Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Low Tech Hacks Getting your refrigerator to run without a start relay while you wait for the part

Posted by Admin • Monday, January 19. 2009 • Category: Low Tech Hacks
It took me 24 hours to notice that my Maytag top-freezer refrigerator (PTB2454GR) stopped cooling. (OK the puddle on the floor helped me notice). When it started (Saturday morning, I think), there was a click, 10 seconds of buzzing, then silence. This would repeat every 2-3 minutes. I didn't think much of it, thinking it's the ice maker acting weird. What I should have noticed was the complete absence of compressor noise - just the fan. Actually, there wasn't even that noise - it was silent.

I eventually figured out that the start relay (if you can even call it that) needs replacement, but that was not the initial problem - the problem, as it turned out, was one packing peanut. Yeah, one peanut - it got stuck in the Condenser Fan, literally preventing it from running. This in turn probably caused ice buildup, or in some other way increased the compressor load, which in turn finished off the start relay. Frankly, I'm not sure how long the peanut was in there - may have been months, or maybe just a day.

So if you're seeing similar behaviour (see first paragraph), these are the steps to troubleshoot and temporarily remedy the situation (Disclaimer: there is a very good chance of electrocuting yourself in the process, as with any high voltage appliance). I have a little wiring diagram that explains what and why in here as well.

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Low Tech Hacks Making a Folding Meditation Kneeling Bench

Posted by Admin • Tuesday, January 13. 2009 • Category: Low Tech Hacks
The bench
OK so this is pretty low-tech, but hey - why not? Kneeling benches are really unbeatable for meditation and prayer, but they are also great to just sit on - not only does it keep your back straight and prevents slouching, but it also places your feet right under you, so your weight distribution is optimal (and you don't fall). Sure, sitting like that can be tough at first, but it comes with practice. Plus, if you're intent on deep meditation, it is definitely worth getting used to.

I've made a non-folding bench before, and figured I'd try to make a portable one this time. I took what I learned from the last one and made some adjustments - I decided on a 10° angle this time. I also wanted it to fold and I didn't want the feet to protrude when folded. Here are the details.

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