Saturday, 24 June 2017

09:31 – It was 65.4F (18.5C) when I took Colin out around 0645 this morning, bright and sunny. When I looked a few minutes ago, we were up to 81.7F (27+C). Barbara is washing her car and doing other outside stuff this morning. This afternoon we do still more science kit stuff.

My Amazon order arrived yesterday morning, with a name-brand programming cable and a Nagoya NA-771 whip antenna for the UV-82. I plugged the cable into a USB port, connected and turned on the radio, and fired up CHIRP to program it. CHIRP didn’t see the UV-82. Ruh-Roh.

So I brought up a terminal and typed:

dmesg | grep FTDI

That returned the following, which told me the driver was installed and working.

[4329131.762676] usb 1- Manufacturer: FTDI
[4329131.765293] ftdi_sio 1- FTDI USB Serial Device converter detected
[4329131.765800] usb 1- FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB0

As it turned out, the problem was that my account wasn’t in the dialout group, so I had no access to ttyUSB0. That was easy enough to fix. I just added my account to the dialout group, logged out and back in, and everything worked as expected. CHIRP recognized that the UV-82 was connected, so I downloaded and saved a copy of the default channel programming. That was kind of weird, incidentally. It looked pretty much random.

I then attempted to upload to the radio that CHIRP template that had 99 emergency frequencies pre-defined. It blew up with ERROR in every field. Hmmmm. Now that I think about it, it did the same thing two or three years ago when I first tried to program one of my UV-82 radios. IIRC, the problem then was that that template wasn’t formatted correctly. It was in CSV format, which CHIRP expects, but there were errors in the way the fields were laid out.

So I next uploaded one of the default templates that’s supplied with the CHIRP package, which included FRS/GMRS frequencies. That one uploaded fine to the radio. When I disconnected it, turned it off and then back on, the FRS/GMRS frequencies displayed as expected. So now I need to bring up the emergency frequencies template in a text editor and figure out again what the problem is.

37 thoughts on “Saturday, 24 June 2017”

  1. Check for the cr/lf combo terminating lines in the frequency list file. The dos2unix utility will fix the problem if you see them in output of

    od -c file.txt

  2. I’m glad you are actually doing it, tests are how we find problems.

    Once again, we see quite clearly why it’s not enough to buy the stuff and think you’re ready. You have to actually use the stuff to be sure, whether it’s flashlights, a new technique, or gear…


  3. This week’s ‘preps’: ordered and received a Generator Bypass Switch (this one Reliance 306CRK 6 circuit transfer switch ).

    Next step is final identification of the circuits to move to the transfer switch. Then installation (preferably without electrocution – but I’ve done panel wiring before).

  4. The rain stopped and it’s reasonably cool at the moment, only 85F and 83%RH. Not exactly a day at the beach. Mostly overcast, so at least the sun isn’t baking me.

    Grass is too wet to mow, stuff in driveway too wet to stack, garage too stifling to work in.

    Prepping this week–

    picked up another camp mess kit- plates, cups, and pots for 6. picked up a really nice hatchet head that will need to be re-handled. Razor sharp edge, will need some slight rust cleanup. picked up some nalgene bottles, one wide mouth big enough to build a basic emergency kit into it (knife, bandana, aqua-pur, power bars, bandaids, etc)

    As part of my auction stuff, I got a big box of respirator cartridges, many different ratings. I’m gonna skim off some for my preps and sell the rest. I’ve also got tyvek hoods, and forced air full face respirators. No power packs though, so most will be sold as-is to possibly finance some power packs. Weird and probably not useful except when foraging after a pandemic ravages the land, but since they’ll be essentially free, I might as well put a couple aside for me, right? (came from zoological response team at the state level, didn’t know we had one.) Like a lot of plastics, the soft flexible hose that connects the respirator to the blowers is starting to fail and turn sticky on some of the units. Keep that in mind when storing for the long term- soft plastics get sticky and fail.

