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   This is the view from inside the sleeping box.  LED rope light provides illumination, and there is a switch box located near the door which control the light, and has an outlet for my phone charger.  It will also contain a fan switch, but I couldn't find the switch I was looking for so it has not yet been installed.
   Rode my bike into work today.  May has been crazy.  This morning it was 50 degrees, and just a week or two ago it hit 90.

   Construction of my sleeping box in Cedar Rapids is a topic I have had to think about for awhile. While I had many options, my chief concerns dictated much of the design. The biggest was transportation, construction, and the three month time frame. While I did have a truck to move to Cedar Rapids, my apartment would be on the second floor.

   I had considered pre-building the box door. But my last doors were extremely heavy, and I wasn't fond of the idea of carrying all the box construction materials up two flights of stairs. There were various options for lighter weight boxes, but it seems a lot of effort for such a short usage duration. I didn't want to have to build anything on site that required cutting wood. All the cutting would have to be done outside, and carried upstairs. I decided to go an other route that took care of several of these problems.

   The new box construction has been done using foil-backed foam insulation. I've used this material before to black out windows, and it works well. The price per 4x8 foot sheet is about the same as a 4x8 foot sheet of wood—so no real cost savings. However, it can be cut with a razor and it's messy like sawdust. It is also very light, although it lacks strength. The lack in strength isn't an issue—I do not need the box to hold any weight on top. Rather then using caulk to mask light on the sceams, I planed on using duck tape and aluminum foil. I ended up finding a metal tape that worked out better then the two step solution.

   The door would be a major source of light leakage. Although a sliding door solves many of these problems, my box would no longer be made of wood, and the sliding door would be much harder to create. Instead, I used a top hinged door as I have in the past. For light, I added cardboard on the inside and outside of the door to try and create overlap. Since the door will not seal well by itself, I tried two magnets on the door with washers on the door frame. This works alright. For additional light masking, I added a towel to mask off any remaining light.

   Ventilation again incorporates a blower fan at the back of the box. In my last couple of designs, I've found it's better to have the fan blowing air into the box, with the fan outside the box. For the exhaust port, I put a hole in the top of the box near the front, using the roof vent to block light. I need some more light masking on the exhaust light masking, but it it working, and there is fairly good airflow.

It has taken longer to setup than I had hoped, but it functions.

  Second day of work went much better, and I gain access to all the essential systems.  Pictured is my apartment about 4 hours after I moved in.  After Internet was setup, I constructed my sleeping quarters, which isn't in the picture yet.
   First day of work back in Cedar Rapids.  Despite having left just 10 months ago, I couldn't even log into a computer when I returned.  In fact, nothing worked at all.  It wasn't until 2:00 pm I was able to log onto a computer.  But I wasn't able to access anything else.  Not the most productive first day, but I expect that the first week is usually spent working out the IT kinks.
   This is the warning buzzer on the Pünkerjüker.  On Thursday, the buzzer decided it would make noise as long as the key was in the ignition.  PJ has a lot of electrical problems, so this didn't surprise me.  I had initially hoped to pull the fuse to the buzzer, but that fuse also controlled the break lights.  So I took apart the dash and found the buzzer module, and removed it.  PJ is much quieter now.

May 21, 2011

Back to Iowa

   Last exam on Wednesday, commencement Friday, move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the summer today, and start work on Monday.  This is starting to becoming routine—I did the same thing in August of 2009—and I kinda like it.
   My morning started at about 5:45 am as I awoke too excited to sleep any longer.  Wednesday evening I drove to Madison to again borrow Xiphos's tuck, the Pünkerjüker.  Expecting rain, I only loaded the wood I would need for my work bench on Friday night.  This morning I loaded everything else.  I had budgeted two hours for this, but was done pretty early—I don't require a lot.  The rain had been forecast for sometime after 1:00 pm for Cedar Rapids, so I was hoping my earlier arrival would let me miss the rain.  While there were a lot of clouds in the sky, it really didn't rain much—mostly sprinkles, with a little rain shortly after Dubuque.  By the time I reached the apartment complex, there was no rain.  I arrived and had my paperwork done around 11:30 am, and by 3:30 pm I was setting at my fully constructed bench in a fully unpacked apartment.  Internet came shortly thereafter.  My provider, MediaCom, whom I've had twice at this apartment complex, and twice at two other addresses in Cedar Rapids has some new system in place that cost me $125 for install, and $65/month—a significant increase from the $45 I was paying last year.  Since I living in an apartment complex, I don't have a choice about my ISP, and it's amazing what they can get away with when there are no other options.
   I still had to pick up a chair, and food.  After I did that and ate, I was burned out and passed out.  But it was a productive day and everything that needed to be done was done.