Heh, been 10 days since a post. Guess I’m back to normal :>
So, what happened. Well, we had the break-in as mentioned, and I got it cleaned up pretty much by Monday night. Stayed home on Tuesday, and ended up taking Friday as well since with the interviews we’ve been doing I hadn’t had a chance to catch up on sleep yet.
Last weekend, on Saturday I met up with Dan Marlow (K2QM) at the club station and we diagnosed a problem with the antenna rotator on one of the towers. Seems the sweeping arm on the potentiometer which should send a signal back to the indicator (so you know where the antenna’s pointing without going outside with a compass) isn’t contacting the resistor. Okay, so we need to take the rotator down and crack it open. After a little demonstration of HF (15 meters, chatted with folks in Israel, Russia and Italy) we headed out. Sunday I met Dan at the station again, and he climbed the tower to get some measurements and such. We devised a plate we can use to hold the mast in place while we take the rotator out of the tower, and discussed some options. Seems he knows of someone who refurbishes these things, and will send out a refurbished unit to us (only one trip up the tower, swap it out and be done!) and then we send our unit back to him. Might be a better idea to do anyway, so that 1) there’s less trips up there required, 2) We have a working unit faster, and 3) We don’t fix ours, put it back up and two weeks later find something else wrong with it.
Tuesday found me limping Stephanie’s car up to my folks place to do a brake job. Should’ve only been a 4-6 hour operation, including breaks and goofing off, but turned instead into an 8 hour ordeal which was mostly spent trying to get the damned rotors off the hubs. They’d rusted and siezed onto the hub, and I ended up using liberal amounts of WD40 and a gear puller (!) to get them off, when everyone I consulted agreed that “once the caliper is out of the way, them things oughta just slide right off the hub.” Riiiight.
On Wednesday we had our first (at least in recent history) DVRA club net, which went well. Only a few stations checked in, and I’m not too sure about the idea. It’s a great idea to get people on the repeater, but I have a feeling that a “directed net” isn’t the way to go to foster any kind of ragchew. Maybe it’s just because I’ve listened to the PepperNet so much (which is done “in the round”) so I’m more used to that kind of thing, but I see a directed net as more useful for traffic handling, emergency communications, etc… not quite so much for “So, what’d you do today?” Perhaps I’ll bring that up either at the next net, or meeting (or on the email list).
This Saturday is the March of Dimes walk in Mercer County Park, I’ll be one of the operators there. Kinda sucks that I have to be there by 0730, but I’ll get to sleep in on Sunday all I want just about (plus our evening plans for Saturday got cancelled, so I can always nap in the afternoon – You’re never too old for a midday nap :> ). Sunday my in-laws are coming up for dinner, I don’t remember now what we’re having. Just that my bid went in for BBQ ribs :>
Monday will be the state ARES/RACES net, and this time I’m probably going to head to the NJ State EOC (located at the state police HQ on the other side of town from me). I figure once I’ve checked each of the various EOCs in the area, then either I can float between them every month or pick one and stick there, depending on how things go. So next month will be the Red Cross right in Princeton (meaning I stay at work late instead of going home before the net). Then Tuesday night is the county ARES/RACES net on the local repeater, which I can throw my callsign in on the HT from out front, unless I want to say more than hello.
Good enough for now I guess. Waiting for a RAID to rebuild, and looking around for what else I can get into on a Friday afternoon.