My APRS Tracker Is Back On The Air

I managed to break the feed line for my APRS station’s antenna, it disconnected from the connector while I was loading the Jeep up for the drive up to Illinois in December. I’ve been a little bit of a slacker and haven’t gotten around to fixing it. Well, on the way home from work today I stopped off at Tanner Electronics and picked up the parts I needed to get a new connector on the feed line. After a quick spin around the block to make sure the transmitter was still working I buttoned everything up and am able to send position reports again.

Canon 17-40mm f/4L

My new Canon 17-40mm F/4L lens arrived today, a day earlier than I’d expected. It’s replacing the 28mm f/2.8 prime because I was feeling pretty limited in my wide angle choices. I’m going to run a roll or so through it to start getting a feel for how it performs before heading out to do some landscape shooting this weekend.

V for Vendetta

I got together with some friends to go see V for Vendetta tonight. First off, I haven’t read the graphic novels that it’s based on, and I understand that there is a little bit of a controversy with regards to the author asking for his name to be removed from hte credits because of some disputes with the studio. But in spite of that it was a very good movie with an extremely powerful message. It kept my attention from start to finish and I’m going to try to find a copy of the graphic novels so that I can get the whole story.

Chroming The Rocker Boxes

I dropped the rocker boxes off at Hands Off Polishing in Garland today. They don’t have a website but if you’re looking for someone to do some chroming or polishing, give them a shout at 972-487-8220. They quoted me a two week turnaround and a reasonable price for the work. That two week timeframe is going to cut it close with the rest of the work, but I think the results will be worth it. Now I need to pick up some chrome bolts to put those rocker box covers back on with.

Heads Dropped Off

The heads have been dropped off at Evolution Bike Works for the valve job. Paul suggested that I check out a different chromer so I’ll be giving them a call tomorrow to see if I can get the rocker box covers chromed. Powder coating the middle one to match the paint is not going to happen, so I’m just going to chrome all three.

Petmate Electronic Portion Control Le Bistro

The new feeder for the girls came in today. It’s a Petmate Electronic Portion Control Le Bistro. The unit is pretty solidly built, with a cover over the clock and programming controls. Programming it isn’t difficult provided you follow the directions. I’ve got it set to dispense the same amount of food twice a day and will be trying to see if I can get it to dispense different amounts instead of all the same amount.

The girls are getting used to it, but there’s food in it so I don’t think they’ll take too long.

1200 Conversion Pt. 2

It’s been raining all weekend here but that wasn’t going to stop me from getting started on the conversion so I put on the rain gear and headed over to a friend’s house since he’s got the tools and a lot more know-how than I do.

Crude was graceful enough to let me do all of the work, which is what I wanted because I need to learn how to do this stuff. Disassembly wasn’t all that bad, just tedious, and went without too many major hitches. A couple bolts didn’t want to come out so Crude had to cold chisel them, including the nut holding the front pulley on.

Speaking of the front pulley, we took it off to get at the neutral switch, which had failed a few months ago. It was definitely a good thing that we took a look at it because the pulley’s splines were almost totally stripped out. There was less than a millimeter left, which means that I would have been left stranded on the road some time soon.

So now I’ve got the heads and cylinders in the garage. The cylinders will be shipped out tomorrow, the heads will be dropped off at Evolution Bike Works on Tuesday for a valve job, and I’ve got a list of parts to order from the dealership. Reassembly starts when all of the parts are back, which should be about three weeks from now.

Our First Video Conference

We got MSN Messenger working with the webcams tonight and the results were actually pretty good. The video, at least on my side, was a few frames short of full motion, and the audio quality was top notch. I don’t think I’m going to need to buy the video conferencing package that Logitech sells. It was good to see and hear Reese and I think he enjoyed it too.

I’m looking forward to being able to do this a little more frequently now that we know it’s working.

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy DVD

I had a little money left over from my bonuses so I picked up a few movies, including Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Enough has already been said about the movie to do another review, but the DVD has a pretty cute menuing system, modeled after the Guide. For kicks you should try out the Improbability Drive option. The extras are pretty good, a few deleted scenes, a few really deleted scenes, and a really amusing hangman game.