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Multi-Cylinder Stationary Gasoline Engines and Power Units Waukesha, Buda, Climax, LeRoi and others.

Multi-Cylinder Stationary Gasoline Engines and Power Units

Hercules JXLD


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  #1  
Old 05-21-2019, 11:48:39 PM
Z. A. Bender Z. A. Bender is offline
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Default Hercules JXLD

I'm looking for a mechanical Governor for my JXLD Hercules engine, what are my options? It powers a 25KW Kato generator, I'm looking to make it all mechanical if possible. Has an electronic Governor on it now. I attached some pictures of where the Governor would mount. This engine had a Woodward Governor on it when new.
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2019, 01:42:33 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Hi ZA!

Okay, was your genset originally sold to the Civil Aeronautical Administration under contract order number CA-57-3261?

If so, it's in the same production series as mine, sold by Consolidated Diesel Electric.

the original governor was a Woodward PS, and looked like this...
it was overdriven off the camshaft gear to an astronomical speed, then attempted to control the throttle within a very touchy generator.

I fitted mine with TWO governors- a Woodward APECs electronic as the secondary governor, and a simple, inexpensive Hoof-Pierce centrifugal to assure that it'd start, run, and shutdown reliably WITHOUT the electronic governor, in the event that it goes awry.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:23:41 AM
Z. A. Bender Z. A. Bender is offline
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Yes this is a Consolidated Diesel Electric set, I am building a new control cabinet and eliminating all of the extras that I don't need. I just want a mechanical governor, I will not exceed the load of the generator so governing the engine should not be a problem. Do you have pictures of your current governor set up? Also what do you fuel yours with? I want to run mine on natural gas.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:35:10 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

My generators run on propane, which is exact same fuel system you'd run on NG, with exception of not needing liquid evap or high-pressure stages- you'll have a second stage at around 11" w.c. pressure coming in, to a hand valve, then a fuel lockoff, then a demand regulator, then a mixer. None of the following are recent, but I'll follow with more current pictures and part numbers for your reference.

Yes... if it's the same as mine, you'll want to strip the massive control cabinet and all the pinball-machine logic. I'll photo mine for you there, and can probably sketch out my wiring diagram. These machines suffered several problems, and most of those problems revolved around two things: First: the operating specification, and 2: the winning bidder's business philosophy. The first was it's bane, the second, it's knell.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:38:25 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

And more pictures... The first two were taken when I initially pulled it into the driveway. I immediately removed all the homemade shrouding around it, as it didn't run, and I was gonna need LOTS of access.

I worked on it for several years with the big cabinet intact, got it running fine, but it would NOT generate with any consistency, and it would not govern.

The Woodward PS mechanical governor was fine, but the drive gears for the governor were shredded. This was where engineering specifications clashed with the real world. More details later tonight.
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  #6  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:32:56 PM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Well, I stepped into the gen-shed this morning to snap a few recents, and for some reason, they're blurry, so re-try this afternoon... but here's the basic info:

Fueling system was originally a Marvel-Schebler about the size of an RV-sized toilet. it had a tube and hand valve that extended from the bottom of the bowl down to a threaded fitting on the bottom rail of the genset frame. My GUESS was that it was supposed to be a dual fuel secondary feed point, but there was no 'stub' for it that led into the venturi... so if it WAS, then they would have to have fed gaseous fuel into the bowl, and let it flow through the main jet into the venturi, but would also have had to have had some sort of secondary demand-based fuel regulator valve system, which was clearly not present on my machine.

This was a Civil Aeronautics Administration contract, and there are several things one should know about them, in order to truly understand them. First is that they were intended, from the git-go, to run on aviation gasoline. In 1956, although the jet age was upon us, the primary aeromotor fuel was high-test gasoline. Likewise, it was built using components very familiar to the aircraft industry... like the Woodward PS governor- they were made for all sorts of purposes, but a de-facto standard used to control prop pitch and throttle systems on most every aircraft. Magnetos... airplanes have magnetos, this engine has a magneto. Notice, though, on the water pump drive on the magneto side of the engine, is a mounting place that looks perfect for a Delco-Remy distributor. That's because it IS. Want a really fantastic system? Mount a distributor, and run a second set of wires to the plugs, and make a 'spark director', fire the plugs with both. If you wanna run dual-fuel, set up one system's timing for gaseous, the other for liquid. When running liquid, turn the gaseous ignition (earlier timing) off, and run on the mag.

