Spam (madbodger) wrote,
Spam
madbodger

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My weekend

I got email from my county EC stating that the Red Cross could use technically savvy volunteers to set up “VAST radio communication sets” for shipment to hurricane relief efforts. On Thursday, I was simply too tired to attempt it (I was so tired from the commute from hell that my eyeballs ached). So I went by after work on Friday. Turns out it was VSAT equipment, which brings internet and (Cisco IP) phone service to areas without wired access. A few other hams and I spent a few hours checking boxes of equipment, pulling out stuff that wasn’t supposed to be there, putting aside stuff that was broken or incomplete, and staging stuff that was ready to go. We had a last minute need for a microwave amplifier, and were madly going through crates looking for one (it had to get to Dulles airport by 10PM), and finally swiped the operating one off the roof, which was later replaced when we found another one.

On Saturday, fizzygeek and I went down there, as I had been told they’d be moving their data center and would need lots of helping hands. But when we got there, nothing much was happening. So we helped close and tape up a few boxes of IP phones, hung around for a while doing nothing, and decided to duck out to get lunch and check out the local garden center. When we came back, there was still nothing happening, so we eventually wandered away again and headed up to nosebeepbear’s for gaming. Due to the lack of volunteerism opportunities at the Red Cross, we got there about the announced time, so of course there wasn’t much going on there either. Naturally, more people showed up later and things started hopping, but I was still tired, so we left in time to catch the last ferry home.

On Sunday, I went back to Maryland for a hamfest, in hopes of scoring either an Iron Horse style HF antenna or maybe an ATAS-120 all-band screwdriver antenna, but it was a pretty lame event and the only antenna dealer didn’t have either of those. I did end up buying a Matrix QCR-Z film recorder, complete with 8x10 film holder and cassette ($25,000 new, $12.50 for this one), a GenRad strobotron ($5000 new, $50 for this one), a couple of books, and a dead security camera with a yummy 2-axis positioner. One vendor gave me a PS/2 mouse. Then I went back over to nosebeepbear’s to give sagesaria an old CD player I’d scrounged up to replace her broken one and hang out some more. Got to watch the week’s food preparation and soak up some more chatting and hanging out, then headed back home to have dinner with fizzygeek.

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