Friday, February 27, 2004

Frog Fun

Remember our "new" long body Samurai that we bought in December? (check the archives) Well, we haven't driven it much, 'cause there were stripped and missing studs in the axles, non-functioning brake parts and other odds and ends that tended to make it "Unsafe at Any Speed", to quote someone from the '60s who still seems to be popular on the college lecture circuit.

I got "new" brake drums, and rotors on eBay and a friend brought down a lot of new OEM small parts like seals, studs, and nuts. It took a few days to take things apart without destroying anything but I've got the back end all rebuilt, except for the brake shoes, which are shipping from the States next week.

I've done one side of the front end and will attack the second side this weekend. There was all sorts of gunk and grit inside the steering knuckle, and a bad kingpin bearing. I was able to get a replacement bearing here on Bonaire! And I replaced all the seals and gaskets just in case. My resurfaced eBay brake disks and some new pads from the Suzuki dealer here should help with the stopping performance, which had been even more leisurely than the acceleration provided by the mighty 970cc engine.

Here is a photo of the front end all torn down. Notice the dead washing machine in the background that Udo is fixing. That funny thing on the axel is a birfield joint. It is sort of a poor man's CV joint. Here are the parts I took off and cleaned up. They represent hours of work with degreaser, wire wheels and wire brushes. Countless cleaning rags have also given their all during the course of this project. Udo happened to have a second dead washing machine hanging out in the shop, which I pressed into service as a handy dandy work stand.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Air Conditioning progress

Udo has been busy out in the air-co pit. This is definitely a nice time to be working outdoors on Bonaire. It's very warm, but not deathly hot like July to the end of November.
Here we see that Udo has insulated the piping running to and from the chiller barrel. Yesterday he painted the inside of the enclosure, Neatness counts.... even thought the whole unit will normally be closed and no one will see it.

Remember the Den Laman restaurant?

The "Den Laman" restaurant, with its dining room surrounded by giant aquariums, was a fixture on Bonaire for quite some time. But it's gone now and a new building is going up in its place. Here is how it looks from the TWR office parking lot. As I recall, it will be a mini dive resort with a number of rooms and a new restaurant.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Creole pgm. Arrives / TWR initiative in S America

The overdue Creole programs arrived late Tuesday afternoon, in time for Renata to process the first one and get it into the system for airing last night.

If you haven't checked out the official TWR web site lately, it has been redesigned and is quite interesting. I learned a lot in my brief visit this morning. Here is the latest from the web site about our ministry to Latin America. I've even cleaned up a couple typos. (and probably added some of my own!)

At present, TWR partners with 500 stations in Latin America, to which it's been broadcasting for 40 years.

With City Lights, TWR will connect mission-minded churches and individuals throughout the U.S. with Latin American churches and radio stations to resource production, distribution, airtime and follow-up in cities like Bogotà (Colombia), La Paz (Bolivia) and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

TWRÂ’s partner offices in eight Latin American countries already are producing quality original programs that will be used for this project. Broadcasts are geared to meet the needs of children, youth, women and families. TWR's Latin American partner offices also will distribute the City Lights programs to a network of affiliate stations and link the project to appropriate on-the-ground ministries or missionaries already working in a particular city.

Latin America desperately needs to hear a clear message of hope and salvation. Each year, millions of children there and in the Caribbean are mistreated, abused and exploited sexually; and 90 million live in conditions of poverty. Approximately two million adults and children are living with HIV/AIDS, and nearly 575 people in the region are infected every day ( 2003). Churches also face pressures of disintegrating families-some countries averaging half of all marriages ending in divorce.

“Turning on the light of the Gospel in key cities no doubt will result in radicand lastinging life change for millions of Latino children, youth and adults,” says Tom Corcoran, international director for The Americas.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Program flow / great Feedback

In my last post I observed that maintaining our equipment and facilities here on Bonaire is an ongoing neverending effort.

