Stupid AC wiring question (220-ish Volts...)

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Sat Feb 7 07:37:58 CST 2015

    > From: Josh Dersch

    > Luckily heavy items can be wheeled on a hand-cart around to the back of
    > the house, where there's direct access to the basement; no tricky
    > stairs to deal with. 

O lucky man! My basement is only stairs-accessible (although one of them is
an outside stairs, which is a big help), which led to an extremely annoying
incident recently. (This has nothing to do with wiring, but your comment
poked a hot-button...)

I already had one 11/84, which was donated to me by a fellow aficionado of
PDP-11's out in Wisconsin. When I got it here, I was trying to work out how
to get it all (CPU cabinet, TU80 cabinet, RA81 cabinet [no drives], and 2
RA81's [separate]) into the basement (the only feasible place to put it
in our establishment).

I wound up building a ramp out of 2x10's on the outside stairs, and using a
block+tackle to lower the units down that into the basement. Worked pretty
well, actually - got the whole works down by myself in a couple of hours.

So I got another 11/84 system (yeah, yeah, I know) which was in Fornicalia,
and had to have it shipped. I originally tried to ship it freight (hey, the
units are on wheels, and I didn't care if it got dinged a bit through not
being packaged), but when they found out it wasn't palletized, I had to go
'white glove' (at twice the cost). But the good part was 'at least' with WG
you get 'inside delivery'. So I'm figuring, good, they'll help me get it into
the basement.

Nothing doing. I showed them the units in the basement (so they'd know I had
experience doing it), they looked at the ramp, and they called their company
and then flat-out refused to have anything to do with the process. They
claimed they thought it was 'dangerous'.

I suspect their real motivation was i) it was raining lightly (which is
another irritating thing, they were orignally scheduled to deliver on a day
when it was supposed to be good weather, and they begged to move the delivery
up, and I told them about the weather, but they were insistent, so I agreed -
big mistake, I should have dug in my heels), and ii) they were in a hurry
(see previous about wanting to deliver a day early) and wanted to hit the
road ASAP.

So anyway, we stuck it all in the garage to wait for a day it wasn't raining
(hey, if I had to do it all myself, why do it in the rain?), and then my wife
and I (she's 4' 10", and all of like 90 lbs) got it into the basement in a
couple of hours, no problem. But two big, burly moving guys (I'm 6'0", 200
lbs, and they were a lot bigger than me) thought it was too much for them.

To add final insult to injury, the moving company refused to offer any
partial refund for not providing the 'inside delivery' they had been paid (a
lot!) for! In addition to all the above, it took them 6 weeks to get the
stuff here from California. Now, admittedly, Christmas and New Year's were in
there, but...

Anyway, I would highly recommend having nothing to do with this company; it
was an outfit called UKAY. I've dealt with a number of crappy shippers, but
these guys were The Shipping Company From Hell. Tell everyone you know about


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