Sunday, April 26, 2009

Seedling Self Watering Rig

I just got back home from a weekend trip to Washington, DC. Before I left, I had been pondering how I would keep the tomato, pepper, and herb seedlings alive while I was gone.

Enter: Marlin's SSWR

One Aluminum Roasting pan

Put a piece of Styrofoam approx 1 inch thick in the bottom.

Drape a layer of paper towels (I used 2 layers of blue paper shop towels) over the Syrofoam block. Pour water in pan.

Styrofoam will float, and paper towel will wick water to plants.

Next year I will use this method from the get-go!

Here is a comparison of two pepper plants. One wasn't in the SSWR, another that was:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Most Private Personal Post:

Here it is. This was a long time coming,

I installed a new toilet at home.

We have been having issues with our toilet plugging. Ok, I will confess, I was the one that was causing this problem.

I did some looking on the internet several months ago, and decided that I wanted to get the Toto Aquia II. Review / Manufacturer's Product Page

I wanted a VERY powerful flush. I also was intrigued by the water saving abilities of the powerful 0.9 Gallon flush (for urine and easy flushing solids) and then the super-powerful 1.6 Gallon flush.

I am very pleased with the flush, and feel that I can throw the plunger away!

Here are a few pics of the toilet installed:

Here is the button actuated flush:

And here it is with the lid open, so you can see the waterspot, which is pretty small.

Clean is happy! I bought the soft close seat, so that there won't be any seat slamming. I got a giggle when I noticed the ad that was on the bottom of the lid. If I had a large supply of money, I would definitely have one of these.

Seed Starting Heater

I recently received some tomato seeds and wanted to get them started ASAP!

The ambient temperature was a little low, and I really didn't want to spend the $30 for a heat mat for seed starting.

So I look around on the 'net, and find a few posts mentioning that Christmas lights can be used.

Enter: Marlin's attempt to start seeds and burn the house down.

Round One, The container sitting on the lights constantly on: The seeds/container was maintaining 100 Degrees F! WAAAAY too hot!

Round Two:

Being the HVAC helper that I am, I cobbled together a quick controls project:

Items Needed:

1 - 3D Christmas star
1 - Penn Johnson Controls A419 (which I already had on hand, These things run $60 - $100)
1 - 6 foot Extension cord
Piece of aluminum foil

I cut the extension cord, and hooked it up to the temperature control.
Next, I took the star and wrapped it in aluminum foil. Mainly that was to keep the light contained, so it wouldn't drive me crazy.

Then all I had to do was plug it in and set the temps!

Here it is working maintaining a comfy 77 degrees: