Battening Down the Hatches

Here we go again — strong winds and even a blowing dust advisory today and tonight. Time to drop the antennas again.

My coax connectors arrived today, so I pulled up stakes and drove the van into town to go get them. I also picked up something I almost bought when I got my flagpole, a holder that gets hammered far into the ground. I’ve been doing okay tying it to my van, but this way it’s self-supporting, which makes it easier for me to drive places. I figured that, plus the new coax connector on my mobile antenna so I won’t need my ham antenna mast anymore, and all I have to do is unplug the Ethernet cable from my FastNet router and away I go. The flagpole base works perfectly, though I haven’t extended it up very far in this strong wind. I’ve also had to tape a few sections together so they stop rotating in the wind and turning my antenna away from the tower. I’ve lost internet a few times because of that.

My ham antenna, though, has other problems. I’ve put two PL-259 connectors n and neither one of them has solved my problem, which makes me believe it lies elsewhere. For all I know, maybe the shop damaged the coax when they were working on the engine, since it runs nearby. I’m not going to investigate it today, though, with these strong winds. The last thing I need is the hood falling on top of my head.

Part of my motivation to make the van more mobile is that I’m going a little crazy just sitting here, without being able to hop on the bike and go exploring. Although I ordered my clutch cable last week it hasn’t even shipped out yet. But I’ve made it much easier for the van to leave camp, which will hopefully solve my issues of feeling stuck. And I may be taking another short adventure soon. Details at 11.

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