Thursday, September 28, 2006

ALL IN A DAY'S WORK - I saw the light! (long post with lots of pictures!)

Two weeks ago I was presented with a project. The problem to be solved was this: The church had bought a used organ from another church nearby. When the organ tech hooked everything up, he placed the speakers along the windows.

The problem with this is that now the first three rows of people get blown out!

Meanwhile, the organist is situated behind a structural pillar. As he or she cannot hear properly, the volume goes up.

Do you see the problem?

Now, don't get me wrong... there are times when I love to wear my music as much as the next fellow, but please... Granny's already half-deaf and it just wouldn't do to finish her off!

I had suggested, when they first bought the organ, that the speakers be placed in the loft at the back of the church. Not only would the cabinets be "out of the way", the coverage would be much, much more even.

So, on with the project!

In order to place the speakers at the back of the room, effectively 60 feet away from the organ, a cable had to be run down through the floor, across the ceiling of the basement and up through the floor again and up to the loft. It would be simple enough to hardwire everything in place, but if you ever went to change something it would be a bear!! So I decided to put plugs on either end of this cable so that the organ could be unplugged if necessary, likewise with the speakers in the loft.

Connectors placed on the speaker and organ cable ends.

Preparing the multi-conductor line for soldering to the plugs

Plugs attached to the face plate

My make-shift vice: A C-clamp I had in my tool box. Crude, but effective.

As I was doing all this, there just happened to be a meeting downstairs. Lucky for me, it was the annual Ladies Group Pot Luck! One of the ladies came upstiars to see what all the fuss was about and said, "Well, David... you MUST come down and have a bite! ...Have some dessert at least!" SCORE!!

Once the ladies had gone home, I was free to work on the downstairs portion of the project. The first order of business was to drill a hole through the floor to run the cable.

I popped a ceiling tile so I could see the hole I actually drilled... only... it was dark! Very dark! I had forgotten my flashlight, so I searched the building high and low - not a flashlight to be found.

Now, Turtle shells are pretty dark inside and we Turtles generally get along just fine. This, however presented a problem.

I started to think. (My fourth cousin, twice removed was an elephant, so thinking comes naturally to me as well...)

Surely there was SOMETHING I could use... a lamp... anything!


Nothing here.

This struck me as very odd. Thinking back to one of my favourite movies, "The Blues Brothers", I recalled Jake and Elwood were sent to church to "see the light"... and they did! Why, then, could I not find one!!??

Then it hit me. You might say, "I saw the light".

In the storage room I discovered some lightbulbs. I also found an old extension cord. I thought to myself,

"If Edison could invent the lightbulb, surely Turtle can reinvent the flashlight!"

So I set about building my very own, one of a kind, guaranteed no one has one like it - flashlight!

I removed the recepticle end of the extension, carefully placing the positive and negative wires to the appropriate places on the lightbulb. Using copious amounts of electrical tape I secured the line directly to the bulb.

Two questions came to mind.

(1) Would it pass electrical code?

After all, the lightbulb was CSA approved, the wire was rated to 10 amps or so, the plug on the end of the wire was CSA approved, and the electrical tape was rated to 6000 volts. I was merely dealing with 110!

Something told me... no. It would not pass.

However, the immediate question was indeed,

(2) Would it WORK?

There really WAS only one way to find out: Plug it in and see what happens.

Would you look at that, it worked!

Now, before you get all excited, freaked out and so on... I'll let you in on a little secret. I've done this before! I do not, however, recommend that you try this at home... unless you're Jeremiah. I'm pretty sure he could pull it off without burning down the house!

It was time for more COFFEE!!

I preped the wire for fishing through the hole I could now see, thank to my TurtleLite.
Strung the wire along the ceiling and up through the floor again - this time through the kitchen ceiling.
This was the end result. Organ speakers safely stowed in the loft (yes, I fastened them down so as not to allow them to slide off the shelf!)


Badoozie said...

nice touch. very nice. so now we know you are very resourceful indeed!!!

Anvilcloud said...

I'm humming and tapping that gospel song, "PTL, I saw the light."

Miss 1999 said...

I've got to hand it to you- you are definitely talented! I couldn't never pulled that one off- The turtle light was great! I swear, I could burn the house down just thinking about doing that *L* :0) Glad the speakers are in the loft now, and everything sounds good, we don't want anyone getting blasted out of church! :0)

Jamie Dawn said...

Well done!
I was able to make it through this LONG post ONLY because of the photos, or else I would have wandered off into mental oblivion. Photos make turn a long post into a picture book, and that is the level of reading I an most comfortable in. :)
The homemade flashlight is creative and ingenious, but I will take your advice and NOT try it myself.

Even though you were past the poem deadline, I will see if I can work in the word "turtle." No promises here, but I will give it a try. I always try to show kindness to all my blog buddies.

Lavender Dawn said...

I can't beleive you made that! At least to be an inventor And get treats!

nolikeysushi said...

Well done! Fantastically inventive. I give it 5 shells!

Sarah Elaine said...

A tough job - and clearly you were the right person for it.

The trouble with that is, word will get out and you'll never be out of work! ;-)

oshee said...

I am impressed. You are a regular MacGyver.

Janice said...

Hi Dave,

Your church is so lucky to have you! And luckily you didn't burn down the church while your inventing stuff too.


About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.