Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Small Victories

The little Zotac "Z-BOX" PC running the weewx software has been running rock-solid for over a week now. Even with the console located down in the basement, my Davis Vantage Pro2 has been reading 96% or better Received Signal Strength on the 900 MHz radio link. Granted it's only a packet radio burst, and it's Spread Spectrum, but considering it's 100% solar-powered, and about 100' away, and it runs something like a One Milliwatt transmitter, I'm impressed.

Success #2 is that I got "Shockwave Flash" up and running as a Firefox plug-in. Since Adobe is discontinuing support as of December 31 2020, most Linux distributions no longer include it. I'm not sure what kind of Open Source ,if any, replacements are around for it, and Adobe is "Strongly Encouraging" web designers and other developers to stop using it. Maybe they'll open the code up like other companies of orphan products have done, but since it's Adobe, I doubt it.

Then I hung some of the local metal art we bought at the Larimer County Fair on Sunday while the wife was at the Doctor's today.

Yesterday I "officially" sited where the two wood posts are going to be planted for the antennas, and cleared out the gravel and cut the anti-weed fabric that was under the gravel. I'm going to try and get the holes dug and the posts set this week. That will get the two 4x4x8' posts, and the 5 bags of concrete out of the garage, followed shortly after by the autocoupler enclosure and mounting planks. It's more than just "Pick A Spot And Plant The Post" for this. I made sure that the new holes are at least 30" from any existing set posts because I want "undisturbed earth" for the new poles, and I wanted to move the 20 meter vertical so it was at least a half-wavelength from both the house, and the steel support mast for the wire antenna. I know the house distorts the radiation pattern for the vertical (duhhhh!), and I'm sure the metal mast for the wire antenna will have some effect, but it's what I have to work with.

The important thing right now is to get the doggone posts in the ground, and get the antennas transferred to them. Winter will be here faster than I know, and I don't want to get caught flat-footed like I did last year.

4 comments:

  1. I sat and watched a movie for a few hours.

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  2. Ah yes... those basics... Posts... :-)

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    Replies
    1. The first time I "helped" with setting posts I was about 8 years old and "helped" my Dad and one of his buddies put in a fence at the house I grew up in. When the local guy rebuilt the South fence here, I "helped" a bit, but mostly watched and asked him about what he was doing. Last Spring I helped the neighbor (the other Ham here) set three new posts on the North fence we share because the posts had rotted out at the soil line.

      This will be the first time I've done it 'from scratch', and I'm bracing myself for a "Two Day" project that I just know it gonna take a week!

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