June 30, 2007

June Full Moon Madness

Joshua Tree National Park, Full MoonLast night was the Full Moon -- so naturally I had to go out and howl in the desert. Got home from a grueling day at work, pulling and bagging wire and took a nap for a couple or three hours. Got up, remounted my windshield (off for the city, on for the superslabs), packed my bags, this time remembering the lighter for the stove, headed out about 9 pm. To the gas station as I was on reserve, not to mention starting with a full tank to check gas mileage. Didn't actually get onto the I-105 until 9:15.

Take the 105 to the 605 to California Route 60 through Riverside to pick up the I-10 at banning and on to Palm Springs, where there is a Pilot Travel Center. (I have a problem with riding for only the sake of riding -- I need a purpose beyond enjoyment -- this ride was to test arrangements for my planned September ride to OKC and the GEEIA Reunion. One purpose was to check out a truck stop for compatability with motorcycles.) 115 miles according to Yahoo Maps, all freeway, some congestion, mostly 70-75 mph, a few times faster due to traffic conditions. The National Cycle StreetShield, a hulking 18" wide and 19" tall, is mounted to bring the top to between chin and nose level. Works fabulously, no wind in face. (this was purpose two) Unfortunately this leaves a 2.75" gap between the headlight and the shield -- a need a 7" headlight mounted a tad higher and further forward to use this shield. Other than that, sitting between the shield and the suitcase (purpose three -- test suitcase mounting) I seemed to have streamlined myself a bit -- 61 MPG on the outward leg -- took less than 1.9 gallons to top off the tank, and given that the next leg was 140 miles you best believe that I tank was filled to the neck.

Next leg was a 40 minute run up the I-10 to Cottonwood Canyon and into the park. The 58 miles thru the park was at a lazy 35mph with several stops to take a picture, a picture, a picture (all taken without flash, just by the light of the moon and a bit of pushing in Photoshop) and to stop for a spot of freshly brewed tea -- I am of English Decent! Coming out of north west park entrance it was onto the Twentynine Palms Highway for a 34 mile run back down to the same Pilot Travel Center. Didn't go on reserve until Desert Hot Springs, only took on 2.2 gallons for 63+MPG!

As with last trip, there was a rather brisk wind from the west, maybe 20 mph? Last time I had to crouch down on the tank to get behind the Flyscreen. This time it was straight Crusier Style Easy Chair position, 'tho with considerable buffeting. With such a headwind gas mileage suffered considerably -- the 115 mile return took the same amount of gas as the 140 mile loop, yielding only 52.5 MPG. Still, the trip average was 59 MPG -- $18.85 for 370 miles.

And again, I had no problem with fatigue, even after a full day's work and only a 2-3 hour nap before and a 1-2 hour nap on arrival back in Gardena. I think that riding vs. driving makes the trip so much less boring that you do not get fatigued as when encased in a steel cocoon. Twice makes a pattern -- I feel better about planning the first day of my OKC trip to end in Holbrook AZ.

Posted by Paladin at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2007

Pulling out cables

Scrap Wire, bagged, being sent company mail to be recycledContinuing with removing the old obsolete cat-3 25-pair voice cables at the Hawthorne C.O.. The terminal room has backboards on the west and north walls. The north wall was(is) the KTS and 25-pair floor cables. The KTS cables have been removed; I'm removing the floor cables 'cause they are blocking the running of new Cat-5 cables. Still have six dial tone lines on those cables that need to be moved to the four-pair cables, either cat-5 or cat-3.

Out on the floor I'm mining out the old cables -- the aforementioned 25-pair cat-3 cables. AND.....

!!! 3-pair cables that were used for Netway -- That was a six wire serial system that connected data terminals and printers to a main frame computer. It was replaced in the 1980's.

!!! SSI cables -- were used with AT&T 4500 series devices, terminals, printers, and controllers.

!!! Cables with db-25 RS-232 connectors on them

!!! Coax cables with 1/8" phone plugs on them -- were used by the data test center that closed in the early 1990's.

Mixed with these are 4-pair plenum rated cat-3 cables that terminate on the west wall of the terminal room, which wall also has the house cable. These cables to remain available for straight dial tone or other applications that come up on the house cable.

Posted by Paladin at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2007

Pool by Night

We got a Spa-2-Go for Christmas. It fit quite nicely on the pool deck, but required electricity. Which finally got me off my duff to run AC out to the deck -- which meant trenching for the rigid conduit, etc.. Outlet for the Spa, another for the pool pump (finally replacing the extention cord!), a light over my BBQ for nighttime grilling, and:

Swimming at Night

A pair of waterproof 100 watt halogen floodlights mounted on the deck to illuminate the pool. Picture taken from the roof of the house.

Posted by Paladin at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2007

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers, the big dog in a small body, are notorious for playing Tug-of-War. They will tug until they pass out from dehydration. They are maniacal:

Posted by Paladin at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2007

A buzzing on my phone

....when called by a client's ISDN phone.

She sits in an office, about 180 feet from the Telephone terminal room. She has an ISDN telephone, same as two others in the office next to hers. She has a medium loud 60 hz buzz on her phone, audible to both her and the other party, not so loud as to make conversation impossible, just rather annoying.

The underground is cross-connected to the input of a rack mounted NIU. The out of the NIU is cross-connected to a block feeding jacks in the cat-5 patch rack. As is the -48vdc power for the ISDN phone. At the patch jacks a short patch cord connects to the Cat-5 cables going to the office.

