Tuesday, January 30, 2018

And Another Week Of "Settling In" and Organizing Things Passes....

I spent a good part of yesterday going through my big Craftsman rolling tool cabinet. I had a bottle of "Gun Butter" synthetic lube for my 1911 in the top section of the tool box, and naturally it fell over, AND the cap came off, AND something heavy got jostled onto the bottle.

Yup....the entire contents came out and flooded the top of the tool box with Gun Butter. BUT, it gave me a good reason to empty the top box out, clean out all the glop, and reorganize the top box, replacing or locating whatever had gone missing after The Great Supra Adventure. I had tools in the bag for the impact wrench, and tools in two of the medium sized Tupperware tote boxes.

I rounded up a total of twelve sockets, five ratchet handles, three in 3/8" drive and two in 1/4" drive, several extensions, a couple of screwdrivers, six combination wrenches, and a collection of the dead parts I pulled off the car.

And everything is back in the tool box. I'll tackle the Harbor Freight rolling cabs in a few days, as I'm still deciding if I should split my tools, and keep metric sizes separate from inch sizes. The HF cab has plenty of space, most of it filled with weird tools and one-offs, one whole BIG drawer full of 22LR and 357 Mag, and could easily swallow my metric stuff.

And I "measured" the two coils of Andrew Heliax LDF4-50 cable, and I have approximately 135' of it, easily enough for most of the run for the HF antenna. This length of coax will have about .4dB of loss at 30MHz, compared to around 1dB of loss with Davis RF "Bury Flex", or DX Engineering's "DXE-400MAX" cable.

Will I notice the difference between the hardline and the regular coax? Probably not, but I bought these two lengths of cable 20 years ago, paid next to nothing for them, and they came with 4 brand new Andrew Type-N connectors. I might as well use them for something like this.

The VHF feedline is going to be 7/8" hardline, and will have about .5dB loss for the entire run, an M2 2M9-SSB 9-element antenna, AND I'm going to get another SSB Electronic 2 Meter, low-noise preamp and mount it up there. With 9 elements up at 36', an SSB preamp, and the TE Systems 1412G 175Watt amp, I should have a nice signal with good receive on 2 Meter SSB, something I've always wanted.

And I think I've figured a way to get the wireless Internet down to the "Radio LAN" that I always run as a wired network. I did some research, and came up with a dual-band Access Point that I can plug into my network switch with GigE. These are rated at 1300MBs on the 5 GHz band, so it should easily handle the 250MBs we're configured with. Once it's on the "Radio LAN", I configure it with it's web interface, connect to the 5GHz side of the Xfinity router, and away we go! I'll post my experiences with this device. It should work, and since I ran a "Community WISP" biz for a few years, I should have thought of this earlier. Oh, well....

Still nothing heard from allegedly "Reliable Carriers" about an estimated pick-up date for the Supra. I was going to call them Monday, BUT we had some workmen here, had some medical documents to submit in person only, and the dog almost ate my homework. I'll give them a call Wednesday and see if it's even on their "Logging Sheet" document, or what ever it is they call it that indicates if it's been assigned to a certain load and/or truck.

The garage clean-up in readiness for Ms Swan's arrival is proceeding nicely. Once she gets here, and I can get the spoiler/sunshade bolted on the rear hatch, I can put another 48" rack there, and have more storage than I need right now. And plans for the garage and basement workbenches continue.

13 comments:

  1. My experience with Xfinity is anything they supply is crap.

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    1. So far they've been pretty good, but NEVER call customer service.You get much better results either going to the Xfinity store, or one of their user forums.

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  2. I will weigh in with the same nags about the tool chests.
    If possible, change the non-swiveling caster to swiveling because it makes it much easier to move the chests.
    After the chests are in position, jack the side facing out up and put a half or three quarter inch block under both front casters because the drawers will now tend to self close, and you lessen the chance of a tip over.

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  3. I'll bet those tools were a 'tad' slippery... LOL, and we've all done that at least once! At least it wasn't in a box containing important stuff that fell apart.

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    1. Most of the lube had run off the tools and was in the tools trays and under the rubber drawer liners. But yeah, a real mess. The synthetic stuff "clings" to items more than petroleum based lube. It was a real PITA to get everything wiped down and get all the glop out of the tool box.

      But I'll bet it will NEVER rust!

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    2. I made a not well thought out decision to not remove some cold-bluing that was stored in my pristine top box, that I took to a gun school class. First class that I never opened the box until getting home. (I usually fix someone's gun during class)

      Cap came loose. Ate the internal paint, and rusted all the tools. That was the least aggravating thing that occurred on that trip.

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    3. I *almost* always put stuff like that in a Zip Loc bag, but just was too flustered by the time the toolboxes got packed away....

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  4. Are you going to have to get a sequencer to use that preamp with the 175W amp. I have been playing with meteor scatter on 6 meters with WSJT-X MSK144. Works well. I only run 100 watts to an M2 3 element 6 M beam at 15 ft.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, 175W might be a bit much. I've only used them with my FT-847. It's pretty easy to run another cable for separate DC power to the preamp while everything is going together. I've been mulling over a sequencer, so I'll either build one from the dozens of designs out there, or look into what's available for a reasonable cost.

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  5. There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. I can't remember who said that but they were right. You sure have been a lot busier since you moved than when you lived in Southern California. Still glad you made the move?

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    1. Oh, yeah! We're pretty happy here.

      And yep, I've been pretty busy. I have a whole new radio station to build!

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  6. We have similar station approaches. My tower is closer to the station and I'm pretty sure my lot is smaller. I use 5/8" hardline for VHF/UHF and the two HF antennas are fed with RG-213 and LMR-400 DB (direct burial). Both give about half dB loss from rig to antenna.

    I just did the experiment of making my low band antenna (80/40 vertical) load on 160m, so I cover 160m to 450 MHz. Although the 70cm band is a pretty poor antenna.


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    1. If I were on a strict budget, I'd use the LDF4 I have on 2 Meters, and just run BuryFlex or DXE-400MAX for the HF side of the house.

      But I'm not on a strict budget! Since the separate garage/workshop died, those funds were released for the radio station and Supra. So, I'll get a nice run of Heliax to feed an M2 2M9SSB and SSB Electronic preamp for my 2 Meter station, something I've always wanted.

      The lot here is about 10,600sqft, and because of where I'll have to site the tower and feedline run, my feedline length will be right around 150', from the top of the stack to the operating console.

      And I'm one of those cranky OG's who just HATE feedline loss.....

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Keep it civil, please....