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I saw this on Friday, and at first, couldn't figure out what the heck it was. It was not until later in the inspection that I discovered what it is used for.

Clue...The home was built in 1978, but this feature is not circa 1978. The device was installed in a remote, mostly inaccessible area of the crawl space, near the carport entrance of the house.

I'll post the answer in a few days, or you can email me for the answer.

David Fogle

HomeScope Property Inspections

Augusta, Ga.

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OK! I like puzzles

There's an electric motor hooked up to a chain.

Behind the large sprocket is what appears to be a transmission like transfer case or torque converter. (not a mechanic, may have the terminology wrong)

The assembly is hinged to allow movement on start up.

From here it's anybody's guess.

I'll say it powers:

a dumb waiter

a small elevator

a hydrolic power converter

not an escalator

OR an ant trap

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Looking at this again,

There is an angle in the background and a wheel riding on top of it to the left.

I can't see enough room for a power converter unless there is an excavation behind.

The unit must be related to this wheel that's attached to ???

a door

a material handling rack

And then, there's those pesky leaves that indicate the unit maybe outdoors.

Great puzzle![:-glasses]

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Good guesses so far, but no cigar. One of Rob's theories was close, but not specific enough.

The device does create movement for the other end of this contraption. Not something that one would come across likely more than once in a lifetime, if at all.

I'll leave it at that for now, and see what other guesses come in before I reveal the answer.


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It looks very much like the unloader used to drive the continuous cleanout chain for the drops in a dairy barn or the the heavy rubber dolly used under large sliding doors and gates. My guess is that the carport has, or once had a large sliding door and that the wheel protrudes through the surface beneath the bottom edge of the door and the door slid opened and closed by riding back and forth on top of that wheel.



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I've built several of those over the years to drive large turntables. The largest was 40 feet in diameter and could move thousands of pounds.

Did the carport have a turntable in the floor so that you could drive straight in, then turn the car so it was facing out when you were ready to leave?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Congrats to Jim Katen...

It was a large wooden turntable in the carport. The story was that the wife or daughter never learned to back the car, so duh, instead of teaching them, have a turntable installed.

Jim...for your prize, you can choose what's behind curtain #1, or what Jay is bringing down the isle in the box. Jay!!! Jay!!! Watch out for that mic cord!!! tumble, tumble, tumble.

Thanks for playing "Name that Gizmo"


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