Tag Archives: Antennas

Busy Weekend

It has been busy. Friday we made more progress on cleaning out the garage as well as some work on my antennas. We still can’t park in the garage, but the antenna situation has improved.

There’s a type of antenna called a “Yagi” (after its inventor) or a “beam” based on its appearance. It’s a highly directional antenna that lets you aim your signal in a particular direction. I had one years ago, and I’m ready for one again. In the meantime, the existing antennae (sorry, had to do it) after the weekend’s work are now operational and let me talk to stations in the Caribbean and much of Europe.

It was great.

usgs.gov

usgs.gov

Later in the weekend, we went treasure hunting at the thrift shops and I found a 4.5 inch reflector telescope with electronic positioning. It needs pieces parts, but I’ve tried various telescopes over the years, and this is the closest to what I’ve wanted.

I’ll keep you posted as I work on it.

The thought of seeing Saturn’s rings or Jupiter’s moons with my own eyes is absolutely awesome.

Decorating

Not my real home.Accessories such as turret, moat, etc. not included.Not to scale.Tax, title and dealer preparation charge not included.

Not my real home.
Accessories such as turret, moat, etc. not included.
Not to scale.
Tax, title and dealer preparation charge not included.

My wife is decorating.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, it’s not nesting and we’re not expecting.

However, the experience is interesting.

I’ve lived in houses, apartments, hooches, tents, pods and whatever. As a guy my criteria is quite different from hers. I’ve slept with 40 of my best friends in a tent in some God-forsaken country. Her? Hasn’t happened. Never will.

Looking for houses I have been guilty of the following. Roof? Yep. At least four bedrooms? Yep. More than two bathrooms? Check. Kitchen big enough for me to play in? Okay. No restrictions on ham radio antennas? Good, let’s move in.

She chose this house based primarily on the school system and a good place to raise our kids. While the kids were in elementary school, her main focus was on them. Now that one is in high school and the other middle school, we’re both still busy, but in a different way.

She and her muse have been able to commune around soccer, dogs, cats, school meetings, etc. She started moving things around and for the most part the progress has been an accessory here, a lamp there as opposed to major remodeling. Okay we did replace the couch and chairs that the kids and pets had made unusable, but that needed to happen anyway. Bottom line is it just keeps getting better.

The part I like is that it feels even more like home. Our home. I see her in the way the rooms look. It’s a touch of class that makes my life more enjoyable. I think what I like best is the fact that it feels like her rather than some professional decorator who is a stranger.

I work hard, and cherish my time at home. With her touch, I cherish it even more.

Neither Fit for Man nor Beast

I repaired the antenna where the dog had chewed it. I had the kids, the tools and the supplies out in the semi-dark and full dark under the not-so inviting glare of the halogen work lights. Naturally a problem like this couldn’t happen during the long days of summer. Nope, it waits until the early darkness days of fall.

The Antenna Eating Dog from Hades

In any case, I fixed it.

I buried as much of the new cable as I could under the mulch so as not to attract the dog.

I used black duct tape to tape what I could to the antenna mast. So he wouldn’t be able to get at it.

Then to discourage the dog from hanging around the antenna, I placed mothballs around its base.

My son worried that the dog might eat them. I told him not to worry, that dogs found the smell repulsive.

As I cleaned up the tools and supplies, I realized that some of the smell of the mothballs had clung to me.

My mind immediately went to the days of my youth and visiting great aunts and uncles and having that pervasive smell of mothballs. How the smell would cling to you forever.

I don’t know if the smell will keep the dog away, but I’m glad the other end of the connection is in the house.

Because I’m certainly not going out anywhere near that smell.