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Thread: DK's m..a..d.. d..o..-i..n..g..s........ Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 02:52 PM
DK's STILL twitchy, but getting closer to the next project

The RIB dry-contact, "no"-voltage relay has arrived, after a scenic tour of the country. The Macromatic relay is still out on Spring Break, apparently.

In the meantime, DK's been digging through her bins 'n' barrels of parts 'n' pieces for the stuff she'll need to try the next whacky thang.



So far, so good. The beta test (live) of the global calcium stream in use for the Sulawesi bank (before the injector problems, they used to have their own dedicated calcium stream that has a different shrimp juice recipe) seems to have had no ill effects! It will take about two months of running this to know for sure the compatibility, as mineral levels build in there over time. DK is concerned about iron levels affecting Sulawesi, as in their natural biome there is NO available iron in the water column. Oddly, they are unfazed by nitrates, as they sailed through Shrimpmageddon toxicity and were only crashed when DK took their tanks OFFLINE to FIX Shrimpmageddon!

03-25-2015 02:45 AM
wicca27 i love it hung up and light up. awesome job as always. so you will have to tell more about this new ph test liquid.....
03-24-2015 02:59 PM
Maechael Ooh shiny new lighting fixture.
03-24-2015 12:13 PM
DK's twitchy

It's hard to believe the ENDLESS polychrome project is... over. The parts and pieces were sprawled on various surfaces for months, ever reminding DK of a project not completed.

DK's back to being twitchy. Her relays haven't arrived yet, and it's still too cold for her to resume work on the kitchen.

Inexplicably, according to tracking data (see below) the one relay left Blanchester, Ohio on March 19th. It showed up in Cincinnati, Ohio four days later on the 23. It is a 54 minute trip according to Google maps. Where was it those four days?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Good ol' USPS.


What DID arrive was DK's new test kit. It was one of the few she could find that would do the job she's after. She finds a lot of very useful stuff from the hydroponics world.

Guess she has no excuse, now. Time to get cooking on the new shrimp juice recipe.

Stay tuned.

drip.... drip.... drip... goes the cave....

03-23-2015 10:16 PM
DK's livin' in 1924, today

Originally Posted by wicca27 View Post
i love the light it looks really good DK
Check out below, C!

Originally Posted by Maechael View Post
Wish I could make it out to you DK haha, would love to jump in headfirst.

To the function of the dosing pump, couldn't 2 of the old injectors increase the load level of calcium to nearer the desired levels?
Well, in theory, yeah. But I don't HAVE two of the old ones (to dedicate to this purpose), and the NEW ones don't work! It also goes backwards from the KISS principle.

I'm trying another lateral move that I think is simpler and will possibly work.



DK couldn't stand it. She simply had to get that polychrome hung, so she could see what she ended up with. This project has been going on (with interruptions) since before Christmas.

She can definitely live with the results.

When you dim this puppy down, you feel like you just stepped back into 1924.

Ahem. And, it turns out the polychrome project used some shrimp airline tubing. DK's not gonna tell you how, though.

03-23-2015 02:13 AM
Maechael Wish I could make it out to you DK haha, would love to jump in headfirst.

To the function of the dosing pump, couldn't 2 of the old injectors increase the load level of calcium to nearer the desired levels?
03-23-2015 01:59 AM
wicca27 i love the light it looks really good DK
03-21-2015 04:53 PM
Oh, WOW, the polychrome is doing fahbulous dahling

DK put the glaze coat on this morning.

It's rather fun, doing polychromes. Because everything you do, you sorta hafta slop it on, for it to look best. Too perfect, and it's ruined. That's why she wasn't so sure after the hammered finish went on - it was too perfect and soul-less.

Whooda thot slopping on diluted nail "lacquer" and leftover kitchen cabinet gel stain would make sucha difference!

Here are some progression pics:



DK spent about an hour on the phone yesterday chatting with the injector guy. Not sure why that conversation was so long, as the business end of it was done in under five minutes. They guy had no way to argue, once DK sent pictures of the Water Factory, and why she knew the injector was not operating within the stated specifications.