    Note, a jar of peanut butter I just pulled out was a bit sticky. The oil in peanut butter tends to soften plastics over time too. Might be a good reason to stock powdered PB.

    pole beans are climbing up the poles. Grape vines have exploded with growth, but are still being attacked by caterpillars. I haven’t had enough clear days in a row to apply the biocide and break their life cycle. Got one huge cuke so far with a bunch of flowers and some small cukes starting, looks like the zukes all died. Cuke vines are still doing good. Tomatoes are producing despite the heat, but are small. I’ve eaten several nice banana peppers. The lone brusselsprout plant succumbed to some sort of black slime and rotted to the ground. Onions are looking good for the fall so far. Second planting of radishes is growing, but not prolific. Only one bean plant is growing well, and one other sprouted. Either I got a really bad germination rate, or the squirrels ate the beans. Another challenge for the gardener-control predation. Collards continue to produce at a rate of one meal a week. Good example of region appropriate gardening- collards have been a staple in the south forever.

    Some good radio posts this week. NOT participating in field day, and didn’t get any new mobile antennas built. Just too busy during the week. Not much traffic on the two main repeaters here…. I’m moving digital HF up my priority list. I’ve got the gear, just need to set it up. I’ve been poking our host, the least I can do is get it set up myself.

    Ebay sales have picked up a bit. This 2 week period is almost back to average. As noted before, I see a willingness to go to ebay and buy grey market and used gear to keep old systems running, and to save money. I think it’s telling that an airport authority has an ebay account and buys there, same for municipal agencies.

    With that update, I better do some stuff in the yard. I’m supposed to have some craigslist flakes picking up today. We’ll see. NEVER wait around for a CL buyer. You’ll surely be disappointed when they no-call, no-show.


  5. Prepping this past week, lol:

    Rather limited for time, thanks to taxes, VA paperwork, and the beaucoups stiff and sore back and sciatica from hauling soaking wet rotten food in plastic bags from our temporarily? messed-up chest freezer in the cellar. Wet and rotten food is friggin’ heavy. And hobbling up hobbit stairs with it is a PITA, almost literally. So I’m cleaning and scouring the entire unit with sit-down breaks every ten minutes and about to cash out from it shortly while it’s still so nice outside. Stopping and smelling the roses is also prepping, after all, what is it all for?

    I wanna get it working again but have learned a hard lesson about what to keep in it and for how long. Am also finagling that and the dehumidifier around down there to maximize storage space.

    Was doing laundry, but need to get it out on the line, thanks to our dryer conking out on us a few weeks ago. Couldn’t get it out on the line the last few days due to heavy and torrential monsoon downpours throughout, plus thunder last night. Everything is waterlogged. Several tomato plants are up to my solar plexus but no sign of fruit yet; peas likewise. We’ve already made a bit of rhubard sauce from the rhubarb, which we didn’t expect to come up. Artichokes doing well, as are all the flowers. Everything looks wicked healthy, and it oughta be. Will mess around with some root veggies in the next few months and see what happens; wife has also expressed an interest in grow lights and of course seed-starting indoors. I told her we could create space for that in the cellar and the attic.

    The other project, some of which I can do sitting down, is reorganizing a corner of this office to eventually make room for a tool chest, where we can centralize our household tool storage instead of having it scattered all over the place as each job comes up and then left there. I’ll also keep the house first aid kit there.

    A sort-of prepper fail today was rushing off this AM to run errands, including the dump run, and retrieving the retriever from MIL’s place where Princess had him the last couple of days. While rushing out, I neglected to eat breakfast, a rarity for me, and also did not take my meds. Bad call. On the way back the nerves caught fire in my right foot, you know, the one on the gas and brake, up on the interstate at 80 MPH, like somebody holding a butane lighter against it. I cowboy’ed up and made it home but damn. This is known as a Gabapentin deficiency, and I gotta take three of those daily to prevent that sorta thang.

