It is a curious fact that the wiring within the van is one of the lesser known wonders of the world. Over the last quarter of a century many minds have set to work adding a little something here and there and thus each stamping their mark on the van’s beastly frame. The resulting chaos is undoubtedly characterful and endearing, but leaves fault finding largely down to luck.
It was for this reason that we had quietly ignored the lighting system in the back of the van ever since we first took charge of him. Now, for the benefit of the environmental health department, we needed to pack away the wires and cables that swooped across the ceiling and decorated the walls. Without a functioning lighting system though, these wires were of no use to us anyway, regardless of their aesthetic qualities. So we had planned one last ditch attempt to revive the system, and had already combined our electrical know-how to get a voltmeter onto the correct setting to effectively demonstrate that the lights were not working, scientifically verified by the absence of working lights.
It has been a long time since either of us had taken physics, but luckily the rules haven’t changed since then. When it comes to making the little bulb light up from the battery, quantum has not yet stepped in to confuse things. So we set about figuring out what the circuit was, where it went, and what the green switch on the dashboard was actually for. The wires dipped in and out of the framework of the van, shimmying under panelling, popping up for a quick look round and then diving into the box that housed the leisure battery. There was nothing to suggest that we did not have a functioning circuit, other than the derth of light.
Somewhat confused the search continued into the cab, tracing a set of wires that eventually turned out to be marked “reverse camera” and lead nowhere at all. This was not helping, but it was satisfying to pretend that I knew all about cars based solely on lying on my back in the cab with my feet dangling out of the door poking at some wires and shouting useful things back to Barny. As an outsider, looking in, you would almost certainly have assumed we knew exactly what we were doing. Sadly, as there is a screen separating cab and kitchen, the car that pulled up while I was telling Barny many exciting facts about switches could neither see nor hear him, and almost certainly assumed I was talking to myself.
I retired to the back of the van and took my turn staring into the wiring box, waiting for electrical inspiration. Barny gave the wires a hopeful stir, and a flash of copper appeared. Further inspection revealed it to be one end of a wire hanging loose from the socket. Moments of precision jamming-into-holes later and the lights, which had for so long mocked us with darkness, triumphantly came to life.
Luck has nothing to do with it. I’m going to go ahead and add “experimental electrician” to the list of skills I have acquired while taming the Beast.