RFMD on the Dollar Menu

rfmd-stock.jpg From some perspectives, you could say it was my fault for the RFMD stock price.  I started working for the best company I have ever worked for a little over a year ago.  Since then the stock has steadily declined to about a dollar.  With layoffs, a hiring freeze, pay freeze, and a 401k contribution freeze, there is an uneasiness in the air.

Furnace Repairs

I know some would be bored to tears with this story, but I love to fix things.  Gely calls me one day recently to tell me she and Gabby smell burning marshmallows in the house, and the smell was coming from the furnace vents.  We have a gas fireplace so I know no one was roasting marshmallows.  🙂 So immediately, I ask my lovely wife to turn off the furnace until I can come home to investigate.  After I get home, I immediately smell that something was definitely burning.


My brain was starting to decipher what was going on.  So if the furnace is causing a smell to come into the house, the most likely culprit would be the inside blower motor.  Taking out my trusty meter and going out into the cold I discover the windings of the motor are good but the voltage didn’t quite seem correct.  I was getting about 50VAC on each leg of a 230VAC motor.

Here’s where I was stumped for a bit.  The motor appeared to be good, but we were smelling burning in the house.  The fan control board didn’t look burned at all.  If the fan control board burned up, I should be able to see it.  How did that smell get in the house?  Because the furnace is a sealed system the smell should not penetrate in the house, or we got bigger problems with a gas furnace.


I decided to apply power directly to the motor to rule that out.  When applying 230VAC directly to the motor it worked like a champ.   That led me to believe the fan control board had an issue.  I was lucky to find a great place online in PA that sold me the board for $85.  Calling around town the local shops did not want to sell to me, except one and they wanted $230 for the same board.  Once the board arrived the next day, the install had 18 wires and 4 screws.  As I removed the old board I immediately saw it was indeed burned up!  This was looking good.  I still had some hesitation though.  Being an Electronic Technician in the US Navy for 6 years, I know that sometimes it could be something else causing the board to burn up.  If so, when the new board is put in place, it too would burn up.


It was in the low 40’s, and the family kept warm with our gas fireplace.  I replaced the board and the furnace now works like a champ.  I discovered that the smell was actually coming from the heat exchanger.  Because the fan was not blowing across it, it was getting hotter than usual and burning up some dust.

Boy, it sure is a great feeling to be able to fix the furnace and save money.  We calculated we saved at least $320 by fixing it ourselves.

Welcome to our first blog.

Hello All!  Just wanted to welcome you all to our new blog.  I hope to make this site into a family events sites.  You will see stories, photos and videos of the Garmer’s in action.