Hopefully all is well with those affected by the three touchdowns. Reports still coming in for damage and likely will be until daylight tomorrow. Meanwhile I’m really happy I did not put that mast up as I had no guy wire available yet. WHEW!
Severe weather season is off to a real start. Check out the images below for our early March start to the season.
My Face When It Wont Stop Raining
Seriously F-Off rain. I got antennas to get up masts to finish building, entrance panels to relocate and ground rods to sink. Not to mention about eleventy billion other things that require me not dying from pneumonia cause the rain is drunk and will not leave. Seriously rain. Fuck. Off. We get seven years of drought then a historic hurricane season and then a dryish winter, but wait no ITS TIME FOR MORE RAIN! Seriously though it is going to skip spring and go straight to hellish summer with the 115F+ heat indexes daily fast. I was really enjoying working in the not so humid mid 50’s to mid 60’s… BUT NO.
So in honor of “The Rain” that is ruining my plans (poor me I know) how about some music about rain! YEA!
Certainly a good book to pick up and read. But an except in a magazine I ran across had an interesting bit of history included in it and I thought I would share it here.
Click to Enlarge and Read ALL CREDIT TO SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE.
Testing the idea (Before)
Yes those are various pieces of the 4×4’s I used for the four legs of my 80m sky loop. Somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 as I had a fifth but it was only a partial, and one of the 4×4’s I cut for a bird feeder setup. In any case the wood is still good. Warped yes. Heavy… not as bad as I thought it would be. I have eight guying spots to guy it mostly away from the house for safety. I used eye hole lag bolts for that. I’m going to get some 1/2″ dacron rope from kf7p which has a snap strength of 7050lbs. I plan to band this several times as well just for safeties sake. Then it will be time to rattle can it od green. I may toss a second color in randomly but I think just the od green will be enough.
I am going to move the 70cm beam up to right above the last 4×4 for a little more height above ground. It performs very well for the single repeater I use it for so it is likely it will work better. I may not even need it with the tip of the 5.5 foot antenna bringing it to almost 40 feet of height. If my coverage map was good at 18 feet. I can’t wait to calculate and post the new predicted results and then confirm/modify with testing.
I swore I would never put another ground rod in manually but there I went not listening to myself. Mr. 22oz claw hammer and I got reacquainted again and after a couple of hours it was as sunk as it is going to get. Now thanks to the drastic swings in weather and pushing myself far beyond what I should be considering health and other issues I’ve managed to get a really bad chest cold that started out as a nasal drip and sore throat (its almost that time of year so I figured it was pollen). Nah full blown coughing stuff up and not sleeping all while not healing from all the project work the past few weeks. Luckily my wife takes good care of me and I am on the mend.
After everything drys out and I’m back at fully operational status the next step is to drop a couple of inches of gravel down the concrete form for drainage sake. And then mix up the concrete drop the assembled mast into the form and fill her up. Next step will be quickly leveling the mast and then bracing it while I anchor a couple of guys for safety overkill sake. From there we let it set till cured. In the mean time relocating my entrance panel box and maintaining the integrity of my already installed ground system will occur along with extending it to this mast. I plan to pass the coax shield thru a bulkhead to ground at the base and then direct burial to the entrance panel where it will connect to an A/D lightning arrestor before coming up thru floor and entering the shack at the kf7p ground bus bar that I cut which will have 3 a/d switch to ground modules installed.
My dedicated 2 meter radio arrived thanks to he quick shipping at HRO. 80 watt edition. Woot. It is built like a tank and the heat sinking on this is not a joke it will take every bit of abuse you can throw at it no doubt. Using the same microphone as the ft 100 dr/de the transmission quality is great and sensitivity is as good as any of the other radios currently installed. This will likely be a dedicated radio on the vertical while the ft 100 dr/de works the 70cm beam. I also managed to get back an Icom 800h I sold a couple of years ago so I’m sort of back in the dstar game. Debating what to do with that situation and I have it narrowed down to a small beam pointed to a local area state Ares connected repeater or pretty much a dummy load (ht antenna) and a gateway with he ability to switch it onto the 2m vertical. We shall see. 80w being a 2dB gain over 50w I figured what the hell right?
