Jun 1, 2013 - Personal    Comments Off on A Redneck Kind of Day

A Redneck Kind of Day

The day’s weather kept improving as the morning marched on, so I headed over to C&C’s around noon to get as much water as I could lug in my buggy so that I could do a couple of loads of laundry. I can’t wait to have a proper clotheslines, never mind running water, but this worked just fine.

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Yes, I could take my laundry over to Laura’s anytime, but I really prefer to do laundry this way. It’s like when someone says they prefer to hand wash dishes rather than use a dishwasher.

Then, it was time to scavenge next door to find something with which to elevate my high gain antenna. Am I glad I didn’t glue anything to the roof of my RV. I wish I had bought the antenna model that doesn’t need a ground plane.

Anyway, several failed experiments later, I came up with the best solution based on what I what I found. I used two brooms, the lid from my soup pot, and lots of duct tape.

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First step, join the two brooms together.

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Next step, remove the handle from the pot lid exposing the screw.

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Then, make a hole in the top of the broom and screw the lid into it (I know, I’m a genius).

After, scramble up the ladder and attach the antenna to the pot lid and then the brooms to the ladder, all with one hand while the other holds the ladder. This exercise needs to be repeated a few times since the lid is not exactly flat, so the magnet doesn’t stick as well as it could.

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Final step, advise your blog readers that those electrical wires are nowhere near your crazy contraption and even if said crazy contraption were to blow over, there is zero risk of it catching in the wires.

Unfortunately, this exercise was for naught as my signal strength hasn’t changed (currently -111). I am going to try to find a perfectly flat and larger ‘ground plane’ and see if that helps. The trick is to find something light enough to not make the whole thing too top heavy (why my earlier prototypes failed).

This is as high as I can get the antenna with the amount of cable I have. I imagine that the signal degradation I’d get from extending the cable length to get the antenna higher would negate the value of the extended height.

I think the biggest frustration with my internet connection is that the numbers really mean squat. Sometimes, I can stream and do whatever at -111 and other times like right now, I have to wait 20 minutes for the internet to decide to start working at again at -103 and I’m glad I’m learning to copy and paste my posts to a text editor as I write them.

Bah, the internet’s not coming back. I have climbed back up on the roof, taken the antenna down, and put it back on the soup pot closer to the roof. Back to the drawing board I go. Not that bring the antenna back down helped at all. Nope, this internet connection is definitely sentient (as all internet connections are, btw, as per more than a decade’s worth of experience with crappy connections).

Some time later…

Now, I’ve got the pot duct-taped to the lid to provide a better ground plane and the pot is resting on the top of the ladder by way of its handles. I am averaging about -100 this way and have seen as high as -90, but no lower than -104 (currently -96). But before anybody (ie. me) gets excited, clouds rolled in and then rolled out. Clouds are determining the quality of my internet connection. *sighs*

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