Archive for July, 2010

First team nitro install 99pct completed

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I started at 6am this morning. Basically it is all done except I need to install the top cap, height marker  and I want the padding to “relax” before Icomplete fitting it. I have a completed picture except tools are still scattered about. I left a note for my son to clean up because i had to get to work. Tonight I will post fresh pics of what the whole install looks like.

It all went very smoothly exactly according to the instructions except in retrospect I learned the following:

1) If you are going to pour cenet, move all of your components VERY far away from the pour. it splashes a lot and got on my components. I washed them off but there are still residual traces.

2) I was able to mount the glass backboard “myself:” as long as my wife pushed and stabilized from underneath.

3) When mounting the glass on the frame, keep the bolts lose. The holes in the glass are protected by silicone gaskets that move around and potentially occlude the hole. It is easier to adjust if the glass is slightly lose ( although secure ! ) and tighten completely AFTER the goal is installed.

4) to put the goal up, start with ONE screw in the top slot. secure with washer, lock washer and nut. Go get the next set and then secure the other top slot ( instructions say to install both bolts in goal before lifting to mount. my way is better).

5) I almost put the top cap on the post before i lifted it into place but i was sure there must be a reason that the instructions called for it last when it was obviously going to be so much more difficult. I figured I was going to need to get my hand in there for a step that was not obvious to me. Actually – NO ! Put the top cap on BEFORE you lift the post. It would have been way easier.

First team powerhouse nitro install

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I can see the finish line. The concrete was poured today. Best money we ever spent. No mixing, no questiobnable concrete quality and very easy. Driver was the owner of teh company and trowled it when done. We drew a chalk line from the foundation and measured to the bolts to make sure the backboard would be parallel to the court. Check out the pictures

First team Powerhouse Nitro Install continued

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

The system was delivered yesterday. Typical for R and L trucking, the boxes arrived busted and open. I looked over everything as carefully as I could and then signed the bill of lading with a detailed exception about the box condition, possible missing parts and possible damage.

The driver was a really nice guy and I gave him our old portable hoop. It worked out great for him and for us. After he left I started to get to work on emptying the boxes and sorting through the components. Wouldn’t you know that the one thing I was really keen on – the template for the bolts in the base – was missing. I called First Team and by my description they were pretty sure it fell out in transit. They told me I could make one out of plywood or they could send one overnight. My pour is scheduled for 10 am the next day so overnight was not going to work. Quick call to Rand L and they said they would look and IF they find it they will bring it over. Not good enough – I need to know one way or the other. I call the specific dispatcher and get him to agree to call me after he talks to the driver. Net result is they do not have the template and I am off to the depot to get some plywood cut.  I need a 12″ x 12″ square and inside I will drill 9″ x 9″ on center.  I do this by making diagonal marks to identify the center and then drop down1.5″ from each end where it intersects the line. I then drill a 5/8″ hole with a speed bore.

Above is a picture of the assembled template with the bolts installed ( facing in ) . I then assembled the base so I could test my template before the pour and the end of any opportunity to make changes. The great news i that it fits perfectly.

Net up the pour and a day of rest while it hardens

Basket Ball System Install Continued

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Another day, another blister….I got out the big rock this morning. I thought about wrapping it in chains which i would then pass over the round side of a bucket and attach to the car. In the end I just lifted it out instead. less interesting but much easier.

The real challenge has been not getting too wide as I go deeper. It is now about 30″ wide and keeps getting a bit wider every time I go in. The net result is that a project that started as 1/3 yard of concrete is probably going to be a yard+. not the end of the world, but something I would still like to control if I can. My thought now is to purchase a sonic tube or a form and fill in around it with dirt. I will write on that after I review options.

I am now digging with the little shovel and pot you see in the post. There is really no other way to get the dirt out at this juncture except to loosen and then shovel into the pot. Very slow going ( maybe a pro install is better…. )

The bball delivery is scheduled for Wednesday. the pour is scheduled for Thursday am.

Basketball system install

Monday, July 26th, 2010

It was 95 degrees here over the weekend and probably the same percentage of humidity. When I went to the Home depot to get a new digging tool their only advice was to find something else to do. It was really the wrong weekend for sure but the delivery is expected early this week and I wanted to have the hole ready.

The hole is supposed to be 2’ x 2’ by 3’ deep or below the frost line. Our frost line has been reported as 1 meter up to 40” . I found this map on line and this one as well which both seem to suggest that 36” will be safe. Just to be sure, I called our building department and they told me 42”. I am now really depressed and have a ton more digging to do.

I started digging Saturday morning using a post hole digging tool and a shovel. I ran into a bunch of rocks and went to the depot to get a 6’ pry bar. After that it was slow going, particularly as the hole got deeper without getting much wider. At this point I can only make progress by being in the hole and digging with a small shovel and a crow bar. The challenge now is to keep getting deeper without getting wider. The hole is already more than 2’ x 2’ and the wider I get the more concrete I am going to use. I am also working on belling out the bottom.

So now I need to lift the rock out of the bottom ( came from the side), go about 6” deeper and bell out the bottom. I then want to build a frame for the top so that I end up with a square pour. Lastly I am going to pull chalk lines from the house foundation so that the system will be exactly perpendicular to the house.

BCA show

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Where have we been ??? We went to the BCA ( Billiards Congress of America ) and have been bogged down with a ton of new stuff that we need to move onto the website. Additionally, we have had a large number of visitors who have been in the states because of the show. it is all quieting down now and we are really psyched about what we are going to be putting up on the site. From my perspective one of the most exciting introductions are the new licensed games from performance games. These are a really well done, high end way to make a statement about your school or team. So far they have NCAA and NHL but we are optimistic that NFL, NBA and MLB will be added soon.

We are so jazzed by the work that these guys did we are building a special section of the site to cover it. Watch for it soon.

Basketball system selected!

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

So it took me a long time but I finally bit the bullet on my basketball system. In the end I went with a first team Powerhouse Challenger Nitro. I wanted 60″ and I wanted glass for better rebound and in the end i just was not willing to compromise on those characteristics . I did compromise a bit on the setback and the frame mount style, but I needed to economize somewhere. The setback should not really effect play. The frame mount style is only an issue with an acrylic backboard. With the style i chose, the bounce would have been reduced with acrylic. I did select glass, so I decided that was not critical.

I also went with padding and a retention net because there will be a hill behind my mount. now I have to get out my shovel and get to work! i am going to pre dig the hole and get my cement lined up and ready in anticipation of an arrival early next week. After that I will post some pictures of the completed project.