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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    739

    Question

    Since we got a bunch of controls guys here I need to pose a question to all.

    When you are on a construction site and doing your programming and commissioning what do you use for a laptop stand and seat??

    I personally am getting tired of using a couple of old joint compound buckets that I round up on site, the old backside is getting alittle sore from this arrangement.
    It would be nice to have a portable "desk" of some type but cant seem to find something I like.

    This looks like it may work $49.99


    Or how about this, looks a little big though $159.99


    [Edited by qtip on 02-22-2005 at 05:10 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    44
    I'm with you, I normally use a bucket for a seat and a cardboard box for a table but a small portable stand of some kind would be nice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth\Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,708
    I use a folding alluminum table that I bought at wallmart for 15 bucks. I t is very light weight, compact, sturdy, and easy to carry. Table top is about 2 feet square.

    I use one of those 5 dollar folding chairs to plop my rear into.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    486
    What? Nobody uses their LAPTOP for their laptop anymore?? Guess we'll have to call it something else...

    I'd be concerned about the stability of that tripod-looking thingie...I generally try to grab one of our installer's utility carts, but it usually ends up coming down to the ol' bucket routine. I'm sure that OSHA will come up with some rules condemning that practice due to the back-breaking ergonomics involved in a marathon hunch-over-the-laptop session...

    Try to find some of the insulation contractor's boxes of pipe insulation. Makes a handy height for the laptop (if you're relatively vertically challenged like me...) No matching recommendation for the seat, unfortunately...

  5. #5
    The other day I was doing some programming at a job sitting on a bucket( which I have done for years ). For some reason this bucket was killing me. I'd finally had enough and jumped in the truck, drove to the local sporting goods store, and purchase a folding chair.The ones that you carry ing a bag. The smartest thing I've ever done. Very compact when folded and even has cup holders. The best $5 I've ever spent. Still looking for a good table solution.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    739
    Yea I got one of the folding chair things but still cant find a good table either........

    [Edited by qtip on 02-22-2005 at 06:52 PM]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,827
    Go to HOME DEPOT get a 4'X4' piece of 5/8" good on 1 side plywood and a set of folding legs or a set of the PLASTIC saw horses.

    Or use a BLACK @ DECKER workmate and a 3'X3' piece of 5/8"G1S plywood set it up that the plywood attaches to the top of the workmate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,382
    Originally posted by qtip
    Since we got a bunch of controls guys here I need to pose a question to all.

    When you are on a construction site and doing your programming and commissioning what do you use for a laptop stand and seat??
    Hmmm. Depends.

    If it's not too much trouble, I haul out the service cart I carry in the back of my truck. A little low. But I carry the laptop in a metal hand case. So will usually pull it out and place case on service cart, laptop on top of case. The cart is nice as it's top surface allows room for assorted pens and markers, notebooks, etc. Add that I rigged it up so it has some brackets I made and attached to legs so I can coil up nice long extension cord on it. Cord feeds into device box and conduit arrangement I made where I have additional receptacles, in case I want to plug in laptop, plus labelmaker, plus whatever else. Also I installed a 120 to 24v transformer. Long leads out of it, also looped on hangers on the side when not used. That's so I can locally power up a controller, or whatever if it's not been powered up by regular power supply as yet. Also, I have power from 24VAC feeding small (about size of pack of cigarettes, only half as thick) 24 VDC power supply. With poteniometer attached. So I can supply local signals or power to DC devices, MA loops, etc. If getting plugged in somewhere is a problem, I have a deep cycle gel cell battery I toss on cart bottom tray.

    While working, I stand. Most often on our jobs, we preprogram controller at the shop. But that doesn't always happen. If that hasn't been done, I program on the spot. Both doing it old fashioned way, typing everything, and by pulling up saved loops and settings I keep in a library on the hard drive. No reason to reinvent the wheel. If I know I have a setup for some routine I need already done and tested in the past, I stuff it into controller. Or edit it first if it needs some tweaking to fit slightly different requirements.

    So most times, for us, the on site tech is just testing and verifying. Rather than creating from scratch. So it's not as if the guy is usually having to stand or sit in place for any significant lenght of time.

    In fact, most of the time he's moving around. Look at screen see indicated DAT. Go to DAT itself, break connection and go back and see on screen if what the controller THINKS to be the DAT, really is the DAT. Use hand instrument to verify DAT is at least close to proper temp. Command damper fully closed, go check and see if it's tight. Command 50%, go check again. Command 100%, do yet another check. Not looking only at damper motor. Does what he has to to get in and see damper blades themselves. Same with valves. Etc. Calibrate flow meters, CO2 sensors. And so forth. The fire stuff up and start checking sequence of operation, faults and failure modes and responses. Etc. He'll have a paper checklist of each and every item. Which he checks off, records certain settings and readings, then signs name and puts in date at each line item.

