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  #521  
Old 13 June 2018, 04:07 PM
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You can also buy a plug that can be quite easily wired onto a cut cord. I've taken a cut heavy duty extension cord and made it into two shorter cords. Any hardware store should have it.
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  #522  
Old 13 June 2018, 04:15 PM
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Do you have aluminum foil? Do you have tape?

Problem solved!
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  #523  
Old 16 June 2018, 12:44 PM
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Playing my XBox last night and I got the low battery warning. I did not have any batteries in the house.

20 years ago, I'd have had several packages of AA batteries in the desk. Now none. Who uses batteries nowadays?!?
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  #524  
Old 16 June 2018, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Do you have aluminum foil? Do you have tape?

Problem solved!
You're forgetting the WD-40.
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  #525  
Old 16 June 2018, 03:46 PM
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Playing my XBox last night and I got the low battery warning. I did not have any batteries in the house.
You still have battery-powered controllers?
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  #526  
Old 16 June 2018, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
Who uses batteries nowadays?!?
Me.

Also, judging by the number of stores that carry them, and the ever-increasing sizes of the packages they come in, quite a few other people.

Let's see: I currently have batteries in: two smoke detectors and a CO2 detector; three clocks and a couple of watches (the ones in the watches, admittedly, are annoying enough to change that I have the hardware store do it, so I don't stock those); several flashlights (in each vehicle, each bedroom, by the kitchen door, and often a little one in my pocket) and portable lamps (useful in the middle of tables not near a plug, or if the power's out, which happens here occasionally); a couple of old radios that get occasional use; the keyboard for the iPad (not counting the iPad's own battery, as I'm not going to be changing that myself either); a thermometer in the packing shed and its remote sensor in the cooler; the thermometer in the kitchen and its remote sensors outdoors and in the greenhouse; and I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something.

Oh yes, the thunderstorm detector; useful when I'm on the tractor or mowing the lawn or running other machinery, and can't hear distant thunder over the machinery itself. And I do have some for the weather radio; though I usually get my weather report on the computer, because it's easier for me to remember what I read than what I heard, but mostly because we're halfway inbetween two stations and it's hard to hear either of them clearly.

I'm probably still forgetting something.

Last edited by thorny locust; 16 June 2018 at 06:50 PM.
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  #527  
Old 16 June 2018, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Oh yes, the thunderstorm detector; useful when I'm on the tractor or mowing the lawn or running other machinery, and can't hear distant thunder over the machinery itself.
WTF is a thunderstorm detector. I've never heard of it. Wouldn't the storm clouds, rain, and lightning, be a dead giveaway.
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  #528  
Old 16 June 2018, 09:43 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
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I was just at a ham radio convention and one vendor was selling them. The web site is www.earlyalert.com I have no idea if they work. I've been meaning to ask the NOAA guy I know about them.
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  #529  
Old 16 June 2018, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
WTF is a thunderstorm detector. I've never heard of it. Wouldn't the storm clouds, rain, and lightning, be a dead giveaway.
Perhaps she was referring to an emergency weather radio, a radio that receives alerts from the National Weather Service, rather than a device that physically detects the current weather conditions.
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  #530  
Old 16 June 2018, 11:34 PM
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No, I don't mean a weather radio (I have one of those too), I mean a lightning detector. You can now get a little one that clips on your belt or fits in your pocket for well under a hundred dollars (I can't offhand find the model I've got to link you to, it may be an older model.) Yes, they do work. [ETA: well, I can't guarantee that they all work. But at least some of them do. Mine does.]

And yes, of course once the storm is on top of you a purchased detector isn't necessary to detect it. Once the storm is on top of me, I shouldn't be out in the middle of the field on top of a tractor that takes significant time to drive back to the barn, either. They [ETA: at least this one] don't actually work better than my ears if I'm not using [powered] tools -- I can hear thunder about as far as the detector picks up lightning if there's no other noise involved. But if I'm on a tractor or running a rototiller, and on top of that wearing hearing protectors to decrease long-term damage to my ears, then no I can't hear the storm until it is right on top of me. And in this area we can get threatening-looking weather that stays that way for hours, but there's no actual storm for a hundred miles -- or not-threatening looking weather that blows up a storm quite rapidly.

ETA yet again: found it. https://www.acurite.com/lightning-detector-02020.html

Last edited by thorny locust; 16 June 2018 at 11:44 PM.
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  #531  
Old 17 June 2018, 04:32 AM
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I wish I still had a battery-powered smoke alarm. For as long as I've lived in apartments, they've been a minor inconvenience--an inconvenience because they go off whenever I cook just about anything on the stove, minor because I can just pop the battery out. Our new place is still small enough to have this problem, but now we have a smoke alarm wired into the 12 foot high ceiling, which constitutes a major inconvenience as well as a first world problem of its own.