    Now doing laundry, taxes and VA paperwork again and then I might take another stab at cleaning the freezer. Sucks to be running out of gas three hours before sundown.

  6. @ofd, I’ve noticed that my leg and foot pain is correlated with my shoes, which I’ve already mentioned.

    Recently I’ve also correlated it with sitting. In some chairs, there is a pressure across the back of my thighs that exacerbates the pain and “sensations”. Part of an ergonomic work area is having your chair at the right height, or raising your foot rest, so your thighs are at a correct angle. Ditto for arms and hands. You might want a phone book under your feet when sitting at your desk, or you might want a higher chair….

    a google for “desk ergonomics diagram” will get you what you need.


  7. @nick; I got rid of my old beat-up shoes recently and new shoes seem to be better. But damned if I haven’t just noticed something that I hadn’t noticed until you mentioned it: my thighs are right up against the underside of the front of my desk here; there is no hope of being able to slap a phone book down for my feet. However….what if I raise the desk itself…obviously it could be pinching off blood and nerves in my thighs. The chair is adjustable, and I’m looking straight ahead at the screen, but if I raise the desk I’ll be adjusting my chair again.

    Sitting in the car is mostly OK for relatively short drives; otherwise I have to get out and stretch a bit. Standing and walking beyond a half-hour are still problematic, but at least I can lie flat now and take a shower w/o too much pain. Will also consult again with my primary care doc; maybe a third epidural will help some more.

    I cut down on food intake but of course losing weight off the gut is a real challenge at this age. Need to exercise also, but exercise causes pain. Etc.

    Looked at the desk ergonomics stuff; I think my next step, besides losing weight off my gut and getting some flexibility back, is raising the desk; everything else is in line with the diagrams.

  8. Yeah, when we’re younger we can deal with the little things, but by this point, we’re all out of deal…

    And the damage is cumulative, so we’re not what we were anyway.

    Forex- I can’t go barefoot anymore. I need support for my feet, and the shock absorption for my knees and back. Even around the house now, I’m wearing slip on sandals, with a good foot bed. I don’t even get up to pee without putting them on. It’s made a difference.


    Added- for the belly, and rebuilding the muscles needed for back support, I like lying on my back, and just doing isometric (tensing) of my belly and groin. A bit of yoga and pilates focus on ‘pressing the belly button to the spine’ (or pulling in the belly) and then some gentle side to side rocking and twists, will help to flatten and rebuild those muscles. Eventually some gentle crunching, and knee raises, with some twists, all with the back flat on the floor, and you’ll be amazed at the result. NO SIT UPS!!

  9. I never walk barefoot except into and out of the shower and take off the shoes around 21:00 and put on decent slippers.

    What? No sit-ups??? That’s what they had us doing in high skool sports, at home, in boot camp, and later at the police academy. Thousands of them. I wouldn’t dare, now.

    I’ve heard of and done the belly-button-to-the-spine deal before but will go for that again and the other stuff from now on. And back to the cold wet rice diet with a little bit of rat meat every once in a while for a treat, like my old buddies in the Viet Cong, Pathet Lao and Khmer Rouge. Brown river water to wash it down.

    And that’s what color all the rivers and streams are in this AO today, after several days of monsoon downpours.

    Now back to taxes, VA stuff, and packing up things from the office here for removal to the attic space over my head. Looking at tool chests…anyone got any favorites? I’m talking about the four-six-drawer articles about five feet high.

  10. I cut down on food intake but of course losing weight off the gut is a real challenge at this age. Need to exercise also, but exercise causes pain. Etc.

    If I make it to Vermont, I’ll have my “Insanity” workout vids on my iPad. It’ll be fun, buddy. I didn non-stop Insanity cardio today. I stopped numerous times.

  11. I’ll watch while you demonstrate.

    You may find the air here highly oxygenated and wet. Also, everything is green. I kid you not.

