Sunday, October 9, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes...

Anyone who’s ever worked in a project environment knows there are ebbs and flows that can leave you thinking you’ve either taken on an impossible task - or, raised you to new levels of optimism. Leaving work yesterday I was more of the former state of mind, tonight I’m much more of the second! Yesterday was one of those days where nothing seemed to be falling into place: rain kept us off the roof for most of the day, unable to make the progress we would have liked on the radio system...

This pile of boxes is a shipment of radios from Geneva. Unfortunately, they came without packing lists so finding components to build one HF radio was a box search. One time I was convinced we were missing control boxes and connector cables but found them buried under totally non-related equipment. Then the project officer we'd sent to the market to purchase supplies came back with only 50% of what we needed. And, the pièce de résistance - we'd brought a beautiful Makita hammer drill from the US that we assumed was dual voltage. I checked the bottom of the battery charger and saw 120 – 220, plugged it in and heard a loud pop followed by an acrid smoky smell.. not good. On closer inspection the label read 120v 240w.. Oops.

The task of sorting all of the shipment from Geneva along with 11 boxes of equipment and supplies shipped from the US plus the locally purchased supplies got quickly overwhelming. Office and table space are in short supply, we had no idea how we were going to pull this off.

Fast forward 24 hours: Although we had more rain today we made good progress stringing a guy wire and coax for the new antenna.

We were given permission to use the BDRCS training room for the next 4 days, perfect – a large space with empty tables. We had some of the staff haul all of the equipment over and we assembled all of the parts for 41 HF radios. We now have a perfect room to assemble kits based on each location’s needs that we can send out ahead of our travel.

In the middle of the afternoon I had to run back to the main office and asked that the VHF radios (only three components per radio) were put in three boxes: one for the radios, one for the power
cables, and one for the microphones.

When I returned I found my instructions had not been very clear - the photograph shows what I found. It wasn't what I wanted but it turned out to be a beneficial step!

Returning to the main office to wind up the day, I found the project officer was back from another day's shopping with everything we needed.. and, to really make my day, he had a new 220v battery charger for the Makita!

Roll on tomorrow!

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