This is the new control console for my toilet aboard Datawake, which has just had a major upgrade. Although most of my attention in the last year and a half has been on the übergeeky systems in the lab, there is much to be gained from improving tools that affect quality of life every day. Waterworks, sewage, power, heating/cooling, window treatments, galley, bed comfort, and the things in my recent Lifestyle Geekery post… all are unglamorous compared to holodecks and high-tech comm gear, but their effect on happiness is profound.
Datawake came with an arcane and unpleasant sanitation system dating back to the 1970s, with a San-X beast that used formaldehyde to process sewage, a tiny 8-gallon holding tank, and two VacuFlush heads with a mass of complex plumbing, 32-volt pumps, and a stuck Y-Valve. All of this had to go, and the first stage was to pull the San-X and replace it with a simple 35-gallon holding tank… which we did last year:
Getting onto a more relaxed pump-out schedule here at the port helped a lot, but I was still living with cramped heads and vacuum leaks. Although the VacuFlush system is water-efficient and has a reputation for reliability, one of the long-range goals aboard is to be rid of all antiquated 32-volt systems… not to mention ancient sewage plumbing including a long one that looked like vacuum cleaner hose, wending its way to the deck pump-out fitting with a sticky brown residue on the outside. Ick. To the dumpsters, all of it!
In the process of researching all this, I realized that it was an opportunity to integrate a bidet into my life; I’ve wanted one ever since encountering a Toto during my week at Google in 2015.
Read the full post on Nomadness.