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Yes, I am probably the only one who would make fire alarms out of Legos…

February 19, 2012, 1:27 PM

So I went to Arundel Mills yesterday. Trips to Arundel Mills are always fun because there’s so much going on in that place. My goal was to get shoes, and at that I was unsuccessful. I need to buy new shoes because my existing shoes are, according to my podiatrist, a bit too long for me. When you have feet as wide as mine, you see, shoes that fit are hard to come by. Historically, I had always compensated for the width by buying longer, but I’m told that’s a contributor to the foot problems that I’ve been having lately. In trying shoes out, I think I’ve got the length about right (size 9½ – surprise!), but I’ve got to go far wider than I could get at the places I went. “Extra wide” in most places doesn’t do my feet justice, it seems. I have big feet, it seems.

One place I always have fun at, though, is the Lego store. They have Legos out on a table where you can play with them, and I have gone to town on them. The time before this back in December, I built a house with a small retaining wall around it, and then helped a little girl build the postmodern office building of her dreams. Seriously, it was pretty cool. This is said postmodern building:

The postmodern office building

Not too bad. The roof kind of reminds me of Washington Tower in Arlington, which most will recognize as the building above Pentagon City Mall. After all, flat 1960s-style roofs are boring, and boring architecture is no fun.

Then yesterday when I went in to build, I decided to go for fire alarms. This was by no means my first fire alarm, though. Recall that I built a Wheelock 7002T out of Legos a year ago. However, this new effort will make that Wheelock 7002T look like a very crude effort (and it was).

I think I spent about 20 minutes building. I started by gathering up all of the red pieces in my section of the big table. After all, if you’re going to build a fire alarm, you are going to need a lot of red. And I built a Wheelock AS:

A Wheelock AS, built entirely out of Legos

A Wheelock AS, built entirely out of Legos

If you want to create your own Wheelock AS out of Legos, by the way, the main unit is 14 blocks wide, 12 blocks tall, and four blocks deep. The strobe prodrudes from the main unit by one block, and is 12 blocks by three blocks.

Then after that, I built a second piece – a pull station. Considering that most pull stations have features too fine to be made in Legos, I decided to go with something that you wouldn’t necessarily find together with a Wheelock AS in real life:

A Simplex pull station, built entirely out of Legos

A Simplex pull station, built entirely out of Legos

Yes, this is a Simplex pull station. The reason that you wouldn’t find this paired with a Wheelock AS in real life is because Simplex sells whole systems (by contrast, Wheelock specializes primarily in notification appliances and doesn’t make panels), and makes its own parts. Thus if you have a Simplex pull, you will most likely have Simplex horns, Simplex strobes, and a Simplex panel. If you have Wheelock notification appliances, you could have just about anything underneath it, since other manufacturers buy Wheelock products to sell with their systems.

On the Simplex pull, the specs are 12 wide, 12 high, and three deep. The (non-functional, obviously) pull handle is eight blocks by two blocks at the top, and then the vertical is two blocks by five blocks. The key slot at the top is two by two.

And then after I was done, I got a store employee to take a photo of me with my creations:

Posing with my Lego creations

Note that I am holding them in a typical configuration, with the horn up high, and the pull down low directly beneath it.

So there you go. Not bad for about half an hour’s work. Of course, now I still have to figure out what to do for this shoe business. I suppose I’ll figure it out eventually, but not settling is the important part here. There are more shoe stores out there, though, but I was so hoping that Arundel Mills would be the winner. Ah, well. Mom’s coming up in a few weeks, and we’re probably going to hit Tysons Corner.

Web site: A child makes his own pull station out of Legos. This is more involved than mine. I was just trying to reproduce the look. This one actually opens like a real pull station would.

Song: I pull the fire alarm for a drill in Potomac Hall in 2003

Quote: This really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, I suppose. Growing up, when I had my own Legos, I would always put a fire alarm system in the buildings I constructed. I would put in horns, pulls, and a panel. The horns were normally Wheelock 7002Ts (surprise, surprise), and the pulls varied.

Categories: Arundel Mills, Fire alarms