There is a Chill in the Air

The weather is turning toward Winter now

The Indian Summer “Diablo Winds” happen every year in mid-October. The recent spate of them is nothing abnormal. What is abnormal is the number of PG&E infrastructure failures. Yesterday’s fire in Lafayette was caused by a failed power pole and transformer at a location where power was not turned off. My son lives near there – and its about 7 miles from my house. In Orinda, electricity was completely shut off, and we had no issues. I do have a crazy neighbor who still burns very smoky fires – and shuns the warnings to not do so. One way or other – these are all man made emergencies, and they can be prevented. PG&E can add sensors to its grid – and maybe underground some lines. Crazy neighbors – or other fire starters? that one cannot be prevented.

I noted yesterday that the wind was very strong, and it was chilly. During the summer, when the fog comes into the Golden Gate – it can get chilly at night – certainly it is like having natural air condition. But almost on cue with this latest wind storm – the chill in the air is not like the fog chill – but more of a cold air mass that is descending from Alaska. Sure enough – they are having more snow up in Idaho, parts of Washington and other places in the northern tier.

We may get a few more “Diablo Winds” and we may continue to be inconvenienced, but it won’t last much longer. So, looking beyond this latest “distraction”, what’s up?

  1. UrbanBeam – I have someone interested in my UrbanBeam – and still have toyed with replacing it with a JK-402. HOWEVER – this latest wind episode – where I watched the UrbanBeam up at 55′ seemed like it could have stayed up just fine – even though I cranked it down. The UrbanBeam is only 48 pounds, and any of the decent 2 element “shorty” 40M yagi’s are twice that. Since every antenna is a compromise, I guess sticking with the UrbanBeam is what I will do – at 48 pounds I can get the antenna up 65′ – and this wind episode turned out to be the nail in the (Halloween) coffin of me dreaming about a shorty forty. Guess good things can come out of what might be considered bad
  2. QSL’s – I’m sending out my first wave of FREQ 300 QSL cards – now that I have received my first one. The DX Bug is back – and this time I truly am enjoying it just for the fun of it – which is when a hobby is at its best. I’ll be in the shack more in the Winter months – and so having to stay inside during this weekends winds (cycling would have been impossible – maybe even dangerous – and the gym was closed). So I played “hobby time” in my shack and enjoyed it – it reminded me of when I used to spend way too many hours in the shack – but its good to know that when its rainy or otherwise a “day indoors” – I’ll be busy and have fun
  3. Spy Radio – my Spy Radio kit will be here any day and I will build it into the Wheatstone Bridge box. I will also look up a circuit to measure audio strength and convert that to a sort of S meter. I will somehow get that cool meter in the Bridge to act as my S meter
  4. AB-577 goes up to 60 or 65′ – its time to go full bore on the AB-577 height
  5. Collins KWS-1 Slug Rack fix – The KWS-1 works great, but I still need to replace the Slug Rack brass piece that snapped. It’s a great Winter – “stuck in the shack” job. I’ll also use the Twins when it gets cold out – as they act as a great shack heater
  6. The Usual Stuff – I’ll continue playing the guitar, cycling and going to the gym – so, I have lots of great stuff going on. I also carry my camera with me daily – so photography will continue in earnest – my photography is mostly for this blog

At work – the Data World is “hurtling” toward January 1, 2020 and the Advent of CCPA. We will have the Holidays upon us soon – and Kat and I will have another trip where I use the KX-3 with the battery and a portable antenna. I toyed with the idea of that AX-1 by Elecraft – with the 40M coil but I can build something using a Crappie Pole and wire for a fraction of what the AX-1 is and does.

Just the way I like it – a bunch of fun little projects. I’ll easily be busy into the new year.

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