My other FWP: I was supposed to get a raise of a certain amount, per the person in charge, but my paycheck reflects a slightly smaller amount, likely due to the fact that the payroll person is an idiot. (She has screwed up lots of people's raises, including the first one I was supposed to get.) The difference is about fifty bucks a month. I don't really need the money; I've been getting by with a lot less before the raise. And I work for a nonprofit, so I feel a little icky marching into the executive office to demand that extra money. But, like, it's not as though I'm going in demanding a raise; I'm just asking to get what it was already decided I'm getting. I wouldn't quibble if I'd been called back in and told "whoops, sorry, we didn't get the funding we were hoping for; you're going to be getting $X instead of $Y." But it was so awkward going in there last time to deal with this issue, even though the executive in charge who gave me the raise was really cool about it (payroll lady not so much.) And I feel like there's a gendered element to this whole thing, too; I can't imagine any of my male colleagues stressing out about this the way I am. Aaaaaarrrrgh.
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  #532  
Old 17 June 2018, 05:37 AM
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I went out to dinner with my dad and forgot to ask for no gravy on my mashed potatoes. Gravy is evil industrial sludge so I had to find bits that had no gravy.
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  #533  
Old 17 June 2018, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
I wish I still had a battery-powered smoke alarm. For as long as I've lived in apartments, they've been a minor inconvenience--an inconvenience because they go off whenever I cook just about anything on the stove, minor because I can just pop the battery out.
I had this problem once. I found out what circuit breaker supplied the smoke alarm and simply turned it off until the smoke cleared. It also turned off some of the lighting but fortunately not the TV.
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  #534  
Old 17 June 2018, 02:26 PM
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I think the whole idea of wiring smoke detectors into the ceiling is so that you can't take the batteries out, because they're afraid you'll forget to put them back in, or decide not to bother to put them back in.

Unfortunately, that doesn't solve the problem of their going off when they're not supposed to; especially for those of us for whom the sound of the beep is not mildly annoying but acutely distressing.

Luckily for me, I'm still in charge of the type of mine. -- The CO2 detector plugs into the wall (I can pull the plug if needed), its battery is a backup. But I need its backup battery functioning; if the power goes out here and the weather's cold, it's very likely the wood stove will be going (though it may well be going anyway).
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  #535  
Old 17 June 2018, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I think the whole idea of wiring smoke detectors into the ceiling is so that you can't take the batteries out, because they're afraid you'll forget to put them back in, or decide not to bother to put them back in.
I thought it was because smoke rises and the higher the smoke detector was mounted on a wall, the earlier the warning it's capable of giving: one that's six feet up on a room with a 12 foot ceiling is going to take a lot longer to give a warning than one that's mounted 11 feet up in the same room.
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  #536  
Old 17 June 2018, 03:54 PM
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In a residential setting, hardwired smoke alarms are done that way so as to ensure a base constant AC power supply, with a battery back-up in each alarm. This should also mean they are interconnected, so that if one goes off, they all go off (so, for instance, if one in the basement is activated, people sleeping on the second floor can hear it).

Things can get trickier in commercial living arrangements (apartment buildings with enough living units to trigger the commercial end of the local life safety code), where the building can have an overall fire alarm system, with "local" smokes in each apartment. Usually they are, indeed, local to the the apartment, but some newer systems can have the "local" devices as part of the overall fire alarm system, acting locally unless something major trips multiple devices in the apartment, where they then act generally.

Oh, and yes, in most situations*, smoke rises, so you want to have the alarms/detectors ceiling-mounted when possible, or if wall-mounted, then pretty close to the ceiling. And away from fans and HVAC vents. The idea is early warning, and mounting alarms/detectors low on a wall (and/or near air-moving devices) usually means later detection. We don't want Too Late.

*Very very high ceilings may allow smoke to cool off enough to not reach the ceiling, but this isn't an issue in spaces meant for people to be living in.
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  #537  
Old 17 June 2018, 05:28 PM
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I didn't mean so much that they're mounted high to prevent people silencing them -- I understand that for better detection they need to be near the ceiling. (Most places I'm in don't have 12' ceilings anyway.) I meant that I think that's one reason why they're now often hardwired. Possibly the people making the decisions on them are indeed only thinking of batteries not being changed due to accidental neglect; but they now seem to be making units with a long-lasting battery that are designed for replacement of the whole unit after it dies. I don't think you can take the batteries out of those; but if the unit's accessible you could take it down and temporarily put it somewhere less likely to cause a false alarm, or at least bury it somewhere so the noise doesn't drive you insane -- only then you might forget and leave it there. So if they hardwire the unit instead, even if you haven't got 12' ceilings, it's hard to move the unit.
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  #538  
Old 17 June 2018, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
WTF is a thunderstorm detector. I've never heard of it. Wouldn't the storm clouds, rain, and lightning, be a dead giveaway.
The lighting detector is basically a broad band radio receiver set to the frequencies that a lightning strike creates (you can usually hear lightning caused static if you are listening to a radio). They are supposed to detect strikes within 25 miles or so. At that range, you typically don't hear thunder and you probably wont see a flash either. The problem with lightning is that you REALLY want to know when it is likely BEFORE the first strike near you. In the midwest many outdoor playing fields have lightning detectors and any lightning within about 25 miles is grounds for stopping all outdoor activity. If there is a strike within 25 miles it is entirely possible that the next strike will be much closer.
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  #539  
Old 18 June 2018, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I think the whole idea of wiring smoke detectors into the ceiling is so that you can't take the batteries out, because they're afraid you'll forget to put them back in, or decide not to bother to put them back in.
Happily, ours is still the battery type, because we cook a lot and have terrible ventilation in the kitchen. We don't forget to put the battery back, because Mr. S always puts it on his pillow. So at least by bedtime, it goes back in.
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  #540  
Old 18 June 2018, 02:20 PM
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Integrated smoke detectors are a hassle when they expire, because you then need to find a matching one to replace it... to say nothing of how hard it is to get it to stop beeping in the first place...
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