Friday, August 22, 2008

Wake Up Call

With Ginger and the kids gone, it's been pretty boring here. I've ended up staying up way later at night that I should (thanks to a combination of the Olympics, catching up on TV and the occasional video game). Last night was worse than normal and I didn't end up getting to bed until around 3:30 AM (those old school Mega Man games are tougher than they look). So one can imagine I was a tad disoriented when I was woken up at around 4:30 AM to an intermittent high pitched beeping noise. I stumbled half asleep and tracked the noise into the vicinity of the upstairs hallway. Sounded like it was the smoke detector. But it wasn't going off, it was just beeping every so often at regular intervals. I figured since it's one of the models that has power going to it the battery must have died. So I yanked out the battery and went to get a new 9 volt to replace it. No such luck. There were no extra 9 volt batteries. So then I decide to raid one of Quinn's toys and "borrow" a 9 volt from there since the controller on remote control items usually uses a 9 volt battery. And Quinn and I are going to have to have a talk because all of his remote controls controllers were "on" and thus the batteries in those had been drained and were dead.

Lacking a battery I tried disconnecting the power to the unit. That was mistake since apparently all the smoke detectors are on the same power line and disrupting it to one of them causes them all to go off. So I finally yanked out the wiring connection to the unit, but left the wires themselves connected to the power. That seemed to do the trick and it stopped beeping. So I went back to bed and no sooner had my head hit the pillow than I heard a high pitched beep. No way! I walk back into the hallway and sure enough, there's a beep. But it's not coming from the disconnected smoke detector. Believe it or not it took me a while to figure out where it was coming from (you have to get multiple bearing on where the noise is so you can perform a direction finding triangulation). And since it was only beeping maybe once every 30 seconds it took some time. Eventually I found it. The carbon monoxide detector which is plugged into an outlet in the hall. And it's battery was dead (now I'm thinking the smoke detector's battery wasn't dead, but it started beeping once I took out the battery to try and replace it). So I used the old smoke detector battery which apparently was still good in the carbon monoxide detector (I suppose in retrospect it would have been simpler and probably safer to put back the smoke detector and simply unplug the carbon monoxide detector). Eventually an hour after the whole ordeal started I was back in bed. I will say part of that time wasn't dealing with the problem since at one point I decided to log into work and check the progress of an overnight test we had running.

And if you couldn't tell, the photo is another leftover from our beach vacation. I'm quickly running out of unused pictures though.

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