Some Plans Come Together

Maybe it’s just my advancing age but things seem to take a lot longer these days than I anticipate. Then again maybe my discovery of coffee about 20 years ago means that these days I spend far too much time sitting around drinking it rather than working. I had anticipated the installation of the layout room light boxes would take me approximately one week if I was free to work on them full-time. They took almost two weeks. That I had to work around an electrician was one reason but it was also because I managed to cram in a 1600km round trip to Sydney in the middle of my recent break. However I did manage to get them to a satisfactory state of completion and then work halted while I waited for my sparky to come take a look at them and test fit a light before he ordered all ten light fittings. Imagine my surprise today to discover he’d paid me a visit and dropped off a light to test in one of my boxes.

Of course you have to use your imagination with this set up because when the lights are permanently installed they won’t have a cable hanging out the side. This will be fed into the ceiling through the holes I cut last week. I cut a hole in the MDF face of the box and fitted the light to see whether it would fit and also whether I liked the colour of the light. The answer is yes on both counts.

In spite of the seemingly endless number of options these days when it comes to LED down-lights getting one that fitted my needs was not simple. It seems that the more compact the light the more expensive it is. The search for a reasonably compact design that was still inexpensive and had a suitable tilt feature so I could aim it at the layout rather than the floor was a bit more complicated that either I or my electrician anticipated. I like these fixtures and the light they throw so I’m going to get him to order nine more. I’ll be doing a final sand of all the boxes this weekend and then I’ll paint them the same blue as the walls.

In addition to working on lighting I’ve been playing with my turntable. While I got the turntable installed in its own dedicated piece of bench-work (which is really just a pine and plywood table) I didn’t get a chance to install the top permanently and the legs and frame of the table needed braces and some stiffening up so that it didn’t wobble quite so alarmingly.

Through the course of the week I’ve made some additions to the table the turntable sits in. I added corner braces to the inside (you can’t see these) corners of the frame the top sits on to help stiffen the structure. This also helped to support the weight of the turntable. I added some diagonal braces to the rear legs and tied the legs into pairs with lengths of the 9mm ply. Finally I inserted the control key pad into the ply table top. Everything is rock solid now and the ply top is permanently screwed to the table frame.

In addition to the new light fitting arriving this week a suitable power adapter arrived in the mail so I could actually plug the turntable in and give it a test. The one I purchased came from Jaycar and while I could have got one a lot cheaper from the Internet the one I purchased arrived with seven different plug ends so I could be reasonably certain that the once it turned up it would fit. I plugged it in and everything is working beautifully. The turntable is really quite amazing and while I’ve been struggling ever so slightly with the programing of the indexing system, I think I have most of the intricacies worked out and I’ll be laying a bit of track down over the weekend and testing setting up short cuts to allow the table to spin round and arrive at a designated spot with the press of a couple of buttons. I’ve also shortened the ribbon cable (you can see this light grey cable in the photo hanging down below the table) that runs from the key pad to the turntables indexing electronics so that it is a suitable length. I only make up ribbon cables once in a blue moon so it took me some time to hunt out the plastic plugs and the special pair of pliers needed but everything went fine once I’d found these and I’ve tested the turntable with its new short and neat ribbon cable.


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