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So On the way home from work on Friday I got a call from a friend, who said that he had got his car a little stuck. Upon getting out to the property where he lives this is what I found:

Now I hadn't expected him to be only a little stuck for him to have to call me. But I hadn't expected him to be stuck because he tried to get through a dam. Moral to the story, you'll get stuck if you try to drive through a dam. Also interestingly enough he probably could have gotten out if he could lock his differentials so that both tires would spin at the same speed.

Thankfully the Jeep was up to the task, however not without low range. It wouldn't do anything in high range 4wd. When I put it in low range I managed to sucessfully dig up 4 little homes where the wheels were:

Not the best photo, but the light was just about gone by then. So after moving a few feet to the right and using a snatching technique, rather than a standing start. We managed to break the chain that was holding the strap onto the Toyota; then finally it was free. And this was the hole it left behind:

Anyhow, all ended well and we had a lemonade at the house then headed home. So it seems I can pull a car out of the mud with the Jeep.

I got a bit of work done on a few projects over the long weekend so over the next few days I'll be putting stuff up on those so keep an eye out.

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So just a short update here. This was the roof of the Jeep the other day at 9:00AM. Admittedly it was parked in the shade, but still.

And yes, this does have something to do with my desire to build a boat and liveaboard it. It's a lot easier to chase the weather when your entire house can move. Write comment (0 Comments)
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So I managed to get a little done over the weekend. The grounding for my HF radio has always been a little unsatisfactory to me. So I set out to improve that a little. Currently I only have a stake half buried into the ground below my vertical antenna.

 To improve this I have added 4 radials of equal length at as long as possible within my yard. I know that 4 radials is not ideal, however I am expecting a significant improvement over the current system. One of the biggest concerns I have is with my connection point.

This is where the joint between the radials and the wire that will connect to the bracket for the antenna. Unfortunately at this point I tried to heat up my soldering iron and it just won't heat up. So I'm going to have to see if I can borrow a soldering iron from somebody.

So seeing as I couldn't do anymore out here I decided to put my VHF Ham set into the Jeep. This was one of those projects that I got a little excited about so I don't have any photos of that. But I still have to mount an antenna so I'll get some pictures then.

After I finished setting up the radio I decided to chase some wires that are attached to what seem to be microphones in the cab. Chasing those lead me to this little box:
Chasing the wires from the other end of that box lead through the firewall and eventually to this box under the bonnet on the passenger's side:
Upon unplugging this and removing it from the car I was quite surprised by what I found on the opposite side of that box.

So this was not really expected and thankfully off and not activated, otherwise we could very well have had a very exciting time getting to this stage. I have it off and on my desk at the moment so I'll see if there is anything useful or interesting and I might put it back in. Otherwise I will see if I can remove all of the wiring that it has, just to minimize the spaghetti mess inside the car. Write comment (0 Comments)
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Hi All,

I got another chance to play with the radios. This time I decided that I would see if I can connect to the Mt Bindo Repeater using one of the radios that have been very generously passed onto me. Looking through the ones I had it was looking like I was going to have to give one of the two Icom IC-22S units that I have a go. The only problem is that I was told one of them doesn't work and I couldn't remember which one that was. So it was time to start experimenting.

The first problem I had was that on the end of the power cable away from the radio there was a plug that looked like this:

Now I have never seen a plug like that and couldn't find a socket here for it to plug into. So I cut it off with about 4 inches of cord still attached so that when I find a socket for it I can still use this. Once that was sorted and connected up to the 12v power supply I connected up the older looking dustier unit that had some of the programmed frequencies written on paper taped to the top of it. At this point I fired it up and tried to call into Mt Bindo; which didn't work. However everything appeared to work and when the squelch is turned down you can hear static so I think this is the good one. I might have to read up on the instruction book to see if I can work out how to make it trigger the repeater and I'll also check that the crystal is in there and is the right one and looks like it works. Otherwise I might order a new one that I know will work to try and get this working.

As to the future of the IC-22S units. Well I'm not sure, if this one turns out to work well it will probably stay here as my base station VHF transceiver, and possibly if I get into some of the other things that get done on VHF, particularly those that are connected to a computer I will probably use one of these as the frequency is fairly rigidly set.

On the HF front I also tried the Yaesu FT-7 transceiver that I have, however while it seems to receive fine it doesn't transmit when the PTT button is pressed so that is something that will warrant further investigation.

As a final note, if anyone is interested here is a photo of my operating station. I know that there are a number of things that are less than ideal, however this is my attempt based on the compromises I have to make at the moment.

I'll be back soon.

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