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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/19/2011

Well it's certainly been an interesting first weekend at Tanglewood!

First and perhaps most disappointingly (is that a word?) I apparently lack the special gene necessary to actually build functional Ethernet connections. I had noted a couple of days ago that I'd never wired up a network cable before and that while it looked a bit tricky with the little wires, I didn't think it would be too difficult. I'll need to be able put connectors onto the long run from the shed and eventually to the various jacks that I wired around the house and so it would be immensely helpful if I got good at this.

Apparently that's going to take longer than I'd thought. Over the last couple of days I've built five network cables, only one of which actually works. Why this seems to be so seems to vary with each attempt--on this one I cut the internal wires too short, on that one I think I got the wires out of order, etc. The one that worked I swear I didn't really think would work... it was a frustrated second attempt after the failure of a very cautious but failed construction of the first connection of the evening. I think tomorrow I'm going to swing by the local electronics supplier (I highly recommend Graybar, a great supply shop) to see if they can either give me some tips or possibly suggest a more idiot-proof connection I can try. I don't want to risk hacking at my long run until I am pretty danged sure I'll get it working, since (as one might expect) there's only so much excess line on that buried cable...

I can't order the DirectTV installation until I've got the internet up and running since they need that (or a hard phone line, which of course will be dependent on the internet connection anyway once my Ooma arrives) to activate it. This is a detail I hadn't given much thought about prior to the move, but of course that reflects "on the grid" thinking--here where you're off-the-grid things work a bit differently.

So in and around my network wiring failures I worked on cleaning up the garage, unpacking more boxes, and making a list of things for the electricians to work on when I bring them back this summer to finish up some work. There are a couple of switches I want moved, and one of the garage doors isn't working correctly (it acts like something is blocking the electronic eye, but I'm not sure what). And of course there's that antler chandelier to hang, which I still haven't quite figured out how the heck to get into the house in the first place...

Amazing how many things there are to do when the house is "done"!


Steven in Colorado Springs

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