Jeeping at Gilmer

I got up way too early this morning to meet up with some other LSJC members for a Jeep-a-van to Barnwell Mountain for a day of wheeling and the Texas Motorized Trails Coalition general membership meeting.

We had a great time running trails like Omega, Desi Way, Twister, Binder, and Angry Jeep. I got away with only one bit of trail damage this time. It looks like a rock tried to take a chunk out of one of my sidewalls, but settled for the rim instead. Nothing serious, didn’t mess up the bead or hurt the tire at all. It’s just not pretty any more.

There’s some photos up on my gallery page. Here’s a quick link: January 29, 2005 Gilmer pictures.

Java programming part 2

Today is the first day of POS/407 (Computer Programming II), which is going to start covering GUI programming, exceptions, and applets. I’m a little intimidated because all of my GUI programming has been done in C (X-windows) or Visual Basic. Both of them are extremely different animals that Java’s way of doing things. The readings are going to be vital during this class!

Aerobics is evil!

I decided to do one of the aerobics classes that the gym offers. That class really kicked my butt! But I will be back there again next week because it really gave me a good workout and the instructor was good enough to help me out when I started getting lost. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the aerobics classes that I tried before. With those you would have needed a decent background in dance in order to keep up! This was fun!

The AH-4 is back on-line

I pulled the control cable and soldered the new plugs on each end this afternoon. It appears that about 50 feet of CAT-6 plus the stock cable works just fine. I was a bit concerned about voltage drop with the length of cable.

Next I’ve got to get the RigBlaster connected…

Photo printing

Since I’ve now got a good digital camera I decided that the time has come to pick up a photo printer for it. I’ve been looking around for a while, reading up on the printers out there, and have settled on the Canon PIXMA iP6000D for a number of reasons. First, the on-line reviews have been very favorable. Also, the printer uses separate ink reserviors so that you don’t have to replace fuller inks when one runs out like a lot of the HP printers do. Finally, it’s PictBridge enabled so I don’t even have to hook it up to a computer to print the photos. It should be shipping tomorrow, so I’ll post some more info once I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

Early voting

I went to the municipal annex today and cast my vote for beer and wine sales. The official voting date is February 5, so we won’t know the results for a week or so, but I’m hoping that it passes.

K0OOK is back on the air!

This has been a busy and productive day. After running to Car Toys to get an in-line fuse for my Jeep. I’ve been using a Rig Runner 4005 to provide power for my radios, GPS, APRS, etc. that is fed with 8 ga. cable running straight from the battery. I did something that wasn’t very smart and was extremely dangerous. I didn’t put a fuse on the positive line, close to the battery. If there was a short somewhere in that power cable the Jeep could have burned. There’s now a 50 amp fuse right at the battery.

After I finished that I started in on the hamshack rebuild. I’ve been putting this off for a while and finally quit making excuses and started pulling cable. I’ve now got the IC-706 MkIIg connected into an Ameritron RCS-8V remote switch with 50 feet of LMR-400 low loss coax. Currently I’ve only got the Force 12 Sigma-5 fully connected because I haven’t run the control cable for the AH-4 tuner or the rotor for the 6M3 6m beam. But that will get done in short order.

But I made a contact with N3WBS in Maryland on 17m, so I’m pretty happy with what I did get accomplished.

Firing a .50 caliber rifle

Wow! Alex and I went out to the Tac-Pro range today to shoot his Serbu BFG-50 .50 caliber rifle. What can I say but oh my freaking God! Until today I had never fired at a target more than 100 yards out, but that was to change quickly. After zeroing the scope in at 100 yards we moved to the 300 yard position where I was still grouping well. Then on to the 500 yard position, and finally the 1000 yard position. Shooting at a target that is over a half a mile away is incredibly challenging, but the satisfaction of hearing the target get hit is immense. I passed the range qualification and can now go out there and shoot long distance whenever I want.