As of now it is in its permanent home on the IKEA hack stack.
Spacex dropped a new super cut with Bowie high lining the Heavy Launch and Starman piloted Tesla Roadster.
When Falcon Heavy lifted off, it became the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Following liftoff, the two side boosters separated from the center core and returned to landing site for future reuse. Falcon Heavy put a Tesla Roadster and its passenger, Starman, into orbit around the sun. At max velocity Starman and the Roadster will travel 11 km/s (7mi/s) and travel 400 million km (250 million mi) from Earth.
If you can’t find inspiration for something in this company and ceo’s achievements well then I’m sorry I can’t help ya. It feels like the Voyager years again. What is next!?!?
Warning I drop an F-Bomb in this video so it is NSFW. Anyway. KM4JBX came over and we were just going to fell a few limbs and do some generalized trimming for cosmetics. What should have taken 20-30 minutes minus clean up and cut up turned into a few hours of not trying to get killed by a seriously bad situation.
No worries though no one was injured and the tree was successfully taken down and cut up. I also dug the hole out for the concrete form for the soon to be much more safe, and permanent home for the VHF/UHF and UHF beam. Go Go Gadget 4×4’s and lag bolts.
I have not done a music post in quite a while. And I’m fairly certain the last one was Vangelis. I ran across The Danish Symphony Orchestra’s version of the Blade Runner Suite. They have many other “movie” related music that is done so well it is hard to describe. Check it out.
Another personal favorite is The Godfather Suite:
I decided since it was cold again outside and a little rainy that I would forego the preparation for limb chopping and raising the vhf/uhf antenna to hopefully 40ish feet. I bonded the tables, although I did not use the dowel and drill then bond method. The two part clear gorilla glue brand epoxy seems to have done the job. The empty space is where the HF rig will go when I get around to that stage. I moved my kf7p ground bus UP and cut it. This makes it easy to switch to ground when not in use or in fear of storm conditions. (it was about six inches off the floor) I am going to pickup a third alpha delta coax switch as you can see a spot is prepped already. I ordered a Yaesu 7980 2 meter monoband 85 watt radio. This will likely occupy the omni 99% of the time and the ft100dr/de being on the 70cm beam into a fusion repeater. As you can guess this will allow me to operate two radios dedicated to their respective niches.
I decided to make the wire neat and tuck things and shorten where needed. I also moved the water dispenser from the side as I moved the ikea lack hack stack away from the desk about 6 inches just to have clearance all the way around. The actual second half of this project is moving my entrance panel to outside my office where the vhf/uhf coax is currently running in. I will sink a ground rod at the base of the antenna and pass the shield thru a nifty clamp on ground rod device from kf7p. Bury the line a few inches as this lmr is direct burial self healing. At the entrance panel it will attach to a alpha delta lightning arrestor before coming thru the subfloor and up thru the floor to the ground bus you can see into a switch to ground alpha delta switch. You may notice my #6 copper is not connected to the bus currently. It is under the house along with another run of coax I need to pull when I relocate the entrance panel. I am going to sink an eight foot rod at an angle under the house to link the new entrance panel location and old location thus keeping my grounding to the house mains and out to where the base of the HF antenna setup will be. I am likely swapping to braid or flat copper strap. Copper strap may prove to be to pricey and I may use tinned copper braid like the one on the shelf where the HF rig should be. These changes will re-cover me on electrical safety grounding, RF grounding, and lightning safety grounding. Idea is to divide the potential of a near field strike or discharge or god forbid a direct hit as much as possible before it has a chance to enter the premises. Also presenting the same potential at all entry points and far field grounding points as to not provide an easy path of ingress.