Monthly Archives: October 2014

Home Insulation Math

Introduction One of the engineers in my group asked if I could help him understand the tradeoffs between the different kinds of house insulation and their relative economic value. We also spent quite a bit of time talking about where … Continue reading

Posted in Construction | 2 Comments

Rule of Thumb for Wood Shrinkage

Introduction As winter comes, I often see homes where gaps develop in the wood flooring, molding, or ceilings (Figure 1) – things are drying out. While I have never actually spent any time investigating the mechanism of wood’s movement or … Continue reading

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Frogs Love Fiber Optics — At Least in the Winter

I was doing some installation inspections when we disturbed the following creatures in two different fiber optic enclosures. Winter is coming and everyone wants to find a nice, warm place to wait it out. plains leopard frog tree frog  

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An Old Class Photo

One of my favorite old movies is the “The African Queen” with Humphrey Bogart (he played Charlie) and Katherine Hepburn (she played Rose). In that movie, Rose asks Charlie “Could you make a torpedo?” and Charlie responds: “A torpedo?…You don’t … Continue reading

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The Legend of the Management Cookies

I love having young engineers on my team. I also love cookies and we occasionally have cookies at some of our meetings – people might not attend otherwise, including me. However, our cookie selection is generally not particularly inspired. One … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Management | Leave a comment

Interesting Discussion on Lithium Battery Fire Hazard

We have all heard stories of the  fire hazards that lithium-ion batteries present – just to remind you, here is a partial list: Boeing Dreamliner Electric Cars Samsung Phones There have been many other documented “thermal events”. I personally have … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Electronics | 1 Comment

Network Data rates: Advertised Versus Actual

Introduction I often get questions from customers on what data rate can they expect from their particular network protocol, like Ethernet, MoCA, or HPNA. They often have expectations that have been set by marketing material and not reality. I thought … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 1 Comment

A Small Low-Voltage Landscape Wiring Project

Introduction I have a beautiful new decking thanks to the guys at Composite Decking Boards | WPC Plastic Decking | UK Supplier and my backyard is looking better than ever, but it’s not quite finished. I want some lighting out … Continue reading

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Drawing a Perpedicular Out in the Wild

My most satisfying applications of geometry occur in my construction projects. Previously, I have discussed how to find the radius of circle on construction projects. In this post, I will discuss four methods for constructing a perpendicular to a line. … Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Geometry | 2 Comments

Using an Excel Calculated Item to Breakout Vacation Time

In the fiber optic business, there are always more potential projects than we can execute, and we choose those projects we staff based on their Return On Investment (ROI). To generate these ROI analyses, I have to generate preliminary schedules … Continue reading

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