Saturday, June 28, 2014

FINALLY Setup for Field Day!


Got things partially set up, and realized I didn't have a power supply with me.

45 minute round trip to home and back, and then I found I didn't have a Rig Runner with me!

Luckily, one of the guys had a home made Power Pole pigtail with him, that gave me just enough connections to get going.

Then I found I didn't have the correct clamps to hold the cross-boom into the elevation rotor, so had to mickey mouse it with hose clamps.

Then calibrated the rotor, and had everything ready to go just as the Space Station went over the horizon.

They're active this year, so I'll try and get them on the next pass in about two hours.

A lot of this heartburn is MY fault, as I didn't set everything up to run this year, and as a result, I was missing items that I had cannibalized for my "Iowa Box".

BUT, everything is up and apparently running correctly, and since this is positively the LAST time I'm dragging it all out here, I can live with it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Murphy Strikes at Field Day Setup!

Considering how good the last few years were, I suppose he figured he'd better show up this year.

My son and I were 90+% loaded up, and the wife came home.

She immediately starts yakking away about trivial stuff, and then wants pictures taken so she can update the pix her phone shows when either he or I call her.

I protest vehemently saying that we're BUSY, DAMMIT, but she insists, and then continues yakking away about nothing.

By this time we're half an hour behind schedule, totally lost track of what I was doing, so we lock the gate and leave.

About half way to the site I call him on the radio, and ask him if he sees the 2 Meter antenna in the trailer (he's following me), and he replies, " I think we left it propped up against the side of the house".


We get to the site, and get set up what we can, when a club member comes up whining about the key to the bathroom, so I lose another 20 minutes walking down to the office to get the key.

Then somebody else starts whining about getting a key for the gates that they lock at 2300, so I lose another 40 minutes getting that taken care of.

I tell my son I'm going home to get the missing antenna, leave, and hit a massive traffic jam on the 710 North freeway.

Takes me over an hour to get home, when iy normally takes about 25 minutes.

Get home, grab the antenna and cable tie it to my roof rack, and head back, only to find that there's a "gaper's block" on the Southbound freeway to look at the accident I passed earlier.

Total wasted travel time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Hook up the rotor controller box to make sure the rotors are where they should be to install the cross-boom and antennas, and notice the Azimuth and Elevation connectors don't match. Get the extension cables I normally use, and power up the rotors only to realize I have the wrong model control box for this model of rotor.

Last year I used a different antenna mount and rotors, and never swapped out the controller from the tote box all the radio stuff is in.

I finally just give up, and pack the valuable stuff back in the Jeep to bring home for the night, as there's no freaking way I'm going to make yet another round trip to get the correct rotor control box.

And now that I'm home, I can't find the control box I used two years ago!

I give up.

I'm taking a shower, having something to eat, and going to relax the rest of the night........

Field Day Weekend

Well, the annual "Pilgrimage to the Hill" is upon us, and I'm going to start loading up the trailer shortly.

This will most likely be the last Field Day I'll do with "my" radio club, as explained in my "Terminal Burnout" post from a week or so ago.

I'd rather do Field Day from my back yard next year than lug everything out to the upper reservation of Fort MacArthur like I've been doing since 1996.

*IF* somebody else in the club steps up for next year, then *MAYBE* I'll go out again, but at this point I just don't care to do it anymore.

Or maybe do Field Day from the Iowa next year.

I'll grab some pix, but considering we'll only be operating two stations (class "2A") this year, it might not be worth taking any.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Curator's Tour" on the Batlleship Iowa, Part 3

The next place we went to was the ship's Bakery.

The ship I (used to!) work on usually fed us "store bought" bread, BUT, at certain times of the year, they'd bake fresh bread, and the wonderful aroma filled the entire ship.

Not sure if it was like that on the Iowa, but fresh bread is a marvelous thing!

Lots of racks for dinner rolls, and popcorn machine!

Biggest dough mixer I've ever seen. Probably made in the late 1930's, and still functional after over 70 years.

From the bakery we went to some "other" spaces, one of which was at the inner side of the hull. The area below is a "void", and there are many on the ship. Some were filled with sea water, others with fuel oil, and their purpose was to give an extra layer of protection to the inner hull from mines or torpedo attack.

This is one of the many "voids" on the ship.

Of to some generic "Crew's Quarters".

This was the Master Chief's quarters. They told us who he was, but not being a true "Navy Guy", the name didn't ring any bells.

The Engineering Office.

This office is in use, and is where the staff goes over some of the blueprints when needed, ad it also has a very large printer/plotter for making banners and such.

The Electric Shop.

This area is also in use, and is where we brint some of the original radios from the Comm Center when they need work. We're sloooowly getting all the receivers back on-line, and perhaps later this year we'll have one of the 1000 Watt transmitters back on-line. I don't think we'll use it for Amateur Radio operations, but it would be nice to be able to use it for MARS operations.

Some more Crew Art, unfinished. I'm not familiar with what the finished design would be, but I suspect from the hammer, axe, and square it has something to do with Engineering.

 BIG drill press!

Now we come to what the Curator calls "One of the most priceless and revered artifacts on the ship".

Neatly stamped in to the stainless work top are all the names and addresses of the men in the section who were on board the Iowa as she was anchored next to the Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies.

It looks like a typewriter did it, but it was all hand stamped. The border around the names is made form "O" and "I" stamps arranged to look like anchor chain.

Just beautiful!

Here's a better picture from the "USN Shipboard Radio Room" website.

The table is located in the Mechanical repair shop, at one end.

Here's sosme more shots of the area. The large I-Beam track at the top was used for handling large equipment.

Welding table with pedastal grinder at the rear. The items on the table are not "props". They were there when the ship was put into mothballs, and have been left there.