The generator's control scheme is LOADED with all sorts of goofy gadgets. Aside from a little christmas tree for basic safety, it has dropout controls for undervoltage, underfrequency, and overfrequency. This, along with the governor gears and governor, was all part of meeting the spec... it was required to maintain extreme frequency and voltage precision. My GUESS is that it was spec'd that way partly because they intended the machine to provide for the time/frequency needs of navigation systems (LORAN? localizers?) and synchromotors (in the radar equipment)... and the rest may have been overzealous desk -bound engineers that didn't understand real life physics... but the end result was a formidable failure. The guys who dreamt up spinning the Woodward PS2 through straight-cut hardened steel gears at obscene speeds were clearly not understanding of what happens inside housings of fast moving parts.

But when you strip these gals down to the basics, and use 'realistic' governance and controls, they're absolute workhorses.
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:21:06 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Okay, so now for some good photos. First... the installation, in situ, as it sits this morning.

You'll notice first off, that the huge control cabinet is gone. I've removed just the bare few components necessary for operation... meaning, the main breaker, the voltage regulator, and manual adjustment control. I've mounted these on an insulating panel, along with the neutral connection point, and an extra piece of DIN rail, with some terminal blocks and a timer relay (which has not been put into operation for any purpose yet).

It is, for sake of any more complex description, a zombie- it does my bidding, with no automatic operation aside from the RegOhm automatic regulator and the governance system. I turn on the fuel, rotate the power switch to RUN, press the starter button, and it comes to life.

There is no 'kill' contact connected to the magneto- it is stopped by turning off the fuel. In the future, I will certainly do otherwise, but other aspects of my building projects preclude time and resource investment, as it will be moot once the construction work occuring on the other side of the white wall will require everything to be disconnected, temporarily rerouted, and redone at a later time. It does not bother me to manually operate my generators, as when I need them, there are usually many other serious things that I need to keep watchful eye on. I'll note that while they are not wired up with sensors, my generator shed has a video camera, and passive audio wired into the house, so I can keep watchful eye, and moreso, ear... on it's operation. There are four other generating plants in this room, of 12.5, 6.5, and 2.5kva, and one hand-start 100A DC battery charging unit.
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:41:10 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Here's the fueling system on the JXLD. It's a CA-100 style IMPCO clone mixer which I sourced from a Smokstak member who's business is oilfield engines. The mixer is fed by a Garretson KN demand regulator (aka zero governor, aka negative pressure regulator).

Notice, coming down from ceiling is a piece of 3/4" black iron pipe. That is my main fuel supply for all engines in the shed. Propane comes from my main farm tank array, where first-stage regulators drop tank pressure down to a limit not exceeding 10psi. This flows underground, and comes up the outside wall to a second-stage regulator, dropping that 10psi max down to 11" of water-column. From there, it enters the building, and immediately inside is a gas-approved hand-valve, and a sediment drip-leg to catch any moisture or debris that makes it into the system. IT crosses the ceiling, with several drops at each other machine, then to this engine.

Each drop falls vertical, through a tee, to a drip leg and cap, again, for trapping any pipe debris that happens to come through. Gas flows horizontally out of the tee, through a gas-type hand-valve, and from there, to the Garretson KN.

The Garretson takes that 11" W.C. pressure, and STOPS it, until such time that there is a VACUUM on it's outlet. It works like sipping soda through a straw- it stays on one side of the valve, until you SIP on the other side. The thing to remember here, though, is that this is not 'manifold' vacuum... it is DEMAND vacuum... the pressure drop found at the VENTURI. That being the case, it is the combination of engine speed and throttle position that determines how much air flows through the mixer venturi, hence, fuel demand.

The KN is sensitive enough to flow fuel at very slow cranking speeds and closed throttle circumstances, but strong enough to shut fuel flow off at NO signal, and to flow plenty of fuel at full-throttle/full power demand.

The MIXER is basically a venturi with a throttle plate, and an adjustable jet (called POWER VALVE) which does nothing other than limits full-fuel flow at the highest operating point... that is to say, the POWER VALVE does nothing at any speed other than WOT.

