Having done this a couple of times already, I tried to be adamant about the importance of having EVERYTHING ready (and tested) in advance and thinking through contingencies in case something went wrong in the field, but I don't (yet) know the answer to every management problem and got a lot of yes, yes, yes, without the associated substance. Not surprisingly, the team got sent straight to the headmaster of experience at 6:45am.
When I walked in at ten-of-seven (hoping that my own residual debugging wouldn't be critical path) I found Nick feverishly hammering away at a mounting box and John was nowhere to be found -- great for my moral high-ground but not for today's productivity. By 9:30 I had sorted the network, but the hardware train didn't roll until after a shopping trip an hour or two of packing and a hasty lunch. We had to cancel our first appointment, got lucky that the second cancelled for us, and had to bail on the third for lack of time by day-end.
As I look at what worked and what didn't, the importance of design and planning stand out strikingly. The team did a lot of things right, but in neglecting the details undermined a lot of their own hard work. Nick spent the better part of two weeks designing, sourcing, and finishing a mounting solution for the new Fabfi
In an unexpected move, John made an on-the-fly design mod to put the pole behind the bracket and the box on the front, cutting down the materials list and solving a tension problem with the pole attachments. John also pounded the pavement to cobble together an effective power backup out of computer parts, solar charge controllers and UPS batteries. Between the two of them, they created a beautifuly integrated, reasonably priced installation:
- Mounting box: 250KES
- Mounting bracket + HW: 600KES
- Charge controller: 2900KES
- Power supply: 800KES
- Battery: 1000KES
- TOTAL: 5650KES (=$70USD)
More nodes tomorrow.