Update, and eclipse scouting…

I’ve been back to work (light duty- no pushing, pulling, or overhead lifting over 15 pounds) for two weeks, and my cardiologist will release me with no restrictions on 21 August, 2017.

It’s been traumatic having a heart attack and heart surgery, but overall it was very good for me. for the first time in twenty years, I can breathe when I’m exercising, and it actually feels (mostly) good. I liken it to getting a new engine in an old car-it runs like hell, but the shocks, brakes, and suspension are still shot. I’m walking a mile and a half in 30 minutes-not fast enough to break any records, but far better than the past couple decades. It’s amazing to see the ground I’d lost and attributed to age (I’m 54).

Today I drove the Nissan out to my secret eclipse viewing site. Looks like the spot I’d originally picked out on the map is a bit difficult, but the place I drove to ought to work very well. I plan to erect an end fed half wave antenna and try to make some contacts during totality. I don’t want to have a lot of company, but if you’ll listen on 20m calling, you might catch me. I hope so, anyway. I’ll also be loading up the Rokon (I’ll be released to use it) and exploring with it as well.

More detail to follow.

 

 

Cleared to drive, and tinkering

My visit to the heart surgeon went very well yesterday-he was very please with the healing of my chest incision (I’d had an infection, and have been packing the wound with gauze twice a day), and he cleared me to drive.

Feeling full of piss & vinegar, I finished up the Power Pole wiring in the truck:

Ham radio power supply-positive fuse

This is the fuse holder for the positive cable, attached to the fender (inside the engine compartment).

Ham radio power supply-negative fuse.

 

Here’s the negative fuse holder, with its dust/water cover. My Yaesu radios use a fuse in the positive and negative line, so I’ve incorporated both into the wiring. I’ve mounted both fuse holders in separate places, since the right side engine compartment is getting crowded. Just below the fuse holder you can see the heater fan housing.

Ham radio power supply-fuse box

 

Inside the truck, right side-this is a Blue Sea Systems fuse block, mounted to the firewall, fed with #10 wire, and loomed. I’ve since completed the taping of the split loom, so the red wires aren’t visible. I still have to install the ground wires to the negative bus (if you look closely, you can just make out the spot they’re currently connected to at the top of the photo. I’ll fix that this weekend, while camping.

Ham radio power supply- Power Pole outlet

And this is the Power Pole feed point-I removed the cigarette lighter outlet and installed one of these in its place. It works very well, and the old receptacle never worked anyway.

Now, I can plug all my ham gear into the truck-

Ham radio power supply

 

Ham radio power supply-Tac Comm box

And actually USE it in the truck. In the above photo, you can see my FT-857D, FT-400XDE, and LDE AT-200 Pro II units in the Tac-Comm enclosure I purchased from Tac-Comm. Pictured is the TC-2, a larger, longer version for mid sized radios. As you can see, it holds all of my HF/2m/70cm gear quite well.

A closer view:

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And a rear view:

Ham radio power supply-Tac-Comm box, rear view

I’ll be doing a video on the box and install as soon as I can round up some time.

Happy wandering.

 

 

 

 

 

A long day

Today (and a goodly portion of yesterday) I helped a buddy install wiring in his boat in preparation of his Lake Powell trip, for maritime service and CB radios. We ran 10g wires (and Power Pole connectors) from the battery, installed both radios in a large ammo can and installed the antenna for the maritime radio. We also checked the SWR of both CB and maritime radios ( CB is perfect over channel 10, maritime radio is just perfect).

Today we installed wiring for extra lighting, made a couple trips to the hardware store, and installed some of the lighting. Tomorrow we’ll finish up the lighting and Thursday We’ll check/fix the trailer lighting.

Tonight, I’m pretty tired. Off to bed early.

It’s the big one, ‘Lisbeth…

Sunday, 21 May 2017, I had a heart attack. It was mild, but it “got me in the door” of the hospital.

My surgery was the following Friday, and I returned home the following Wednesday afternoon.

I’m incredibly weak, and on narcotics for the pain ( incisions). It’s difficult to get out of bed, and I have a low appetite. I’m eating, I just don’t care to. Coughing is the worst part-it has to be done, but it’s very painful.

If you have chest pain, call 911. It may save your life.

 

A small electrical addition to the camper

Since beginning the amateur radio hobby, I’ve been trying to make my vehicles radio friendly, and adding Power Pole electrical outlets has been part of it. I’ve added them to the Nissan and Ford cabs, but I hadn’t put them in the camper, until this afternoon. I’d been avoiding doing the addition because the new plug was much shorter than the Blue Sea Systems 12V cigar plugs I’d previously installed. Here’s a view (crummy cell phone pic, sorry):

20170516_193004

Right to left is the new Power Pole plug, the Blue Sea Systems USB outlet (it sucks, by the way, but more on that later), and one of the Blue Sea Systems 12V cigar plugs.

