Sometime around 3:00am this morning I was awakened by a very annoying electronic “meep” sound. I’m sure it must be from a smoke detector or something of that ilk telling me that its battery needs replacing, but I couldn’t work out which device was clamoring for my attention..
Apart from anything else, I hadn’t realized just how many “things” we have in our ceilings. When I actually started to pay attention in the wee hours of this morning, I discovered that we have white plastic enclosures with flashing LEDs all over the place… in our bedroom… in our bathroom… in the corridors…
Good Grief! Even when I take things like motion detectors and smoke alarms into account, there seem to be an awful lot of other things up there and I have no idea what they are all doing. It’s very, very strange.
But back to my annoying “meep”. First of all I attempted to use a low-tech approach… I tried to ignore it. I might have succeeded if the time between “meeps” had been just a tad longer, but another “meep” invariably came just as I was poised to slide back down into the land of nod. So after what seemed to be a year or two, I decided to find the offending unit and either (a) replace the battery or (b) reprogram it with a mallet.
I couldn’t turn on the light because I didn’t want to wake my wife (Gina the Gorgeous), so how does one go about determining the origin of the sound? I don’t know why, but for some reason the source of the “meeps” is not easy to pin down. Is it just my imagination, or are the duration of the “meeps” and the spacing between “meeps” designed to make it almost impossible to determine where the noise is actually coming from?
Following a “meep” you take a few steps and then stand there for ages waiting for the next “meep” (it may be only 10 seconds or so, but it seems much longer), and then off you go again.
This really is very annoying. Do the people who create these products ever actually “field test” them in any way?
WHY is this so difficult? It would be much easier if the %^#$# thing went “meep … meep … meep … meep …” so you could hone in on it. Or how about augmenting the "meeps" with a rapidly flashing LED – would that really be so hard? And what about incorporating some sort of sensor or timer so that the thing only starts “meeping” around dawn or dusk, which would mean that there would be a good chance you are in the house to hear it along with a reasonable chance that you wouldn’t be fast asleep when it goes off?
But do you know what the really frustrating thing is? I couldn’t track down the offending unit in the dark, so I ended up sticking cotton balls in my ears. Then, when I awoke this morning … the #$%@# thing had stopped “meeping”!!!
All I can say is that I am not wearing my happy face…
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