Data's Blog

Misc Projects

Grandma’s Slide show

by on Oct.04, 2010, under Misc Projects

I made this for my Grandma’s Memorial service – Thanks to Mom for her work with the text on the slides.

Grandma passed away Sept. 10th, 2010, ending her years of suffering once and for all – Memorial service was held Sept. 14th, 2010.

[flashvideo file= /]

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Electric conundrum Round 2

by on Feb.08, 2009, under Misc Projects

Back at it again. Getting my hands dirty (literally, old electric tape) again with wires.

But this one has left me puzzled beyond puzzled.

The task:
Unlike my last one, where I wanted to free a plug from the evil switch, I got a plug here that needs some control.

The desired setup is that a 3 way switch in the hall will control the plug. A second 3 way switch is in the dinning room, controlling said plug.

Power comes through switch in dinning room, box currently has 5 wires coming in – 3 traditional ones with just black and white wires, 2 with the red, black and white.

Fig 1 - Drawing of wiring

Fig 1 - Drawing of wiring

Again, some wire designations:

In the box, 5 wires are coming in. thus W2:black indicates the black wire coming from the wire labeled W2.

And again, since using a white background, blue indicates the white wire.

Switch one – Controls a light in the dining room. Switch one and Switch two are on the same wall side by side in the same box.

Plug – the plug we want to have controlled by switches two and three. Switch 3 is in the hallway, about 20 feet or so from this mess.

After crawling around in the attic, I traced the wires so:

W1 – Powers the light in ceiling of dining room, and powers a plug across the room -based on initial setup, explained below
W2 – powers an other plug – based on initial setup, explained below
W3 – wire from plug we want to control with SW 2 and 3
W4 – Wire from SW3
W5 – Provides power to entire mess.

Initial wiring:

W1:Black + W2:black + W5:black – Wired together, and attached to SW1 (Top black point)
W1:Red – attached to SW1 (Bottom black point)
W1:White + W2:White + W3:White + W5:White – wired together

W3:Black + W4:Black – wired together
I don’t remember the exact wiring for the rest of W4’s wires. I do know that when I first opened it up SW2 had a broken black wire attached to the one pole. And I believe the W4:Red was wired to the switch, can’t remember about W4:White.

With this setup, SW1 turns on and off a light in the dining room, and provides power to 2 plugs.

Interestingly, as a result of this setup, W1:Red is always powered, even when SW1 is turned off – I checked and as far as I can tell, W1:Red is not attached to any wire up in the light box. As soon as I disconnect W5:Black from W1:Black, W1:Red looses its power.

To further add to the dilemma, the plug we want to control has two wires coming in. One enters the box as W3, the other I don’t know where it goes.

the 4 wires connect to the plug, 2 black on the left – top and bottom posts, 2 white on the right, top and bottom posts. Neither wire has power, so I’m assuming that it is getting power from the light switch mess in the dining room.

SW3 wiring is:

SW3:Red – W4:red
SW3:Green – W4:Black
SE3:Black – W4:White

I think – its 1am, not thinking clearly any more 😀

help please!

What a mess

What a mess


Did some more looking at it today – just got more confused.

I drew this one up, its a simpler diagram (I hope) and gets rid of the wires that aren’t part of the circut

Simpler Diagram

Simpler Diagram

And a new twist – combining the black wire from power to the BL1 wire on the plug, and the white from power with W1 from plug, the SW2 becomes energized… I am so lost 🙁

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The Electric Wire Conundrum

by on Dec.06, 2008, under Misc Projects

One Switch, three plugs, one junction box. nine wires. What a mess! And I want to add 2 more wires to the mix, adding in a light fixture to the mess!

One of my projects that I get to do while helping my parents fix up their rental house, is adding a light fixture to one of the bedrooms. Until now, the light was just plugged in to a plug, with the light switch controlling the plug.

My project is two fold. One, set the plug free from the dictatorship of the evil switch, and two, put a proper light fixture in the center of the room, under control of said evil switch, where it belongs.

So far, part one is done. 3 of the four plugs, including the newly liberated one are now happily ready to serve at our beck and call.

Part two is proving to be a conundrum. For your visual pleasure, I have drawn a rough diagram as to the basic layout of the wiring in this bedroom.

Please note: The blue lines indicate the white wires… I could have drawn them white, but that wouldn’t have done you any good with it being a white back ground.

Also, to name the wires I’m using the format of device:wirecolor. For example, p3:white + p4:white means that the white wire from plug four is connected to the white wire from plug 3.

Here is the diagram:


As you can see, the wires from p2, p3, p4 and the light switch go to one junction box. p1 gets its power from the light switch.
The light switch has three terminals, two on the right side, one on the left – I can’t remember though which wire goes where.

To the best of my memory, the original wiring in the junction box was as follows:

Switch:black + p2:black + p3:black
Switch:white + p2:white + p3:white
Switch:red + p4:black (p4:white not attached, whether intentional or it slipped out while we searched for it, don’t know)

Setup was rigged so that switch would turn p4 off/on, rest of plugs stay powered

The current setup to get p4 free of the light switch:
p2:black + p3:black + p4:black
p2:white + p3:white + p4:white
plugs 2-4 ok

Keeping the above setup, now working in the light fixture and switch:


switch:black + p2:black + p3:black +p4:black
switch:white + p2:white +p3:white +p4:white + light:white
Switch:red + light:black

result: all plugs work, switch does not turn on light.

I have one more mix up to try, unfortunately I left the paper I wrote it on at the rental house, thinking on running over tomorrow/today to try it out.

I had the light fixture working up in the attic before we cut the hole in the ceiling and ran the wire down… which if I jotted it correctly on the paper, may be the solution.

So we’ll see – This will be updated once the working solution is found.


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