Into the 21st century

Several years ago, I installed (poorly) a Blue Sea 5029 fuse block in place of a cheap RV fuse block on the firewall, in the engine bay. It never occurred to me back then (it was the early ’90’s) that the right way to do it was to protect it from the elements, until I installed a similar one inside the camper. Today, I fixed that, and more.

The impetus was my purchase of an Anderson PowerPole terminal assortment, crimper, die set, and carry bag. I’ll be writing a detailed analysis of that purchase as soon as I can get some quality pictures posted. Look for it in a week or less.

I installed the old fuse block under the glove box, on the firewall, inside the truck:

Fuse box, moved inside the cab

Don’t look too closely, as it’s installed temporarily-I’ve ordered Blue Sea 2201 and 2201 feed through terminals, and I’m going to replace the box with a Blue Sea 5026 fuse block with negative bus. This one will work for now, and the redneck cobbled ground is temporary, I promise.

I rerouted and reconnected the AM/FM radio and CB, and I’ll take care of the driving lights soon.

It looks way better with the cover on:


But still nothing to write home about.

I’ve also installed a PowerPole panel mount in place of the cigar lighter outlet:

No need for a cigar lighter...

It’ll give me a good spot to plug in the radio when going mobile. The terminals were preinstalled the the ARES/ RACES configuration, which I recommend everyone use as well.

Naturally, I needed to test the new outlet, so I plugged in the cheap inverter I’ve had for years:


I installed a set of PowerPole terminals on it two nights ago, and it works perfect. Tomorrow, I’ll install terminals on the Yaesu.

I wish I’d done this a long time ago.

Finally found a radio

I’d contacted a fellow in Texas, and he called me back to offer me this:


It’s a Yaesu 857D, and it has the fancy MH -59 microphone. The seller was kind enough to include longer cables for the head unit and microphone, so I can mount the radio remotely if I want to.

I fired it up last week while camping by connecting to my CB antenna and setting it to 10 meter frequencies, but I was in a bit of a valley and didn’t pick up much. I won’t attempt transmitting until I can get my hands on an antenna tuner- I’m considering an LDG YT-100 or an MFJ 945E, but I’ll consider other tuners, and I’m open to suggestions.

I’ve purchased a Poles and Holders 22 foot flagpole to use as a mast, and I’ll use it to hold a long wire antenna, and maybe a Yo Yo antenna.

Naturally, I received calls from Main Trading and Associated Radio on Wednesday and Thursday telling me that they had received a shipment and were ready to ship me a new Yaesu, but I decined. I hope they go to good homes.

Finally, some camping trips

Two weeks ago, I went to Glendo State park and camped out for a couple days, and last week I went to Riverton to attend the yearly gun show put on by the Wyoming Weapons Collectors.

The first order of business was to take one of the dirt roads from Sand Draw road WY 135 in to Hudson. I started by going in at the Beaver Creek oilfield, but after driving through the maze of service roads and not finding the way through, I decided to try from Beaver Rim.

I took BLM road 2302 into the basin:


It was a little rough, but certainly driveable.

I came out at Hudson, Wyoming, as planned, and spent the night at the base of Beaver Rim, near Bobcat Draw.

I drove into Riverton for fuel, and to visit the grave of my father. The cemetery in Riverton makes it easy to find the gravesite, with a rolodex of the deceased person’s name, and a map of the grounds.

I had lunch at the Breadboard, and stopped at Liberty Pawn Shop to pick up a Poles and Holders flagpole I purchased last month. I intend to use it for a ham radio antenna mast-more on that in a later post. Friday afternoon I drive back up Beaver Rim and returned to Riverton via Lander and Hudson. I stopped in Hudson to eat dinner at Svilar’s. It was my first meal at the place, and I’m sorry I waited so long to do so. Great food and attentive staff.

Saturday morning, I got up and headed into town to get a shower and to attend a mini field day put on by Brent Struna, owner of Struna Electronics. He was kind enough to put up a couple antennas:


and connect a few of his radios to them. While there, we were able to listen to a beacon out of Casper and other radio signals.

I visited a friend at the gun show, and after visiting my mom at our friends table, I drove back up to Beaver Rim for the night. I found a great campsite just south of the “Scenic Area” parking, and parked:


It’s not often you get a view like that. I laid down “just for a little while”, and woke a couple HOURS later, to this:


Later that night, I looked out and could see the lights of Riverton, Hudson, and Lander. Gorgeous.

I found this bench marker on the rim:


Concreted into the rock.

Sunday morning I drove back in to Riverton for breakfast and visited the gun show again, and came home to Casper via Jeffery City and Muddy Gap.

It was a lovely weekend.




Around the end of January I received a padded canvas case for my Coleman 426D stove from Scott Miller at Frogsacks:


If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know that I purchased the stove last summer, and I contacted Scott late last year to arrange purchase of the cover. I wanted the cover to be padded, and he was more than happy to oblige.

The case is heavy duty-padded all around, and well stitched:


The flap closes with leather straps, held on with copper rivets:


and finished with nickel plated hardware:


You can just barely see the handle hole in the bottom left of the above photo-it eliminates the need for a sewn on handle, and using the stove’s carry handle means that there is no possibility of tearing the canvas.


Here’s another good view of the case:



I recommend Frogsacks to anyone looking for a nice canvas case for their camp stoves, and Scott makes canvas products for shooting and automotive use. And if you need a custom case, he might just build that too.