Sunday, March 9, 2008

Project Day & Prep for a Shuttle Launch

Today was a project day for me. I've been meaning to install an exterior jack for the TV, on the truck Camper. Everytime we stay in an RV Park that has cable TV we have to run a cable from thier connection thru the sliding window in the front of the 'Lance' to our TV. Not that bad but you have to "Watch out for that wire" moving about inside the camper, and when 'skeeter' season gets here I don't want any voids that'll let them little ladies gettin' thier wickerbill in me and mine. I've had the exterior jack for a while so's I figured I'd see if I could get that done today. I had some ideas on how I was gonna accomplish that job, but every possibility I came up with turned out to be a washout for one reason or another. You see our amplifier and cable hookup is up under the cabinet over the kitchen sinks.
I originally was going to run the connection out the wall behind the TV. Two problems with that, first that would involve having to run a second cable from the connection to the TV and second it would put the connection outside up so high on the camper I would have to use our step stool to connect it. So I'm tryin' to figure how to connect it to the amp, where it should be, and I'm tryin to figure where in the heck did they run thier wires, when I pull out the silverware drawer and son of a gun, there's wires runnin' from under the counter and up the wall.

So I carefully pull up the paneling on the bottom shelf of the cabinet and there's 12v & 110 wires runnin' underneath. There is a small portion of a hole in the wall that can be seen when that panel is installed on the shelf. So now I need to get my cable down thru the wall so I start pushin'. Did you ever try to push cooked spagetti thru a straw, it don't fly, I guess I'll have to go get that fishtape up in the attic to pull it instead (I was just tryin' to cut some corners). Fishtape in hand I decide to pull 2 strings up the wall instead of the cable, 2 because then I'll have an extra for the next time I get a brilliant idea we need some new wires in this area. After the string comes pullin' the cable with one pull string and tyin' off the other for the future.

So now I strip the cable, I use RG-6 cable all the time because it will carry antenna, cable and sattelite signal, and crimp my connection on. Now seems the Lance people didn't put this cable on so they saw no reason to leave me enough room to connect this cable on the center connector on the amplfier. I had to get my RotoZip out and route a trough thru the blocking they provided to mount the amplifier. Now this end is complete.

The rest was easy. I decide to fasten the paneling on the cabinet bottom with small screws instead of the staples the factory used, in case I have to open it up again someday. The way it normally works for me, no matter how much thought I put into it, as soon as I zip that part of the project up, Mr. Murphy smiles down on me and I have to open it up again cause of something I missed or forgot. You know they say the third times the charm, well I'm tryin' my best to get it right the first, if not I'm makin' provisions for the second. Then it was easy to pull the screws that hold in/down the stove/oven to get me access behind it, run my wire, choose where I'm gonna drill out thru the side and install the exterior box with jack. I sealed her up with 'Geocell' chaulking, thats what the Lance people used on most of the exterior. I find it flexible and much, much tougher than silicone. I'll have to add the exterior pics as we had unexpected company arrive as I was finishing up and my camera was already put away. I plan on buildin' a page on the website for all my RV modifications as soon as I can get to it.


Here's the finished product.

As I mentioned in the title of todays post we're preparin' for a shuttle launch. Early Tuesday mornig at 2:28am Space Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled for a launch. We will be there to watch her lift off. I hope to have some nice night shots off the launch, we'll have to see how my camera performs in the dark. I'm gonna load up the Lance in the morning and we'll leave for the Cape right after lunch. We hope to get in a county park along the river directly accross from the launch pad in the same general area we were in last time. We've seen many night launches from our property here but this will be a first, to see it up close and personal. We figure if we get run out of the park we have other options runnin' around in our little heads.

I mentioned company, well Noel & Barb pulled in today with thier 5ver and they are going with us, an unexpected surprise. Linda's aunt & uncle are staying with us and they are going with us as well. They are not "campers" so we'll see how they like it. George & Della are also coming over with thier Lance and will meet us up there. Lots of good friends & excitment, proves to be some fine times.

"Safari Update"

My son borrowed a game camera, one of those you set up and forget. well we've been gettin' all kinds of pictures of the hogs that that are rootin' up everthing. Got a second trap, but just been throwin' corn out gettin'em used to the traps. Last night they set one of the traps and this mornin' we had us small sow. The boys hurried built her a pen and now she has a new home. I'll have to put some pics in my next post.

Hope to see ya down the road as were 'Dancin' on the Wind'

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