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Uncle Markie out and about.

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May '17

Car Report: Got An Additional One

Nope, not getting rid of the Miata, but there are times when it would be nice to go to Home Depot in a car that will actually hold something. And then there is the only having two seats thing.

I still miss the Ford Focus that I bought from the University of Washington Surplus Store. Institutional white with grey upholstery. I sold it to the neighbor who needed a reliable car for $4,000 – about twice what I paid for it – sounded good at the time. I’d put a new stereo, curtains, new battery, gotten all the sticker residue off. It was a nice reliable car:

Turns out that was a little over 4 years ago! Here is the blog post about the purchase – CLICK HERE.

Funny, the new one is also institutional white with a grey interior!

It being park of the City of Seattle fleet (more on that later), of course it still has some stickers on it…my favorite:

The numbers are coming off, the FREQUENT STOPS is going to stay.

When I picked it up, not only was there a full tank of gas, but a set of winter chains and a fire extinguisher mount:

Needs vacuumed, the seat steam cleaned, and gooping off the last of the stickers – but how many cars these days come with a full size spare?

Or a several hundred dollar laptop mount (made down the street by RAMounts, biggest employer in the neighborhood):

Sadly, the backlight is out on the radio, so that’s on order. Less than a hundred dollars and I’ll have a CD player with Bluetooth, USB, SD-/Card, and AUX inputs. Arriving next week while I’m on the road.

This is what I find most interesting — a dual-band low profile roof antenna:

Not so odd on a city fleet vehicle – but why did they leave a LIVE wireless data connection box under the front seat?

They had to have been under there to unplug the ethernet cord when they pulled all the computer and radio equipment. It doesn’t offer wireless, but it’s got ethernet, RS-232, microUSB. And when I say LIVE, seriously – the thing boots when you turn on the ignition. To test this, I put one of my laptops with an ethernet connection on it in Airplane Mode so it wouldn’t grab the signal from the house. Yep – it works!

It’s not a terribly speedy connection – yes, I downloaded to manual for the router – best I can figure, looks like it MIGHT be a 3G device.

The sticker on the Sierra Wireless AirLink LS300 router identified it as Seattle Public Utilities, our local water/sewer/garbage provider. Guessing it was a water meter reader, but who knows.

In that vein, I did try doing a speed test….felt more like EDGE/GPRS to me. Couldn’t even get the speed test to load! But free is free. In all my poking around, also discovered the second 12v outlet isn’t work – guessing that a fuse – which I found a SECOND fuse box. One under the hood, and then this unexpected in a panel under the center console.

More work to do on the new beast, but it’s good to go for now. The auction house handled emissions testing (or ignored it), licensing, title transfer, the works – maybe I should have gotten Evergreen plates for it!

Next stop, Portland.


1 Comment »

One Response to “Car Report: Got An Additional One”

  1. mb Says:

    will you help me buy one>