Notice there's no choke. Choke is necessary for liquid fuel engines because liquid fuels do not evaporate well under cold running conditions... it flows out of the main jet as droplets, and finds it's way all the way into the engine as droplets, where it doesn't burn... the liquid doesn't burn- only the vapors... when well mixed with oxygen... do. Propane systems don't need a choke. They're oftentimes equipped with a primer, particularly necessary when the tank is removable, as this fills the fuel hose with atmosphere, and it takes some purging in order to get rid of the air and draw fuel. Engines on domestic plumbing (mine included) can wind up with the mixer ventilating out any propane gas and filling with air, and in some installations, it takes a bump of a primer to get it to fire, but in my case, this engine only goes about four full rotations before it's got fuel on a ready cylinder, and then it's running. I can flip the valve on, step on the hand-crank six times, and it takes right off.
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2019, 12:54:34 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Which reminds me- when you set YOUR machine up, you'll notice that original configuration was 24v battery start.

In this application, the starter works just as well on 12v as 24. I have some surplus Group 4D batteries that I have on hand, they roll it over with authority... and yes, I verified through my local rebuilder- the windings, brushes, etc., are all same for 12 through 36v. Cables are short and stout, and since the compression ratio isn't crazy, it has no problems whatsoever.

Here's the starter side of the engine, and the 'minimalist' control panel.

The regohm has four connection terminals- first two (A and B)are supply current to the generator field. The other two (C and D) are from power output, but I've looped them through the terminal block to right, as my local output needed a way to get from very large terminals (at the big breaker) over to the panel 'small' wiring. Essentially, power from the 240v legs goes to the terminal block, one is jumped directly to the signal terminals, the other goes through rheostat FIRST.

The RegOhm is an interestingly clever gadget... it's basically a 'stack' of switch contacts acted on by a 'rolling' armature. Imagine a barrel on a ramp... with an electromagnet pulling it up the ramp, gravity pulling it down. As the barrel rolls up the ramp, it shorts contacts that add series resistance to the field circuit. As the resistance increases, field current falls, hence, output voltage falls, and the barrel rolls down the ramp, which removes resistance, thus increasing field current, hence voltage. It finds a point of 'balance', which is the point where desired target voltage is found.

Interesting aside note to anyone who's had fits with a RegOhm... if one isn't working well for you (like... not regulating at a stable point) that barrel may not be rolling, OR... it may have lousy contacts. If the RegOhm is not mounted in proper orientation, the ramp will not function properly. Likewise, if you mount the RegOhm on a vibration-free surface, it can 'settle in' at one spot and not respond to changes in load. Mounting it on a surface that gets a little vibration actually makes it WORK BETTER.

While the RegOhm seems crude, it's extremely effective AND... totally EMP-proof.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:06:56 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Now... for speed governance... my machine has TWO governors- one Hoof-Pierce mechanical governor, and one (early and simple) Woodward APECS electronic governor.

First, the Hoof Pierce... it's a generic general-purpose unit that I made bracket for (actually bolts onto top of gear housing that the Woodward PS originally sat atop). It is belt driven from the crankshaft front sheave by an A-type belt. It's a small nose sprocket on the governor, cast iron with a set screw to retain it. Belt tension is extremely low... I've actually made a tensioner that puts just enough tension on to keep it from being unstable.

The governor NEEDS to spin rather quickly in order to be sensitive enough to modulate throttle to maintain this beast's 1200rpm amble. I've put a long arm on it, and set up the throttle geometry so throttle can easily go from idle to WOT with very little governor arm travel.

The large spring on threaded rod sets the running RPM, but the angled threaded rod to which the spring manhandles the throttle arm, is the GAIN control... the rate at which a difference in actual vs. governed speed is responded to. The lever ratios and spring/gain adjustments takes some fussing with to make it hold the proper speed, and respond quickly, without 'hunting', or overshooting, or sagging below droop.

Hunting: The character of a governor to vary frequency under a cyclic circumstance... it speeds up, slows down, speeds up, slows down. Hunting is undesireable. Reducing gain helps reduce or eliminate hunt, however, the machine becomes too insensitve to respond to changing loads.

Overshoot: When a load is applied, the RPM drops (droop), the governor responds, and causes the engine speed to go HIGHER as a result. Overshoot is undesired, and occurs when speed tension spring is set too high, gain is too low, and/or spring contact points and linkage pivots are binding too much to allow the throttle plate to modulate properly... they 'stick' a bit.

