We have had the same wooden backdoor on the house for all 20-some years we have been here. It was patched a couple of years ago – raccoons the guilty party then. Here lately, it’s been the possums. Once they got through the torn screens, then here comes the feral cats.
It was time. So, I measured and turned out the best pre-made solution was a Larson combo screen and storm door which had a good-sized kick area. Above this, two sheets of glass and either one can be moved for a screen.
Best price was Lowes but delivery was almost two-weeks. Knowing this going in it was a summer order. On the Fall projects (when temps don’t climb over 85) I got to it this week.
Door Installation Notes
Well, yes, I am exceptionally lazy now that you mentioned it. In fact, better part of the week’s cocktail hour thinking was devoted to the hydraulic door closer mechanism to be installed on the door. For years, thinking back on it (while tired) how much effort have I just plum wasted pushing against a door that doesn’t want to go anywhere? Isn’t there an easy-open auto closer? Well, no, that would be too easy. Conservation of energy is cited. You want a strong closer, you’re in for a strong open…
Well, I decided, on this door, I would take the lazy route and just hang the door so that it had a very gentle tendency to self-close. Next time you install a door, remember this diagram:
Tendency to self-open: There are a few details involved, if you go this way. Remember *(as Pappy would always prompt) “The door has opposite corners on it.” If you mount the upper part of the door frame too far out from the interior (left is outside in this photo) the door will hit the floor and won’t fully open.
If you want self-closing: simply press the bottom of the frame outside (left). In which case, the falling weight of the door will tend to close it. But now, if the ceiling is low, you might hit that. Test fit everything before quitting time.
We had talked about it – eventually Elaine’s view *gently closing* prevailed. But at least, it’s not as hard as those damn hydraulic openers.
On the inside, the fit wasn’t ideal doing this, and since I wasn’t interested in cutting molding and such, the decision was made to do the CQD (cheap quick and dirty) install of the far side frame. Which allowed me to use the aluminum frame to catch the hinge on.
No, this door is not intended to keep bad people out. That would be deadbolts (*used elsewhere). This was just a keep it from blowing in the wind. Slows down the raccoons till one of them gets through the locksmithing course. A goodly number of possums, though, have died of a mysterious lead-born illness.
Point I was getting to (Hmm…there was?) Was that you always need to have a collection of stainless fender washers around. Because two of these under the latch mechanism made for a perfect fit. No designing and printing a fancy shim. Just two washers, zing-zing, and tight.
Thrill of the Drill
The Larson door made me come to terms with an old phobia. Whenever the instructions call for putting not one, but three 5/ 16th’s holes through a virgin piece of material, I get, well, almost queasy. Surmagine that’s some unresolved childhood issue (balsa model building project gone bad, or something). So, I diddled around for 15-minutes and had coffee…
Eventually, around lunchtime, I worked up the nerve and went to get the very specific 5/16th’s drill.
Turns out there was no sign in any of the $10 cheapo Amazon drill bit sets that live all over. The electronics bench, the metal area, the main assembly bench, the hobby shop area and (of course) over at the drill press….
They only went to 4/16ths – 1/4-inch if you’re a math whiz. So, I headed over to the drill press where there’s a solid Bosch set of cobalt drills that go up to larger than 5/16ths, I was sure of it.
See the problem?
Or opportunity, then? Germans do some things very well. These bits have never failed me. Until this day when I needed something other than an eyeball measurement. The Chineseum drills were simple and all clearly marked. Germans may have a manual on drill selection somewhere, but I didn’t it so that cost me another 10-minutes getting the digital calipers and then going to the battery storage bins and finding a 2032 lithium cell…and yes, there was a 5/16ths.
Before cocktails Wednesday, the door was done, all the holes were “right sized” the plunger rod for the latch didn’t bind. Life was OK this week, at least for a while.
Now A Truth Leak
I only did the screen porch door because the replacement display for one of the Icom 761 ham radios hadn’t come in. As you remember, one of the cables on the radio broke off where a check connector went into a circuit board.
Turns out, you can buy ribbon cables with 2.4mm pins, from Amazon.com. I previously mentioned those dandy fine wire strippers which worked OK. I’m still debating the payback period (from age 75 on) on spending more for the No-Nick type by reader MR recommended.
Since the pin cables were only $6 for two of them, it only took a few seconds to cut matching colors.
Right about HERE is when I got to thinking about my lack of commitment to repairing the 761-display board. (The phone rang.) I’d still need to get out the old pins in the board, solder on the extensions with new pins, then heat-shrink everything to avoid shorts and then….
EXCEPT! I already had a display board on the way (thank you God for eBay for used components) this was how the screen door project actually got scheduled and done.
Which sort of brought us up to speed through Thursday. Parts were due, door was in, Mama was happy…and there’d been enough rain it was worth a call to the county Judge’s office to see if the burn ban was off… (It wasn’t.)
The Radio Detective Adventures
The necessary board (from Hamguy123, a great seller of radio saving boards on eBay) showed up and quickly went into place. Test firing it, no problems and it worked like a charm.
The next SNAFU came along during assembly. The Compressor, Monitor, and Tune buttons didn’t work right. If you have a good eye for electronic gremlins, you may notice that two of the switches in this view were missing the little white top extensions (unobtanium, ALP SPPH23079As) were nowhere to be found: S11 and S12 don’t have them. Tuner button S13 of course had one. But 13 has always been my lucky number, doing 13-years on 1300 on the AM dial in news in Seattle. But I digress…
About here I was getting frantic, but an email to Adam (prized eBay source) and he had one from another IC-761 so I was back in business.
The point (which we’re sneaking up on here) is that some pieces of equipment (like this old cherished Icom radio) have to be assembled in a precise order or it won’t go back together right.
Specifically, about 90 percent of the push buttons can go on after the front panel is mounted. But in this view, there’s a missing button on the right:
The hole for the missing button under the AM button looks like this when the other 761 was assembled: (look lower right under the AM button again…see it?)
When pressed, that ivory (or “old man teeth color”) button makes the radio blurt out its frequency. Useful for those with failing eyes – which I do know something about.
Now, I just have to cool my jets until Friday when the new board shows up.
And after that, my second hand Yaesu 920 may be revived with a power regulator board Adam was able to supply.
World has changed in the last 70-years. (Like duh, right?)
While I get the most enjoyment out of component level repairs, they take time to accomplish. The component counts on modern equipment have changed the radio restoration mode more to “board swapping” and then, if a board fixes something, you can do the component level work on that later, test, and pass it on via eBay.
Not for me, though. I enjoy larger components and you get down into 800 (and smaller) Surface Mount components, well, the joy just sort of goes away.
Notwithstanding, it was an interesting learning experience to find which of the knobs have to go on before the panel goes on. And which ones then press into position after.
I can imagine engineers in Japan having meetings to determine which buttons would be on the “secret list of “put on first” parts. Now that I know, maybe I can sell the secret on eBay or write the definitive guide to “Secrets to complex electro-mechanical assemblies…revenge for Nagasaki?” We deserved it.
Or not. A couple of shots of vodka and the blonde sounds like more fun. Easier on the eyes, too, come to think of it.
Write when you get rich,