This is a large lather, with a 21" swing (I forget how long the bed is) located in the "General Workshop". I'm sure you could power it up today, and it would work perfectly. That's a horizontal milling machine on the right.

More art by Mr. Dehning on the Supply Office door.

In this piece he put his artist's signature on the paycheck!

On our way to several of the areas we saw, there were these large, curved structures that several people thought were air ducts. They're actually part of the ammo hoist for the 5" guns. The yellow hoses are from the dehumidification equipment the Navy installed when the Iowa was mothballed. There are quite a few of them still installed, mostly in the "Off Limits" areas.

The US Post Office aboard the Iowa.

This will eventually be on one of the regular tours, so the staff filled the wall display with some information and "First Day Covers" for the Iowa.

This is the certificate the City of Los Angeles gave to the Pacific Battleship Center when the ship came into port.

As we went to the Training Center for the rest of the presentation, we passed the Barbette for Turret #2.

It's 18" thick!

The '"TrainingCenter room, where the crew orientation is given, was formerly an office for the Cargo Handling Department.

Here's a bit of humorous Crew Art, artist unknown.

After the presentation was over (it's very similar to the video I linked to yesterday), we were free to roam the "regular" tour route until the ship closed at 1700.

One thing I really wanted to get some pictures of was the map of the Pacific Theater they discovered while cleaning the Officer's Wardroom. The artist is unknown, and the Curator can find no mention of this map in any of the documentation they have.

Sorry for the crummy pictures, but it was the best I could under the circumstances!

So, that's about what you'd see if you took the "Inside the Iowa Curator's Tour".

I had few flash misfires on some the shots I took, so I didn't post them, like looking "Down Into The Void".

it was deep and dark, and looked like it went on forever.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Battleship Iowa History Video

This is pretty much what we saw during the "Curator's Tour".

Sorry, but embedding has been disabled. You'll have to go to YouTube to watch it. It's about an hour long.

"Curator's Tour" on the Battleship Iowa, Part 2

From the Brig, we went down the passageway to see the Tailor Shop, with more artwork by Mr. Dehning

Pressing gear

Ironing table

I'm not sure what the covered item to the left of the ironing table is. It's about the same size and shape as the "Dress Form" my Mom used to use when she made dresses for my sister.

Perhaps a similar device used for pressing dress uniforms?

BIG Dry Cleaning Machine

Better picture of the door to the Tailor Shop. Mr. Dehning has cleverly included his artist's signature on the receipt!

And just down the passage a bit further, we went into the Ship's Laundry. A bit boring, except if you need your clothes cleaned!

More steam operated pressing tables.

I don't remember what this area was for. Perhaps folding the freshly laundered items, or maybe desks for admin work.

A bit further forward is the Ship's Library. It's just an empty area right now with book shelves, but we all crammed in to it, and as I was the last one in, I couldn't get a photo of anything recognizable as the Library, so I just took a pic of the door.
The gentleman in the picture is the current Chief Engineer on the Iowa.

We then came up for air out on to the Fantail.

And a better picture of one of the wood "plugs" sealing up the muzzle of a 16" Naval Rifle barrel.

Just above the "Battleship USS Iowa" plaque in the first outside  picture above you can see one of the antennas we use when we operate for our Amateur Radio events on the Iowa. It's a 14' tall "Trussed Monopole", and normally operates from 10 MHz to 30 MHz, but with my Elecraft autotuner, I've loaded it up just fine on 7 MHz.

Here's a better view of it.

And we also use the big "Disc-Cage" antenna on the bow of the ship. These were originally installed during the 1980's retrofit of the ship to be used with a type of HF Data System, of which I don't know very much. I suspect it was a type of encrypted Packet radio system, but it's not my area of expertise.

The Disc-Cage can operate from 3 to 30 MHz, depending on which feed point you use, and is an amazingly good antenna.
If we can you, then you'll definitely hear us!

Anyway....back below decks....

From the Ship's Laundry (it was very dark, poorly lit, and cramped, so I didn't take any pix inside) we went to the Enlisted Men's Galley.

I though this sign on one of the Deep Fry Machines was "interesting".

Some kind of big chopper/shredder.

Sign on entrance to the "Meat and Vegetable Prep Room".

More Crew Art, artist unknown.

More by Mr. Dehning.

The two stars at the bottom are for the first and second commissioning of the ship, in 1943, and 1951. The star at the top is for her final commissioning in 1984. The bird is NOT an eagle, but rather an "Iowa Hawk", bringing back the ship's commission and hull number.

Being a Radio Nerd, I just had to get this one.

Right before we went to the Enlisted Men's Mess, we saw what was left of this painting. It originally was an over-the-shoulder view of a Helmsman, with his hands on the wheel. You can barely make out the old wooden wheel at the bottom. I'm told that in the center was a rendering of Jesus Christ, with His hands on the Helmsman's shoulders, helping him to guide the ship.

Sometime after it was painted, and before the ship was decommissioned the last time, it was declared "Politically Incorrect", and either painted over, or scrubbed with something to deface it.

Mr. Dehning, who is still alive, has offered to come and repaint it.

God Bless Mr. Dehning!

And on to the Enlisted Men's Mess.

We have a "Two Spigot" version of this exact Milk Machine on the ship I work on. BTW....the Iowa consumed approximately 250 gallons of milk per day!

Off to one side of the Crew's Mess was this red painted door, so I walked over to see ehat it was.

It's a Damage Control Locker, and they're all throughout the ship. It's a compartment containing tools and materials relevant to the location of the ship needed to repair combat or other damage. The brass plate above this one says it's for "Pipe and Bar Stowage".

Some more Crew Art by Mr. Dehning in the Crew's Mess.

That's all for now. I'll post some more later today or tomorrow.

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