Field Expedient Repair – Or Not…

A perfectionist meets baling gum and chewing wire…

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Looking for a Ding-Dong…

My truck didn’t have a gentle chime to remind one to remove the keys. No, when you opened the door, a buzzer went off like a fire alarm. I finally unplugged the beast and dropped it in the glove box, intending to find some way to muffle it later. I remembered it when I came out to a dead battery after work one day. Yup, headlight and key buzzers, both in the same box. Ah, but who really needs a headlight warning anyway? I guess that would be me.

Lesson learned about the value of little reminders, I proceeded to try to make the buzzer a little less obnoxious.  I finally stopped the sucker from being annoying – by making it completely silent.

Linda – wanna ride to Radio Shack to get a ding-dong?
A what?
A ding-dong. You know, a little chime thingy.
Don’t go in there and ask for a ding-dong – they’ll think you’re weird.
They know I’m weird – I brought my own record once to check out a turntable.
What’s so weird about that?
It was by Tom Lehrer.
Ugh – point made. It doesn’t matter – you will not go in there and ask for a ding-dong!
Sigh. Okay.

Can I help you?
Yes, I’m looking for one of the two-tone door chimes.
Sure. You looking for wireless, or?
No, no, the component part – it’s for a project.
Oh, you want a ding-dong!
Exactly!

DSCN0430buz_open

Buzzer with chime – open

The chime on top replaces the now-defunct key/headlight buzzer on the left. The seatbelt buzzer is on the right in the background; the bimetal strip and heater in the foreground serve as a timer to kill the seatbelt buzzer after a few seconds. Threading the orange wire in through the fine wires required a bit of care, hence the hot-melt in the corner to secure it.

DSCN0449buz_assy

Buzzer reassembled

I left the wires long and the back cover off with thoughts of coming back later with more sophisticated logic than (keys and door open) = buzz, but the new chime wasn’t annoying enough to bother with.  I probably did this about 15 years ago.  When I pulled the chime out for it’s photo op, I noticed that the back had been off all this time.  Did I throw the back out?  I walked over to the bench, rummaged around for a bit, found it, sawed a slot in the case for the wires, and snapped the cover back on.  Maybe it’s time to clean up the bench.

DSCN0451buz_install

Installed back in the fuse block.

And here it is, back in the truck, hot-melt muffling the chime down to a tolerable level.

Project complete…

Advertisements

Plumbing Condos

We began staying at a condo instead of a motel on our annual beach vacation – it costs only a little more and the condos, each being someone’s vacation home, are very nice. Walking through the parking deck to the elevator, I looked up and marvelled at the work of art installed on the ceiling:

DrainTheCondos

I still can’t figure out if they kept changing the goals, piped themselves into a corner, or executed the design flawlessly.  It doesn’t look like the pipes could move enough to assemble some of those joints.

How would you do it?