Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fence Progress and First Radio Operation From New Place

Beautiful day today, high 50's/low 60's, and blue sky with some clouds.

I got up, got dressed, and headed out the door to go up to the Kid's Place.

Got there, packed up my tools AND the power supply with the adapter cable on it, and spent some time talking to our "general contractor" about various and sundry things in progress, things on the schedule, things on the calendar and things "next year".

All the fence posts were set today, and our carpenter buddy (the "fence guy") and I finalized the gate design. The total usable width of the opening will be 14' 1-1/2", and he built it that way because that's the width of one lane of "highway" according to him, and he knows the tree guys can get their truck through that sized opening with ZERO trouble.


Nicely set posts:


Getting most of them out was pretty easy, as a lot of them were "half-bag posts":



While others were a "full bag post":



And this particular post refused to surrender!



This is the one that the chain snapped on. After getting a bigger chain, it died rather than surrender!



SO...we finally have all the new fence posts properly set and aligned. The pole closest to the truck in this shot will be one side of the gate:



SO after getting back from the Kid's Place, and yakking with the carpenter for some time, I finished the radio setup I started last night. Rather than make up a new adapter cable for the power supply, I just plunked down the complete supply and cable I brought back. I can make a few up on one of those afternoons the wife goes "shopping", and I have a couple of hours to myself.



The power supply I brought back is under the laptop, and the chair is my radio room/office chair we got on our furniture shopping spree last week. For now, and with the approval of SWMBO, this will be the Radio Room.

Today I setup the BuddiStick antenna. I adjusted the length to 17' 4" with a tape measure, strung out well over that amount of wire for a "counterpoise", and ran the coax back to the autocoupler for the K2.




Yes, I guyed it. I have some 3/8" dacron line that I use, and ran three lengths from the top of the tripod (about 5' off the ground)to some of those super duper military "tent stakes" I have.



I started out with one guy, but then the wind shifted 180*, and it fell over...DUH! So that's when I went to the garage, got three stakes and my BFH (nice having my tools readily at hand), and redid the guying on the little guy. They're pretty rugged, but still, your portable antenna shouldn't blow over!

Got on-the-air about 1300 local and tuned around 20 Meters where the ship always operates, and one email later found NI6BB at 14.290MHz, and had a nice chat with two of my friends there.

And even the wife commented that it was nice to hear "radio chatter" again.

Once things settle down here, I'll get the big vertical set up, but I need to get a nice weatherproof enclosure for it. It was in a Tupperware tub, upside down under the porch for seven years, and that plastic tub now has all the structural integrity of a fresh potato chip. I know the size I need, and nice fiberglass weather-resistant enclosures for Industrial use are pretty common. I'll have to ask our "general contractor" who his heavy duty electrician is, and/or can he suggest a good industrial supply house to be. We went by a Grainger the other day, so I'll look online and see what they have.

18 comments:

  1. Something like this?

    https://houston.craigslist.org/ele/d/nema-non-metallic-enclosure/6301461910.html

    I'll send you one for the cost of shipping...

    z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, that's the type I'm looking for, but I need 18"x12"x6" to house the plate the SGC autocoupler is mounted on.

      I just measured the autocoupler, and the minimum length I need inside the box is 16".

      Delete
    2. I have a couple others in the stash. I'll check if any of them are bigger. I've got some MUCH bigger metal panel boxes, but I think they'd be too big.

      If I have one that will work, you're welcome to it, with my WIFE'S blessing (as it will be leaving the stash!)

      z

      Delete
    3. Much obliged!

      My wife was ecstatic the second time I called the junkman.

      Now she's kicking herself because we had enough room to bring it, and some of it would be nice to have.

      Delete
    4. I checked the stash, and my other enclosure is a bit smaller. I'm going to my warehouse/shop tomorrow, and I'll take a look around there too, but you may be on your own...dang, nothing leaving...

      z

      Delete
  2. Good to see things coming together for you an your wife.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats!

    We haven't moved in a long time, but radio is among the first thing that gets put up. It's not 100% rational, but a house just has to have radio stuff to be home.

    When my wife and I first got married, one of the first non-essential purchases we got was a general coverage receiver. A surplus R-390A. That was before she got her ticket, so I waited a little while longer before I got transmit capability.

    After a hurricane, antennas go up as soon as the shutters come down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, GOTTA have radio! Even the "Little House On The Hill" we stayed at for 6 weeks had either my scanner or AirSpy SDR connected to the old TV antenna.

      I just dragged a bunch more stuff back from the shop there, and I now have the full length Shakespeare AT-1011 vertical here. That should be going up in the next week or so, as soon as I can track down a suitable outdoor-rated enclosure for the SGC autocoupler.

      Yeah, baby, a full quarter wave on 40!

      Delete
  4. Things are coming together nicely! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slowly but surely, NFO!

      If you ever get up this way, let us know and we'll get together.

      Delete
  5. NOW, if you could just get the USS Iowa moved in down the street...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe a new "Big Ditch" project?

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    2. It would be a landmark - and that's all I'm going to say on the subject.

      Delete
    3. And visible from space, too....

      Delete
  6. I liked seeing the pictures you posted. They helped me visualize your new setup. It seems like you and the wife are settling in really well, and the neighborhood you are in seems to be excellent.

    Colorado is such a beautiful state. I've been through there a few times, when I was a younger man. I remember the spectacular views, and how decent the people were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our fence buddy is coming tomorrow to install the new panels on the new posts, and Wednesday he's coming back to build the gate and hopefully install it. By the end of this week the fence and gate should be complete, and little Pebbles will have the run of the backyard off her leash!

      The neighborhood (at least this part of it) was built in the middle/late 1970's. This house was built in 1977. We're on a cul-de-sac located off a "no outlet" street, so if you're driving around here, you're either lost, or going to a specific destination. All the neighbors we've met (and that's most of them) seem to be good people. About half of them are original owners of their homes, so they've been here for quite a while.

      We're located within a couple of hundred feet of being smack dab in the middle of this 1 mile x 1 mile section of town. About 1/3 of this section is city parks and reserved "natural areas", so while it's in the city, it has a "rural" feeling to it. And we're far enough away from major streets and intersections, with lots of trees around us, so it's pretty quiet here.

      I agree, Colorado is a beautiful state. I never thought I'd be living here, but every time I came through here in the past, I marveled at the beauty of the land.

      Delete
  7. All seems to be coming along nicely, happy for you!

    ReplyDelete

Keep it civil, please....