Saturday, September 25, 2010
Trailer Tower Finished
I still have to finish wiring the lights up, and then take the tower off so I can tow it down to the DMV and get it registered.
I've added a separate ground wire to each of the light units (tail/stop/license plate and running lights), and I'll connect that to the ground wire coming out of the plug to hopefully eliminate the most common problem I've seen with trailer lights, namely BAD GROUNDS! I've towed a lot of trailers ranging in size from little ones like this, up to double-axle car carriers back in my SCCA days, and 95% of the lighting troubles I've seen and experienced were caused by bad grounds. Using the trailer frame for a ground return saves the manufacturer some money, but it comes back later to bite the owner in the rear, usually at the worst possible time, like 2AM in the rain.
After my stepson helps me pull the tower off, I might even paint the cheapie plywood I used for the deck, or at least give it a good soaking with the 5 gallon bucket of Thompson's WaterSeal we found when we cleaned out the garage.
One of the pictures shows it with the cables all coiled up, along with some of the cribbing I use to level it, the next picture shows it tracking one of the Ham Radio Satellites I operate, and the third picture shows my FT-847 and other support equipment during the satellite pass. My FT-847 is the radio I normally use to operate the satellite station on Field Day. It's NOT the radio I used for the VHF Contest a few weeks ago. I used my Kenwood TS-790 as it has a better receiver for what's called "weak signal" work, and although it can be used for satellite operations, I haven't used it for that due to my lack of a suitable radio-to-pc interface. I recently picked one up, though, so I suppose trying to get the TS-790 working with the rest of my tracking/tuning software will be a project to do Real Soon Now.