Keeping a steady stream of programs on the air is like walking on a neverending treadmill too. As soon as Monday, the 23rd of Feb. is history, we get busy loading in the programs for Monday the 1st of March. And so it goes.

We regularly pray for our program producers, who are literally all over the world, and for the programs as the make their way here by mail, FedEx, FTP, and HTTP. We are currently waiting for some overdue programs in the Haitian Creole language. Delivery has probably been delayed by the Carnival holidays here in the Caribbean.

Living on a small island like we do, we don't often get to connect with the people who listen to our broadcasts. We know that we have listeners throughout the Caribbean and the top half of South America, but they are out of sight even though they are not out of mind. So we are really happy when we do hear a story from a listener, like we just did this past week.

We heard from Lemuel, the director of our Spanish language ministries. He reports that the pastor of a sizable church in Colombia has been listening since he was 10 years old - together with his 8 brothers. They lived in the jungles of Colombia and their father made them listen to the programs, Bible in hand and the radio on the table. Today this man is one of the leading evangelicals of Colombia. He told Lemuel, "I am grateful for the ministry of TWR. Because of the ministry from Bonaire I have become a Christian and serve the Lord today."

We'll be celebrating TWR's 40th year of broadcasting from Bonaire later this year. It is great to hear that the faithful proclamation of the Gospel has produced a lasting legacy spanning generations.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Much Maintenance

Keeping the TWR Bonaire facilities in tip top shape requires neverending maintenance. Ivan and Benny are fixing cracks in the building walls this week. I'll try to snap a photo of that one of these days. We also did some power washing of the walkways and walls and will be doing some touch up painting soon.

Cleaning the towers and tower painting looms on the horizon for later this year.

This has been a very rainy rainy season for Bonaire, so everything is as green as it gets. Rich West has been keeping the weeds at bay around the Office and the Activities Building. We've found that if you cut the weeds often, they end up looking somewhat like a lawn.
Here is another shot of Rich in action that looks a little more like Bonaire. The stink pond is in the background and cactus can be seen beyond that.

As an added Bonaire treat, we've noticed flamingoes in the stink pond lately.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Airco Update

We are back on line this weekend after not having our internet connection at home all week.
I'm feeling stronger following my bout with the flu. Did some hoeing of weeds in the yard on Friday and Saturday. Even went for an easy bike ride on Saturday.

The guys have gotten the second half of the airconditioning system running. I heard it was cooling the water like crazy. I guess that is a good thing. Here is a picture of the chiller barrel with all the piping and sensors installed.

It kind of looks like a high tech "still" to me, heh-heh. Actually we did used to have a still out at the transmitter site back in the day. We used it to make super pure water for the vapor phase cooling system in two of the transmitters.

More pictures will probably be forthcoming after the pipes are insulated and cleaned up.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Flu bug

Well, I'm back in the land of the living after being in bed with the flu for a week. Yuck.
It is definitely better to be sick in bed in cool breezy Feb. than in the muggy fall months. I read just about all of our collection of Dick Francis books last week.

While I was home, the guys continued working on the airconditioning project. Here is a picture of the chiller barrel with water and Freon pipes added. The water pipes are the big plastic ones.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Airco Project Update

Now that the standby generator is in and the new internet connections seems to be working well, work continues on the second half of the studio airconditioning plant rebuild and the storage container move. I don't think I've mentioned the containers before so stay tuned for more on that one.

The airco compressors and controls are located in the airco room. Outside, just on the other side of the wall is the airco pit, where the chiller barrels and condenser coils are located.

We've stripped out the guts of the old condenser unit and are using it as an enclosure for the new chiller barrels. The new condenser unit is elevated above the old unit. This makes for pretty easy access for all the components and fittings.

Here is a photo in the compressor room showing a compressor, some of the control wiring, and looking out through a hole in the wall towards the airco pit.

Here is a photo of the new chiller barrel, sitting in the old condenser housing and looking back towards the hole in the wall and the airco room.