The Apex roofers were back again this morning just before 8 AM and we were up and ready for them. I made coffee but we deferred breakfast until after we settled the bill with owner Pat Davidson. By 9 AM he knew what the added costs were over and above the base quote. The major one was the 32 sheets of plywood they used to repair/replace bad areas of the roof deck. He left around 10 AM and took half the crew with him to start another job. The other four guys stayed behind and finished roofing the garage and cleaning up the job site. The job was pretty much wrapped up by noon. Sergio (the foreman) did the final walk-around and cleanup and left around 1 PM. There is very little evidence that they had been here except for an attractive new roof and two skylights in the living room that light up the space in a nice way.
I spent the morning inventorying coaxial cables. We have quite an assortment of 50 and 75 ohm cables in lengths from 1 to 100 feet. I need to have all the necessary cables on hand when I climb the tower next week to remove and install antennas. If we already had appropriate cables I wanted to use those instead of buying new ones.
The custom cable entry box from Chris at KF7P Metalwerks arrived today. I opened it after lunch, which consisted of fresh apples and leftover black beans and rice. We both agreed that the beans and rice dish was even better than when it was fresh. We unpacked all of the parts that were stored inside the cable entry box and checked them off against the spreadsheet I used to order them. Everything was there but I was initially concerned because the box was turned 90 degrees from what I ordered. I specified a 16″ wide by 20″ tall box but got a 20″ wide by 16″ tall instead. I suspect that Chris buys the boxes with the door/hinge already attached but it would have been nice to know that ahead of time.
We took the box outside and held it in place to see if it would be usable. The lower left corner will hang down in front of the basement window in the sump pump room but that will be OK. The horizontal orientation of the box will actually make it easier to get coaxial cables through the access holes in the bottom.
There were two a Morgan Lightning arrestors mounted on the copper back plane for amateur radio use; one for HF and one for VHF/UHF. The UHF arrestor was upside down so I unscrewed it, rotated it 180 degrees, and screwed it back down. The box also had a Morgan M-348 lightning arrestor. I ordered an M-348B, which is the 12-wire version, but the installed arrestor had 12 terminals on top (3 strips of 4 each) plus one on each side. There were no instructions, however, on how to wire it up so I sent Chris an e-mail regarding the anomalies and missing information.
While I was working on that e-mail, and a couple from Josh at Coach Supply Direct, we got a call from Curtis Coleman of RVillage. The development team had launched some new features and he wanted to walk me through them. He had just been to Prevost in Nashville for some repairs on his tag axle brakes and was headed back to Cleveland, Ohio. He thought he might be headed in our general direction after that.
I spent some time thinking about how to mount the cable entry box on the east wall of the house which is sided in a shiplap fashion, i.e., the horizontal siding boards are angled (not plumb) and overlapped. I needed a hole saw and arbor for my 1/2″ drill to drill the holes for the two 2″ conduits that will pass from the box through the bond into the sump pump room in the basement. I probably already have one but I cannot get to most of the stuff in the garage and can’t afford to delay getting this box mounted; there are too many other things that need to get done that require this box to be in place first.
I was suffering from a decided lack of patience which is not the proper frame of mind for working on scale drawings of custom furniture so I went to Lowe’s to get a hole saw. The fitting measured 2-3/4″ OD and I decided to get a 3″ hole saw just to make sure the hole would be big enough. While I was at the store I considered how I might use different materials to mount the box. I ended up buying a 36″ length of 1″ square aluminum tube and some stainless steel lag screws, bolts, washers, and Nylok nuts. My plan was to cut the tube into two 18″ pieces and use them in a vertical orientation between the box and the house. They would span multiple boards, creating a plumb mounting surface, and provide support for the lower left corner which would otherwise be unsupported.
When I got back to the house I took the tube out to see how it would work. The idea was a good one but the 18″ lengths would be too short. I bought the only piece of 1″ tube that Lowe’s had so I knew I would have to find another one somewhere else. Linda suggested that we try the Lowe’s in New Hudson after breakfast tomorrow but I was still feeling impatient about the whole thing.
I had a long chat with Michele Henry from Phoenix Paint. I then relaxed with a small glass of Moscato, a nice pre-meal wine, while Linda prepared a wonderful dish for dinner of roasted red potatoes with onions, garlic, rosemary, and power greens. It was a simple dish but so delicious and hearty.
The meal concluded and the table cleared I went to The Home Depot in Howell where I found a 48″ length of 1″ square aluminum tube. If 24 inches turns out to be long enough to support the box the way I want I will cut the 48″ piece in half and return the 36″ piece to Lowe’s. I called Chuck on the drive home to follow up on a text message I sent him yesterday regarding the delivery of our new refrigerator to his bus garage in Novi.
Feeling like I had finally accomplished something today we relaxed for an hour and then settled in to watch a movie. Linda had borrowed the DVD of Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, from the Howell Library earlier in the week and we reserved this evening as movie night.
My goal for tomorrow is to get the cable entry box installed. That sets the stage for climbing the tower and installing three antennas once I have the proper coax cables and some rope to temporarily guy the tower. But those details will wait until Monday as family is coming to brunch on Sunday for Father’s Day and a belated birthday celebration for our daughter.