The upshot of it is the injector is going back, because it doesn't work under her parameters, which are SUPPOSED to be within the injector's specs, alas. DK gets her refund.


The socket for the Macromatic has arrived.

DK realized, too late, that she could have skipped the dry contact relay and used her pump controller as the dry contact relay, using the pump controller's output to drive the Macromatic. Very, very expensive dry contact relay, that makes it.

So, DK ponders whether either dry contact relay can be used in her still-to-be-done Water Snake project. She has been stuck two years on this, due to sensor-to-alarm translational issues.

While she has the new arm of the Water Factory up and injecting properly, she hasn't actually started injecting magic juice. To her knowledge, nobody in the shrimp world has tried this, so she waits to see how it works before she says much. Magic powder in the mystery bag... mebbe it's black cocoa processed with alkali, from a local Amish bulk food market. But then again, mebbe it's something else.

She needs a shrimptern, for all these projects.

03-20-2015 01:41 PM
Sometimes, DK gets fed up and FIXES things

So, to do all her whacky projects, DK uses a lotta equipment, parts, and pieces.

She has this kickin' aluminum ladder (thanks, Costco) that is super handy and lightweight.

But alas, the platform developed a split. (too many shamrock shakes)

She's been playing roulette on it, but decided she's done gambling.

So, she fixed it.


The polychrome WAS coming along nicely, she added the pigments last night. She still needs to do the antiquing glaze. The antiquing glaze is where it's at for the finish too look halfway good. But now, the weather has reverted from spring back to winter, and she cannot continue until the weather is spring, again. Sigh.


She's trying to get up the gumption to call the injector people, and tell 'em she sending it back.

03-19-2015 12:34 PM
Lateral thinking - makes the unsolvable solvable. Possibly.

Originally Posted by Maechael View Post
Did the nut and bolt idea come into play on the polychrome?

Also, work in the hypothetical water system "should" start either tomorrow or Thursday.
Thinking of a much more modest variant of this inspiration system.

Single stream, specific to a single species or bank of tanks.

Darn you nonleaking leak, leak already so you can be fixed!

Also, happy St. Patrick's day!
Celebrated with a junk-food shamrock shake! Not sure there was anything authentic in it; mostly synthetic - green dye, synthetic sugars, synthetic whipped cream, synthetic milk product. MMMmmmmmmmm.

So far, haven't sourced any 3/8 IPS nuts that would work that I'm willing to pay for. I can get them for a scandalous $6+ per nut, but am unwilling. The home store wouldn't touch the nipple for re-threading as apparently it's too short for their machine and wouldn't be held safely. So, no progress there.

Are you gonna write and tell me your plans on this new system? I'd love to see what you are up to.

Originally Posted by wicca27 View Post
i love the tin tiles.
Thanks, C! They look much better in person than in the pictures, even. They add a whole lot of interest and character to the space.



First, DK keeps forgetting to say that the Papaya female dropped her young quite a while ago. They are now about 7 mm size and are beginning to come out of the weeds.

Second, March is a very, very dangerous month for DK. Because it's the tail end month of winter, with lots of cabin fever accumulated, and this causes twitchiness on DK's part. So, during March, she often embarks on highly ambitious projects, just to ease the twitchiness.

To this end, she bought the new injector and planned a new phase of Water Factory III.

Since last she posted, she installed the new injector, ran the plumbing runs and installed the mixing chamber, then did some initial test runs.

Well, the new, new injector (i.e., the replacement one) STILL doesn't activate properly, or operate within their given specifications. She knows that this injector has undergone some revisions in design over the years, and she's now convinced the present design does NOT operate within the old specifications (which are also the present specifications). She has three of these injectors, and two of them operate just fine under her conditions. She has tested the new one every which way, including trading places with the old ones, and the old ones continue to work just fine, and the new one continues not to activate under the present conditions. So, she has concluded that the spring assembly inside the new version is stiffer than the old ones and actually does NOT actuate under her conditions, contrary to their outdated specifications claiming it will.

She finally decided to declare the injector a failure, and that left her with a functional conundrum, as this is the ONLY injector on the market that allegedly works under her conditions. Naturally. Yep, Murphy RULES.