    This to verify he actually DID, no ****, check every friggin thing connected to that controller for proper connection and operation. Checked in person, hands on the device, not just looking at computer screen.

    And then to check programming.

    If he has a problem with programming. Which happens. Guys back in shop give it their best guess. But make mistakes. Either from ignorance, misunderstanding, or plain old typo. <Shrug> That the commissioning guy's job, to find such things.

    I've been doing this sort of thing past couple weeks as my team has a new trainee. A pipefitter from over in the mechanical department who said he wanted to learn the automation side. So he's been my shadow lately. So he's been learning the routine. That staright from the factory yah get mechanical linkages for dampers that aren't adjusted right. Installers sometimes cross wires. Somebody forgot to vent sensing lines in a DP sensor/transmitter. Installer had brain fart and installed air flow sensor clearly marked "right side" on the left side of a fan inlet, and vice versa. Project engineer had brain fart and designed a lead-lag control scheme for a pair of pumps that weren't meant to lead and lag. Two separate loops. So whole line coded program needed a rewrite. Could've waited til I got back to the shop, but he wanted to learn so we did it on site, and tested it. Then debugged my typo. Observe steam valve cycle, whoa that sucker hunting like crazy. Take a look. Somebody at the shop was having a bad day. PID loop settings way off from what they should've been. Etc.

    All the above not on same site. Regular techs are busy at some large jobs, so I've been playing commissioning tech at several small jobs, and teaching the new guy.

    If yah can use a cart on site, they're nice. I had to hunt around for a smaller one, not so wide as you often see. But they're available. The usual size one sees on construction sites simply won't fit in my truck.

    If I can't use a cart, my backup method is a small table I made. Design being similar to standard TV tray. Folds just like one. But I made it, and made it of wood, top is wider and deeper than standard TV tray, and I made it so that set up, legs spread a bit more than regular TV tray. So it's more stable. I've got a small folding chair, but I don't think I've used it more than once or twice. I usually stand.

    Other than that, same as the others. Find a box, or a couple if that's what it takes. Or perch it on top of whatever is handy.

    But I try to use the cart whenever possible as it's just so handy. As I said, mine is smaller than the regular one on a construction site, but not tiny. Metal carrying case for the laptop takes up just a bit short of half the top surface. It's made of same heavy duty, thick plastic as the service carts yah see many electricians using. Of course, if a multifloor site and no working elevator, it can be a pain. At a guess, cart probably weights 30 pounds. Add weight of extra long extension cord, switch and receptacle boxes, transformer, etc. So ... what? Maybe 50 to 55 pounds? Not too bad. If I've gotta go up stairs I squat and put shoulder to side, hand up and flat against bottom of upper surface, stand with it. Can get up 2 or 3 flights of stairs without a lot of effort. Carrying laptop in other hand. If I need more stuff, have a sizeable condura tool bag with shoulder strap. Sling it over left shoulder, grab cart and stand, grab laptop ase with left hand and I'm off. And I'm getting to be an old sucker. So the younger guys in the group shouldn't have a problem. I don't see how it could be much more than 100 pounds total. Piece of cake.

    <G> But if I need the gel cell battery, I'm making two trips. Like I said, I'm getting a bit long in the tooth.


  9. #9
    Be nice if it worked with a pocket pc

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    496
    I personally am getting tired of using a couple of old joint compound buckets that I round up on site, the old backside is getting alittle sore from this arrangement.
    It would be nice to have a portable "desk" of some type but cant seem to find something I like.

    I was shopping at the local sams club and found a nice folding table for $20.00 it is just the right size and I also picked up a padded folding chair. they both fit in the truck nicely and I use them all of the time now.

  11. #11
    Byer folding wood rocking chair. 24"x36"x2"....... Oh yea and my lap. And a bunch of cables and adapters!

    It would be nice if I could use the Palm for more than the VMA's

    Somebody needs to write a MS/TP Bacnet client for the Palm. Or the Pocket PC.

    Or not

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    82
    II use a wooden TV Dinner stand for the laptop and a fold up chair (camping style). Both have shoulder straps affixed for long walks to mechanical rooms. I was tired of the buckets and pipe insulation boxes also.

  13. #13
    I had our shop make a bracket type shelf that when you open the door to the control panel you can just place it over the bottom lip of the control panel and it gives you a shelf to place your laptop on. Usually not a very good place to sit but it keeps your laptop at the right height if your standing. It also beats the heck out of sitting it down low where it will get knocked off.

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