Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Almost!

 
With the really crappy (Cold, Cloudy and Windy) weather and the prediction of rain today and tomorrow I've been doing a little Google searching to see if there was another alternative to the monstrosity foam and foil dish I made  to get internet at first and then use the cell phone with. I tried using the tent for a phone booth with that yesterday and never had any luck. I was usually higher up with it sitting on top of the Falcon when it worked so that may be the reason. Anyway I came across a number of different things to do (including soldering tin cans together and adding an antenna inside them. Didn't have but one can that might work and no antenna hardware so that was out. I tried several other ideas and none of them worked. Then I stumbled across one video that told how to make an external antenna. Its supposed to be the correct length though so I need to do some more research to try and find what MHZ my phone uses and the length for that MHZ. I made it about the same length as the one in the video and it did work to an extent. I was able to place a couple of calls, but during the conversations the call dropped. Never the less if I can get this perfected for my phone the little pigtail looking antenna you see sticking up would beat the heck out of the dish. I also found out in my searches where most cell phones have a port on the back of them somewhere for external antenna or boosters so once I found that on mine I was able to make and use the one seen. There should be a small rubber plug on the back of most cell phones and that would be where the external antenna or booster would plug in. As is with the phone sitting where it is I can tell when someone is calling. Of course being able to talk for any length of time is another story until I can get it tweaked.

As for the dish I screwed something up last night while trying to rain proof the WiFi key and could barely get email or get on the net. I did brave the lousy weather earlier just long enough to zero it in and even got it better plus now it should be rain proof. I think I have it about as tweaked in as it can get and I'm happy with it because it is plenty fast.
  
Also decided to go Chinese on my solar lights to make it a little better in here. Haven't figured out exactly which way to do them yet, but I figure I'll use the newest and brightest 8 of them on the sealing like that. I wouldn't be surprised if it lightened it up a bunch in here. I may use some silver tape on the blue board above them about a square foot in area to act as reflectors to make it even lighter.I also wouldn't be surprised to see that I can even see to type on here without another light source. Just use the big light when I need it the most.

And... Last, but not least the old burner is back in here for the cold weather. It can actually be regulated down low enough to keep it from being blazing in 5 minutes! I'll use the other heater for the BIG gun when I need to warm the place up fast. Also it puts out some humidity while burning where the other one seems to just make raw dry heat. (which I figure is causing my nose bleeds?)
Added for OGT
Might make a good solar shower to? Paint the tank black in close it in glass and provide power from batteries. More than enough water for a shower. 

 
What do ya think?

27 comments:

  1. yer one smart bugger arent cha.

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  2. Nope, just trying to get by cause I ain't got the big bucks for a cell phone booster. I'd be better off to get a satellite phone instead and may do that next month and drop the funny business. For now its keeping me occupied fooling with stuff like that because this weather is sure depressing! The X keeping in touch doesn't help in the depression department either.

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  3. Hey before I forget, someone on the terlingua forums knows how you can get a sat phone for free. I cant remember a darn thing about it other than there is a way to do it. check with kathleen on those blogs or carolyn I cant remember.

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  4. OGT, they aren't free, but they are subsidised for people in this area that can't get a land line and cell phones don't work. I've heard you have to pay about $100 up front and you get 300 minutes and then I think $17 a month after that for 300 minutes. Don't know how much extra minutes are? Have you got a link to those forums? Didn't know there was one or probably wouldn't have started the other one.

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  5. David,
    There are many forums or discussion groups active on Yahoo that relate to the area. Try http://groups.yahoo.com and search for Terlingua or TR. Look for Terlingua, TerlinguaRanch, TR_BigBendValley, TerlinguaIslands, etc. It's also where you can find BrewsterFreecycle. Some of these groups do require new members to be verified. Be willing to tell them your real name, regardless of the screen name or profile you'd like to use. Forgive me for believing that you were very web savvy and already knew about them or I'd have mentioned them sooner. There's also a Terlingua Ranch discussion group on a Delphi forum, but I don't like the way the forums are organized (what with all the topics and threads I either end up re-reading a bunch of stuff or missing stuff) so I gave up on trying to read that one.

    Julianne

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  6. Julianne, That explains it. I don't do Yahoo and the like. I prefer to run my own forums on my own sites so I don't have some mega corporation dictating how its done. If I have to get a yahoo or what ever account to read or post then I stay away from them. I broke my own rule when I started this blog though.

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  7. You should be able to raise the humidity level just by placing a flat shallow pan of water in front of the heater and let the warm air blow across it. Or hang a couple of wet towels near the heater.

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  8. Good work on the phone research. The lights look great, too. You didn't say for sure in the blog text, but, I assume they're solar lights. Do you have to take them out in the sunlight to charge them?
    Glad you're staying warm. This has, and continues to be, a cold winter. It's snowing here in Dalas right now.

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  9. Bob, I thought I'd replied to your message, but either I didn't or it disappeared. I'm using the burner again and haven't had a nose bleed since. Ran it on low all night and it was only 59 in here this morning. Beats the heck out of the 30s and 40s!

    Allen, Yes the lights are solar and I have a bunch of stalks of conduit slanted toward the south outside and take them out there each morning and bring them in in the evening. Evidently Harbor Freight has done something good because the old ones would be out by morning, but the last 8 I bought there haven't been charged in two days and they were still going strong this morning. They won't get much sun today though because after the sun came out earlier its now cloudy and raining again. A bud of mine in Plano also said its snowing like crazy there to.

