Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Some strange adventures.

Today was a day that was really odd. It started with my aiming to go to Greenville to try to get my Mac fixed at the Apple store. That's not what actually happened though. As soon as I started the engine, a light came on telling me to get my engine serviced. Thus, I went to Autozone where the problem was diagnosed as a faulty fuel sender unit costing $160. Well, that seemed strange since clearly my fuel gauge worked well. Next stop was the dealer who confirmed it was the fuel sender unit and that it would be $610 to get it replaced (including taxes). By then it was getting a bit late to head to Greenville and since the fuel gauge was still working, I decided to leave it until such a point as it actually needs replacing.

Being in Lexington itself then, I headed to Best Buy where I noted the cheapest Macbook (10 years younger than mine) was $800. Still some way to come before they will be as affordable as a $199 Windows laptop! As usual all the staff completely ignored me from the greeter by the door to the individual in the computer section who was too busy picking his nose to be bothered. Plenty staff just stood idly around chatting on their cellphones and watching customers enter then leave the store having never been asked if they needed assistance. I left too even though I knew what I wanted to ask about since Best Buy clearly is not interested in doing any business.

Leaving Best Buy, the next port of call was Home Depot where I actually found the turnbuckles I so desperately needed. Seeing as Home Depot's turnbuckles which apparently will hold 130lbs had loop ends rather than the closable ends I needed, I had to go across the road to Tractor Supply for some connectors. Et voila - now you can see what is going to be on one side of each waste water drum!

The top left screws into one of the body skeleton cross members. It's a clamp designed to anchor a steel cable. It will hold a chain very well. The next bit is a 130lb turnbuckle. The last bit is a link I can use to connect the turnbuckle to a chain. I will use three like this on one side of each barrel. The other side will have a plain clamp to attach the chain to the skeleton.

I returned home in enough time to work toward putting the barrels under the bus. The first thing achieved was to attach the water tubing. After that I installed the breathing tubes. Sounds simple? I most certainly assure you it was not!

The water tube was pretty easy - just a matter of drilling a 3/4 inch hole in the center of the big cap then screwing in an adaptor - the cap is ready threaded. Then the angle was installed. The other side was far more interesting. I spent ages trying to unscrew a metal ringed cap before discovering after 20 minutes that it simply levered off, revealing a cap with a cross in the head. It took a few minutes to make a screwdriver out of steel to open the cap. The goal was to put a hole through that cap in order to install a breathing tube. 

To cut a long story short (chorus of Thankyou Jesus echoes around the room), my original plan had been to drill through the cap and install a threaded tube through it, tightened by a nut on both sides. Well, that didn't end up working but the plastic hose barb that I'd bought screwed very nicely into the hole I'd slowly made with a drill then enlarged with a file and a stanley knife.

By the time darkness fell, I'd put two breathing tubes and two fluid tubes into barrels. The next thing and I left this until tomorrow is to mount the barrels underneath the body. Interestinly the threades on the cable clamps seem to be 7.2mm or 0.29 of an inch. I don't have a drill that size but I can borrow one. My game plan is to drill a template in some flat steel then use that to drill the holes under the bus. 

The second barrel will not be installed tomorrow. Just the one. The second, I need to buy 6 more cable clamps for. Tractor Supply did not have enough to fulfill my needs. I gather they have deliveries on Thursdays so on Friday I can imagine I might be installing the second barrel. Having done that, I might put the sink that I removed, back in the bathroom as it's just the perfect place to use as a urinal! 

Although I am unlikely to get my Mac working before I head back to work on Monday, I should at least (if plans go well) have some improved plumbing. I don't know about the main breaker box but things are looking promising!

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