1912 Bungalow – 2004 Technology

Restoration Diary,

I’ll admit. I’m not a handyman whatsoever. Up until we bought the house, the only “handy” thing I had ever done was change a lightbulb. “Handiness” and general contracting is not my bag baby (although this is changing because of necessity).

Technology on the other hand, is my thing. That is why Heather mentioned that if I wanted to do any wiring or run any cables, now would be the time to do it. I also had a limited time since the contractors were trying to finish construction soon. So last week I spent the time making a list of what needed to be done:

  • Remove the hanging coaxial cable from the OUTSIDE of the house that connects our cable modem in the office to the basement and re-wire through the walls on the inside of the house.

                                Before                                       After
    wires.jpg
    See how much nicer it looks without those ugly wires running down the side of the house?

  • Remove the three coaxial cables connecting the satellite dish to the basment on the OUTSIDE of the house and re-wire through the walls on the inside.
  • Cut three unused phone lines connecting our house to the telephone pole.
  • Remove the ghetto installation of satellite cable through the cracked wood floor of the sun room connected to the dish on the roof and install the cable in the walls from the basement.
  • Remove the unused hanging cable on the other side of the house which goes from the basement – through a hole in the shingles – through a hole in the closet wall – stapled around the door…
  • Connect the DirecTv dish to the existing multiplexer switch in the basement and run cables to the bedroom and den.

    and to be adventurous…

  • Setup and install Vonage VoIP phone service so we can stop paying expensive phone bills.

I honestly hated the thought that I would have to crawl on my back in the dirt and debris underneath the hardwood floors. The crawlspace under the house is very tight and cluttered with heating ducts, electrical wiring (old and new), phone wiring (old and new) and coaxil cables (old and new). As I was laying in the dirt underneath the house I thought to myself – “This would be a great place to film a scene about being buried alive”. Great thought huh?

On Sat I managed to rewire our cable modem and DirecTv service in the den. The bad part is I didn’t wear a mask while I worked in the basement so I breathed in a lot of dust and dirt. Definitely not good for the lungs. Tomorrow I would do better.

Sunday I started with the “easy” stuff first. I setup and installed the Vonage phone service which didn’t require me getting dirty. Once that was up and running I found our old gas mask and proceeded to the basement crawlspace for more crawling in the dirt fun. Everything went pretty smoothly. I was surprised that all the cables that I “made” actually worked. I was smart to test all the cables before running them in the wall by hooking the cable up to our old DirecTv receiver and connected the video output to my video camera. That way if I had a bad cable I wouldn’t have to rip the wire out of the walls and re-install.

After all the cables were installed and working I finally cut the remaining unsued phone cables from the back of the house.

Whew! I did it! I rewired all the cables to the inside of the house through the walls and under the floors. Plus – everything works!

Now I just need to tack up the wires to the wall studs and patch the holes in the walls and floors where the cables used to be.

It took all weekend to accomplish everything on the list but I’m happy to say that DirecTv, cable modem AND Vonage phone service is all up and running!

Comments { 1 } September 20, 2004