Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Drainpipe Drama

— SjG @ 5:48 pm

So, I try to keep this blog focused on progress and avoid unpleasant subjects. It’s not that I don’t have plenty of tea to spill, but this isn’t the place to do it. But I beg your indulgence while I make a brief deviation from this policy.

The back yard had a storm drain that connected directly with the sewer system under the street. The ADU Environmental Plan required that the old drain go away, and the drainage from the new unit’s rain gutters be flowed over the driveway and into the street. The contractor who implemented that thought it was ridiculous, and ran the drain directly to the street (although to the gutter, not into the sewer), supposedly with the approval of a city inspector. However, the city rejected this at final inspection.

Instead, we needed to go with the pop-up drain to go over the driveway as per the original Environmental Plan. This was implemented. However, the new placement was rejected by the city as being too close to the sidewalk – the rule now being that the drainage mustn’t flow down the driveway into the street.

The pop-up got moved further back so it will flow into the garden. That was also rejected, because it needed a 3-foot concrete boundary around the drain pop-up so dirt wouldn’t get into it. Three feet? That’s 27 square feet of concrete!

We’ve been working on getting the garden prepared for that boundary, if it is indeed what needs to happen. I had to move a sprinkler, which I had just moved to the present location back in April. Annoying.

The driveway contractor pointed out to us that the geometry of the situation is such that the pop-up is physically higher than much of the drain system. In general, it seems to us that the water’s not really going to want to run uphill. We’ve reached out to the city for clarification.

Meanwhile, the driveway gate’s been moved, and the driveway work is progressing nicely. Here’s pictures of all of that.

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Mon, 20 Sep 2021

Driveway talk

— SjG @ 4:49 pm

Old driveway demo is done. Some drainage pies fell victim to the concrete saws, so those got redone. Now the great leveling has begun.

The slope at each point is designed to keep water away from foundations, and direct runoff into the garden where possible. There will be permeable sections as well.

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Sat, 11 Sep 2021

Bowie sings “Rubble, Rubble”

— SjG @ 8:49 am

It’s been a while since there was an ADU update. Here’s one. The final inspection passed, but there was some tsuris about the gutter drain and how it gets ducted into the street. The City mandated that it went via a popup over the driveway rather than directly into the street. Why they want that rather than into the sewers, I’m not sure. They specifically rule pout flowing it into the garden, which is what I’d have done if given my druthers.

Anyway, so that got fixed. Meanwhile, the driveway demolition has been proceeding. The new, permeable driveway will be put in soon.

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Tue, 31 Aug 2021

Short-wave antennas

— SjG @ 11:00 am

English is a weird language. Insects, have two things called “antenna” sticking out of their heads and the plural is “antennae.” A radio tower, which is an antenna, is pluralized “antennas.”

Anyway, according to Los Angeles County, California – Code of Ordinances Title 22 – Planning and Zoning Division 7, section 22.140.040 – Amateur Radio Antennas, pending a Ministerial Site Plan Review, we could set up our antenna for 75 ft tower/mast, just so long as it is lowered to 35 ft total height when not in use. There are also rules preventing towers from being on the “street side” of the house, or in the front 40% of the lot. Some of these rules have carve-outs for civil defense or emergency responder applications, as well as for proximity to power lines, which could be relevant with the poles along the back of our lot.

Companies like HyGain make a great “crank-up” towers that are suitable for residential like this example setup for 14 MHz, 21 MHz, and 28 MHz HF operation. Likewise, the Aluma T-75HN extends to 75 feet but cranks down to 25 ft when not in use.

In the event of major disasters, having short-wave communication capability could be vital in helping coordinate rescue and incident operations (obviously, having backup power for the system is going to be an important component too).

A wide-angle lens adds distortion that makes it hard to pre-visualize, but here’s a possible perspective view. Specific antenna details would vary depending on the bands we opt to use.

Perspective view
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Fri, 18 Jun 2021


— SjG @ 11:54 am

Plumbing progress has been made, with the water heater and toilets installed. Cabinets arrived yesterday and installation has begun.

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