other thoughts

From the bottom to the top

[Monday’s run:5 miles; today’s run: 4.9]

This is day three of my winter vacation. What have I done so far?

Sunday we took a quick trip down to Des Moines to drop off a Christmas present and pick up some auction winnings that the folks had waiting for me. We got to have a nice lunch and spend some time talking to the folks and the Bushes. It was a lovely afternoon.

On the way home we ran into a snow storm and had some dodgy driving. We also experienced some strangeness with the car. It got us home OK. But, we couldn’t get the headlights to turn off so we unhooked the battery.

On Monday we went to the grocery store (using a different car). Later we investigated the car problems. The fender liner on the driver’s side had gone missing. Slushy snow and water were tossed up on to the main fuse & relay module. That caused some of the fuses and relays to be very unhappy! We found an online source for Kia Rio parts and ordered a new fuse/relay module and a new fender liner.

Also on Monday we started to install in the garage some of the electrical boxes and wiring for the subpanel and new outlets.

Tuesday we did more work on the garage electrical. And we took down the Christmas tree.

Also I sorted out the auction goodies: I had purchased a bunch of backpack-based surveying equipment from the USDA. I paid $10. For the last couple of decades government departments and other folks could use “differential” GPS backpack systems to map out real estate and such. Differential GPS was a system run by the US Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers. They had transmitters which were precisely located and sent out corrections to the satellite GPS readings in real time. One of these backpacks would have a GPS antenna, a regular GPS, a DGPS receiver and some batteries and cables. The operator could go around gathering data on waypoints, then go back to their PC or laptop and have some pretty precise location information.

My auction winnings consisted of 4 backpacks, 6 or 7 antennas, lots of cables, 5-6 DGPS receivers and one regular GPS.

The DGPS system was decommissioned last summer, so the DGPS receivers aren’t worth anything. The backpacks are still backpacks.

What I was really wanting was a legitimate GPS antenna and now I have a lot of those.

So yesterday (Tuesday) one of my projects was to try to find an internal cable route in the house from the basement to the attic. My GPS disciplined oscillator is in the basement and the GPS reception is only good in the attic. I sort of found one, maybe. The sewer pipe and venting system makes the trip in one vertical shot. But I cannot currently get access to the transition from basement to main floor. I’m going to keep an eye out for some sort of stiff thing about 10′ long that I can push up from the basement. A fiberglass rod that long would do the trick.

And today I shoveled snow, went for a run, then I watched some TV. Maybe I should go see if I can get one of the cars loose from the snow drifts and go to Menards and get some more electrical supplies for the garage project.