Category Archives: Amateur Radio

Culverts don’t last forever – Tower Access Road Upgrades

In getting my site ready for the new tower many culverts were replaced.

They had been buried 20 to 30/35 years depending on location, and I am uncertain if all of them were actually new culverts when installed.

Most were pin-holed with rust, but several had started to collapse, and here is an shot of some of the old culverts stacked waiting to be transported to the recycling scrap yard:

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Approached Correctly Complex Shack Problems are Elementary!

As Sherlock was prone to say when investigating appealingly complex situation to his sidekick Watson, “It’s Elementary!” our efforts to unravel complex shack problems should be easy if we observe well and are systematic.

In various forums and in the FRS Community well meaning PWSP (People wanting to Solve a Problem) outpace our dear Sherlock making leaps of (il)logic, posting micro subsets of the needed diagnostic information, and let “preconceived solution bias” color what information they do provide.

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The things we do to put up a tower – Rabid Raccoons and another Spring!

The things we put up with to put up a tower.

After many loads of stone, weeks of site work, yesterday we had a team member approached by a Rabid Raccoon and while auguring for a Sonotube (cardboard tube form) for a Zero-Five flagpole/antenna we hit a spring.

Mr Raccoon is obviously very diseased and quite aggressive. Team members were able to avoid him even when he was basically rushing them as they worked. Of course when I came out he headed out into the chest high corm, where I had neither the time nor the inclination to follow. We let our neighbors know and once we have Mr Raccoon trapped or dispatched, we will turn him over to Wildlife Wisconsin. Apparently there is a best practices on disposing of diseased wildlife to control the further spread.

The augur about 4 ft down hit what we first thought was a high drainage layer of water (the actual water table is far far deeper) but appears to be a spring instead.

It’s location was picked by yours truly and I shoved a stick into the ground to mark the spot. Guess that stick must have been a divining rod!

The thing we put up with when putting up a tower!



S-Meters – Comfortable Lies or Accuracy? – The Whisper of Sweet Nothings

In the FlexRadio Community a poster complained that his Flex-6700 reported S-2/3 noise most of the time.

He wanted his radio to “Whisper Sweet Nothings” report S-0 if disconnected from an antenna – basically setting aside the noise the sensitive Flex-6700 was actually hearing.

He never disclosed if his feedline and antenna switches were still in line, if they were grounded when antennas were deselected, or whatever other RF his radio was experiencing.

He also didn’t tell the community if he had his Flex-6700 narrowed down to a specific frequency, opened wide in a wide band receiver configuration, or how his radio was configured.

“He” is actually several posters who have some been part of this discussion before, some new to FlexRadio, and all who hadn’t looked for older threads on the issue.

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We win when we work willingly – Morse Code inscription on WWII Canadian Nickles

It is amazing where you just might stumble across Morse code. had an interesting piece on how during World War Two Canadian coinage had a Morse code “pep talk.”

Here are some additional links:$0.05_1945.jpg$0.05_1943.jpg

Wonder how many others are out there?



Remote Motorized Crank-Up Tower Controls – Well Made Homebrew with the Skyneedle

The second TM-370HD Sykneedle came with an interesting feature – a very professional looking homebrew remote for the crank-up motor system.

Tower Remote

Many motorized crank-up towers use limit switches controlling the motorized winch.

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