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Mon Jan 23 - Computer Plan

This morning it was sunny, crisp, and cool. My day started by having weekly breakfast with Kyle at a local restaurant. During breakfast I mentioned that my next big project is computers.

I“m expecting this will be my last computer building extravaganza so I'm gonna try to get it right the first time. Here's the plan:

Computer plan
Order of operations:

  1. Build a radiator for the flight sim computer
  2. Build the flight sim computer
  3. Convert what's left of my daily driver to a multi-purpose computer.
2023/01/23 18:46 · john · 0 Comments

Sun Jan 22 - Craft Room Heater

The code violation is: a covered junction box.

Further explanation: The small junction box that is being used to transition from 1/2 inch Extruded Metal Conduit (EMC) to 3/8 inch Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC) is inside a space that is normally enclosed.

I can replace the junction box with a transition fitting. But, the smallest transition fitting I have is for 1/2 inch EMC to 1/2 inch FMC.

I can think of four possible solutions:

1. Leave everything alone and press on.

2. Remove one of the sides of the wooden box.

3. Try to loop some 1/2 inch FMC inside the wooden box. If it fits then I can replace the junction box with a 1/2 to 1/2 transition fitting.

4. Purchase a 1/2 to 3/8 transition fitting and replace the junction box with a 1/2 to 3/8 transition fitting:

Lookit that jewel!
Further discussion on each possible solution:

PS 1: I want to fix the violation, not ignore it. It's how I roll.

PS 2: While removing a side of the wooden box “technically” removes the code violation it'd look crappy and the inside of the box would collect dust and tarantulas and stuff. I'd rather not do this.

PS 3: 1/2 inch FMC is overkill (really big) for this heater install. If I can loop some 1/2 inch FMC inside the wooden box I might consider this solution. I will not under any circumstances rebuild the wooden box.

PS 4: 1/2 to 3/8 transitions are quite rare in retail stores. I could drive around and try to find one. I found, like, six businesses in the QCA that may have some in stock but they may only sell to the trades, not John Q. Public.

Outlets
I'm going to try the possible solutions in this order: 4, 3, 2, 1.

Today is Sunday so I'll work on something else, Tomorrow I'll call a few commercial outlets and if they have some smaller transition fittings in stock and they sell to the public I'll buy a handful. If not, I'll work my way down the list.

2023/01/22 08:17 · john · 0 Comments

Sat Jan 21 - Craft Room Electric - 2nd Project Update Today

Okay. So I stopped working on the heater installation for today, here's what I got done.

I spent some time planning the wiring, then I installed the box and conduit. The wooden box for the heater is sitting on the floor:

Conduit
In this next picture the wooden box is attached to the wall and completely skinned:

More progress
There's enough room inside the wooden box for about a loop and a half of armored cable. That's enough to pull the heater completely free of the wooden box for service if necessary.

This type of in-wall heater is designed as a metal “can-within-a-can” with an air gap between the cans. It comes in three parts which are all leaning against the wall in the above picture.

The parts are installed from right to left. First the shiny silver-lookin' can is fastened to the wooden box. Then the black can (contains the heating elements, fan, and thermostat) fastens to silver can. Finally, the white face plate is attached to the black can. Easy peasy.

For safety there's two temperature limit switches inside the black can. This heater is a two kilowatt 240 volts. I can wire in a wall thermostat if necessary but I've never needed to do that for the half dozen or so of these heaters I've installed so far in my life.

Oh. By the way, I'm no cabinet-maker. The wooden box is just a solid box that's fancy enough for an unfinished basement.

Darn it! Darn it to heck and all the way back. I just did a final review of this article and was getting ready to click the “publish” button when I realized I created a wiring code violation. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it, I'll think on it overnight and try to come up with a solution. Off the top of my head I can't think of an easy fix. So much for being in a hurry. Rats. I gotta re-think this whole thing.

2023/01/21 20:16 · john · 0 Comments

Sat Jan 21 - Yarn

Several toobs and cones of yarn arrived by parcel today. She mentioned something about blankets.

Yarn and knitting machine

2023/01/21 19:54 · john · 0 Comments

Sat Jan 21 - Craft Room Electric - Project Update

I finished wiring the lights and outlets in the basement craft room. Yesterday I started the day by framing up a box for a built-in electric space heater when Kim came down to check on progress. So far so good.

She mentioned that she was going to get rid of the shelves along the remaining wall. Here's what that looks like:

The remaining wall

  1. 1 is a piece of wood on the floor where I was gonna box in a space heater.
  2. 2 are two LAN cables that run to two cameras on the outside of the house (front porch and a front corner). Many years ago I ran those wires haphazardly, then recently built the wall around them.
  3. 3 is a LAN cable that runs across ceiling then up into my room above this space. I had tacked it to the joists back in the day, running it along the shortest distance between two points. If you follow it you may see it going through the open window behind the shelves.

I stopping working on the heater and instead helped Kim empty the shelves. She took down the empty shelves.

I decided to bite the bullet and re-route those three LAN cables which took me the rest of the day. Here's what I ended up with:

Re-routed LAN cables

And here's the remaining wall and re-routed LAN cables:

The remaining wall
Kim thinks she's gonna put a table against that wall below the window for sewing and and knitting. If she does, the lighting would be less than ideal because the ceiling lights would be behind someone sitting at the table. I'll put the heater somewhere in the red oval area no matter what.

So I see myself installing at least one light fixture above the window up inside the joist pocket, and probably an outlet or two along that wall.

2023/01/21 11:55 · john · 0 Comments

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