  12. There are extensive threads over at Garage Journal. com in the forums about the relative merits of different tool box makes. You’re looking for a “roll away” box. If you are in and out of the drawers hundreds of times a day, you want all full extension ball bearing roller slides. Very pricy. If you use them for occasional tool storage, friction slides will be fine.

    Craftsman, or the harbor freight copies… homak…. look at for other choices.

    Most of my drawers are friction slides, with a couple deeper drawers that are on ball bearing slides.


    Allied and Task Force are too crappy

  13. However….what if I raise the desk itself

    I put mine up on 2x4s. Lifting it an inch and a half (or however thick 2x4s are these days) was enough.

    I can’t go barefoot anymore. I need support for my feet, and the shock absorption for my knees and back.

    Unless you have problems with your feet or joints, like a tarsil twisted to the side or an ankle that doesn’t flex in the right direction, “I need the shock absorption” means you’re doing it wrong. Don’t walk barefoot the same as you would in shoes, throwing your weight forward and clomping your weight down on your heel. Instead, take the weight on the ball of your foot and keep your ankles and knees limber so the shocks don’t make it to your spine.

  14. Roger all that, amigos. I will hie myself forth to the yard tomorrow to saw up some wood blocks and then to work in this office on their first rainy day we have again.

    And yes, I’ve been looking at the Craftsman roll-away boxes; we’re not tool-happy maniacs here, in and out with them all day, but I want them all in one organized location that I can secure, and there really are no other sites on this property that will work unless I clear out one of my office corners here. Easily enough done.

  15. Anyone here whose dad or granddad flew missions over Europe in The Good War? Or even just slogged through the mud or the deserts, mountains and sea lanes back then?

    My dad was a Coastie in the north Atlantic during the unterseebooten warfare and my maternal grandpa fought in North Afrika for three years.

    So, uh, what was all that for, exactly???

    When the musloids are just as bad if not worse than the Nazis? And they’re just getting started, incidentally….

  16. Yep, my dad was a navigator on a B-17 , and he would not have been amused.

  17. However….what if I raise the desk itself

    I built my own desk. A partial sheet of 3/4in birch plywood 4×6 feet, some legs from Home Depot from the fancy wood department, and some 1x4in on three sides. Cut the legs to make the desk the height I wanted. Then some hidden angle screws into the top from the legs, 1x4in around the three edges fastened to the legs and glued to the top. Placed some 3/4in trim around all four exterior edges. have been using that desk for 30 years. Lots of space and the height I need.

    I do have a full sized solid wood desk with drawers and a credenza with drawers. Bought it from a company that was going out of business for $25 some 40 years ago. Homemade desk sits behind the wooden desk and supports my computer stuff.

  18. I use a sheet of 3/4″ melamine coated particle board, on 2 drawer filing cabinets. I cut the sheet in half longways, after cutting off a 3×4 piece, and contour sanded the front edge for comfort. 3 filing cabinets gives me 10 lineal feet of desktop with 2 places to sit. I used the leftover 3×4 piece of melamine to build a low “coffee table” that sits in the middle between the knee holes, at right angles to the desk. It used to hold my big plotter, now it holds my vinyl cutter, printer, and 2 SW radios.

    It’s no where near enough surface for all the worktop I would like. Half is my desk, half is set up with my test gear and rework station. I’d love to have another area for another hobby, and more room for microscopes/close up camera.

    It’s all piled high with stuff at the moment, and for the foreseeable future too.


  19. My area is the two desktop computers plus a Kindle Fire on the old wooden desk that’s crushing my thighs, and the table next to me. A smaller table holds the Brother printer. I am otherwise surrounded on all four sides by shelved books on six-foot shelves.

    When I look out the window to my right, I see the other ‘Nam vet’s house across the street and next to it the town hall; across that parking lot, the old brick church, formerly Congo, but now Methodist, with an Asian pastor. Just beyond that is our little post office.

