Friday, August 19, 2016

I Feel Like I'm 110 -- But I Only Look 70!

     Day off, on account of my having worked from well before "can" both Sunday and Monday, and not to forget the little early-hours jaunt last Saturday.  So I slept in, have made egg-on-a-tortilla, and am now contemplating what else to do for the day.  If it's interesting, I'll let you know later.

     Yesterday, I went from first floor to second-story roof-top, over and over, in a building with insanely tall floors (more than 15' each), trying to figure actual length of an actual wire (well, coaxial cable, really) in a conduit run only half of which I knew much about.  Early guesstimates had been on the order of 150 feet, and I'd thought that generous--

     Nope, I'm a miser.  Try 238 feetsies.  Two flippin' hundred and thirty-holy-heck-eight feet.  Try ordering another 500' roll of LMR-400 coax (we're paying $0.83 per foot, a pretty good price, and yet still it makes beancounters weep).  Try part of the path I was counting on had been occluded by a tangled mass of abandoned-in-place wires, which I had to stop what I was doing and clear away before I could proceed.  And back up to the roof (the last half is a ladder climb) and back down, with time spent raising and lowering tools and supplies on a rope for variety.  Small wonder I'm tired today!

     Whatever else, I am darned well going to make a solid try for donutary goodness today.  I deserve 'em.

     Hey! Tam's got video of a biggish hit'n'miss engine running a gristmill at the State Fair!  Have a look!


Raz Raxxaffian said...

Love those old-timey engines.

Out where I go to hunt and shoot there is an oil rig that uses one of these for sucking out its barrel-a-day ration from an old depleted field.

It huffs and puffs gamely and I always stop to look it over whenever I'm there. It's covered in grime, soot and greasy residues, yet keeps on chuggin'.

The kicker is that it has been there, puffing away, without pause as far as I know, since the late 60's.

American technology at its finest!


Merle Morrison said...

Back in the day we used a Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR) to measure wave guide or coax length down to a gnats eyelash. It would also tell you where any bad spots were. Expensive toy, but worth its weight in gold for use in long runs on an aircraft carrier.


Richard Tengdin said...

Routing cable as the ant crawls plus dealing with all the zombie cable left in the trays... Ooof! I deal with longer distances for data replication, and people give me the strangest looks when I tell them the network distance between to locations is usually 2x the driving distance by the time all the cable snakes are straightened out...

Any interest in a "snip and rip" project to clean out the old cables? Might bring a pretty penny for the scrap copper value.

Richard Tengdin said...

By interest, I meant by the higher-ups who would need to approve such a project for your Copious Free Time...

Roberta X said...

Richard, it's SOP among the three or four of us who care to trim dead cable we find back as far as practical and tag the ends with a bit of red electrical tape. Then any time we encounter red-tagged wires, we do the same. Eventually, you tug on a dead wire and it comes free, with a red-taped end. That's what I did with the mess; I had to, or I wasn't going to be able to to the cable run.

This run will pass through one of the most cluttered areas for old, unused wiring ad I am hoping to make a little progress on that in the course of running the new coax.

Rich P said...

If one has the luxury of dealing with empty conduit, a roll of kite string with some crumpled paper tied on, and a compressed air hose might get you contact with the far end. Then, it's just bigger string all the way down.