Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New

I was gonna write a post about the two hunks of Gouda cheese I made over the last two days and call it, "Life is Gouda," but I have something more urgent to write about and besides, the second hunk of Gouda is pressing overnight.  I'll write the Gouda post when I have a picture of it/them.  It will be good-a.

What was so urgent, you ask?  You know how you're in the homestretch of the evening, winding down into bedtime and ... you notice the fluorescent grow lights flickering ... again.  Like they have for the past two days.  Replacing a tube didn't fix it.  So you wander over to take a look, get the screwdriver to take it apart and see what's inside.  You realize that this nice old fixture has innards that can be taken out and replaced with innards from a new fixture.  And then it turns into a project....

Below is the ballast, cloth-covered wires, and socket ends of the old fixture.  Above is the ballast and wires from the new fixture.  It was pretty easy to take apart the two fixtures and all I'll have to do is drill a few holes, reuse the mounting hardware and ta-dah.  The old fixture is nice and wide, covering the whole tray.  The new fixture is chintzy, cheap and narrow.  The stuff is surprisingly interchangeable. After I put the new innards into the old fixture, they'll let me keep my engineers card.   (Maybe they'll let me blow the whistle! - an old joke.  When we talked about my being an engineer, my high school friends used to ask me if they'd let me blow the whistle.  (think trains) Ah the memories.)

But what idiot starts a project like this right before bedtime??  I was looking forward to going to bed early tonight, but I guess I blew that one away when I got carried away with light fixtures.  Blah!  I had to force myself to stop - I'm a sorry person when I don't get enough sleep.  The baby plants are going to have to fend for themselves with natural light for one day until I can finish the project tomorrow.



  1. I think what you are willing to tackle is amazing!

  2. My thinking was - I'm going to have to throw the fixture away, why don't I see if there's any way I can rescue it (and save $$). There wasn't anything to lose, really. But I did think to myself - this afternoon I made cheese, this evening I'll work on a light fixture - hm.

  3. Cheese in the afternoon; electrical contracting in the're my hero!