    If we win the lottery, we’re buying out all the immediate ‘hood property of wood construction and razing it to the ground, leaving only the original brick houses that were here in 1830-1860. And I’ll get the Planning Commission and Selectboard to make this a legally designated historical village. And rename it back to Port Washington.

  20. Shoes? Ha, all I’ve worn in the last year and a half is Teva flips. (1) For protection from stickers and thorns. Teva Mush flips are nice but a mesquite thorn or a sturdy twig goes right through. So, screw Teva Mush. Barefoot in house. My feet are fine.

    It is somewhat fun to go to the state fair to wander around drinking beer for eight hours and listen to everyone bitching how much their feet hurt. Me? I’m wearing my flips. My feet don’t hurt.

    That would be the State Fair of Texas. Don’t miss it. Don’t even be late. 🙂

    (1)Ok, a pair of worn out tennis shoes a few times when it was 20F this past winter.

    And…. OFD for a big brother would actually be cool. As long as the crazy doesn’t wash off onto me… too much.

  21. And…. OFD for a big brother would actually be cool. As long as the crazy doesn’t wash off onto me… too much.

    Ha! For the crazy to flow toward me you’d need some kind of reverse osmosis setup.

    Fact is, I’m not at all crazy. I have a good grasp of the world around me, in particular the dangers of the world around me, and I’ve got a fairly good grasp of my personality and abilities and weaknesses, and I’m in near-total control of myself every waking moment.

    By sheeple standards, I’m crazy, largely because I have a good grasp of the dangers of the world around me.

    Now ask me how much I care for the opinions of the sheeple. My utter lack of interest in their opinion makes me, of course, crazy.

    Luckily, English has the perfect idiom for this situation: Fuck ’em.

  22. English is so perfect for so much.

    Incidentally, God speaks English.

  23. “Incidentally, God speaks English.”

    Otherwise my Bible would be in Yiddish.

  24. Otherwise my Bible would be in Yiddish.

    Hebrew, surely. Yiddish is a modern language.

  25. Yes, depending on which parts of the Christian bible. The older parts predate anything we’d recognize as Greek, and possibly predate Aramaic. The events described toward the beginning certainly predate Aramaic, and the Hebrew language, for that matter, but there’s more than a little question about just how old the written tales are, let alone the oral tales. Regardless, if the stories are anywhere near the claimed 6000 years, they’ve been translated and retranslated long before the earliest written records yet found.

    Thus: since the oldest parts of the Christian bible were not written in Yiddish or Latin or Hebrew or Arabaic or Greek, there’s just as much justice in saying that English was spoken as that any of those other languages were spoken.

  26. I’ll go way out on a limb and saw it off by reckoning, from much earlier reading, that the earliest parts of the OT were written roughly around the same time as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and then collected/redacted later in the period of King Solomon. Several earlier authors put together and assembled around 800 BC. Other fragments and oral traditions, of course, go back a very long time before that.

    I base this on not much more than a realization that our written languages were just coming to the point around then, in Sumer, Babylon, Greece, and Jerusalem, where they were getting into works of imagination and literary themes, rather than bean-counting via stone and clay tablets. There must have been a huge oral tradition of stories carried forward from long before, probably, yes, over a few thousand years.

    In any case, God decided that man had developed language to its highest level around the time of Elizabeth I and has been speaking it Himself since.

  27. In any case, God decided that man had developed language to its highest level around the time of Elizabeth I and has been speaking it Himself since.

    King James did the translation…. 🙂

  28. I walk around the house in socks. Almost never in bare feet, almost never in shoes. Outside, always in shoes. My podiatrist would give me the strap if I went barefoot outside (hi ChuckW.) I’m terrified of getting broken glass, nails, etc in my feet.

  29. Mrs. OFD has walked around barefoot for many years now but recently caught a nail in her foot; we cleaned it out real good and it’s fine now. Guess what? She still walks around barefoot. I won’t, knowing full well there are probably broken glass fragments and nails all over the property here. Just what I need right now, one of those in my foot.

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