Yesterday, Jeff - K07M stopped by and we worked on some projects.
Jeff wanted to practice welding. I have both TIG and MIG welders, so we spent some time "gluing" some Aluminium together with TIG, and then some steel with MIG. With a little practice Jeff was able to "lay down" a reasonable bead. Welding is a "art", therefore practice is almost always necessary to stay proficient.
We then moved into the E-shop where we diagnosed the failed BusPirate (see previous post), we quickly isolated the problem to one pin of the Microprocessor (PIC24FJ64GA). I suspect that the failure was the result of an ESD (Electrotatic Discharge). The failed pin is directly connected to a clip lead on the end of the test cable. I have been a little lax regarding ESD abatement in my E-shop. I need to acquire a bench-top anti-static mat and maybe some anti-static floor spray.
A last minute project before Jeff left, was to "fix" my long-wire antenna haul-up cord used for the end support over the tree. The long-wire has been up for two years and therefore the support cord has (most likely) cut into the limb, and then the tree has retaliated with pitch to glue it in place. Regardless of the tree's desire to hold the cord in place, I need it to be free for Antenna adjustment or configuration changes. I had attempted to bring down the Antenna before, but could not pull hard enough to break it loose.
Our goal was to pull until; the limb broke, or the sap let go, or the cord broke. After wrapping the cord around a 2x6, like oxen, we were able to pull it free. The cord is tied into a loop, so that I can pull-up or pull-down as necessary. To alleviate future problems, we inserted the cord into a twenty foot section of 1/4 inch Polypropylene Tube (refrigerator ice-maker tube), tied a knot and pulled the tube up and over the branches where the cord rests. Hopefully the 20 foot section of tube so draped over the branches will stay in place, and protect the cord from the tree.
The 300 foot long-wire is now again at about 90 feet AGL.
Thanks, Jeff, for the help !
When I wrote this blog entry, I did not realize Jeff had blogged the same project day, check it out at: http://goo.gl/LuZE0S :-)