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Friday, April 29, 2011

Old Man Murphy STRIKES AGAIN !!!!!

Even when trying to set up a TEMPORARY MAKESHIFT antenna setup on my brand new Pride Go-Go Elite Traveller Mobility Scooter & my ICOM T7H HT, Old Man Murphy STILL has ways of sneaking up on me.

First (In full disclosure as to what I plan to do long-term), I plan on taking a simple dual band mag mount antenna & sticking it in the rear basket of my scooter. Problem is I DO NOT HAVE THE REAR BASKET. Neither Medicaid nor Medicare will pay for such things as they're considered optional accessories (This however is hardly a surprise). I would then thread only the amount of cable I needed to stretch across from the base of the antenna to the radio using adapters as & where needed (Making sure to leave just enough slack to avoid a trip hazard but so much whereas it drags on the ground & runs the risk of getting snagged somewhere underneath the scooter though).

However, since I have to order the basket (At the pretty penny of $112 plus change which includes tax) & getting the neccessary parts from a bike shop & hardware store would likely cost about as much (And that would be WITHOUT it being pre-made for my scooter), I figured it'd be a whole easier & simpler if I just ordered from Pride Mobility itself via the medical supply company that provided me the scooter in the first place.

But in the meantime, I decided to try to set up a temporary makeshift setup using the stuff I already have.

This is where Old Man Murphy enters the picture

Knowing I already have a dual band mag mount antenna, all I needed to do was figure out a way to mount it onto the back of the scooter. I managed to find a basket & a rod to insert into the back of the scooter (The rod actually being part of an armrest from my old scooter). I then HOOKED the scooter onto the armest/rod and let it drop to the bottom whereas it would rest on the back end of the scooter). I then put the antenna into the basket

Next, I then tried retrieving an SO-239 to BNC adapter from a cable coupling which I was not using which I was going to attach to the cable on the antenna base which was already in the basket & threaded to the front of the scooter. Problem with that is the cable & the adapter wouldn't seperate. I'd unscrew & unscrew & unscrew but could NEVER get the two seperasted (My guess is that rust built up on the inside of the SO-239 end of the adapter, thus forming an unbreakable bond between the cable & the adapter)

My next problem occured when I simply decided to give up on the above & just simply couple the antenna cable & the cable that had the adapter together. It would make for an MUCH LONGER cable than I needed but it sure beat what was turning into AN ACT OF FUTILITY

Or so I thought

As I was re-threading the antenna cable, my fingers came across something foreign on the cable. When I turned the cable over to investigate, I noticed THE CABLE WAS FRAYED


NOT !!!

My next problem came in the form of an old Radio Shack 6m/2m mag mount antenna (Remember those?). While the very tip was snipped off & it wouldn't have done much in my ability to get out on the 440 machines in town, I would've at least been able to safely get on the local 2 meter machines in town. It still has a sturdy & STRONG base (This has been my 6 meter antenna for years!). Problem with it was - You guessed it - A FRAYED SPOT on the cable.

My (Thankfully but hardly mercifully) LAST problem came in the form of another antenna I have sitting around (Mainly just collecting dust). That being an MFJ 172B. Problem with it was although the cable is in excellent condition (Not a surprise since it had not been used that much), I couldn't insert the antenna into the base because I had screwed the tiny screw it comes with so deep into the base when I first got it & put it together & I lost the little wrench that came with the antenna too (I've got to get a COMPLETE SET set of those wrenches from the hardware store someday so I don't have that problem!)

So suffice to say (And with my UNPLEASANT compliments to YOU KNOW WHO, I've got to take a trip down to the local candy store & get me a new antenna

In the meantime, I'm just gonna have to go around with a telescopic whip on my HT as a rubber duck just won't do the trick in my new neighborhood (I"m told I'm unintelligable to others listening if I'm even bring up the repeaters AT ALL)

Wish me luck.....

Cheers & 73 :D