Time for some heavy duty lateral thinking, to solve this seemingly unsolvable dilemma.

The new injector had two purposes. First, it was to replace one of the old injectors, as the new injector had a range of 2-5%, to replace the old one with a range of 0.5-2%. The new injector was supposed to allow a stronger calcium stream into the water factory, as the old one had been maxed out at 2%. She did not want to change her stock solutions strength, as it takes a LONG time to get calibrations done and changing the stock solution then rocks everything down the line for calibrations for the system as a whole, so she wanted to boost the calcium stream using injector percentage, holding all other factors constant.

Then, she was going to use the 0.2-5% injector in the new arm of the Water Factory, to do injections aimed at crystals tanks. That is the new plumbing run and mixing chamber recently installed.

She has the crystals wing installed and working properly, so will leave that alone.

That leaves going back to the calcium stream, and how to fix that. This particular calcium stream is aimed at the Sulawesi bank of tanks, dedicated to them only.

So, what she is now trying is to borrow the general calcium stream, which serendipitously is at a useable strength, but slightly different in composition than was the Sulawesi calcium stream, and she's now piped THAT calcium stream into the Sulawesi run. The difference is the calcium ratio to the Sulawesi tanks will be slightly lower, the mag ratio slightly higher, and instead of lean water, the Sulawesi tanks will now receive micronutrient stream in their calcium stream. This will introduce to their tanks some minerals that they previously did not have, such as iron. We do not know how they will tolerate this, so cross yer fingers, folks. If it works, problem solved.

NOW, in order to DO this, she needed better control of the granularity of the calcium injections. Her pump controller on the non-sulawesi calcium stream has been driving her nuts ever since she's used it. It is supposed to be continuous granularity in the adjustment, but in reality it has discreet jumps of about 20% - and this is pretty huge when talking shrimp water.

So for the past two years, DK has pondered how to win this battle, without a four digit investment.

Yesterday, while seeking the alphas, it came to her.

And so, yesterday, she ordered a dry-contact 120 volt relay, bargain priced at $20 including shipping, and another of her favorite Macromatic "interval on" relays, also bargain priced at $20, and a relay socket base. The Macromatic has excellent and reliable granularity - she's been using one to man the auto flush cycle on Wet Wedding since Wet Wedding launched, and it's performed flawlessly. But it takes a signal that is voltage-driven. The current pump controller takes its signal from the pulse water meter, which gives off a "dry contact, no-voltage" signal to activate the controller.

She needed a way to translate the dry-contact, no-voltage signal into a voltage-driven signal, and yesterday it dawned on her to link two relays to accomplish this. (Musta been the shamrock shake.)

So, the dry contact relay takes a dry contact input, and uses this to close and energize a 120 volt circuit, for the duration of the pulse input. Now, we have a 120 volt pulse!

The macromatic is then married to the output from the dry contact relay, taking in that 120 volt pulse as its input. It uses that pulse to actuate the adjustable "interval on" operation that it controls.

She's kinda dull and slow, so it took her two years to figger this out. Two years, and a synthetic shamrock shake.

She thinks it's gonna work.

Stay tuned.


The polychrome received its first finish coat Monday, a hammered copper finish that will then be polychromed then antiqued. It won't be an authentic restored finish, but rather an re-interpretation of a fixture. DK has changed the character of the original fixture so much, so far, anyway, to include halogen up-light, that it was never going to be anywhere near authentic at the end, anyway. Hopefully it will look somewhat presentable at the end. Right now, not so much, so DK does not include pictures of the ruination at present.

03-17-2015 10:17 PM
wicca27 i love the tin tiles.
03-17-2015 04:21 AM
Maechael Did the nut and bolt idea come into play on the polychrome?

Also, work in the hypothetical water system "should" start either tomorrow or Thursday.
Thinking of a much more modest variant of this inspiration system.

Single stream, specific to a single species or bank of tanks.

Darn you nonleaking leak, leak already so you can be fixed!

Also, happy St. Patrick's day!
03-16-2015 12:51 PM
DK's side beta test project


While the gaping hole in her kitchen ceiling makes mockery of her, as she awaits more dripping to source her water problem, DK has not been quiescent.

