CB Radio

I got all inspired when I went camping with my brother-in-law in September. His friend from Fort Collins has a fully tricked out off-road vehicle complete with a CB radio. Well, I got excited about that because, since the late 90’s we’ve had my grandfather’s old Ford van, and he was big on CB, having a camper and secretly being a tech nerd before it was cool. I still have his mobile CB radio, which we tried out at the end of this camping trip.

Except I can’t seem to get it to work. It turns on, it hisses, and the squelch feature seems to work to some extent, but I get absolutely zero variation in the noise, even when moving the little 3-foot whip antenna around, mounting on the truck roof for grounding, and everything else I could think of.

That’s when I decided to “invest” in a Monkey Ward 775 CB radio. I’m assuming this is probably also a mobile model due to the u-bracket on the top. However I’m looking up how to make a home-brew antenna for this, and I’m guessing it’s the 3-foot whip that makes a mobile station mobile. Maybe a base station has more features and such, but I’m new at this anyway!

However, the issues I have at the moment are crippling: The radio came with a power input cable of two wires and two tab connectors, a keyed microphone, and a user manual. That’s it.

So I need to come up with a proper power connection of 12VDC, and somehow create an antenna that will work and be ideal while still not violating the HOA covenants of not having anything over the roofline of the house. Additionally an 8-Ohm speaker or headphone converter may be necessary if the keyed microphone doesn’t also have something built in.

But on to antennas! I found this website from the Thunder Mountain Radio Group. They say that ideally, a base station antenna for CB frequencies needs to be around 102 inches (a quarter wavelength of ~11 meters). And this is not a single whip antenna, but a combination of two antennas in a dipole arrangement, each at 102 inches.

That’s 8.5 feet of wire extending from a center point where 50-ohm coax is connected and runs all the way back to the actual base station radio.

My idea when it comes to this antenna – since I’m not permitted to mount this thing so high up that I’d be able to talk to people in Denver, how about I instead run the antenna wires horizontally beneath the top bar of the vinyl fence that runs along the side of my property? It’s actually kinda perfect – minimal metal to screw up the signal, and sort of out of the way of everything else except for a few aspen trees. It’s not THAT ideal, but it’s at least something better than a 3-foot whip. The only other solution I could think of would be to take the rig all the way to work and mount it on the roof there. I know Steve at Mountain States Electronics has always had a nice setup of his own. Maybe I could talk down the block to him.

Then comes the coax. I am thinking standard 50-foot RG-58 spool, which I can buy with UHF connectors pre-installed for $17 on Amazon. Or I could get a single connector from Digikey, a spool of RG-58 for $20, and make my own.

Seriously!?

I’ve only had my domain switched from my Blogger to the new WordPress site for a mere two hours and already I have to moderate a spam comment.

Didn’t take them long.

That’s a lot of code I’ve “example’d”

Not to say it isn’t useful. I certainly hope it is.

Oh and it’s that time of year where I switch out blogger templates. Maybe this time I’ll make it more straightforward and automated. Maybe.

Which reminds me: this is the first year that my MUSH will be auto-deploying its Christmas theme. Pretty excited for that!

Anyway, that’s all for now.

Petra

So a few weeks ago, I was doing cameras at church. Or maybe it was during the 6:33, our Tuesday men’s group. In either case, the subject was brought up in the sermon that after Jesus’ crucifiction, Peter had denied Jesus three times, and all that, he basically got really depressed, dropped his calling and went back to fishing.

The verse that really got me in this sermon though, was Mark 16:7 – “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'”

Continue reading “Petra”

Merry Christmas

So day after Thanksgiving is when you break out Christmas stuff, right? Well in keeping with my little thing (I won’t call it a tradition), last year, I’ve changed up my blogger template to a Christmast theme. except this year I have a ton more knowledge of CSS, and so I’ve been able to pull off some pretty funky effects. And besides that I created a new background image (the star), so it isn’t so boring now.

I will STILL not break and use cute pastel backgrounds and things, because that’s lame. Nor will I upgrade to the new Rails-style templates that they have in the blogger template builder. I’m sticking with the old Minimal Black style by Douglas Bowman, and changing up the css colors and background images. So enjoy! I’ve got backups of my old style, so that’ll be coming back in about a month and a half. 😉

5-3-10

Two new MAJOR developments in my life of social networking and/or online accounts.

1) I discovered a Christian guy named Steve McGranahan who calls himself “The world’s strongest redneck.” He’s got all his videos and beliefs up at http://www.stevemcgranahan.com.

2) Also, even more recently (by a couple hours) I registered with Wikipedia as an editor. I don’t think I’ll do much there, but I like to try to keep modern stuff updated properly, since I had a good excuse today which didn’t pan out after all. Simple profile page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Depwl9992

That’s all for now!