Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by KB6E, Jan 18, 2018.
Hire a teenager (while he still knows everything).
I was one of those once!
I used to fix anything around my Dad's house and cars along with him. He's still good at it. I decided a while ago to get good people to do sheetrock, painting, plumbing, etc. because they do that all day (have lots of recent practice), have the right tools, and are quick at it.
Funny part is, I actually have all the right tools...or if I don't, I do my 3rd favorite thing and go shopping for them.
I can bend and braze tubing and all that jazz. Just some things I really hate to do!
Living in Palm Beach County or anywhere in SE Florida tends to hone one's skills in this respect!
That's especially prevalent in the area I live, but that's ok because I can do most things myself too. The only trade job I can't do is carpentry but I'm leaning fast!
I find here that there are very few companies who actually want the small jobs. They tend to price it in the "Bend over now" range so they don't have to do it.
This weekend if time permits I'll be messing with a 6ft length of Romex and a dryer socket (or should that be Nema 14-50?) to install a 240v socket in my shack. My only worry is what I'll find when I open the panel which was installed a few years ago when the place was re-wired!
this is the EXACT problem I am having... I want to have a bypass humidifier installed on my HVAC system - no one wants to do it b/c it's a $150 piece of equipment and maybe an hour of labor. I guess this is one i will be doing myself.
No one wants to rip up 20 sq/ft of ceramic tile and put new down...
No one wants to rip up the carpet in one room and install hardwood...
No electrician wants to run 50ft 220v circuit...
I guess they're all flush with work and no time for small jobs!
Most of us have agreed that electrical work isn't difficult, only requiring care and attention to detail.
The problem with any plumbing job is you absolutely have to make at least 4 trips to the hardware store to get the right part, or some part that broke or stripped during the repair job. So, add several hours to your estimate!
^Dead on, for most of us.
What I "try" to do is make a list of exactly what should be needed and bring that to HD or Lowes or whatever. If my XYL doesn't mind me shutting the water off, I'll actually bring the "old stuff" with me, so I can match it up with "new stuff." But of course every time I do that, she complains I shut the water off -- even if it's for 30 minutes.
I have an HD and a Lowes each within 5 mins of here. Plus an industrial plumbing supply place in Canoga Park that has "everything" and is 10 mins away. So, most I'd be gone is maybe 45 mins. But that's still not good enough.
I like tools and have two 4' tool chests with lots of drawers on wheels, in the garage. But I never have the "right" one for anything related to plumbing.
I'm MacGyver when it comes to electrical work, but not plumbing work. For electrical work, give me a razor blade, a match and duct tape and I can fix anything.
I've done electrical work professionally for many years and often times customers are amazed on how we find ways to run wires with minimal or no damage to sheet rock etc. Sometimes we might make a small hole, maybe two that we can patch with some "quick patch" and a quick swipe with a paint brush makes it look like we were never there. Of course the more difficult the run the more the cost but straight forward basement runs to basement shacks for 240v lines is very easy and should not cost very much. It seems like most on here that need some simple 240v runs don't live close to me. If you were nearby I would gladly do a run for you pretty inexpensively. I have done tests running the smallest of amps on 120v vs 240v and even something like an Al-811H performs much better on 240v. You can only see the difference using a digital watt meter with a long hold feature. The PEP power peaks are noticeably all the time on 240v.
Count yourself lucky. The nearest HD is an hour's drive from my QTH, over 40miles. Same for Lowes. You have to absolutely know what you need, because you are making a long trip and taking a lot of time. I do have smaller local hardware stores like Ace and lumber stores, but there are many very basic things I cannot get there, such as large rolls of THHN #12.
Haven't you pointed out that she really needs to go clothes shopping, and mentioned that she should go purchase a few new outfits? That will occupy her for much more than 30 minutes.
Yeah, you're right about that. But I'm a "morning person" and when I have to do serious work around the house, I'm generally doing it at 6-7-8 AM and try to be "done" by 9-10 AM if at all possible. Late afternoon and into evening I tend to run out of gas.
If I'm going to be crawling under sinks, which I hate, I don't want to eat a meal first and then do that; it works better on an empty tummy. I get a lot done before breakfast.
Re proximity of HD, Lowes etc. it's one of the reasons I chose to live exactly "here." It's very close to everything. Three major hospitals and three more smaller ones all within 15 mins. Medical practice groups galore, everywhere. Shopping centers all over the place; must be 20 places to buy "groceries" (including very large supermarkets, Costco, and so on) within 2-3 miles. Four major shopping malls with 150-250 shops, restaurants, movie theaters and so forth within a 4 mile radius. We can "walk" to do quite a lot of shopping, and can walk to probably 15 or 20 different restaurants.
Another reason was we moved here when my kids were little. My daughter's elementary school is at the end of our block and we're on a cul-de-sac with zero through traffic, so she could safely walk to school...it's about 1000 feet away. Of course that same daughter is now 26 (!) but it was handy to have such stuff so close by -- no driving, no buses, no worries.
I already tried the "living on a hilltop in the woods" thing many years ago and it was a great ham radio location but a really poor choice for everything else. Finally gave in and kept moving closer and closer to the city, until now we're "in" it. But I still have 70 trees, we grow all our own fruit, and a 55' tower with beams so the site was a good compromise, balancing many factors.