Start the Morning off Right

Before we get into last night, look what Heath and I ate this morning.

Yes those dark spots are blueberries and there are about twice as many chunks of banana in there that you can’t see.

I was mostly on my own last night. Heath had a Costco run with Becky followed by a dinner with some family and friends. Even though I am trying to slow things down I have a pretty big project list. Getting the boat running is high on the list and was my first idea for what to get working on. I got the original motor off the dolly and put on the transom next to the new motor then started looking at all the parts that needed to move and things I would need transfer over. Once I got everything moved and connected I would be back to where I was a year ago when the motor died and forced Jon, Derrick and I to spend a day and part of a night paddling it upstream on the Kaw. The small amount of motivation I had left and it’s likely the boat will not be going anywhere this year but maybe back under the deck.

So I got started on a bigger toy that can be fun year round and is already running. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got a pile of fuses out of my truck and from the basement and my voltmeter and started looking for fuses on the van and replacing ones that did not work. I eventually found and replaced a few and then it was time to test some stuff out.

The van has this little control box on the ceiling by the front two seats. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The picture is bad but there are 5 buttons(actually most of the pictures are bad from here out)

  • bright map lights
    the lights on the sides
    the lights on the ceiling
    the TV
    the radio

So I started hitting buttons and recording what was working and what was not. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The map lights worked but I think they already worked. The lights on the side worked but one section over the back had fallen out before I got it and was in my garage. The ceiling lights worked too. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The radio in the back now had power too but I was unable to make the sound in the back any different then in the front. The radio looked like it had been kicked a lot and the dials are all a little funky. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got some headphones and all the jacks around the car worked and were tied to the back seat radio. I pulled it out and made sure everything was connected good for it. There were some additional inputs on it and outputs if I need to add anything to it but making the radio different in the back without headphones looks challenging and not that big of a feature to worry about.

The last button was the tv and of course the most complex and awesome. The TV was in the garage and needed to be moved into the van. I tested the plugs first to make sure power was getting to them now and it was so I moved the TV in. I got it all connected and hit the power. It has no lights or anything so at first I thought something was wrong but once it warmed up the tube light up a light blue. I changed channels and inputs and could not get rid of the blue screen. Then I remembered the van was built in a time of analogue tv waves and we live in the future of digital tv waves. So I ran downstairs and opened a box of one of the converter boxes I got a while back with my gov coupons. Of course it needed to plug into a house style outlet and the van has none of these.

I do have a little DC-AC converter box though and plugged it into one of the many cig lighters and got it all hooked up to the van antenna and everything. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It actually fits pretty well up front and turns off when the van is off and should not be a big annoyance. I would have liked to bury the digital box under the TV but it needs line of site for the remote to work so I stuck it in front of the VCR. I turned everything on and let the converter box search for channels. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It found 13 in my driveway and then I started watching the news. The picture is amazingly clear considering the size age and wackiness. However the picture bounces up and down and I’m not sure what to do about that. The TV has a weird power plug but the amps and volts are pretty normal so I may be able to rig up any tv in there. It also had some AV in and out ports on the back so I was able to run some cords out to hook up Peanut’s portable DVD player through it.

The new fuses had really done a number on the van. I got out the drill and some wire nuts and put back up the side lights and they worked fine too. I started to work on getting AC from only working on the defrost vents to working all over when Jon showed up.

This pretty much ended van productivity. I wanted to get the air working and the van all cleaned out and vacuumed and armor-alled but  Jon and I got to talking and we get wound up and the next thing I new my time was up.

Jon and I had a few beers and I first he gave me some tips on getting the air working. Then we started planning for a weekend adventure trip in a few weeks. Then we talked about the excitement and fears we had about having babies on the way.

Then Jon headed home and I made a turkey and bacon sandwich and headed to work. I left the house at 8:45 and got to work got things fixed and rebooted and tested and was home by 9:30. I drove the van and played with all the new lights on the way home because it was dark and I could see how cool they were. I’m sure people around me wondered about all the strange mood lights going on and off in the big green van.

Once home I started to dig into the air control panel but after getting a few screws out I discovered it was going to be a tough job and not to be done in the dark so I called it quits. I headed downstairs and played Batman for awhile then I heard Heath come home. I headed upstairs and joined her in bed for some TV and sleep.


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