Opening Weekend of Deer Season 2014

This past weekend began Deer Season 2014.  As usual, we had a fantastic time in the woods, but unfortunately the deer just weren’t moving yet.  We saw a few animals here and there, but nothing to write home about.

This year was the first year that we had setup some game cameras at several of the feeder locations.  We’ve had these running for the past few weeks, prior to opening weekend, and they revealed some good activity at various times of the day.  We have plenty of legal-sized bucks roaming around the area, along with lots of Doe, and even some hogs.  Our latest camera captures showed a pack of about 10 or so hogs that were feeding at 2 or 3 of the feeders.  They’ve basically discovered the location of each feeder and are making their way around the property.  I foresee some wild pork in my freezer again this year.

This is a photo I snapped of a spike that came up to one of the feeders this weekend.  He has a large-framed body, but his horns were strange.  I didn’t feel like shooting a spike this weekend, but I imagine he will be picked off at some point this season.

spike from crossroads

Friday night before opening day was Halloween, October 31.  We celebrated by burning some wood.  We set traps for witches in the field, but didn’t catch any this time.

campfire 20141101


I’ll be back this coming weekend and for the next several weekends afterwards, so be watching for some updated posts.

Happy New Year 2014

Happy new year, everyone.

I haven’t been blogging much on this blog lately, I have been spending most of my time on my ham radio blog.  I started that blog around June of 2013 and it has become very enjoyable.  I spent the last 4-5 months of 2013 writing in this blog, updating articles, finding other similar blogs to comment on, etc.  I’ve also had people ask me over the air about the blog.  Some say that they found some article I wrote, and we’ll start to talk about a subject, then others will ask the URL.  I try not to give out the URL unless someone asks for it;  I don’t like broadcasting, “hey go visit my blog at www….” because I would consider that spam.  So I try to keep it to a “ask-only” situation and I have been impressed by how many people have asked about it over the air.

I’m also continuing on my Book Review blog.  I’m continuing on my journey of reading all the Star Wars Expanded Universe books.  I didn’t get as far in 2013 as I had wanted, so I am planning to focus more on this goal in 2014.  I only read and completed 9 novels this year.  In 2012 I had read 22 novels, and had set a goal for myself to reach 30 novels for 2013.  Obviously, I didn’t make it.  Partially due to a new job, and renewed interests in ham radio, and other things going on in life also.  So I’ve renewed my goal to read more books for 2014.  I’m not sure I will hit the 30 mark, but I at least want to get back into the 20s.

Over the next 3 months I am planning to spend some heavy-time in the gym and am I also going to eat very clean.  I have about 2.5 months until my 40th birthday, so I plan to hit it really hard up until then.

We still have our GrapevineBlog also.  We don’t post in it much anymore, but from time to time we will throw new posts up there.

Not much else new at this point in time.  Instead of daily posts, I might try weekly posts on this blog for 2014.  I don’t think I have enough to talk about every day, but I also don’t like going a month or two in between posts either.  We’ll see what 2014 brings.

Deer Season 2013 10-point Buck

10pt buck2a-2013 The attached picture is the buck that I shot on 11/9 from the Sendero stand for season 2013.  This buck was a 10-point and weighed probably about 150lbs after field dressing.  The processor didn’t give me an exact weight, but I also forgot to ask for one.
The night I shot this guy, he was the only deer I saw, after Justin had sat in the stand that morning and seen about a dozen deer.  In fact, he shot his buck that same morning, which ended up being a very-wide 6-point.
This 10-point came out from the creek behind the feeder, on the road-side of the sendero.  He fed for a bit around the feeder before I shot him, and at one point I thought I had lost him because he was down the slope that is hard to see from the stand.  But after he reappeared, I shot him on his left side, and he ran about 15 yards into the woods, lease-side of the feeder.  It was around 5:05pm.  I waited 15 minutes, then walked down and found him just inside the treeline.

Ham Radio Antenna Tower

I’ve decided that I want an antenna tower, but they are so expensive, at least for a new one, that I am weighing my options right now.Antenna Install 026 (Large)  I have found a few on craigslist, and a few more on ebay, but of course you have to pay for shipping on ebay.  Craigslist is local and you can drive to go pick it up, but some people have existing towers they want to sell and require you to take down yourself, which I am not crazy about doing.

For a brand new 30-40 foot tower, I could spend anywhere from $300-$1000.  I found one guy from Temple selling a 40-ft for $200, but I’ve emailed and called him and he isn’t responding, so I bet he has sold it.

People:  If you list an ad on Craigslist and then sell the item, removing the freaking ad!  It isn’t rocket science….

