Thursday, December 2, 2010

Repairing rat damaged wiring

Previous posts detailed how rats chewed through wires, disrupting internet connectivity at Searock.

The local electronics store couldn't supply replacement parts, so we undertook to simply repair the power supply units. These are common "transformers" used for many electronic devices that plug into regular house current (120 volts alternating current AC)and convert the power to DC (direct current) of a lower voltage.

The damaged wiring is cut off, the insulating jacket cut away from the ends of the paired conductor wires, and the cut ends are then soldered together using a soldering iron and solder, paying close attention to polarity (i.e. the wires must be matched to the same conductor of the pair from which it was separated).

A shrinkwrap insulation sleeve is slipped over the conductors after they are cut, but before they are soldered together.

Then, the shrinkwrap is slipped over the soldered connection and heat is applied. The sleeve shrinks around the repair, insulating it from exposure to the other conductor of the pair and other conductive objects.

Once these repairs were done, a voltmeter was used to confirm the correct DC voltage was being delivered to the business end of the cable. This is done by plugging the cable into standard house voltage (120 VAC), and then using the probes of the voltmeter, set at the appropriate setting, to test the appliance end of the cable for the correct DC voltage.
Once the cables were placed back in service, I set up my laptop computer in the house and confirmed that wireless internet connectivity was re-established in the house. (whew)

A number of other measures were taken to assure that the problem won't

Here, a 12" x 12" redwood ceiling beam end rests in a pocket of mortared stone that forms a passage way from the attic space over the great room to that over the kitchen wing of the house. Around the beam end are wire and pipes that carry vital fluids, information, and provide space for the illegal entry of undocumented aliens to various parts of the house.

To protect their innocence before the law
a physical barrier is put in place wherever deemed appropriate.

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