, he replied, looking at the computer listing of our previous crossings, "so this is a regular event around this time". We have attended three times now.

Putnam
Certified LabVIEW Developer

Senior Test Engineer North Shore Technology, Inc.
Currently using LV 2012-LabVIEW 2018, RT8.5


LabVIEW Champion



Message 111 of 140
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We're glad that you had fun!  I think it was our best to date.  Each year it gets better, although people state that there is no way of surpassing it. 

 

The bug was my fault...  I forgot to wire a constant into the New Game state.  Now I need to automate a steam engine to crank the questions and answers... even during a power outage.  LOL!  Inspired by our buddy Ben, of course! 

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Message 112 of 140
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Wife: "How did things go today?"

Ben: "How often do you hear me use four letter words?"

Wife: "Rarely."

 

Spoiler

 

Ben: "DONE!"

 

The crude just get it out of there digging has been completed. Feels good moving from a brute force project to a constructive phase.

 

 

It was a personal goal of mine to complete the bulk of the excavation prior to retiring. Rather than waking to "jack-hammer, shovel, fill and dump" on my first days of retirement, I will be careful and exact in the work to create drainage to keep the place dry and dig the holes where the footers of the support columns will be built.

 

"Dug out a basement by hand?" well yes actually.

 

 

 

 

Ben

 

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 113 of 140
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I have been busy in retirement but on Saturday, my brother and I had a 7 hour plus road trip to pick-up...

 

 

A fully operational steam engine. It was not more than 10 minutes before my brother was live-streaming it on Facebook and three very old men where giggling like kids in a candy store.

 

Next step is going to be to study and figure how to operate before I start adapting it to run tools in my shop.

 

If you have any suggestions, share them before I screw anything up.

 

Ben

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 114 of 140
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"...before I screw it up..."

 

Turns out we had a bit of an accident as the steam engine came through the door of the shop. The handle of the reversing gear was bumped and we bent the handle and the coupling shaft.

 

I spent couple of days finding a solution and in the end, I am happy with the results.

 

 

Spoiler

 

 



 

 

It is still engineering work just engineering of 100 years ago.

 

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Which is where I am stuck untill the free version of LabVIEW comes out. Being retired I do not have a valid license. Beside diagram clean up would not have helped me straighten the shaft.

 

😊

 

Ben

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 115 of 140
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Nice Toy.  Someone spent a lot of hours putting that one together.

Get a lubricator on the steam/air line so you don't score the cylinder.  Air tool oil for air usage, steam oil for steam usage.  Very different oils.  Make sure you get a shutoff valve in place, and put a condensate trap on (as simple as an extra stub of pipe to drain off) your line in so you reduce the condensation going into the engine (useful for both air and steam).

If you plan on running tools with it, make sure you find a governor.  you really don't want to have a situation where you open the throttle a lot to deal with a heavy load on a tool, have the belt slip off, and the engine runaway on you and break something because it instantly went into an overspeed situation.

If you have trouble finding a lubricator or oil, let me know.  I've got a bunch of project mechanical lubricators in the shed and a 55gal drum of steam cylinder oil....

 

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@warren_scott wrote:

Nice Toy.  Someone spent a lot of hours putting that one together.

Get a lubricator on the steam/air line so you don't score the cylinder.  Air tool oil for air usage, steam oil for steam usage.  Very different oils.  Make sure you get a shutoff valve in place, and put a condensate trap on (as simple as an extra stub of pipe to drain off) your line in so you reduce the condensation going into the engine (useful for both air and steam).

If you plan on running tools with it, make sure you find a governor.  you really don't want to have a situation where you open the throttle a lot to deal with a heavy load on a tool, have the belt slip off, and the engine runaway on you and break something because it instantly went into an overspeed situation.

If you have trouble finding a lubricator or oil, let me know.  I've got a bunch of project mechanical lubricators in the shed and a 55gal drum of steam cylinder oil....

 


Thank you very much for that reply!

 

Yes, I had to wait over a year for that "toy" to be completed.

 

I should give Tiny Power the credit that is do. You can view the steam engines they offer at this web-site.

 

Re: "Very different oils"

 

Again thanks for that info. I had been under the impression that steam would be a lubricant. I am going to have to do some checking to see if I can locate a source for the steam version.

 

While running it on air to start out, I do have condensate traps and oilers intended for air tools. Could the same oilers be used for both steam and air or are they different?

 

I have only run the steam engine for just a few minutes as I shared in the "coming home" video after I discovered I had whacked up the reversing linkage.

 

I have already put together a list of fittings I need for the shut-off valve. One of the first projects I have on my list is to either acquire or build a governor. 

 

David Richards has shared videos of an old governor he is rebuiliding...

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

and in a previous video shared a near disaster story when the belt to the governor in his shop failed. His assistant just happened to be in the right place at the right time and shut it down fast.

 

I will contact you via a PM if I need help with the steam oil. But that will not happen fast since I still have to build a boiler and the learning curve that goes with that project.

 

Spoiler

 

And yes, I do intend to get the boiler inspected and legal. We do not need to blow ourselves up now do we?

 

Again thank you for sharing some good thoughts!

Ben

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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Message 117 of 140
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Air tool oilers will work fine with air tool oil to lubricate the engine when running on air.  But they wont' work right for steam cylinder oil because the viscosity is all wrong, and air tool oilers aren't rated for the temperatures of steam.  Displacement lubricators will work fine for steam cylinder oil when running on steam but won't work on air because they rely on the condensation of a little steam at a time to create the feed of oil into the cylinder.  Air tool oil just breaks down at the temperatures of steam and doesn't deal with the lots of water well.  Steam cylinder oil requires the heat to flow properly (so it won't work on just air).  A mechanical lubricator oil pump (manzel or Madison kipp) will work for either type of oil, but if you change types of oil you need to flush the system when changing because they don't mix well (you can always get two mechanical lubricators and swap between them if you change between air and steam).  If you turn up another source for steam cylinder oil, make sure it is the right viscosity because there is steam cylinder oil for saturated steam (the wet steam you will get out of a 100psi 'hobby' boiler) and then there is steam cylinder oil for higher pressure superheat steam (think full sized steam freight trains) and they are not interchangeable because of the different temperatures and different amounts of condensed water involved.  Make sure you have a shutoff valve and check valve on the lubricator line, and that you put your lubricator line before the throttle and governor (so that the throttle and governor get lubricated too). 

On the topic of governors -- you can get a governor (or modify one) so that automatically shuts the engine off if the governor belt breaks or comes loose.  Doesn't do much if the belt starts slipping, but belts breaking or coming loose are much more common than governor belts slipping (unless your exhaust is pointed right at the belt and causing it to waterlog and swell).  Pickering would sell you a governor, and then a very expensive add-on that isn't more than a pulley, arm and a cam lobe that acted as a runaway shutoff.  if you find a governor without the add-on it's pretty easy to fab up the parts.

 

Good luck with the rest of the project.  Engines are the easy part.  Boilers are hard (I had a ASME code boiler built, plumbed, inspected, certified, insured, etc and it was a lot of work and paperwork)

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@warren_scott wrote:

(I had a ASME code boiler built, ..)


I've seen code so bad I wanted to boil it. 😁

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@warren_scott wrote:

Air tool oilers will work fine with air tool oil to lubricate the engine when running on air.  ...

 

 

Good luck with the rest of the project.  Engines are the easy part.  Boilers are hard (I had a ASME code boiler built, plumbed, inspected, certified, insured, etc and it was a lot of work and paperwork)


That explains why you can speak from a position of experience.

 

I have some homework to do. But that is part of the adventure. 😀

 

Ben

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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