Friday, April 5, 2019

Didn't Get SQUAT Done Today.....

But I did mange to burn through some cash. Made my Home Depot run to get a bunch of hardware, and got out of there about $30 lighter. But since I have to go right past Harbor Freight on the way home.....

Wound up buying one of their new "Hercules" line of 20 Volt cordless drills. Also picked up a spare 5.0AHr battery, as I've been using cordless tools long enough to know very well that you can't ever get a job done on one charge, unless it's home owner stuff. Plus the 8 year old batteries on my 20 year old Makita drill are on their last legs, and nobody here has a reasonably priced replacement. The guy at HF told me their "Bauer" power tools are made by Makita, and the new Hercules line is made by DeWalt. Since I bought the two-year replacement warranty, he also suggested that when it was getting to be two years, to bring it back and exchange it for another one. Our General Contractor in-law tells me that's what all the contractors out here do. Buy a generator or pump, or other $$ item, get the replacement plan, then run the snot out of the equipment, then get a new one right before the warranty expires.

These are "normally" $109.95, but this weekend they're movin' 'em out at $89.95. A 2.5AHr replacement battery is only $25, while the biggest 5.0AHr is $40.

And since cutting that mutant-alien-on-steroids antenna rope is waaay harder than it looks, I popped $15 on a hot knife, specifically made for hacking synthetic rope.

The reason I bought it is because cutting the 5/16" poly rope is a bear. I keep my knives as sharp as I know how, and I could barely hack through it. I also learned you do NOT use a serrated blade on the stuff as it really makes a messy, frayed, wild strands everywhere cut.

This stuff laughed at my aviation snips, mocked a brand new Xacto knife, and taunted my sharpest cable cutters. Just noticed it almost looks like and old flintlock pistol.

So anyway....I got one lousy, stinking end mast mounted on the far end fence post, and two puny backer blocks installed. The neighbor had to bail to take his old dog to the vet (dog's OK. Vet thinks she just ate something too rich for her), so he wasn't around to give me a hand.

This is the mast as seen from where the feed point will be.

 See why we need to go over the tree? Here....let me move to the right a bit....

I zoomed in a bit so you could see the mast. The A-to-B distance between the masts is about 100'. Going "up and over" the tree will add a few feet to the distance, but I should have 15'~20' of rope on the end of the wire.

Better view...

There's an eyebolt at the top, with a loop of the 5/16" support rope holding a pulley. The support rope will go through the pulley, and down to a weight sliding in a PVC pipe. The weight will keep tension on the wire, and allow movement in the wind.

Backer blocks between the fence picket and new fence post.

I'm real close to buying a new panel of fence for this section. This 30 year old wood has about zero strength, and splits as soon as it hears your drill running. My neighbor is very frugal (notice the prop holding a background panel?), and while he put three new posts in, he reused the fence panel.

I have visions of doing this over in the future.....


  1. Thank you!
    I didn't know that Harbor Freight had a hot knife.
    I ran into problems cutting a fabric called Dyneema when I was sewing up some rain skirts for my wife and me.
    The internet suggested using a hot knife or a laser cutter, but my wife said no to the laser cutter, and all the hot knives I found were expensive.
    At the Harbor Freight price it's well worth taking a chance.

    I like the weighted tensioner and I'm going to file that away for some future use.

    1. I didn't know it, either, but I spotted it flipping through the flyer I got in the mail.

      Haven't tried it yet. I'll do some testing today.

  2. Remember two women remarking about<"men and their toys". When one turned and saw me, I asked, "And how many pairs of shoes do you have?"

  3. I don't know - you say you didn't get squat done but then show us lots of progress.

    1. Yea, I guess I got more of the prep work out of the way.

      Either going to try and mount the autocoupler, or drill the stump for the mast. Whatever the neighbor wants to help with.

  4. Yep, that one is gonna be a do over... sigh

    1. Yes, I foresee many more trips to HD before this is finished.

      I'm prepared for the wood to act like potato chips when I saw drilling and attaching.

  5. Just to rain on your parade... Considering all the work you're doing on the antenna, wouldn't it be prudent to just fix the fence now and do it right?

    I know, shocking concept, but it will save you headache in the long run, plus we all know you'll get the first installation up, and then decide you need to fix something and you'll do it all over again. Might as well get the fixing and the fencing done all at once. Right?

    1. I agree, and I'm having our General Contractor in-law drop off a panel this week. I think I'll reinforce it, just to be safe.


Keep it civil, please....