Friday, March 27, 2015

New Carpet Today


Been busy as a one-armed paper hanger the last few days getting the living room and dining room stripped out so the carpet installers can do their thing today.

They'll remove all the furniture for us, but all the "other" stuff had to be out so they don't break anything "fragile".

First off was taking the Home Theater Center apart and moving all the gear, then the wife's curio cabinet had to be emptied and unscrewed from the wall, the DVD racks had to be emptied and unscrewed from the wall, all the book cases had to be emptied and unscrewed from the walls, and her office/computer work area had to be taken offline, and all the gear removed. This is also my #2 radio operating position, so the 2 Meter/70 centimeter radio and scanner had to be disconnected and moved, along with the UPS units, the weather PC, and the FiOS router. I put the FiOS router in the "Network Closet" here in the radio room, and patched to coax from the Verizon ONT into it, and plugged in just the network cable for this room.

I'm still not sure how the carpet installers are going to handle where the coax/network cables come up through the floor, but the rep who was here the other day said they do it all the time, and it shouldn't be a problem. The "good" thing is that one of the places is behind the wife's "work" desk, and the other is behind the cabinet where the Home Theater stuff is mounted.

1032 local time, and they haven't called to confirm yet.......

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"The X-Files" is Coming Back!

Supposed to start filming this summer, and will star David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, reprising their roles in a 6 episode miniseries.

This is probably my all-time favorite TV series. I didn't care too much for the two movies, as they were just not "connected enough" to the TV series for me.

It will be very interesting to follow this, and I can hardly wait for it to air.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One of Old Blue Eyes' Best

Ran across this while looking for something else.

Friday, March 13, 2015

I'm Still Here....Just Been Busy!

We've been working on getting all the HF-capable antennas on the Iowa sorted out, and hand-over-hand tracing coaxial cables around the ship.

We were able to get the autocoupler for the portside transmitting antenna hauled out of the transmitter room and mounted at the base of the whip, and as soon as we can figure out *where* the coax goes to, we'll do some low power testing with one of the original tarnsmitters.

In the picture below you can see the mounting rails for the autocoupler:

And with this shot from below the antenna, you can see the red insulating base, indicating it was a transmitting antenna:

And the starboard side whip has a blue base, indicating it was receive-only:

The cable for the starboard whip runs into a room off the flag bridge, where it was hooked to a receiver that we're told was used by the "spooks" for various signal interception duties.

Unfortunately, the Heliax cable feeding this one has broken from being repeatedly bent back and forth, so that's another "Let Jim fix it" item in the job jar!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Meanwhile, Back In The CPO's Mess.......

One of the things we do on the Iowa is offer examinations for both commercial and Amateur radio licenses.

This past Wednesday, I found myself back down in the CPO's Mess area helping three young guys get their Marine Radio Operator's Permit for their jobs at one of the places out here in the L.A. Harbor area.

One of the things that's so interesting about the Iowa is the large amount of "Crew Art" painted in various spaces around the ship. I posted a lot of it a while back when I took the "Curator's Tour", which is a tour available to the public that takes you to a lot of the areas not on the current tour route.

Here's a funny one that I'm sure my Navy friends have seen before:

And in the CPO Lounge Area we have this one:

Along with this one on the adjacent bulkhead:

The deck flooring leading in to the lounge area has this nice tile work:

And on the door leading in is this warning:

In the mess area is this autograph from an original plank owner:

Thank you for your service, Chief!

And finally, from one of the hatches leading in to this area, MANY coats of paint:

Sorry for the crummy cellphone pix, but these were "spur of the moment", and I'm seriously considering taking my camera with me every time I go on board the Iowa.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm Blaming My Wife......

For this rotten cold I came down with starting yesterday morning.

Sore throat, headache, and my nose is running like a faucet with a blown washers in it.

And it's supposed to start raining Friday afternoon, and continue through Monday.

Where's my NyQuil.....I'm gonna hit the rack.......

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Last C-17 Is Being Assembled

Well, we all knew it was coming, but hearing about #279 rolling down the assembly line puts it in a new perspective.

I remember when they built the last 717 in 2006 (an MD-95/DC-9, really), and since I was working at Boeing at the time, we all stepped out of the office to watch it take off and fly away.

 It was the last commercial airliner to be built in Long Beach, ending a string that ran for over sixty years.

Mercedes Benz has taken over the Boeing facility on the East side of the Long Beach (LGB) airport, and supposedly Virgin Galactic will be building a small launch vehicle of some kind there.

I'm not sure what's going to happen over on the west side, where the C-17 facility is. Boeing has a large office complex on the East side of LGB, and there are many highly skilled workers on the program that will be available, so perhaps they'll keep parts of the facility going with upgrades and repairs for the C-17, or perhaps they'll do some F/A-18 work there.

Or, Boeing might follow the many, many businesses that just folded their tent, and left California for greener pastures, where the cost of living isn't so high, and the cost of doing business isn't stifled by a state government that can never seem to remove it's head from where the sun doesn't shine......

Yard Work and PC Work Today

Now that's dried out a bit (we got some rain over the weekend), I can finish up the back yard today. I have to finish the edging with my edger, and then get the weed whacker out to do the final trimming.

And then mix up some Roundup and spray the areas we're trying to keep clear.

I had a one gallon sprayer that came with a premix in it, but that ran out Friday afternoon. And then about 12 hours later we had the rain, so unfortunately, most of the Roundup washed away, and we still have some weeds along the driveway.

Roundup seems to work pretty well, as it "Kills The Root", and makes the dead stuff easier to rip out of the ground.

I've also used rock salt in the past with good results, but only use that where I don't want anything to grow, or to kill stumps. Just drill some 1" holes in the stump as deep as you can with a wood bit ("Paddle Bit"), and then fill the holes with salt. Add some water to get things started, and let Nature take over. Years ago, I bought some kind of chlorate compound from National Lumber (remember them?) that you did the same thing with, and then waited a couple of weeks. Once it was dry enough, you could light the stump with a propane torch, and it would start to burn, and continue burning, until the entire thing was gone. Pretty neat stuff, but I'm sure it's not available any more.

And on the PC front, I just finished up refurbishing a laptop and a desktop to take down to the Iowa for our Amatuer Radio use.

The desktop is a Core2 Quad running at 3GHz, with 8GB of memory (I remember when 8 Gig was a big hard disk!) and a clean installation of Windows 7 Professional. It also has an M-Audio "Audiophile 2496" soundcard that we'll be using with a SoftRock SDR receiver to use as a panadaptor for the Kenwood TS-850 that's our main SSB radio., along with a full suite of N3FJP software.

The laptop is an older Dell that somebody gave me that I added a bigger hard disk to, and maxed out the memory to 4GB, and installed Windows 7 Professional. We'll be using that on the "CW" station to do digital mode operation using the soundcard interface I built a while back.

I'll clean them up tonight and make sure all the updates are current, and lug them down to the Iowa Wednesday morning where we'll join them to the domain, and bring our station up a notch or two.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

72nd Anniversary of Battleship Iowa's First Commissioning on 22 FEB 15

And we'll be operating NI6BB 22 FEB 15 from 0900 to 1600 PST.

Look for on the bands from 40 Meters through 10 Meters, typically on a frequency ending in "61", like 14.261 MHz, +/- any QRM.

At this time we have seven operators, and one "guest" CW operator on the schedule, so we should be able to keep the phone and CW stations in continuous operation.