Friday, September 29, 2023

Busy Weekend Ahead

 TLG (The Little Guy) will be spending Saturday night with us, and TNLG (The New Little Guy) will be staying Sunday night. So from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon the house will ring with the sounds of children running around.

I might be a bit tied up for a while. I pray I survive this youthful onslaught!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

YAWN.... I Gots Nuttin' Today

 Getting over a head cold that hit me last week and has overstayed it's welcome. Still, it's the first "Head Cold" I've had in about 8 months, and coincides nicely with stopping smoking, now six months in the rear-view mirror.

Health continues to improve, and it looks like my blood chemistry has returned to normal. Still on the "Low Normal" side for Sodium, but my Magnesium and Potassium numbers are now in-the-green, and my a1C has dropped to 6.0, which is pretty good. Have to work on building my stamina back, and trying to get my weight back to the range where my Doctor is happy. I was running around 190 Lbs before this last incident, but lost about 15 Lbs in the last month or so. SLW has embraced the "Heart Healthy" cooking philosophy, and so far everything she's made has been great. I'm eating like a horse these days, all healthy stuff, and still can't seem to get my 15 Lbs back. Oh, well, there's worse things that can happen.

Annnnd....still no action on the legal front. I'm getting ready to just walk in to a firm, and offer to pay them for a consultation. I've been "fretting" over this too much, and I'd like to get it settled, or be told "No Case.....".

Overcast, drizzly, and about 70* today, so I haven't done much garage work, and I'll most likely retreat to the basement workshop and chill out with some music. I'm almost to the point where I can paint the new speaker enclosures I've been working on, and then I can load the speakers and crossovers into them, and see how they sound.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

'Twas A Cold and Rainy Night.....

 Well, it sounds better than the "Dark and Stormy...." phrase people use.

Currently 54* and drizzling. We've received about 1/4" of rain, with more to come. antenna work today! I (finally!) dropped the mast my FM Broadcast antenna is on, and mounted the GPS antenna at the top of the mast. I ran the cable for it down through the mast, making a tidy appearance. I ran those two cables, plus two spares, through the 3/4" hole I'd previously bored through the foundation, secured them to the post and fence, and then packed the hole with good old "Plumber's Putty" so rain drops and critters can't get in.

I'm quite pleased with how this Harbor Freight Demolition Hammer works. It will operate as a hammer drill for boring concrete, or just as a hammer, which is how I installed all those ground rods.

Say what you will about Horror Fright, some of their products have gotten quite good. Their "Hercules" line of power tools are definitely one of their good products. I also have the Hercules 1/2" Drill/Driver, and it's an amazing value.

Paired up with a 5AHr battery, and it goes (for me) all day, and usually still has enough juice to keep going.

They also have a very nicely made 1/2" breaker bar, that's about 6" longer than my Craftsman bar. It has a nice finish, looks to be well-made, and has a great non-slip grip on it.

As long as you pick their top-of-the-line products, like Hercules or Icon, you get a good, solid tool at a savings. Definitely "Dr. Jim Recommended"!

As for the rest of the night, I'm either going to stoke the fireplace and drive some of the chill out of the house, or retreat to the nice, dry, toasty basement workshop, and do some cleaning up and a bit of tinkering.

Maybe both......

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Biden Impeachment Inquiry.......?

 Yawn....just more Kabuki Theater, but interesting reading, nonetheless.

Read All About It Here.....

Oh, Yuck.....

 Not me, I'm doing fairly well these days. I was tinkering around on the Supra last night, finally figuring out how to get the main fuse box separated from the wiring harness. I'll have much more room for cleaning that rusty area with the fuse box unplugged from all the cables.

And then I found this:

It's a junction box (or was a junction box) that lives underneath the main fuse box. The wire exiting the box on the bottom left side goes directly to the positive battery terminal, and feeds the entire car via the two wires exiting the top.

This particular area is prone to rust if you don't blast it out yearly to wash away the acid vapors that a NON-sealed battery produces during it's normal charge/discharge cycling. The residue from the vapors mixes with water that splashes up there while being driven and forms a pretty acidic mix. I'm very lucky that the car came from the Riverside area, which is dry and hot. I've seen these cars with huge chunks of that area just dissolved away, requiring some pretty extensive repairs. 

I doubt this part is available these days, so I'll have to fabricate up something new. The car stereo people have tons of similar parts, so I'll start looking there. I'm also going to add a small relay box for my Photon Torpedo high-beams, and the electric fans I'll be installing, when she goes back together.

Also drilled a 3/4" hole through the foundation and into the basement workshop so I can run some new cables in there. I'll have one RG-6QS cable for my FM antenna, another one for the GPS antenna that feeds my Master Timebase, and two spares.

Gorgeous day outside. Blue skies, sunny, 70* temps. I don't want to get caught with half-finished stuff outside like last year, so I have the chainsaw batteries on-charge, and when I finish up the cabling, I'll saw some of the wood left from the huge limb the broke off the ash tree a couple of years ago.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

20 Meter Vertical is Vertical Again!

 Should have had this up a few months ago, but the hip and the other issue kind of slowed me down.

Slid the mast section out of the Rohn 5' tripod I was using, and loosened up the mounting hardware a bit.

After a bit of wrangling it around, it was up solidly.

And it's plumb. The red indicator needle swings back and forth for quite a while, and this was how far the needle was swinging. Average out the swings, and it's as close to 90* as possible.

