We were tired and did not get up until almost 8 AM. Linda prepared a tofu scramble for breakfast, as we were almost out of her homemade granola, and served it with some cinnamon raisin toast and fresh grapefruit. It’s the closest thing we eat to scrambled eggs and she serves it as an occasional change of pace from our standard granola breakfast.
I had my annual appointment with my dermatologist this morning at 11 AM. I needed to pick up a cable from Scott (AC8IL) at Adams Electronics, which was on my way to the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) clinic, so I left the house a little after 9:30 AM. The drive was fine initially and I had a nice QSO (chat) with Steve (N8AR) on the South Lyon 2m repeater. As I was approaching Wixom Road, however, all lanes of eastbound I-96 were stopped. I was able to exit at Wixom Road and headed north a short distance to West Road which I took east over to Beck Road where Scotty’s business is located a little north of West Road. I had a brief chat with Scott about the antennas on my tower before I left.
Two miles north of Scott’s shop I turned east on Maple Road (15 Mile Road). The HFHS has many clinics around the greater Metro Detroit area and my dermatologist is located at the intersection of Maple and Farmington Roads in West Bloomfield. That should have been an easy trip but there was construction on Maple Road that had the road down to one lane with flaggers. There were signs advising motorists to seek other routes but I did not heed the warning. I patiently worked my way through and arrived for my appointment about seven minutes ahead of time. Good thing I left as early as I did.
My exam was fairly routine and Dr. Nydorf wrote out a prescription for Doxycycline. I will try taking it (again) three times a week and see if it helps. I headed straight for home after my appointment but took a different route. Once I was back at the house Linda went for a walk. While she was walking I removed the license plate from her car, took the protective (anti-theft) cover off, and cleaned everything. When it was dry I put the new registration sticker in the corner, reassembled the cover, and installed the plate back onto the car. I then started working with the various pieces of the new Yaesu FTM-400DR/DE mobile radio. When she got back from her walk she heated up a couple of tofu hotdogs for lunch. These are such simple fare but so tasty (with mustard, onions, and relish) and so appropriate for a summertime lunch. They are also a really easy lunch to get on the table.
After lunch Linda took her car to the Howell library to get some books and children’s DVDs and then stop at the Meijer’s supermarket to pick up a few grocery items for Madeline’s visit this weekend. While she was running errands I assembled our new Diamond X-300NA antenna. Once it was assembled it was over 10 feet long so I stored it by mounting it to the side of the tower. I put it up as high as I could reach from the ground to get the three counterpoise (elevated ground plane) rods above eye level. Moving it to the top of the tower as a replacement for the Diamond X-50NA will have to wait until next week or later. The exact timing will depend on the weather, Mike’s (W8XH) availability, and whether I have acquired appropriate standoffs by then for the X-300 antenna and/or the cellular booster omnidirectional antenna.
With the antenna taken care of (for now) I disconnected the coaxial cable for the X-50 from the radio side of the lightning arrestor and positioned it so I could pull it back into the sump pump room. From there I fed it into the ham shack, disconnected it from the radio, and coiled it up. I uncoiled the new 20′ LMR-400 cable with the N-male connector end positioned so I could feed it through the corner of the ceiling in the ham shack (by the ground wire) and into the sump pump room. From there I fed it through one of the 2″ conduits into the cable entry box. Back outside I shaped the cable (LMR-400 cable is double shielded and stiff) and connected it to the radio side of the Morgan VHF/UHF lightning arrestor and closed the lid on the box.
Back in the ham shack I attached the PL-259 connector to the SO-239 socket on the back of the Icom IC-7000 GoBox. I could have gotten away with a 16′ cable but the 20′ length gives me more flexibility with respect to equipment placement. I turned on the IC-7000 but did not hear anyone on either the South Lyon 2m or the Novi 70cm repeaters so I turned it off.
I disconnected Mike’s Icom IC-2820H and set it aside to make space for the new Yaesu FTM-400DR/DE dual band mobile transceiver. I moved the new coax to the new radio, powered it up, spent a few minutes configuring some basic things, and then listened to the South Lyon and Novi repeaters. I tried calling them but was not triggering them so I knew the PL Tone was not set correctly. I called Mike for assistance and left him a voice message.
Linda was back by this time so she came down to see the new radio. We then went out to the bus to make our final decisions about upholstery fabric and window shade materials. In the end we chose the Lambright Notion Linen fabric for all four chairs and the MCD B50 material for the dark out shades. We brought all the samples back in the house and I e-mailed our choices to Josh at Coach Supply Direct.
I had an e-mail from Scott Neader (KA9FOX) at QTH.com requesting an admin login for the SLAARC WordPress website so I set that up and e-mailed him back. I had the new radio on and was listening to a conversation on the Novi repeater. It had just concluded when Mike returned my call. He walked me through how to set up the PL Tone and Squelch Tone for both of the repeaters on the FTM-400. We were then able to verify that the radio was working on both bands.
For dinner Linda made a salad and pan-grilled tofu with caramelized onions and barbecue sauce which she served open-faced on hamburger buns. We had watermelon for dessert, which we have been doing a lot this summer. I did not care for watermelon as a child but it has become a favorite summertime treat. I had dropped a small lock washer while mounting the new antenna to the tower earlier so I went to Lowe’s to get a replacement and some spares. On the drive there I got a call from XPO Delivery Service letting me know that the new refrigerator for the bus would be delivered to Chuck’s shop in Novi tomorrow between 6 and 8 PM.
At Lowe’s I picked up some 6mm x 1.0 Nylok nuts in addition to the lock washers. I also got some grass seed patching mix, a few more bags of decorative broken brick pieces, and a hummingbird feeder with a red reservoir so Linda can use sugar water without red food coloring. When I got home the odometer on my car read 100000 so I took a picture of it with my phone. I then spread the patching mix over the bare dirt I had used to fill a hole and troughs left by the installation of the natural gas line to our house last September. The rest of the evening Linda read and I worked on completing drafts of blog posts.