Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Love This Stuff!

Nothing of substance from me, just a video I found interesting. Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Winter Decisions

Last winter, on the East Coast of the USA, was a doozy. We had tremendous amounts of snow and ice. While there is a lot of debate, in more learned circles, about how this winter is shaping up; but I choose to predict the weather by looking around outside. Here's what I'm noticing:

  • The deer are doubled and tripled up on fawns and the Bucks have already lost their velvet
  • Squirrels are going ape-crazy collecting acorns and nuts
  • The leaves are already changing
  • The air has "that" smell that proceeds fall
The animal signs are the most telling. It's going to be a long cold winter. Might as well get used to that. We're getting the house and yard ready. We have topped off the oil tanks and pellets for the pellet stoves. We are closing the pool tomorrow. So, pretty soon, we'll be all ready for the winter. The shack, however, needs a little TLC.

I've got a pretty flimsy pair of doublets up right now and I noticed today that the antenna ropes took a beating between last winter and all the early summer storms, so it's time for a change. This winter, I really want to get more active on 80M and 160M. Since I run barefoot (100W), I need a good solid aerial for the coming freeze.

This presents a bit of a challenge. For the low-bands, I think a full wave on 160M is the ticket. I have the wire and the space, but it's going to be a ton of work and it's going to take another ham. Hey W2PJM, are you listening? 

On the other hand, I decided earlier this year that I was going to layout a  serious ground plane for a 31' vertical so the wire disappears before next summer's Fourth of July party. I may have enough time to do both, but which one would I RATHER have? Chances are that either installation is going to present unforeseen issues and I don't want to get stuck with second best when the nights are too long and cold to changes things. 

Any suggestions, ideas, advice?