quick disconnnect never connect
Monday, November 11 2019
At work I've been building a Python script that automates the building of a stored-procedure-based API allowing a C# layer to communicate with a messy old database using table and column names that don't make me want to kill myself. I've stored the differences between the bad old schema and the new one in series of objects, and the creation of all the stored procedures happens in a second or two. Today I added another feature to the script: the production of a Model.cs file describing all the database objects in C#. Though it's unlikely I will go this far, it might be possible for me to write a script that builds an entire C#/SQL backend based only on my differences objects and an existing database schema.
At noon today, I drove down to Williams Lumber to get some more supplies for my air conditioning wiring project. I mostly needed things like romex clamps, though when I was in the store, I bought some navy-grey plastic components intended for routing electrical wire outside. When I found it perfectly mated to 90 degree conduit elbow, I bought the whole role, which caused a big delay at checkout, since it hadn't been measured. It was expensive, but I was sure it would make my outdoor wiring neater.
I got home at about 4:30pm, and the first thing I did was take the dogs on a walk down the Farm Road. By the time I made it back home via the Stick Trail, the forest had gone nearly dark.
I spent the next seven hours drilling holes and running wire. I found it fairly easy to drill a hole from outside the house into the wall where the circuit breaker box was (my targeting being helped by a nearby water tap). Inside the wall, I had to use a long bit to reach through an unexpected stud, but beyond that lay the bay containing the circuit breaker box. From that, I routed two wires to a place near to outdoor units (handling air conditioning in the upstairs and bedroom and Gretchen's library) as well as a third to somehow also reach the outdoor unit under the south deck (handling the air conditioning of the master guest room) some thirty or forty feet away.
According to code, air conditioners are supposed to have disconnects near them, allowing the power to be killed by yanking out a plastic insert containing conductors. Quick connects are supposed to act like fuses, though only the intervention of a human can make them "blow." So I went through all the bother of install two quick connect boxes and then wiring them to their respective outdoor units. After that, I turned my attention to wiring up the sub-panel in the closet in Gretchen's library. I would've completed the wiring back at the main panel, but I made the mistake of knocking out too large of a hole in that, meaning evening my largest romex clamp wouldn't fit. So I improvised a connection to that panel just so I could test everything out.
But when I turned on the circuit breakers, nothing happened. What the fuck? After extensive testing with a multimeter, it turned out that the stupid quick disconnects were remaining disconnected, no matter how the conductive insert was inserted. And when I tested that insert with a multimeter, I discovered the problem: there was no way that it would work as it was supposed to. It didn't have electrical connections between the terminals it was supposed to connect! It had one fucking job!. Well, I wasn't going to go through the bother of taking the quick connects apart and returning them to Home Depot. Instead, I soldered 12 gauge wires to connect the terminals in the insert so that it would behave as it was supposed to.
Now I could finally see how the split units performed. I turned on both of the ones I'd fully wired to see how quickly they could heat their respective spaces. They did so surprisingly quickly, and without much in the way of noise. The next thing to see is how much extra electricity these units will consume.
By now it was after midnight, well past my bedtime. I took a whiskey drink to bed and also swallowed an ambien to ensure I would fall immediately to sleep.
At left is my fix to the quick-disconnect insert. In the middle is the unmodified insert. And the box these insert into is on the right.
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