Wow, it’s March already…
I guess we need to get better at keeping up with this blog… Kinda been slackers lately eh? Sorry.
Weather here has sorta sucked. Certainly not the light winter we had last year. Not a WI winter by a long shot, but still not pleasant. Probally the worst winter we have had since Bloomington, IL, or New York City… Anyhow, what was supposed to be just an inch last Sunday turned into snow most of the week and now about 5 inches left on the ground. Today was a good melting day though, and the roof was mostly clear, so I decided to be brave and do some antenna work.
Derek has been wanting his own radio station for a while now, and last weekend we went to the “big” ham fest in Perry IA. Well, it was 1 room, and one of those 20 minute radio swaps, but we did find a clean Yaesu FT-757. Yes, just like one of the first HF rigs I bought in the RV.
The Radio is setup on Derek’s desk, along with a power supply on loan from Marcus. Derek will be restoring a Butternut HF 6v that was also donated by Marcus and residing in the shed since last summer… We still have a few more pieces to acquire to get him on the air. One being a tuner/matcher for the antenna, which I purchased today, and should be here next week, as well as some coax, and miscellaneous parts.
The Antenna work today was for a VHF/UHF base antenna I bought off ebay a while back. I have been itching to replace my “Mobile” solution that was mounted next to the Diamond BB6V. Last year the diamond took a pretty good beating in a storm, and was pretty beat up, but was still working. I suspected that installing the new VHF/UHF base would have some pretty negative effects on both antennas and I was correct, so I took the diamond down, and strung out my old End Fed wire. So far I am pretty impressed with the new arrangement. I have the End fed wire running from the top of the tripod to the peak of the shed roof. It is almost invisible and it does handstands compared to the compromise Diamond. I can tune it 6-60, and a small sliver on 80 with my 897 and AT897 tuner. Once we get the tuner for Derek’s rig, I’ll put a switch in line and he will be able to use that one until we get the HF6 on the roof. The VHF/UHF antenna is also pretty amazing. Not sure I buy the claim of 11db gain, but I can tell you it is a far cry better than the mobile antenna I sole from the camper. Now I can get all 6 NOAA channels!
Last weekend Derek’s Parents were in town. They did some touristy stuff with Derek, and we had a few meals with them, once at the casino buffet for breakfast (it was “ok”) and we went downtown to bugger I forget the name of it– Down on Court Ave where we ate before Book of Mormon… That was pretty good. Derek took them to the The capitol, the history museum, botanical garden and “goodwill” (don’t ask– they have some fascination with Goodwill). I think they had a nice visit.
To start the weekend off, Derek wanted to go out to ARL and pet pussies. He made us breakfast and we made it there by 9:45. We visited with most of the cats before the doors opened, and then the people showed up. I was able to adopt out my first cats today, a pair of “Bonded Buddies” named Dave and Moe. Sweet cats, and the guy who adopted them was very inquisitive, and will give them a great home. I ha to get help from one of the other volunteers because he was asking so many questions I had no idea how to answer. We got done there by Noon, and stopped into US Pawn, mostly because we saw the owner at the Ham Fest last weekend, and he had “Amateur Radio Ops Welcome” on his marquee. Figured it would be a good place to look for a tuner. We went in and I asked him what he had in stock, which wasn’t much beyond some standard connectors and such… But we chatted for a minute and I bought a few PL259′s (he had the good ones). After that we made it home and I spent most of the afternoon on the roof…
Ok, that brings you up to speed. Maybe I’ll get a picture of the new antenna tomorrow…