Saturday, September 24, 2016

Power inching closer


Helpers, they were holding the ladder.
I drove to town first thing to buy those mounting screws for the light.  I went right to the section of the store where they sell the lights and no mounting screws.  I asked for help, no mounting screws.  He took me over to the screw and bolt section of the store.  Nothing fit, he asked two more staff members, no mounting screws.  They gave me two small self taping screws so I could attach the light to the mounting base.  As soon as I got back home I mounted the light.  I then wired the light switch and installed the waterproof switch cover.  It manipulates a normal light switch with an external lever while making it waterproof.  Its pretty cool.  I then decided to start gluing conduit together.  I needed a wire tape (fish tape) to pull the wire through the conduit.  I had to go up into our attic to find it.  This meant I had to move the dresser we are giving away from the hallway first.  Finally, wire tape in hand I head out to the shop to get the conduit completed.  I had figured the ditch was only 125 feet long. This was a rough guesstimate.  I was off by almost 35 feet.  Since my wire tape is only 125 feet I only glued 110 feet of conduit together.  I ran the fish tape from the end by the machine shop then ran out the wire alongside the ditch to get an accurate measurement, added some more and cut the wire.  I then drug all the wire back behind the starting point of the conduit and laid it out so it would not kink.  I taped the fish tape onto a center wire.  The tape makes for a friction point in the conduit but I had already done 10 feet when I realized I should have used some lubricant.  I had wire pulling gel leftover so I squeezed some of it into the far end of the conduit.  I had a hard time pulling the wire and holding onto the conduit.  I needed all my strength to pull the wire.  I ended up sitting on the ground with the conduit lip up against the bottom of my right boot with my left boot pushing it from the top to hold it in place.  This only allowed me to pull about one foot of wire before having to regroup and try again.  It took almost 45 minutes just to pull the wire through that conduit.  It was very painful and I need to remember the mantra "lube first".  When I pulled the wire to the switch I did not use any tape, I didn't think it was any easier.  I had to climb up on the wall and spread my legs to either side of the electrical box and pull as hard as I could.  Once I had the wire in the box, I wired the outlet, the light and a spare set of wires for our internet providers!  I left them half the box so there was room to work. 


2/3 of conduit laid and covered
Once I had 2/3 of the conduit done I laid it down into the ditch and backfilled it.  Unfortunately, I had to toss the first few inches of dirt into the ditch by hand.  Large rocks can wear a hole into the conduit so I sorted through the dirt to put dirt only next to the conduit.  I used the tractor to fill in the ditch, drove over it several times with the tractor and then drug all the excess dirt away with the box blade.  I figure once it settles I will use gravel to fill in any low part of the ditch.
Tomorrow I want to finish laying the conduit and getting it wired into the system.  The real problem is that when I tore up the bridge five years ago I never put the wiring back.  We have had light sensing lamp posts next to our walkway for five years as mere decoration.  I think I will have to wire some more stuff up under the bridge.  I need to go check and make sure the power is off. 
Power, light switch and outlet done ready for internet.








The cows needed fed so I went to the barn and got some of last years hay.  It looks like straw, but it really is hay. I managed to get five bales up onto my little tractor bucket.  I called the college last week and left a message with the diesel tech instructor about letting them work on our old tractor to get it up and going.  I have not heard back so I will call again next week.  I need the old Ford 9N up and going, it can move the 800# bales that my little tractor cannot.

I am frantically trying to get everything done before winter gets here.  
Cow feeding time