Here’s a view of the interior of the bed platform, showing the three plugs and their wiring. I had to counterbore the hole with a borrowed Forstner bit (thanks, Chuck) to get the plug (which is much shorter) to work. If you look carefully, you can see some heat shrink tubing that I’ll heat up tomorrow when I have a heat gun-it’ll keep the wires nice and tidy:

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The wires at the top of the photo disappear into a hole that leads to a groove under the seat area- it goes to the Engel Fridge. You can just make out the glass fuse holder for the fridge- it’s not just a fuse, but a reverse polarity device.

Another view, with the Blue Sea Systems fuse box open:

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The two big black wires on each side of the fuse box are 4 gauge welding cable, and they get 12V from the camper battery in the truck’s engine bay.

I’m going to tidy up the wires to the USB and cigar outlets, maybe this weekend. If you’ll look closely, you can see that the counterbored hole is off center. It works, if it’s not my finest work.

The next view is the best shot of the whole box. If you look to the right, you’ll notice the two pieces of aluminum channel-I built a hinged board that drops into it, and sets on the two 2X2 supports on the left side of the pic.. The wiring runs beneath the board to the right, and supplies pixies to the furnace, water pump, bed lighting, USB and cigar plug in the bunk:

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You can also see the switch and LED light that I installed “temporarily” five years ago. I found some much better LED lighting on ebay, and I’ll likely be installing it this summer.

I’m a fan of Power Pole connectors, and I recommend them to anyone who desires to upgrade their 12V system.

The Blue Sea Systems USB outlet is pretty wimpy, and won’t charge many different cell phones. That’s why I don’t like it much.

Power Pole connectors and accessories can be purchased many places, but I like Quicksilver Radio. Give them a try. (No affiliation).

In memory

This won’t be a pleasant post. Over the past few weeks we’ve lost three good people.

Will Grigg ran the Pro Libertate website, and I’ll admit that I havn’t been over there for a year or so. I didn’t stop following him because his blog (and podcast, for that matter) lacked for anything, rather it was that I was always so pissed off after reading it that I had to stop. His content was always excellent, and was a great resource for those interested in how “justice” gets meted out by corrupt officials. Will was doing great work right up until his death by heart attack at 54. He is sorely missed by his family, and his passion for justice was unmatched. Rest in peace, brother.

There is a GoFundMe for his family here. If you have a couple bucks and want to help them, please do.

 

Kevin O’Brien ran the Weapons Man blog and it was a daily stop for me. I received more about firearms of all kinds, their history, and their uses in each military service than I’d have been able to learn in a lifetime of reading books. Kevin also died from heart failure.

His blog is still up, and I urge you to stop by and peruse it, starting at the beginning. I believe you’ll be glad you did. Much more detail about his death and life celebration are there if you care to know.

 

Finally, Bob Owens took his own life, leaving a wife and two daughters, 9 and 17. I have no interest in moralizing about his choice. This is neither the time nor place, so please follow my lead.

My only interaction wit Bob was on Twitter, and I found him to be intelligent and witty. Bob ran the Bearing Arms website. He is also missed by his family, and I can only imagine that they are having a very hard time right now. Once again, if you have a little money and would like to contribute to his family’s immediate and college needs, you can head over to the GoFundMe set up in his name here. I’m sure it’ll be very much appreciated.

I’ve been personally mourning Will and Kevin’s death, and putting off this post, sorry. Now, with Bob’s death I had to get the move on. We’ve lost three excellent people, and I’m going to pray for the people who loved them. If you pray, I urge you to do so as well.

Go hug your friends and family.

After the Pussification

You know what I’m talking about-it’s everywhere, and it affects every decent man.

 

Out there, there is a huge number of men who are sick of it. We’re sick of being made figures of fun and ridicule; we’re sick of having girly-men like journalists, advertising agency execs and movie stars decide on “what is a man”; we’re sick of women treating us like children, and we’re really fucking sick of girly-men politicians who pander to women by passing an ever-increasing raft of Nanny laws and regulations (the legal equivalent of public-school Ritalin), which prevent us from hunting, racing our cars and motorcycles, smoking, flirting with women at the office, getting into fistfights over women, shooting criminals and doing all the fine things which being a man entails.

Read the rest at Kim’s website, and linger a while-there’s lots of good stuff over there.

Thanks to Kim for permission to repost, and also Western Rifle Shooters for leading me to Kim’s website. You might as well head over there too, while you’re at it.

Sparks 31 Down Grid Communication Class

At his blog, here.

This class has been the most useful information I’ve received since I received my amateur radio operator’s license. I took the class in April of 2016, and attended a refresher since.

I was woefully ignorant of communications when I took the class, but learned a lot in the class, and much since then.

I took all the notes I could, and wish I’d taken more. Fortunately, that’s all you need-and an ability to learn.

If you’re hungry to get communication skills for the bad times coming, sign up. You’ll be thankful you did

Click on the link and see what it’s all about.