The phone has been swapped out. No to mention that if I plug it into the jack coming from the NIU I have no noise whatsoever -- you can ask my wife!
(trouble is NOT is the terminal equipment, the phone itself)

Things that did not stop the buzzing:

Patch to the old 25-pair cat-5 cable on the opposite corner of the office.
(trouble is NOT is the cable from the terminal room)
Run the U-interface to the office and provide stand-alone NIU/power.
(trouble is NOT is the rack mount power/NIU)
Put a long (30') cable into the jack in the office and walk about with the phone.
(trouble is NOT is induced at or near the desk)

This trouble is starting to bug me.....

Posted by Paladin at 03:07 PM | Comments (5)

June 12, 2007

Douglas Done

-- more or less. Had one last connection requested -- Ethernet to the 1st floor storeroom where they want to put a Wi Fi Access Point. We have a small in the wall steel J-box that barely holds a half blue board with conduits to various places on the first floor. It is also on the opposite side of the wall they want the Access Point. The electrical contractor will be mounting a 4x4 plywood backboard with a two inch conduit run to the j-box. All I have to do is run another Cat-5 cable down from the 2.1 terminal room.

Yeah. Simple. I have a 2 inch conduit, 50 to 60 feet, with three 90 degree bends. With a 100-pair Cat-3 telephone cable and four existing Cat-5 LAN cables. Tried snaking down -- binds on the last turn. Tried Snaking up -- binds on the last turn. Recheck the Cat-5 cables -- one is connected to the old LAN, which is gone. It's a pull string. The downstairs end went to the supply office, but it wouldn't pull out. So I cut it and pulled a pair of new Cat-5 cables down and left about 2 feet of slack in the downstairs J-box, terminated the upstairs end on the Cat-5 patch panel. Nothing left for me to do until the electricians are done building the "phone" bar and mounting the board for the Wi Fi.

So it's back to Birch where I will be needing to run cat-5 cables for about 32 positions.

Posted by Paladin at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2007

Douglas Cables

Someone is moving into the vacant space in the building behind the Douglas C.O.. They want a couple of desks in the far corner from the door, a phone bar on the opposite wall, and a LAN drop in the little 10x10 office.

Hauled a couple of reels of cable and dollies over, pulled floor tiles and found relocatable cables. Cool. Where they want the desks a pair of Cat-5 Quads were waiting under the floor. Near the conference table were three more quads -- and since OCS ran 'em they had enough slack to reach the far wall for the phone bar. (Phone bar is a misnomer -- they want Ethernet connections, not telephones. At least they didn't mention telephones.)

I don't know exactly where they want the phone bar, and I don't have holes in the floor for the cables yet, so I coiled up the three quads and stuffed 'em under the floor as shown on the right. The purpose of this entry is so I can find them again.

Posted by Paladin at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2007

LA Car Guy = No Wi Fi

Back on March 16th, 2007, I got tired of not having Wi Fi available for while I was waiting for my car to be serviced -- so I wrote it up in my blog. A couple of days later got an e-mail saying (paraphrased) "we're working on it -- it should be there next time you visit."

Next time I visited, May 8th, about six weeks later, there was still no Wi Fi. Again I wrote is up in the blog. This time I telephoned and offered to have an AT&T agent contact them -- they declined, "we're working on it." (paraphrased)

Another month has passed -- the Check Engine Light came on (again) and I am at Pacific Volkswagen (again) and I have no Wi Fi signal (again.)

Posted by Paladin at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2007

Kiss KTS goodbye

Wingo taking down the Red BoardsAt one time the 2nd floor of the Hawthorne C.O. was a data test center with nearly 1000 telephone lines on a rather large KTS. A couple of months ago I pulled the plugs on the last of the power supplies. Over the next couple of weeks I re-wired those few phones that had been actually using the KTS. A month ago I pulled all of the line cards, and fixed the one phone that still had it's dial tone going through the depowered card -- my terminal room phone! Week before last I took out the last swinggate, pulled the last of the 75 pair cables going to the RedBoards. This past week I pulled all of the dial tone off the CO leads of the RedBoards, those that were in use being wired directly to the phones, the other hundred of so line traced back to the incoming House Cable, LVT'd to get the number, and placed on The List to be sent in for disconnect orders.

With the last of the wires off, we get to remove the backboards that get to retire after 30 or so years of service.

Posted by Paladin at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2007

A Stroll in the Park

We got tickets through the Credit Union for Disney's California Adventure, last Friday from 4 pm to 1 am Saturday morning. Click on thumbs for larger pix:

Grizzly Mountain Rope Bridge Full Moon over Golden Gate Hollywood Tower Hotel Hollywood Tower Hotel Lobby Drew Tertick, Master Violinist Drew Tertick & Wendy Roller Coaster Hopper, from A Bug's Life

Hit the park, run around Grizzly Mountain to ride the Ferris Wheel and the Roller Coaster, get wet on the River Rapids, not necessarily in that order, walk over some rope bridges (Wendy helped by a future Boy Scout). Go out to Downtown Disney to have dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (100 minute wait?!) back to the park, now under the Full Moon, drop by the Hollywood Tower Hotel, catch Muppets 3D, back out for dinner, returning and passing this violinist for the 5th time just as he starts playing the Theme from Dances With Wolves. Wendy stops as this a a favorite passage and she will thump him if he screws it up. Instead she buys the CD, even has Drew Tretick sign it for her. Back to the park, drop by the Hotel again, catch the coaster again, stop by the Bug's Life thing (nice to look at, rides are at a 4-year-old's level) and about then they start kicking everyone out.

Posted by Paladin at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)