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Project Log:  Sunday, January 6, 2013

First, I unclamped all the cabinet doors I glued up earlier, and set them aside for later attention.  There'd be a number of milling and sanding operations on the frames before I could varnish them.

Next, I applied a coat of primer to all sides of the final overhead panels.


In the cabin, I worked with the newly-arrived LED rope lighting, to be installed behind the purpose-built moldings on each side of the main saloon.  I began with the port side, which required a full-length section of the light strip behind the molding above the dinette.  In order to run the power to the lights, I drilled a hole through the after bulkhead, entering the utility space above the tankage.  Studying the area before drilling, I worried that the autopilot computer, which I'd previously secured to the bulkhead, would be in the way, but I just managed to squeak in the 3/8" hole required for the lighting wire.


Allowing for the wiring connector at the aft end, I determined the proper length for the rope light and cut it as required.  This particular brand of rope light featured safe cut marks every 3" or so, so I chose the one just shy of the marked length.

Attaching the power supply--a length of 2-conductor cable with the appropriate fitting at the end--was simple.  The only complication, as it were, was that the LED rope light was polarity specific, so one had only a 50% chance of attaching the connector to the correct end of the rope section since there was no way to tell from looking at the rope light assembly; swapping the rope end for end would correct this issue if it occurred.  In order to conform that I'd made the connection correctly, I dug out a 12V AC/DC power supply that I had around and connected the wiring for testing.  Of course my first connection was wrong, and the rope didn't light, so I swapped the connector to the other end and the rope light lit.  I installed an end cap at the other end, and prepared to install the length.

Installation was straightforward, though the tight space available between the dinette shelf and the overhang above made working in the after end of the space difficult.  I led the power supply through the bulkhead, then secured the length of rope light with 3/8" nylon clamps, which I attached with #4 x 3/8" screws to the paneling above.  I supported the lighting about every 10".

After installation, I hooked up the power supply again to check it out.


On the starboard side, I needed two separate sections of the lighting strip, since the stove heat shield bifurcated the space.  To hide the wires, this meant that I had to lead the wires for the forward section in from the storage locker forward of the galley.   For each of the two sections, I repeated the process as on the port side, checking each strip with the AC/DC power supply to ensure that I had the wires inserted into the correct end.

I ran a longer wire from the starboard tankage space forward through the wire conduit behind the galley and into the forward locker, where I connected it with the forward length of LED lighting. 



For now, I didn't make the final connections in the new wiring, as I'd do that in concert with running several additional lengths of wire forward for other needs in the near future, but I had to interconnect the three power supplies so I could test all the new lighting with the shop lights off.



Finally, I removed masking tape from the forward cabin, as I deemed the varnish work complete. 


Total Time Today:  5.5 hours

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