Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Global Skywatch

whatta day

The gas log fireplace was not working this morning. My studio space was at 35-degrees while outside was 10. Not good. Definitely wins the “Highest Priority” award for the day.

It was mostly a repeat of my outta gas post from the other day except I didn’t have to eliminate so many possibilities before going straight to the problem. The thermopile was not heating up enough to generate the millivolts necessary to keep the gas valve turned on.

This time I cleaned up the pilot light flame to put out slightly more heat. I think it will go for quite some time now, but I’ll be slow to assume it is permanently reliable.

Over at my personal website I described the process of getting my 2-meter antenna up on a 20-foot mast (see git-er-done). It was a project I should not have undertaken single-handed, nor will I ever do THAT again. But it is up.

That one I finished a few hours before the regular amateur radio Wednesday night “Net”. It works GREAT. I was hearing and was heard loud and clear well into the North Bitterroot, picked up a conversation from Missoula and had a nice, clear one up the East Fork 8 miles towards Sula. THAT is everything I hoped for AND SOME.

battery bankOh yeah, I had to connect my radio to pull that off. As is common practice on the 2-meter band, I am using a mobile rig as my base station, designed to be in cars, connected up to 12-volt batteries… that precisely imitate the power the radios were designed for.

That system is all connected and working. The only missing ingredient was a way of keeping the batteries charged. I recently purchased two used solar panels, but it is a bit of a project to put them up.

Today was their turn.. I, showing an unusual burst of intelligence, had a friend help me hang them. That was several days ago, followed by my running #10 multi-strand wire from here to there. Today I installed the controller and connected the whole mess. Not without a hiccup, but in the end, the CHARGING LIGHT was ON… surprising me by staying ON well into dusk.fan has gotta go

Long on my ToDo list, I really wanted to get this one done and most definitely before the roof was covered in snow and ice. I have HATED the attic vent fan in this house. It runs nearly constantly and is a horrible noise in the roof directly over the bedroom – where I, by the way, like peace and quiet so I can sleep. Worse, I can’t hear cats sneaking up on me or anything else for that matter.

Earlier this year it went into intermittent surging mode, prompting a high-priority fix. After replacing two circuit boards for over $250 and, probably the important part, thoroughly cleaning the screen, it stopped surging. BUT it runs almost all the time. Adding insult to injury, I have to pay for the electricity to run that fan 23 out of every 24 hours.

Okay, I really do think, it is doing what it is supposed to do. But I hate it nevertheless. THAT constant noise is no way to live in a beautiful, tranquil location like we have. So the despised fan came off the roof as my last project of the day. The air in the attic space gets warmed by the insulated ceiling of our house, rises on out the two passive roof vents while the grills under the eves allow the cooler air in to replace it (until I put a solar-vent-fan at the end of our house opposite the bedroom, that is).

You aren’t done yet, Mr. Smarty-Pants Fixer Dude.

Turn the circuit breakers back on. The dang heater alarm won’t stop!

WARNING – SOMETHING IS AMISS WITH THE ATTIC FAN

CALL FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE IMMEDIATELY!

It took a bit of ferreting out, but I got that dang alarm silenced.

Ah, Peace.