Sag: when a governor's loaded speed falls lower than intended. Improper governor gain and spring tension are frequent causes of sag, and sometimes, rusty pivot points, etc., cause sag.

Droop: the amount of speed reduction that occurs before a governance system increases throttle to accept a load. Droop is necessary for the governance system to actually WORK. If there was no 'droop'... the governor would not 'know' when to increase the throttle position.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:21:53 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Now... the Hoof Pierce can get the engine started up, and it'll hold between 58 and 63hz all by itself.

Enter the Electronic governor.... it's a P.I.D. (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) control unit. If you're not already aware, Proportional, integral, and derivative have to do with how input signal (engine speed) is compared to programmed speed, which determines not only wether to increase fuel flow, but how much, and for how long,in order to bring the fuel mixture back into sensible operation. PID is what YOU do when you don't have cruise-control, and there's varying terrain ahead.

Here's the actuator (which was made from a Woodward unit intended for operating the fuel rack of a small Kubota or Yanmar diesel. I drilled the plunger and cut a notch through the middle to fit a yoke 'tween the long operating arm and the solenoid plunger.

The APECS controller modulates that solenoid plunger.

It gets it's speed feedback from the little reluctance pickup in hole in the flywheel cover directly below the throttle solenoid. that reluctance sensor 'hears' the gear teeth on the starter ring-gear, and the APECS control box uses this to figure out where to set the throttle position.

The early-type APECS I have, is about as simple as electronic governance can get... it has ONE LED indicator, three control pots, and an array of switches to select input tone range. It operates on 12v, and if I recall correctly, up to mebbie 36vdc or so. I have the POWER switch set up to energize the starter circuit in one position, and energize starter circuit AND APECs module in another. If I NEED to run it without electronic governor (like... something goes wrong), I can just shut it off and run on full mechanical. I have the APECS set up to keep it within about 59.6 to 60.8hz range... and it does just that.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:27:27 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Oh, and one last thing. These generators were fitted with centrifugal switches located just past the exciters under the end covers. The centrifugal switches have both front and back contacts (normally open AND normally closed), and ConDec used SOME to know when to inhibit starter operation, and detect overspeed, but the OTHER contacts were set up to disconnect the exciter from field unless the machine was between the high and low speed switch limits.

Those switches... well... they stick... and when they do, the machine will LOOK like (from it's own control cabinet) to be dead-to-the-world, when really... it's just stuck centrifugal switches.

Yep, I disconnected mine. Incredibly problematic, and basically, purposeless in my application.

Here's what the end bell looks like (two bolts on right and left , and slap the cover with your hand a few times, it slips off to reveal the switches, exciter, and wiring. This wiring exits the top of the generator head with main power leads as shown.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:07:52 AM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

By the way, Z. A... here's a couple of notes that'll save you some learning-curve time.

Your first post shows the area you noted desire to mount a governor... what you're looking at there, is the back side of the 90 degree drive for your machine's original mechanical governor. There's no coupling on that shaft, it's just the adjustment for bearings on that gearbox.

The original governor drive configuration for these machines was a pair of pinion gears, to turn the horizontal timing gear motion to a vertically-oriented shaft, that drove the Woodward PS.

The problem here, is that the horizontal timing gears rotate at a fairly casual speed, but in order to provide mechanical governance at the original specification's demand precision, the PS had to be spun VERY fast. Somewhere along the line, an engineer decided the answer was to put a substantial overdrive from these timing gears, which included two small pinion gears that are REALLY whirling. I was never able to find out anything more of the drive... not who actually made the gears, etc,.. but I was able to ascertain that whoever thought this up was not very well versed on what happens to straight-cut gears at high speed, nor did they understand how heat-treatment, thermal expansion, inertia, or service factor all come together on judgement day.

I've come across somewhere around 9 others who've worked on these machines, and On EVERY one, the governor gears were the ultimate failure that took them out-of-service.

I was first clued in on this by a nice guy in the records department of Woodward. Back when I started this project, I'd called for a manual on the PS, because it wasn't governing. He pulled the records on my exact unit, and informed me that Woodward had gone through every governor of this production series at least twice, and in some cases, as many as five times, and NONE of the governors had any failure. Once I opened up the gearbox below and found serious dental dismay, I realized that the real problem was a flaw in engineering prowess.

