Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas To All, and few updates........

First off, Merry Christmas to all!

I must have been a very good boy last year to have warranted a present as nice as living in Colorado is turning out to be.

Christmas Day we'll be at our Daughter-In-Laws brother's house for dinner in the early afternoon. This is another rural property, but quite different in character than her parent's place up at 7500'. This place is set up for ranching, and is about 40 acres of nice, flat land well North and East of Fort Collins, literally on the edge of The Great Plains. At one time it was an active ranch, and then it wasn't. Don't know the story on the property, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the location!

Update on the Weather Station - The company is aware of the solar heating effect on the main unit with the temp sensor in it, and offers a $40 upgrade to replace the cylindrical louver assembly, but I'll probably just make a little shield out of some thin aluminum.

I found a different instruction manual for the main unit in the enclosure, and was able to get a corrected barometric pressure into the console, where it "stuck", and it's now in "close enough" agreement with trusted sources, so that negative checkmark is removed.

But I still see no way to "trim" the stored calibration factors in the console for the temperatures. Yes, the display software will allow that, but the display on the little base station console is still wrong, and that bugs me.

The garage cleanup is coming along well, and I finally scored on the three Home Depot wire storage racks I wanted. AND the price was $20 per rack cheaper.

The storage and placement of items on the shelves is by no means optimized! This is just a first cut as I go through things, and sort them out. The large pile of cardboard in the immediate foreground is going to be cut down so we can drag it down to the recycling center, and when that's done it should look much better in there.

This is looking the other way, and you can see a lot of "holes" in the pile where things were. Getting rid of the YUGE cardboard pile and sorting through the remainder of this will get me enough space to store the Supra.

And things continue to progress down in the basement. The blue tape represents the critical "Hard Points" for the workbench/drawer units. Hmmmmm....that 96" baseboard heater  aint cooperating very well, is it?

Reading up on these things, they're remarkably simple. Just a big Nichrome heating element strung through there like a toaster, and a switched source of 240VAC on one end. Further reading reveals that a new "modern" unit to replace this unit can be 72" long, and just as efficient in terms of heating a room. I haven't researched those claims yet, but a 72" unit would remove all the length from the left side (because the right end is where the power comes in, and that point is fixed), and screw into the paneling just like this one does.

Problem apparently solved; I just have to source and purchase a new 72" heater, and swap it out with what's there now, then call my carpenter buddy and discuss what I'd like and what he suggests for a workbench/drawer/shelving "solution", and then build it.

While he's busy doing that, I'll be busy pestering him with questions about building the custom desk/operating position/station console on the wall to your back in the photo.

That custom build will house my new, "modern" Ham rigs, flanked on the left and right sides by the classic gear I wanted (lusted after, really...) but couldn't afford when I was a teenager. The Hallicrafters will be on the left, and the Drake gear will be to the right of the current era gear. The equipment has all been located, along with all the manuals and spare parts, and is awaiting check-out and any necessary refurbishment. Until that gets done, they'll be used as dimensional models for the construction of the station console.

And while I'm in a clean/sort/pester-the-carpenter mode, I'll have tunes to do it by.

The receiver is a "100 Watts Per Channel" Onkyo HT-R510 Home Theater receiver that I bought way back in 1999 or so. Just using it for an FM radio right now, and this will probably wind up as the garage radio, and I'll get a decent older receiver and better speakers for down here.

And as is typical of my somewhat nomadic past life, I haven't even hung my shingle out, and work is finding me, forcing me to set up a temporary "Computer MASH Unit" as my wife calls it........

This is for a family friend, and I have to unravel a Windows 10 "Update" that blew her desktop away. I remember reading something about this on the Flex Radio Systems email reflector, and it's a known, specific problem.

And we'll start showing a ton of construction articles coming up. One of the upstairs bathrooms is getting a minor remodel, and I'll grab pix of that. Then we have the basement woodwork going on, and the arrival of the Supra.

Yep, Merry Christmas to all! This is one of the best ones I've ever had!


  1. Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks, Brig. I hope the New Years finds your property has SOLD!

  2. I'm thrilled that your new home is working out to be precisely what you wanted and needed. Merry Colorado Christmas!

    1. I'd still prefer 10 acres further away from The City, but we're settling in well. The first upstairs bathroom goes under the knife in two days. Should be interesting.....

  3. Right on!
    Congrats and Merry Christmas.

  4. A man who reads instructions?

    Glad everything is working out.

    1. Something my father taught me and I've passed on to my son.

  5. Your garage looks like my shop - and I've been here for 18 months.

    1. I have to get the garage set up and organized so my wife can put her car inside, and so I have a place to put my Supra when it gets shipped out here.

  6. Belated Merry Christmas, DrJim.

    I had forgotten what it involves to move, even a short distance like we have in the past. Glad to see your progress on your move.

    1. Major, major PITA, but we're OUT of Kommiefornia!

  7. These bits of advice are based on experience.
    Get in the habit of opening and then closing the drawers in your tool cabinets. I didn't get hurt, and luckily the car wasn't in the garage, but the cleanup and tool resort was a mess. Also consider lifting the front of the tool cabinet and placing a half or three quarter piece of wood under just the front caster. Most of the drawers become self closing.
    I replaced the non swiveling casters on each tool cabinet with a swiveling and locking caster so the cabinets can be moved much more easily. (casters came from a tool place rhyming with arbor eight)
    Things are looking good there!

    1. Thanks for the tips!

      I haven't had that happen to me, but I've seen it a couple of times, and it's a real mess.

      I have to go to HF and get some more 4-wheeled movers dollies, so I'll look for some casters.

  8. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sure looks like you got a primo pig-in-slop hobby set-up and fun to-do list all ready for the upcoming year and beyond!!
    Because of the cement floor in our garage (what other kind is there?), I put a long spongy kitchen-mat down in front of the roll-away so even with locking caster it would stay put, and the mat also absorbs the pressure on/off my feet...

    1. I had some very durable "rubber" mats that are used under a "Non Pentrating Roof Mount" used for antennas. They were made from recycled tires, and were very cushy under my feet.

      Yep, I either left them in Long Beach, or gave them to the packers we hired.

      I'm realizing now that I had some very useful "stuff" included in the ~$5k worth of stuff I threw away or gave away......


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