Anyway, I haven’t yet decided what I am going to do.  I could probably keep looking and find a good price for one on Craigslist, and that might be the way that I go, but I also have an idea for a homemade tower that I think I may try first.  I’ve already assembled a couple of versions of this tower, but in my mind I have a new version that it taller and more stable than my current setup.  It is built out of Galvanized pipe, normally used for water supply lines.  Here is a link to the brand/type at Lowes.

My ambition for this new configuration came to me after getting my hamshack setup, but also from the Antenna and Tower setup that KM5RF has.  I spoke to Maurice on the Arlington repeater the other night and he directed me to his website, and wow.  This is a bit extreme for my current location, but I think I can do something on a smaller scale .

I’ll post more about this as the project comes to fruition.

Dallas Ft Worth Amateur Radio Repeater List

This is a repeater list that I have been working on for some time, but it is likely outdated because I haven’t made any updates to it in about a year.  I went through the Notes section just now and changed a few things but I think some of these frequencies are no longer active.  I will be testing each of these repeaters and updating the Notes section for each one.  Check back frequently for updates.  Any comments or info about any of these machines is welcome also.

Mem Output Call PL City State Comments
1 145.400 - N5EOC 110.9 Grapevine Texas NETARC
2 443.875 + N5EOC 110.9 Grapevine Texas NETARC
3 146.860 - WD5DBB 110.9 Arlington Texas
4 147.14 + K5SLD 110.9 Arlington Texas Very Active Repeater – Linked to 224.8
- 224.8 + K5SLD 110.9 Arlington Texas Linked to 147.14
- 224.90 - WB0LII 110.9 Arlington Texas Update Lima Link System and linked to 145.27 Glen …
5 443.400 + WD5DBB 110.9 Arlington Texas
6 444.2 + K5SLD 100.0 Arlington Texas Changed PL to 100.0 in November and added IRLP
7 442.3 + - - BEDFORD Texas
8 147.22 + - - BOWIE Texas
9 442.450 + KA5PQK 156.7 Bowie Texas WRG Link System – Bowie-Dallas-Decatur-Ft. Wort
10 146.82 - - - BROWNWOOD Texas
11 145.21 - N5MJQ 110.9 Carrollton Texas
12 147.32 + K5MOT-2 146.2 Carrollton Texas UNVERIFIED
13 442.875 + - - CARROLLTON Texas
14 444.875 + K5MOT 146.2 Carrollton Texas
15 53.07 - - - CARROLLTON Texas UNVERIFIED
16 441.9 + W5RV 110.9 Colleyville Texas
17 441.600 + KA1CWM 107.2 Coppell Texas D/FW Airport Local Open Repeater
18 441.800 + ka1cwm 107.2 Coppell Texas Repeater is open-used by club members and the Community
19 444.225 + K5CFD 110.9 Coppell Texas A very good repeater
20 145.190 - KA5CTN 110.9 Dallas Texas This used to be on the tallest building in Dallas but now is hardly accessible
21 145.430 - K5DM 110.9 Dallas Texas TIARC. Open repeater.
22 146.610 - K5ZYZ 110.9 Dallas Texas In continuous operation since 1973 !!!!!…
23 146.880 - W5FC 110.9 Dallas Texas Dallas Amateur Radio Club. Open Repeater. An Excellent Machine.
- 224.180 - W5RDW 110.9 Dallas Texas Antenna at 350 ft. on tower. Covers North Dallas
- 224.70 - N5TPS 127.3 Dallas Texas North Texas Repeater Association linked to Dallas
- 224.880 - W5FC 110.9 Dallas Texas Dallas Amateur Radio Club
24 442.425 + W5FC 110.9 Dallas Texas Dallas Amateur Radio Club. Open repeater
25 53.35 - - - DALLAS Texas
26 145.39 - - - DECATUR Texas …I don't think this repeater exists anymore
27 444.400 + KA5PQK 156.7 Decatur Texas WRG Link System – Bowie-Dallas-Decatur-Ft.Worth
28 146.920 - W5NGU 110.9 Denton Texas Denton County Storm Watch
- 223.800 - K5QA 110.9 Euless Texas Euless ARC Repeater — Linked to 442.900
- 224.56 - - - EULESS Texas
29 442.900 + K5QA 110.9 Euless Texas Euless ARC Repeater — Linked to 223.800
30 145.230 - N5ERS 110.9 Flower Mound Texas linked to 444.850 and 927.875
31 444.850 + N5ERS 110.9 Flower Mound Texas Open to all! Emergency power linked to 145.230
32 145.33 - W5NRV 110.9 Haltom City Texas A very active repeater
33 146.94 - K5FTW 110.9 Fort Worth Texas Tarrant County RACES Storm Watching
34 53.15 - K5SXK 110.9 Fort Worth Texas
- 224.140 - ka5gfh 156.7 Fort Worth Texas
- 224.32 - W0BOD - Fort Worth Texas
- 224.42 - W5SJZ 110.9 Fort Worth Texas Lockheed Martin ARC
- 224.68 - W0BOD 103.5 Fort Worth Texas
- 224.94 - K5FTW 110.9 Fort Worth Texas Fort Worth Texas VHF-FM Society…
35 53.35 - WA5YST 127.3 Frisco Texas (DFW area) Open 6mtr rptr covering Dallas Fort-Wor…
36 147.100 + W5HRC 110.9 HURST Texas I once held a QSO on this repeater and another operator came on to tell us it was a Closed machine
- 224.30 - WB5TCD 110.9 Hurst Texas
37 442.85 + K5JRR 110.9 Hurst Texas
38 443.575 + WB5TCD 110.9 Hurst Texas
39 145.45 - N2DFW 110.9 Irving Texas Update Owned by the DFW Repeater Association
40 146.72 - WA5CKF 110.9 Irving Texas
- 224.40 - WA5CKF 110.9 Irving Texas
41 442.675 + WA5CKF Irving Texas
42 146.840 - KE5IGO 136.5 Kaufman Texas
43 147.2 + - - KELLER Texas
44 29.660 - W5DFW - Keller Texas DFW Remote Base Association OPEN 10m repeater
45 442.975 + N5UA - Keller Texas Linked to N5CN HF & UHF remote baseYou might hear
46 145.17- W5FKN 110.9 Lewisville Texas I used to talk on this machine all the time-good group of guys.
47 145.37 - K5NRH 110.9 North Richland Hills Texas
- 223.94 - W5URH - North Richland Hills Texas
48 147.18 + WD5ERD 107.2 PLANO Texas This repeater is open to all amateur radio operators
49 147.12 + - - RICHARDSON Texas
- 224.180 + w5rd 110.9 Richardson Texas
- 224.28 - N5LLH - Southlake Texas
50 442.175 + N1OZ 110.9 Southlake Texas NETARC
51 444.700 + N5EOC 110.9 Southlake Texas NETARC
52 147.380 + K5LRK 110.9 The Colony Texas The Lake Area Amateur Radio Klub (LAARK) Repeater
53 442.750 + KA5R 110.9 Trophy Club Texas Open Alliance Amateur Radio Club Repeater
54 146.660 - K5QHD 110.9 Garland Texas Garland Amateur Radio Club
55 146.700 110.9 DALLAS Texas DFW Flame Thrower
56 145.490 - WD5U 85.4 Rosston Texas
57 52.590 - - 110.9 DALLAS Texas

