Got another email from GF and he said it is possible to have chute partly open by holding pedal partially down. I fired off a few more questions that I hope to hear back on. On PC web site they show an update which is basically a nut and bolt that acts as a stop when in the up position to keep the motor from being over extended some how and damaged. They offer instructions to do this to preexisting PCs to help prolong the motors. This may have corrected the motor failure of the earlier products. I hear you on making my own. Have done so about three times already. Purchased my last two units, which were hand operated as well and they all worked pretty well. I don't recall the manufactures names. I just don't want to cobble up this new mower and since I'm spending the money figured I go as efficient as possible. Never used a foot operated before but even after running hand operated for several years I can see the advantage, especially for my wife. The Gravely unit has a couple of problems. It requires having an incorporated over size rubber chute on as part of it. Probably for liability. This rubber chute creates a clipping problem every so often. Partly because it's so large it almost flops when hitting bigger bumps and if your on a side hill near the bottom it shoots it into the ground. When putting it together I tried assembling it without the rubber flap but they made it so the flap and retaining metal piece needs to be there for spacing purposes. With it removed the door swings free in the air in the upper/open position and has nothing to center it so it hits the slot when it's lowered. I considered cutting off the chute or better yet getting another piece of rubber and metal to make a spacer in place of the cute to eliminate it. It's been so long since I've run a chute that I can't get use to all the space it takes up even though it flexes nicely. Secondly the throw or travel of the handle on the Gravely is very long and stiff. Even after loosening everything still is an issue. It's out to the right fairly far also causing you to lean and grab. Shorter arms would make it worse. It also has a spring loaded lock in three positions. It seems so stiff that locks don't seem necessary but they are. Several times I would look over and see windrows and find that I didn't have it in the slot for top position and it bounced down on it's own to the middle position. Lastly and the biggest problem IMO is the door has air holes drilled through it which is great until you go to open it from the closed position. All the grass clippings and whatever are forcibly scraped off each time by the slot the door rides in as it's raised. Doesn't sound so bad but then you have all the clippings that are stuck in/through the holes that don't scrap and you literally cut/tear them in half or thirds as it is pulled up through the slot. Found myself pounding on the handle to get it to lock in upper position and if not locked rattles down eventually to leave a windrow. All this being said it is made super heavy duty. I think the thing probably weighs 30lbs. and it attaches and removes quickly with just one bolt.