Thursday December 04, 2003
Weapons of mass illumination (part 3)
Part 3? Where did parts 1 and 2 go? Well...
- We got fed up with the old, unreliable, slow-to start flourescent lights in our van, so we replaced them with 3 nice new lights, plus re-wired the rest of the van. The gloom is gone, and the new, dazzling lights were dubbed "weapons of mass illumination".
- Our workshop (the pumphouse which is the building at the rear of this picture) won the prize for the "worst electrical instalation on the railway". What did we do to acchieve this great honour? Not much - the previous holder was disqualified on the grounds that it got re-wired. And our prize - yep, you guessed it - we get to be re-wired. Only, we'd done such a good job on our van, mainly because we have a qualified electrician in the group, that the railway's electrician agreed to us doing the wiring (although he will inspect the final works), which makes the budget go further. In theory it should now stretch to about 140m, which gets us three phase. (At last! Although given the number of false dawns over the past 10 years since 3 phase was first promised, there may still be some setbacks). So as part of the works, the lights in the inner room have been replaced by new dazzlingly bright tubes, and the main room will have new uplights (hopefully this weekend).
- I got fed up with my room being dingy. When I last replaced one of the 60W bulbs in the light fittings recessed into the ceiling, I noticed that the fittings were rated up to 100W. So yesterday while in Sainsburys (buying beer and pizza and maybe some other stuff) I bought 2 100W bulbs. Moreover, these are spotlight bulbs, so the rear is painted with something reflective. I fitted them last night. Aaargh! The lights! The lights! I estimate that before 50% of the light from the 2 × 60W with 50% went upwards into the ceiling, so I only had about 60W into the room. Now I have 200W. It's bright. Maybe I should wear sunglasses.
Life imitates art - prior to the workshop re-wiring, we repainted all the internal walls of the pumphouse white. At one point the electrical conduit takes a trip across an alcove, and is supported on two metal struts. The centre points for these struts were marked on the white wall with red pen, and the shape of these struts means that these points are still visible. I've painted over the red pen twice now, and the damn stuff still shows through the white paint. It reminds me of the section in one of Adrian Mole's secret diaries where he's trying to paint his Noddy wallpaper black, and the little gold bells keep showing through.
s/Black marker pen/tippex/ maybe? At least I've only got 2 to scrub out. :-)