Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rain and Other Stuff....

We've received over an inch of rain from this last storm system, bringing our season total to slightly over 8".

The NWS is calling for a 50% chance of more tonight, and then nothing until this time next week. Further North, the bay area's been really getting hammered, with more rain this month than our season-to-date total.

And there was another screwy "low speed" chase the other night. Some 30 year old known gang banger shot his sister-in-law, and then melted into the woodwork. The cops had a BOLO out on him, and he popped up in Reseda, up in "The Valley".

He took off with a squad in pursuit, and then proceeded to enter the 405 Southbound, where he slowed down to 5~30MPH for the next two hours, throwing stuff out of his car, and taunting the police the entire time. They finally got a couple of BIG SUV's after him, and did the -tap-and-spin maneuver to stop him, and then let the dogs loose.

I haven't heard anything else, but I think he'll be going bye-bye for a while.

And we got the antenna rotor "fixed" down at K6AA. It turns out it was a non-problem caused by letting the antenna sot at a fixed position for long periods of time.

There's a potentiometer inside the rotor motor unit up on the tower that's used to supply position feedback to the indicating meter in the control head. As the motor rotates, so does the pot, sending a variable voltage to the meter. It's a "wire-wound" pot with a brass "wiper", and when it sits too long in one position, a small amount of corrosion forms between the brass wiper and the NiChrome wire of the winding. Since the applied voltage is only about 6 Volts, it's not enough to "punch through" the corrosion, and the voltage never gets back down to the meter. All we had to do was run the rotor through its full range of travel a few times, the wiper cleaned the wire winding, and the "problem" went away.

We made a note in the station operating manual that to prevent this issue in the future, the rotor should be cycled through its full range weekly, but I'll bet this happens again within six months....


  1. As happy as we are that CA is finally getting some rain, I sorta wish it wasn't all coming at once.

    Glad you got that antenna issue sorted, as well. And yeah .. it'll happen again.

  2. It hasn't been too bad as far as volume vs time.

    The first year I lived here we got so much rain in three days that I almost went to Harbor Freight to buy a pump and some hose so I could drain the back yard.

    We had to sandbag the big garage door to keep the water out!

    This year, so far, we've had enough time between storms so that the water can percolate down through what passes as soil here. It's a mixture of sand, clay, and some good old "black dirt" called "Black Adobe" that doesn't drain very well.

    The drought has been bad enough the last five years that the soil has shrunken away from areas, and parts of the house have settled in a most disconcerting way.

  3. I saw the news tonight and they had footage of big time flooding in California. I hope that wasn't anywhere near you. There were people in boats floating past houses.

  4. That's probably up in the SF area. They got clobbered with a lot more rain than we did down here in SoCal.


Keep it civil, please....