Yeah, the Muse vacated me again. Something about a week in Tahiti at a resort....
So, I took to cleaning up and organizing the basement, which has been a Genuine Mess since we moved in here five years ago. The basement here consists of three rooms, a full bath, and Der Boonker, a semi-secure storage area built under the steps in a corner of the foundation. Four concrete walls and floor, nicely tucked out of the way, hence the name.
One room is a bedroom, one room is my workshop, and one room is a little "study area" and entrance to the bedroom. It had been pretty much stacked with boxes and boxes of stuff, followed shortly by large plastic tubs of baby clothes, swings, bouncers, and other items The Kids are storing here. The clothes are serving as hand-me-downs from TLG to the NLG, and will be yard-saled after the NLG outgrows them.
Baby clothes and things go instantly at yard sales here, not surprising considering the number of young couples with Little Ones here.
So, first step was to get some racks for storage....
And secure them to the wall:
Then fill 'em up!
No, I'm not going to show a "before" picture, as it's too embarrassing...!
Over on the workshop side, a single rack was installed, and rapidly filled:
Still a work-in-progress, as I haven't fully sorted what's on it. At least it got 85% of the boxes off the floor, and sorted through. Now I have to do the bookcases again to make better use of the space that's being freed-up.
On the other side, I re-racked a lot of gear so The Little Guys could have some (safe) knobs and dials to spin while they spend time down here.
The two little racks to the left came from where the new big rack is, and let me separate my record and tape stuff.
A couple of "quickie" projects popped up as I was sorting things. The first, just about completed, is a refurbish of the Kenwood TM-D700A VHF/UHF mobile transceiver that lived in my Jeep Grand Cherokee for about 10 years. Never skipped a beat, and always worked, but was pretty crummy from living in a car for that long.
It's been all scrubbed up, bench-checked, and is being remounted to the plastic cutting board I had it on. Makes a nice little "Grab-And-Go" FM transceiver. It also has a built-in Packet Radio interface, and the small black box to the right of the control head is a keyboard interface so I can send text messages. Just another way of keeping in touch if TSHTF. It'll go up on the shelf with my Elecraft K2-100 HF transceiver which is for longer range communications.
The next project is my Hamtronics R-139 WEFAX receiver.
I can do, and have done, everything this does with a good quality $30 USB "Dongle". A bit silly, perhaps, but it's never worked. It's a simple circuit, just one-of-five crystal oscillators selected either manually, or allowed to scan continuously until there's a signal on one of the channels. The scanning part works OK, as well as manual selection, but NONE of the 100MHz crystal oscillators turn on. I'm sure it's simple, as it affects all of the oscillators, so should be a nice little diversion as I continue to clean all the controls and switches on the big Pioneer SX-980 FM Stereo receiver.
And of course, a place for Pebbles to rest her head when she comes down to keep me company.
And as an interesting side note, see this innocuous little roll of bubble wrap?
It's responsible for keeping the garage FIFTEEN DEGREES warmer this Winter. That's astounding for something costing essentially zero. When we had the new front and rear storm doors installed, we also had a new insulated exterior door installed in the garage. It didn't seem to make much, if any, improvement to keeping the garage any warmer, so I wrote it off as an "Oh, Well...." item. This summer I was looking at it, and noticed a huge 2" gap between the storm door and the sill. The ding-dong who put the old storm door back on never installed the "sweep", which seals the bottom of the door to the sill, so we have a huge air leak there. In fact, he was going to throw away the good, serviceable storm door because "I thought you didn't need it with the new exterior door".
What a dolt! I explained that I work in the garage a lot (DUH!), and that I liked to open the exterior door and lower the glass window in the outer door for ventilation through the screen. So the sweep was tossed, and I didn't carefully check their work before they left. They also made NO attempt to seal the new door sill (it was a pre-hung door) to the floor. I picked up a can of expanding foam, so I'll seal the sill in the Spring.
In the meantime, I'm still working on the bookcases and new rack. Should be much more usable when I'm wrapped up.