November 10, 2011
by Stephen Jan in New York, NY
When we purchased the ambulance, the best we were hoping for was a running machine that wasn’t about to explode. We were counting our lucky stars when we safely returned from Agawam, Massachusetts with the ambulance on Sept 3rd…except for that incident where we crashed into a toll booth. But that was Kunal’s fault, the ambulance was completely blameless and it’s a story for another day.
Ambulances are disabled before they are sold to the general public. That’s reasonable since we don’t need weirdos buying ambulances (ahem ahem) to run red lights with sirens blaring and lights flashing. To prevent that from happening, the electrical wiring that engage the lights and sirens are torn out. But with 3 engineers on the team, we couldn’t resisting trying to get the electrical systems back online.
Armed with an electrical manual from Wheeled Coach, and we were pretty sure that we were on our way to bringing this ambulance back to life…that was until we cracked open the book. Flipping through the hundreds and hundreds of pages of electrical schematics, we realized that we were pretty clueless. Between two software engineers and an electrical engineer the best we could do was look thoughtful and pretend that we knew what we were doing — an important skill as an engineer i must add.
After a couple days of guess work, we’ve managed to make some progress. I dunno how but anyone going who went through any engineering discipline should be able to relate to staring at a blank page for hours until finally coming up w/ some half guessed solution. Well, I have absolutely no faith in our handiwork but here’s a list of sorta working things:
- working dome lights for the read compartment
- working flood lights for camping out
- working A/C in the rear compartment
- a set of Cambridge Microworks surround sound speakers (w/ subwoofer! $15 off craigslist)
- disco ball