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  1. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    150
    I'm late to this thread but I have to ask Delta. I worked in the DC area in the eighties, mostly servicing JCI systems (Naval Academy, National Archives, etc). But I do remember an old HW Delta 1000(?) system at George Washington University. You had to use a tape recorder to reload the CPU! The front end is probably gone but the field panels were rock solid (albeit unwieldy to work on). Hadn't thought about those days in a long time.

    BTW - The National Archives had a JC85/40 system monitoring and running the chiller but the rest was all pneumatics. Keeping that old system (and building, and equipment) calibrated for temperature AND humidity control was a b*tch - but it's where I learned pneumatics and HVAC. Something that many HVAC engineers and controls types could take a lesson from.

  2. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,778
    PS
    I was gone from DC by the 80's but have walked where you have walked. We had a bunch of Delta 1000's all over the place but nothing compared to IBM and others.

    I had a friend high-up in the GSA Region 3 mechanical systems for Govt building and they had plenty of the Johnson something systems. Most of them would not work or did not work and he would shutter as Johnson under bid all of us control people to get the jobs that he would have to live with for years to come. BTW, he married my sister and we still talk about those days from time to time.

    IBM had a board member on the Smithonian Institute board so they had a foot in the door ahead of all of us. Their "engineers" sold them black boxes for some of the museums which would cycle some of their main A/H motors on/off to save energy. Not only did the humidity/temp get out of hand on those building but very large blower motors started to fail through cycling on/off. These motors (I'm sure you have seen them) have been running non-stop 24/7 for years and years with no problems till these non-HVAC guys showed up on the scene.

    I did work with a lot of govt buildings including the White House where there is/was an installtion of Honeywell pneumatic controls like no other. The original installer was a man named Quade, I worked with his son, and he installed a ton of 1/4 inch lines all perfectly level and parallel.

    Once a group of us was at NIH up in NW and the elevator froze mid floor which was out of the boiler/chiller room. 15 of us guys sweated until the circuit reset. Talk about hot in a machine room!
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  3. #55
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,778
    PS
    I forgot to add GW University was one of my biggest customers. I once sold them $10,000 worth of self contained hot water valves for their guys to install on all their radiators.

    In my own business I fixed their Trane system that took care of the morgue. Interesting call that was.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  4. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    50
    I have taught and calibrated pneumatics for over 25yrs.Show me a guy with a good understanding of all the different brands and you have a person that has a huge "system" knowledge,and can understand conrol of all mediums and the equipment that goes with it.It is a shame what the socalled control contractors have done with the pneumatic option.Because thier sales achievment is strictly numbers,they wont even present this still good method of control,even though thier company builds the product!The profit margi is not there with pneumatics and fitters as compared with circiut boars built in Mex and a 15/hr tech.They typically charge 120+/hr for their service calls.The one I work for now,at another branch had a phone center set up.They would receive your service call,pass that to an on line tech seated at a pc,they would bypass or correct your problem,and bill you 1hr.Imagine the cash rolling in as opposed to a fitter arriving in a van to calibrate a stat and controller.These days I am removing pneumatics more than servicing them,all because of corp greed.

  5. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,778
    old fitter
    You hit it right on. It's a skilled field that has been taken over mostly by gimmics to sell stuff and keep the customer dependent on them. But that's true almost in everything electronic these days. Just look at the computer industry, hardware and software.

    I use to do A LOT of troubles shooting for a DDC guy who installed his crap on HVAC systems and had no idea what he was doing...although he had been in the business for over 10 years.

    We had lunch once and he told me what he had made in his FIRST year of business, which was over twice as much as I had made that year. He just pushed systems without regard to the customer. I was working my butt off to help him make his sytems work, which I did most of the time. Other times it was just too hopeless so he sold the customer a new DDC control system.

    It's pretty sick.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  6. #58
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    50
    SO true,these guys also have a huge dose of arrogance and disrespect,and an anybody can do it attitude.In defense we clam up then they say we dont get along.Lets see,we studied and MASTERED most all systems and controls,and they come along and are given all the time in the world to add additional code to a screwed up sequence because no matter how long they spend ,the job is so fat it cant tank.The sales guys arrive in thier giant SUV,and work a territorial scheem that has them on a never ending spiral.

  7. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,817
    So VERY , VERY true, went through the DDC expert BS last week until the little DWEEB found out I had installed the DDC portion of the job 9 years ago and the PNEUMATIC 12 years ago. Building operator sort of let him know there was only 3 service calls in the past 11 years and 27 in the past 6 months. Funny part is the DDC expert started playing with everything about 6 months ago.

    [Edited by Control Man on 02-28-2005 at 02:54 PM]

  8. #60
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,778
    Guys
    All is not lost this week. I just replaced a pneumatic air compressor on an old 3 story school that had been running wild for a year cause the other compressor had had it and had not been running. The previous company installed a 1/4 HP in place of a 3/4 HP and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work.

    The school administrators are extremely happy considering they have been bombarded with expert advice that all the controls need ripping out and replaced with DDC stuff.

    Once the new compressor was installed I went quickly through all their controls and found only one leaking. The controls were installed in 1968. Finnally, maybe I won't get called to the principals office.

    I literally saved them thousands and thousands of dollars.

    One system at a time.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  9. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    345
    pneumatic....the "ultimate" open protocol

    lma

  10. #62
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,778
    AND, I just picked up my mail and in it was another school/church pneumatic control customer that I had done some work for about 7 years ago. And a few repairs about 2 months ago with some recommendations. The administrator has given me to go ahead on repairs and bringing the systems back up to par.....again.

    I already did all this 7 years ago. Since then, they got another company that led them down a costly path. Things like all the unit vent air filters are plugged. Some belts are broken or falling off. The original thermostats were disconnected during a remodel and never hooked up again. The entire church/school was run off a time clock hooked up to the boiler, etc, etc, etc.

    Two down and more to go.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  11. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Richmond Virginia
    Posts
    1,078
    Originally posted by lma
    pneumatic....the "ultimate" open protocol

    lma
    That's a good one. Quoted a property management company for some repairs last month. They had another contractor in there for a couple of months and they had bypassed all the summer/winter switches then they disconnected outdoor damper linkages when they still couldn't get the desired effect. Mixed air temps are all over the place on this hotdeck/colddeck system. Got a call Thursday saying that the gas bill was more than double a normal month. Any idea why!

  12. #64
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,778
    Twenty five years ago just about this month I had a call at a college campus in a very large and new building that was very cold everywhere.

    Went to the machine room to find the boilers blasting away but a bank of OA dampers sitting 100% open. OA temp was in the 30's during the day and 20's at night. One of the local campus shop guys stuck a pop cicle stick in the mixed air receiver controller to keep the dampers open cause of a too hot office call he had gotten a week before.

    Took about 3 days for the building to heat up again!
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  13. #65
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Richmond Virginia
    Posts
    1,078
    This property manager has to go to bat again with the owner to shell out the money to fix the controls. I did the math for him and told him it's costing him about $300 a day until it's fixed so I expect that when they do approve it they'll want it done a month ago.

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