Sunday, 24 December 2017

How I concluded 2017

The new year is upon us and I'm pretty optimistic. I was working as a contract systems administrator for a large publicly held company in downtown Seattle; and the contract was supposed to last until the end of the year. Unfortunately it ended early, so my time is occupied finding a new job right now. Not how I would have preferred how the year ended, but C'est la vie.

In the meantime, I've been spending my free time divided between the job search and doing some more improvements on my 2004 Tacoma. For that, I've spent some time at my parents house in Bellingham since they have a garage and are gone for the winter. That gives me the opportunity to take care of the house and keep an eye on it, while I job search during the day.

Since I'm not working, I have to keep expenses down, which meant I couldn't really do any Christmas shopping for my parents. I did however re-cable and rewire my dad's entertainment center. I wired it up the first time several years ago, but I didn't do a very good job with all of the wires behind the TV. I had been wanting to improve this for a while, and this was the best time for me to do it.

The chaos at the beginning of the rewire project

Getting started, the surge protector is mounted against the wall

Cables are wound around rope "cleats" for management

Surge protector, cable splitter are mounted, cables are wound


View of the components along with broadband appliance

cable and phone lines protected from surges


View of everything after complete
I've done projects like these before, and there is always one part that challenges me the same; finding a way to route cables so it looks neat and organized, while being able to trace them and troubleshoot if needed. I'm very particular about cable management, and frequently will redo work I've already done if I find a way to improve it.

Here, I used rope cleats, or what you tend to find on boat slips and docks (used for wrapping rope around to secure the boat). These work pretty well if you have short length cables. I also made sure to run the coaxial broadband cables for the internet and cable TV, and the phone lines for the digital phone service through the surge protector. This does the obvious and protects against surges from lightning strikes, and also conditions the signal. I'll come back and label everything to make it easier to identify also.

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