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  10. Added another picture for OGT. Maybe a cheap solar shower.

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  11. Hey now!! thats using yer brain, that would also do the trick. I have a question, the plastic use for that sprayer, do you think it would hold up to the heat for a while? my only concern would be the it would melt because of getting too hot or get brittle.
    ???? thankyou.

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  12. I don't think melting would be a problem, but UV rays probably would, but spraying the tank with a dark color like flat black primer or so on should block the UV? I'm sure it would cut way back on it. It would probably also make a decent supply for an inside sink for washing hands and so on? Could probably be used for a lot of other applications other than what it was intended for.

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  13. Yep, snowing like the dickens here still. Great big flakes too. If I am hearing right it is not going to stop till tonight.
    I think that small sprayer is not a bad idea. Might go to Wall Mart and possibably get one of those small yard sprayers even cheeper and it serve the same purpose. Just think then you'll have runnin water! What a deal!!
    Your right on, them lights are the real deal and looks like they give you darn good light too.
    You seem to have the tiger by the tail. You being off grid don't seem to be slowing you down one bit, cause you sure are able to keep us all updated. Dam Proud Of YOU!! We're Watchen.

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  14. Tigger, reason I came up with that is 15 gallons would be hard to beat. If you conserved you would probably get 2 or 3 showers out of it. The solar camping showers are only 5 gallon. I'd imagine the outlet is probably on the bottom so if the pump ever crapped out then it could still be used for gravity flow if it were mounted on top of the outdoor shower.

    Just keep that snow in the DFW area. I don't want none of it!

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  15. By ginggie, did'nt notice the 15 gal. Your right that would last a little longer and give you a lot more volume. Seems like those little Jersy Sprayers are not but a gallon. Be sure and let us know what your next project will be. You know we all got ideas to offer.
    We're Watchin.

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  16. In regards to your cell phone project I had a slightly different idea. If you can have a land line for DSL maybe consider getting POTS(plain old telephone service)and a really good cordless phone for around your camp. Also you could get voice over IP like Vonage\Magic Jack like John Wells at the Field Lab. Otherwise a cellular phone is just a luxury; internet on the other hand is ALMOST a necessity.

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  17. Scavenger, I have a MJ, but its about to expire and there is no way to add to it or contact them to change the address a new one would be shipped to. It is linked to my old Plano address and I sure don't want another one sent there!!! That is how I keep getting the voice mail from my X. She calls the number and the voice mail gets sent to me via Email. I do like that part of MJ though. I'm reluctant to use it full time because I don't know how much bandwidth they take. It does work though. It will be months before I can get DSL and a land line though so for now its make do with what I have.

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  18. I'd check out that sprayer before I gave up 70 bucks for one. What's 12V about it? Is it to pump the liquid through the hose or is it an air compressor? It's nice to have stuff ready-made like that, but I think you'd be better off with one of the 12V marine pumps that has a 5-year warranty for about 40 bucks coupled with a 15-gallon drum for 10 or 15 bucks. I'll be making a run for some drums soon - 15 and 55 gallon plastic ones. Let me know if you're interested. I'll check current prices before I go get any.

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  19. try this 12V pump...

    Rule 24 Bilge Pump at Amazon

    for under $20 including the shipping it has a 3-year warranty and a simple potentiometer will allow you to vary the flow rate to slow it down and make the water last longer

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  20. Just a thought David. We have a remote cabin on the Colorado River that we us cell phone for our service--Can you hear me now--Well the signal is very weak, if you balance on one leg out by the big tree you may get a good signal. Well someone suggested a Wilson Cell Antenna, we bought one with a magnetic base and it improved our signal from 1-2 bars to 3-4 bars.

    They also have larger amplified antennas...also check out Cantenna on the net.

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  21. JM, I wasn't going to go buy one of them just bring it up that it could probably be used for one. I've got a 12 volt low volume high pressure pump that I used on my solar heat system in Plano and figure when I build a solar shower that will be what I use. I think it only pumps about a gallon and a half a minute, but will push it up to 60 PSI. It should make for a decent shower pump, but then again if it were an overhead tank then gravity flow would probably be the easiest way to go and then use the pump to fill the overhead tank from a larger tank. I've already got the pump so I might as well use it.

    As for the drums I figure a person can never have too much storage. Problem will be is how much room will you have to haul them? I could always use 1 or 2 of either.

    River, I'll probably just use the cell phone in a cell phone zone when I'm around one and forget that. If it isn't too windy and cold to use that dish I made I can even use it to make calls. I just like to see what can be done without spending any or much $ doing it. If worse comes to worse I have a couple of alternatives. Just not a regular home phone.

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  22. thanks for the info , Im really rethinking my shower deal.

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  23. Ah! Sunshine, blue skies and no wind this morning! Looks like it will be a nice day if that holds up. Guess I'll head for Study Butte for supplies and a shower.

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  24. Latest Blog Update Things are Look'in UP!

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  25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IS-95


    see if this will help with the wave length on your phone.

    cheers!

    .bb

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  26. http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html

    here is another link i had saved in my bookmarks .

    .bb

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  27. Thanks denziel56, I'll check them out. As far as finding much on the phone I have probably not much luck. Its an oldie. I bought it from the little hardware store in Study Butte and the guy said he bought it from someone that was going to the chili cook off. He didn't say which one.. Could have been several years ago? Anyway I haven't been able to find anything online for it because it isn't even listed. I only payed $30 for it and got 300 minutes with it free. It costs that for just 300 minutes.

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