New Antenna Adjustments

imageThis past weekend I changed my antenna mast just a bit, and the result is a 3rd arm for another antenna and the main mast section being 2 feet higher in the air.

I had had the main mast in 2 pieces; a 10′ section and a 4′ section.  Connecting the two sections was a T-style connector which added a perpendicular arm to the 14′ section.  The perpendicular arm was 18″ long with a 90 degree elbow on the end of it, and a 4″ section of pipe pointing straight up from the elbow.  This 4″ pipe allowed easy mounting of a 2nd antenna to the entire system with U-bolts.  I had the main mast mounted to the back of the Ham Shack with a railing system, and it was 4′ off of the ground, making the main antenna sit 18′ in the air at its base.

The change I made was to remove the 4′ section and replace it with a 3′ and a 5′ section, then I dropped the main mast down 2′, making it 2′ off of the ground.  This creates a 20′ base for the main antenna;  2′ from the ground, +10’+3’+5′ of piping.  Also between the new 3′ and 5′ section I added a second T-style connector and another 18″ arm for a 3rd antenna.

My plan for the 3rd arm is a 200MHz J-pole.  In total this will give me a 2-meter antenna at the top (20′ in the air), then a 220MHz antenna 5′ below that (15′ in the air) then finally a dual-band 2m/70cm J-pole (12′ in the air).

I also hung a 6-meter J-pole in the tree behind the Shack that you can somewhat see in the pic above, to the right.  It is a 12′ antenna and it hanging from a branch that is right at 12′ from the ground, so the height isn’t ideal.  But I was able to hit the Ft Worth and Cedar Hill 6-meter repeaters last night.  I plan to change this up somehow, with hopes of getting the antenna higher up for better TX/RX ranges.