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Troy Bilt Bronco TB70SS doesn’t run

My Troy Bilt gas powered string trimmer decided to quit on me this year.  I’ve only had it for 8+ years so I wondered why it picked this year to want attention.  8 years is a long time in cheap string trimmer years so here are a few things I did to help it get this far:

  • Only use non-ethanol fuel.  I’m fortunate that the closest gas station to my house has conventional gas – Commerce and 51 in Hernando.
  • Change the spark plug at least every 2 years
  • Do not keep mixed fuel longer than 8 months (much shorter if you use ethanol)
  • Empty the gas tank after you finish using it – back into the gas can

That is really all I did and my trimmer lasted 8+ years before it started to not run.  It started to not run well unless I had the choke in position #2, and after a few weeks of that, it stopped running any time I’d give it more than a light throttle.  I had several options without doing any work and I have an edger attachment for the Troy-Bilt trimmers so I’d need to either replace with a Troy-Bilt or get an edger attachment :

The first option was to buy a new string trimmer. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I will never buy another Samsung TV (and why I will take this one back if I can)

My post isn’t in line with the focus of this blog, but I had to say something about my recent experience with Samsung TVs and help inform someone thinking about purchasing a new Samsung TV.  We gave our 6 year old 47″ Vizio to my mom  and I picked up a Samsung UN55ES6150F 55″ TV at Costco.

The Good

The TV is really a nice looking piece of electronics.  The picture is much sharper and the color more vibrant than our old Vizio.  The bezel is barely 1″ thick all the way around – most new LED TVs have a thin bezel so it’s not a huge selling feature, but from the 47″ Vizio with (what seemed to be) a 3″ bezel, this is nice.

The TV is very thin.. very.  I know most new TVs have most of these features, but built in wi-fi and a “SmartHub” (which we find out later isn’t so smart) are nice.

The bad

Ugh.. tonight I really wish I hadn’t bought this TV, but more on that later… I think that they were napping in the engineering department the day they drew this one up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Planting boards – the end of row cropping

I realized this the first year we planted, but it’s just not practical to utilize row cropping in this system.  Your rows are 4′ long and if you space them out by the seed packet instructions, you are wasting a lot of space.  Len’s latest book includes instructions for building planting boards that are 1′ x 2′ with different spacing options.  I took the time to build some planting boards in different spacing widths and I’ll be using them in a few days when we plant again.  Another advantage to using the planting board is that you don’t have to ‘thin’ your crops.  In the row method, you’d drop seeds very close and then thin them out to be 3″ apart (carrots for our example).  I think that’s a waste of good seed.  In our medium, very few seeds fail to germinate so if you plant it, you can be almost assured that it will grow.  I can already see that when I use the planting board, I’ll be able to plant 32 carrots in a 1′ x 2′ space – radishes (at 1.5″ apart) 64 in a 1′ x 2′ space – that’s ~2048 radishes or ~1024 in one 4×16 bed – now we’re talking.  Goodbye row cropping, hello densely planted vegetables.

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