But the short note is that what you're looking at there, isn't a suitable drive spot... and that's one of the reasons I used the Hoof-Pierce and a belt. The gain and stability, the ability to start with no battery power, as well as possibility of failure of that belt, are the reasons why I chose to equip mine with an electronic governor as well. If your electronic gov works, hang on to it... but fit a simple mechanical to it, too.

The second note, is that when running on gaseous fuels, the ignition timing used, should be readjusted to take full advantage of the fuel's flame speed. I'll get a picture of the adjustment, because it's a little tricky 'till you figure out how the gadget works.

Above my fuel mixer is a spacer with two coolant lines and a throttle arm. This was apparently done to keep the throttle from freezing up under conditions where carb icing generally occurs. Notice mine is an aluminum color... it's because it's not iron, and it appears welded, because coolant tried to make an escape through it at some point. Since I'm throttled at the mixer now, and since my unit is in a fairly controlled environment, I COULD have simply removed the secondary 'heated' throttle, but I chose to TIG it, and replace it, in the event that I ever needed that secondary throttle as some sort of an emergency shutdown or idle-down mechanism. I haven't used it that way yet... it's just held open for now.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:08:21 PM
Z. A. Bender Z. A. Bender is offline
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

Thank you for the information, I may have a few more questions in the future.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:13:04 PM
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Default Re: Hercules JXLD

By the way... the picture you post... the grey casting bolted to the aft end of the governor housing... if you look at my photos, you'll notice a flat steel plate in same place. I removed the shaft and (what was left of) the 90 degree bevel gears, then used a magnet on a stick down into the bottom of that gearcase cavity to extract all the hard steel dental debris that I could. I'm fairly certain that SOME of the bad stuff probably washed down into the sump, but as you've probably already figured out, the sump is so incredibly huge, that any particles heavy enough to fall down there, were too heavy to 'flow' towards the pickup screen AND... any smaller particles probably didn't make it past the big Wix filter cartridge.

To make this plate, I just took the two bolts of the casting (grey one) off. You'll probably find several thin shims between that and the timing case... they were to set gear lash for the bevel gears. I used the thickest shim as a pattern to trace a gasket. I didn't cut out the center, just the general outside, and punched the bolt holes with a piece of sharpened copper pipe... (I think 1/2" type "M", but it's been a LONG time). Once holes were punched, I hung the gasket on the housing, and tapped around the hole with a small brass hammer, which cut the worst of it, the rest marked well enough to remove and finish on the workbench with an x-acto knife. I didn't get too fancy with the outer shape of the steel plate cover, and I didn't bother to paint it, I just slapped it on with some gasket sealant and put the bolts back on. Same for the top, just to get it covered up (no vermin or dirt allowed inside engines in my shop) but later on, when I was sorting out the mounting concept for the Hoof-Pierce, I turned that bolt-on cover into the mounting surface for the H-P governor. Worked out well.

Mounting the belt-drive governor was a slight exercise... If I recall correctly, the original belt sheave on the engine's crankshaft nose only had one groove... I ended up doing something a bit unorthodox... I'd hafta take a closer look, mebbie I have photos, I dunno... but I think I wound up pulling the front pulley totally off, and cutting the belt grooves out, and cutting down the hub to use something standard-and-available, so I could experiment with appropriate drive ratios for the Hoof-Pierce... and have that drive belt on a sheave that did not share duty with the (rather large) mechanical fan. That fan presents enough drag on it's belt to put too much overhung load on the hoof-pierce. I have the governor belt sized to run loose, with no adjustment on the governor's base. Belt tension is set by an idler sheave on a swinging arm, with a spring to provide just a little tension. The governor doesn't present much of a mechanical load, but it does need to be positively driven so that it responds to engine speed properly.

On the magneto side, you'll see a large coolant hose connected nowhere. There's a plastic plug in this. It USED to be for the engine's electric coolant heater, which was rather beastly. Not inappropriate for it's service for the Civil Aviation Administration's purposes, but it drew a fair chunk of power (I think 1100w or so) and didn't care what time of year. In my circumstance, that was way out of line... especially considering that I have other ways of warming up the generator shed if it was too cold for the JXLD to lumber to life without help. I did not plug off the block, because eventually this will get tied into a heat exchanger for function of recovering the generators' waste heat to warm my shop floor. The generator shed floor has PEX tubing IN it, so I can circulate engine coolant through it (and I have, with one of the other engines), but have not plumbed them all in yet... I've got more floors to pour first.
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