Linda was up at 5:55 AM this morning and left for the bakery at 6:15. Experience has shown that this is usually early enough to get ahead of the morning rush hour traffic inbound to the Detroit metro area from the northwest.
I got up about an hour later, had granola for breakfast, and enjoyed my morning coffee (Sweet Seattle Dreams half-caff blend from Teeko’s) and then made a run to Lowe’s to purchase a couple of copper ground lugs and 5 feet of #10 green ground wire. Back home I tried to use one of the ground lugs to terminate the ground wire from the cable entry box (CEB) to the 36″ ground bar on the wall behind the ham radio desks but it’s shape prevented the wing nut from going onto the stud.
I planned to use the other lug to attach one end of the #10 wire to the ground bar and put a male spade lug on the other end to mate with the connector on the Go Box ground pigtail, but that clearly was not going to work. I dressed the ground wire and (temporary) coax in the ham shack and put the ceiling tile back in place. I then started cleaning up the living room and small bedroom per Linda’s request before she left this morning. Some of our (my) projects have a way of expanding throughout the whole house. I had hoped to also pick up the coax cables spread out in the recreation room, and at least start to straighten up the ham shack/office, putting materials away and moving tools to the garage.
At 10 AM I made a few phone calls. The first was to Rick Short at ISRI USA regarding the 6860 bus driver’s seat and a possible visit tomorrow morning. I got his voice mail (again) and never got a return call (again) so I gave up on getting any assistance from him or from ISRI USA. I called Linda to make sure she did not have any commitments on Wednesday and then called Josh at Coach Supply Direct to set up a visit to his shop for Wednesday late morning. Linda and I plan to finalize our Flexsteel furniture order and give Josh the deposit during that visit. Next I called Scott Adams, AC8IL, at Adams Electronics and ordered a 20 foot length of LMR-400 with an N-male connector on one end and a PL-259 connector on the other end. Scotty and I also chatted briefly about tower bases.
I e-mailed Scott Neader at QST.com regarding the transfer of the SLAARC domain name and website from GoDaddy to QST.com and got a reply back right away with an outline of the steps I needed to follow. First on the list was creating an account for our ham radio club through his billing system. I took care of that and e-mailed him back.
Keith Kish, from Kish Lawn, care showed up around 11 AM to cut the grass. When he was done I headed back to Lowe’s to look for an alternate ground clamp and pulley support for the tower but did not find anything suitable. So as not to have it be a wasted trip I bought three more bags of broken brick pieces to use around the tower base and cable entry box.
I spent some time looking at the Yaesu FTM-400DR/DE on several different ham radio equipment vendor websites. Yaesu is offering a $100 rebate on this 2m/440 mobile radio through tomorrow. All of the distributors are selling it for the same price, $599.95 and the rebate brings it down to $499.95, so if I buy one it will come down to who has them in stock and is offering free shipping.
Linda got home from the bakery around 3 PM, earlier than I expected and nice for her. She went for a walk while I continued to fuss with ham radio and website stuff.
For dinner Linda made a white beans and mustard greens dish. We eat a lot of lettuce, kale, and spinach, both raw and cooked into dishes, but only occasionally have collard greens or mustard greens. Mustard greens have a very strong, bitter flavor and I liked them more than Linda did. I think they are an acquired taste and may be more suitable as an accent ingredient rather than a main one.
After dinner I checked my e-mail and had a reply from Scott at QTH.com. The QTH SLAARC account invoice was ready so I paid it using a personal credit card. I then moved the coax from our Icom IC-7000 to Mike’s Icom IC-2820H and turned it on. Mike was on the South Lyon repeater discussing the Field Day event with Steve (N8AR) and Bruce (W8RA). Paul (N8BHT) was able to join the conversation but I was not successful breaking in so I just listened. It was an indication that my power into the repeater was probably still marginal but a good reminder that ham radio conversations are very public.
When they were done I called for Mike and he came back. We had a good QSO (chat) about the Yaesu FTM-400. Jim (N8KUE) joined in for a while. After Jim dropped off we tested my ability to transmit to, and receive from, both the South Lyon 2m and Novi 70cm repeaters. The added power of the IC-2820H over my IC-7000 (50W vs 35W in the 70cm band) combined with the lower signal loss of the better coax made just enough difference that I could hold the Novi repeater when transmitting although my signal was still on top of a lot of noise coming back out of the repeater.
Linda wanted to watch an episode of Scorpion, followed by NCIS Los Angeles, after which I caught an episode of Two and a Half Men and then turned off the TV. I will have to make a decision about the Yaesu FTM-400 in the morning.