Still playing with the TV

Ever since I lowered the TV antenna before the last hurricane, our reception has been marginal. Tom came up last week and I think we fairly well restored the positioning to where it was pre-storm but we’re still getting too many signal drop-outs. It’s more aggravating than being a total wipeout. When he came up, he also brought a new technology antenna to see if that performed better than – worse than – equal to our old tech version. It was close but the edge went to the old antenna. Part of the problem with the test was that the old antenna sits up about 30’ above the roof whereas we were just slightly above the roof with new one. George and I put together a PVC pipe to hold the antenna but it was only about 8’ long so it wasn’t really a fair comparison. In either case, the reception was problematic. So I decided to “hayrig” a way to increase the altitude of the high tech antenna so it’s now about 12’ above ground level, 3 or 4’ above the roof line. Still not as high as the old antenna by a long shot, but higher than just on the improvised pole. I will catch quite a bit of heat when George or any of my kids see’s the way I have it improvised. This is one of those times when Nancy’s vision problems works in my favor or I’d really be catching heat. I broke out a 6’ ladder, two surf fishing sand spikes and a couple of small strap wrenches and was able to get enough elevation on the new antenna to see the difference. It’s not pretty but seems to be working. It’s fairly easy for me to switch between the old antenna and the new one so I can make comparisons and right now, under current atmospherics, they seem to be equivalent. It would also be fairly easy for me to get another 8-10’ of altitude on the new one by getting a 20’ PVC pipe so that’s the next step. I’m also going to hit Walmart in Palm Coast next week when Nancy’s playing bridge to see what kind of antenna’s they have. It’s a large, extra large Walmart and services a much higher population. also that area would require higher gain antennas to be effective since Palm Coast is quite a bit farther from the transmitters in Orlando than we are. My thought is that any antenna that works in Palm Coast should be very good for Barberville. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I mowed the lawn again with the new, all wheel drive mower. This would be the fourth time and the first where I felt I was calling the shots, not the mower. It wants to mow much faster than I can walk so trying to steer it around plants, shrubs and trees while the wheels are under power is a real trick. But I think maybe I’m getting the hang of it. When you want to do anything but go in a straight line, take power off the wheels, reposition the mower and then reapply power to the wheels. Sounds simple enough but if you’ve been mowing lawns for 70 years, you have a way of doing it. The other complication this time was that Nancy decided the cars needed washing and she could do it herself. I knew it wasn’t anything that simple and would require my attention to get the hose hooked up to the pump and find the buckets and brushes etc. And it had to be done simultaneously with me mowing the lawn. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. My suggestion was to wait until it rained again, maybe a day’s wait at the longest and then break out the soap and rags and go at it. Non starter. I finally walked away before WW3 erupted in the Kingdom of Barberville. What would the Donald say? To make matters more unbearable, it’s Saturday – college football day.

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