She decided to do a beta test of her proposed fix. She bought a test batch of tiles and did her powder room. She's considering using these tiles to do the finish in the kitchen after she gets the leak sourced and the drywall back intact on her kitchen ceiling. But it's a big ceiling, so she wanted to test her hypothesis on something more manageable.

Whaddya think?


NEXT UP: The Polychrome

The endless, cold winter has broken and the temps are finally getting into range for her to continue the polychrome project. To that end, she recently ordered MORE supplies and now is ready to begin her finish make-over. Here are the two sets of parts soon to undergo make-over:

While she's working on this step of the polychrome fixture, she ponders the plumbing run for the new injector in the shrimporium.


She's found that blasting swing band from Spotify helps her work chug along.

03-13-2015 11:47 AM
Hoarders unite and celebrate!

And here is the mounting scheme DK's parts came up with.
  • First, a view of the real estate on the mounting board, and how the injector fits into the space. (Uh, yeah... that would be... JUST BARELY.)
  • Second, a view of the type of socket used in her Sulawesi bank of lights, from which she scavenged the tiny right angle brackets for future use, because they were in the way for the Sulawesi light fixture and had to be removed from the sockets. (So, like any hoarder, she saved them, stashed them away.)
  • Third, a shot of her mounting board with the parts-n-pieces from her bins-n-barrels installed. The hinge is installed with spacers up top, using washers, to create a gap. The piece of weatherstripping extrusion is installed with a spacer to make a gap, and is configured to swing from the left side. The tiny right angle bracket hoarded from the light socket is installed to swing, also, and act as a lock for the extrusion swing arm. (Think of this as hoarder's art.)
  • Fourth, a view of the bracket in the mounting apparatus. The bracket is sandwiched against the mounting board into the the gaps, then locked into place with the light socket right angle.
  • Fifth, a view of the injector, mounted. Seconds to mount, seconds to un-mount.

03-12-2015 04:26 PM
Bonehead engineers - phth!

DK decided to quit procrastinating, and get the new injector mounted.

Now, the first step to any project is to elucidate your criteria.

Oh. Wait. No, no. DK lies, always.

The first step is to know thyself.


DK is lah-zhee. And impatient. And cheap. But also stubborn, and creative.


So, it follows that she wants a fast, easy, simple way to mount her new injector to the mounting board -- so the injector is pop-and-go if she wants to take it down and access it for adjustment or maintenance.


The mounting has to be reversible, in case someday she needs that real estate for other purposes.


She wants to use stuff from her bins-and-barrels-of-parts-and-pieces to do it, so she can prove to the world that hoarding is a GOOD thing. And so she can save time and gas and money from running around to stores getting stuff she has to PAY for.


She dug around, and came up with the following parts:
  • An odd leftover hinge with no mate
  • Screws
  • Washers
  • A leftover piece of extrusion from when she cut down her weatherstripping from a door install (when Shrimptern III was here, as a matter of fact, for those of you who REALLY follow this thread)
  • A piece of light socket, left over from when DK made the fixture for the Sulawesi bank of tanks.

Now, mounting this thing was supposed to be much simpler. It comes with a bracket that you screw to the wall with two screws, that has two arms with locking bits that grab and hold the injector and from which you SHOULD be able to pop the injector off in a moment, for access.

HOWEVER, the BONEHEAD engineers placed the loops that hold the arms in such a manner that when you put the fittings onto the injector in and out ports they lock the arms onto the injector and you cannot get the bracket dis-engaged. So to get the injector off the wall, you either have to undo the fittings from the ports, or unscrew the bracket from the wall.

Yeah. Right.


So, DK made herself a mounting solution.

But before we get to what she did, here are pictures of the problem that the BONEHEAD ENGINEERS created.
  • First, we see the mounting bracket. You see the two holes for the two mounting screws. And the two side arms that snap/lock into the loops on the injector.
  • And a view of the loop on the side of the injector body, that the bracket arm locks into.
  • And then a view of a bracket side arm locked into its loop.
  • And then a view of how when locked on and the fitting applied, it will become impossible to detach the side arms


Stay tuned.

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