The plate that bolts on the ground rod, and the "PolyPhaser" surge protector is mounted.

I'm about 85% finished. I have to run a jumper from the choke balun down to the PolyPhaser, and then run the coax to the RF Entrance Box, and I'll be back on the air!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

We Gonna Have Some Fun Now!

 My grandson will swoon when he sees this:

Since the little Dromida trucks get "lost" out there on the street, and they won't go through grass more than a a couple of inches tall, and since we only have my hybrid Granite/Senton "Big Red" truck to go "Off Roading" with, and since TLG can drive the big truck better than the little ones, I figured I'd better get another 1/8th scale R/C model to keep up with him.

 This is a higher-end model from ARRMA, and is probably what I should have bought a couple of years ago when I got interested again in R/C cars. It's built with a sturdier chassis than Big Red, and has a brushless motor that can run a "3S" lithium cell pack. I've seen these cars doing 75MPH, so I'm glad they have very good "brakes".

I'm going to install a "Super Duty Extreme" oversize front bumper, and replace the plastic skid plates with steel ones, check the radio, reset the front toe-in, which is now front toe-OUT (makes the car get "squirrely"), and test it this weekend.

Tomorrow I have an 0700 appointment for an follow-up Echo Cardiogram to see if my heart has stabilized, or deteriorated further. As soon as test is finished, I'm making an "ASAP, Please?" appointment with my Cardiologist so he can review my past tests with the current results, and give me a prognosis. I'm not really looking forward to all this, but it is what it is, and helps fill out the picture of what happened last month.

And since I'm actually feeling "better", I staged everything I need to get my 20 Meter Vertical Antenna mounted up on the post, radials in place, and new cable to run from the ground rod into the house. Gotta have certain Winter Time indoor activities ready to go this month. It'll be snowing here before you know it!

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Race Day Recap.....

 Sorry, but no pix. Try as she might, SLW just couldn't use my Nikon to capture the event, and for some reason, her cellphone wasn't tethered to her like it usually is.

We started by laying out a "course" in the cul-de-sac with the small orange traffic cones I had, and quickly realized I didn't have enough cones to lay out an oval track, with cones on the inside and outside. So I introduced him to the concept of "gates", using two cones for each gate, and then setting up the gates to make a small course. We got out the two little "Dromida" trucks to start with, and I promptly found out I'm really out of practice! The "race" soon degenerated into who could knock down the most cones, and it was a lot more fun than "just racing".

TLG, SLW, me, and the neighbors were laughing our behinds off as TLG and I were playing our version of Field Hockey with little R/C trucks, and 6" traffic cones! WHAM! Got One! A bunch of other neighbors came by to see what was going on, and an absolutely splendid time was had by all.

Then we got "Big Red" out. That thing weighs about 6 pounds, and goes about 50MPH. Hit a cone with it, and the cones either goes sailing through the air, or the truck just flattens it out and goes over it. Most impressive.

And as in real life racing, we got cut a bit short by some sprinkles and lightning. TLG is driving the big truck better than the small ones, and it was fun to watch him learn to use the throttle to crawl along at a waking pace, while turning the steering wheel to see how the truck responded. In short, he's developing a good "feel" for the controls, something hard to teach to somebody unless they really want to learn it.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Not Quite Up to Working on My "1:1 Scale" Car, So Let's Bust Out The Little Ones!

 Grandson #1, aka "TLG", will be spending the night on Saturday, and he asked SLW if we could play with the little Radio Controlled trucks I have. Since I'd mentioned it to him when he, his little brother, and our DIL came by to see me in the Hospital, he's been patiently waiting for me to be able to do this.

These two "little guys" are Dromida brand, and while it looks like the models I have are discontinued, they brought them over by the container load, and can still be found on-line.

 And since I'm in a "small car" mood, I also busted out Big Red, my "slightly modified" ARRMA Senton Short-Course Truck. Big Red needed new shocks, as the plastic shock absorber bodies were worn internally to the point that new o-ring seals still leaked. The first go round were some cheap Chinesium aluminum shock absorbers, but they were an odd size, and some vital needed parts were not included. The odd diameter meant nothing I had would fit, so I coughed up the bucks, and bought a set of aluminum shocks for an ARRMA Typhon 4WD buggy. They're very nice quality, BUT I didn't check out the mounting hardware differences, and wound up fabricating some little aluminum sleeves from an 8-32 x 1/4" aluminum spacer from my Radio Parts stash. Used an "MS" washer on each side to take up the slack, and presto! Typhon shocks on a Senton!

 TLG is bringing over a bunch of small, orange cones, and I have a good stack of them, too. We're to set up what he calls "An Obstacle Course", specifically so he can learn to drive the truck! He sees me doing some maneuvers around my orange cones, and can't quite duplicate them, so he's going to practice. I didn't think stuff like this was rubbing off on him, but I'm tickled pink it is.

And since LSP has posted some art, here's one I bought while I was in the Hospital. One of my favorite WWII works by Rockwell. Printed on canvas, blocked and framed, and delivered to my door for $100.

Sorry the picture is a bit blurry. Those M1917's make a hell of a racket! Oh, and I forgot to pop up the flash....

It's going down the Basement Workshop.

For Phil......

 My buddy Phil from Bustednuckles brought up a good point on my previous post. Since I have things on the engine torn down this far: It wou...