We had a small crowd for our SLAARC breakfast this morning but good conversation. After breakfast we drove to Chuck’s house and picked up the manual impact screwdriver. Barb was up in the thumb visiting her brother-in-law who recently lost his wife (Barb’s sister). We lingered for a while and then left for home, stopping for gas on the way.
Back at the house I started a load of laundry and then went to work on the stop block screws. Linda helped steady the ladder and pass tools and parts back and forth. I got three of the four screws out of the two stop blocks but the head stripped on the forth one so I was only able to remove the aft stop block. I tried different bits and even tried drilling a small hole in the center of the head to allow the bits to go in farther but it did not work. The next approach will be a screw extractor, but first I have to go buy one.
We had soy yogurt for lunch with red grapes and I had a few pretzels with roasted red pepper hummus. I kept trying to get to the basement to work on the desk design but kept getting detoured. Once I finally reached my office I found that the mouse trap that I had placed under one of my desks was out in front of it. The food was gone but there was no mouse, only mouse poop. I realized that the trap was upside down which allowed the door to swing open. Our best guess is that a mouse was trapped and the cats pulled the trap out from under the desk and accidentally turned it over while pawing at it trying to get the mouse. Since there was no sign of a mouse having been caught by one of the cats my best guess is that it escaped, for now.
I checked e-mails and found the one with the credentials and instructions for the QTH.com web-hosting of SLAARC.com so I shared those with the other members of the SLAARC website team and then logged in to check out the log file I had created the other day as a test.
I decided to reconnect the Yaesu FTM-400 radio to the Diamond X-50 antenna on the tower so I could monitor the Novi and South Lyon repeaters while I worked in my office. I had quite a mess on the ham shack desks and decided the best way to deal with it was to install Mike’s Icom IC-2820H in my car in place of our Icom V-8000 2m rig. At least that would get the 2820 off the desk. I checked that the mounting brackets and they were identical so I removed the V-8000 but left the mounting bracket installed in the car.
Mike had modified the power cord on his radio by cutting off the T-connector and replacing it with Andersen PowerPoles so I had to modify the power cable in my car to match as I could not modify Mike’s radio. I removed the fuse from the positive (+12VDC) lead and then cut off the T-connector, leaving about 6″ of wire so I can add PowerPoles and make it into an adapter cable. I brought my Hakko soldering station up from the basement, set it up on the floor behind the center console, ran an extension cord from the garage, and used it to solder PowerPole contacts to the two wires. I then inserted them into the black/red housing pair and snapped them in place.
I mounted the IC-2820H, connected the power cable and connected the coax from the antenna. I reinstalled the fuse in the positive lead, started the engine, and turned the radio on. A couple of hams were chatting on the Novi repeater, one of whom I knew (Jim, KB8TAV). When they finished I gave Jim a call and he came back to me, the first time I have been able to use the Novi 440 repeater from my car. Jim signed off and I switched to the South Lyon 2m repeater and gave a general call. Steve (N8AR) came back to me and we had a short QSO that verified the radio/antenna was also working on 2m. As we were wrapping up Linda started fixing dinner.
Linda fixed a simple salad and Dr. Praeger’s vegan hamburgers with Daiya non-dairy cheese. These patties were also squishy rather than firm and, like the ones at Zingerman’s Roadhouse the other night, where not very satisfying. They tasted OK, and we ate them because we are not inclined to waste food, but there is a lot more to what makes food satisfying than just taste. Sight, smell, and texture (mouth feel) are also important.
Linda had several TXT messages from Mara letting us know that she would be arriving tomorrow sometime before 2 PM as she wanted to watch the Wimbledon finals at that time. Linda and I considered how best to accommodate Mara’s motorhome and finally decided to just pull our bus straight forward until the nose was at the edge of the concrete driveway. That created more than enough space on the level part of the pull-through driveway for her to park and plug in to our 50 amp service. The only loads we have in the bus at the moment are battery chargers so we used our 15 amp cord to plug it into a garage outlet. Since I had to start it to move I switched it to high idle once I had it positioned, leveled it, turned on the OTR air-conditioning to put a load on the engine, and let it run for 30 minutes.
I returned to my office after dinner and work on the desk design for a while but by this point I was tired and not really in the mood. The last time I updated the BCM page on our website was after the February 2015 issue came out. I have had articles in the March, April, and May issues and will have articles in the June and July issues. I captured the covers from March, April, and May and updated the page.
I exchanged e-mails with several people and spent some time looking at dual and triple monitor stands on EBay. We rarely use EBay and the site made me change our password before it would let me log in. There was a large selection of products but none of them were exactly what I am looking for. There wasn’t any rush so I decided to revisit this tomorrow.