Tuesday, 30 August 2016


I have lived in the country for years and it is my first choice because of the peace and quiet as well as the plethora of birds and other wildlife.  This new old home I'm living in now, however, has provided my first experience with bats.  I mean, I have always enjoyed watching the bats fly around at dusk gobbling up mosquitos but I have never had to deal with bats actually in my living space.  On 2 occasions in the same week we had a bat in our main floor bathroom.  After some research and a visit from a local bat removal company it turns out that the bats that were in my attic can make their way down the inside of the walls during the hot weather finding themselves in the basement...not by choice.  Once in the cellar they find any opening they can to escape.  A 3/4 inch hole was all they needed to get into the bathroom.  The question now is how to get them out of my attic?  

The job involves many cases of clear caulking and the sealing of every nook and Gap all around the roof and windows.  This includes the ridge of the metal roof and all the soffit gaps.  This is a job that, in my case, will take all day.  What the company also does is install exit tubes where the bats have been entering and exiting.  This will allow the bats to get out but not back in.  The tubes stay in place for a couple of weeks to ensure all the bats are out.  Then the tubes are removed and the final holes sealed up.  The Little Brown Bat is suffering a serious decline as a result of white nose syndrome.  This is the main reason for this method of extraction which doesn't kill any of the bats. 

Once the house is sealed up you need to ensure that it remains sealed year after year as the bats are imprinted on the house and will always attempt to return to it to live.  I would prefer they did not.  The company doing this job is a general critter removal company but they specialize in bat removal and have over 18 years experience doing so.  I'll be happy to have this completed today so I can properly lag my TV tower to the attic wall when I install it in a couple of weeks.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Hallicrafters S-38

I was out combing some of the area's antique shops with my better half on Sunday looking for anything BUT ham radio related items when I stumbled upon a boat anchor.  As soon as I saw the name Hallicrafters I got all excited.  I didn't know what the S-38 was but I knew that at the price of $15 it was worth a gamble.

I have looked it up and found a lot of information on restoring that radio.  I'm excited to be working with tubes again.  I learned them when I was in Radio Technician training in the military but never actually used it in practice.  This will also be my first boat anchor if you don't count the HW-8 I started out on many years ago.  I am very excited to start this winter project...get that soldering iron going.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Make the time

Wow I haven't posted since February!  That's what happens when you decide to move.    Packing and removing antennas and all that sort of thing really puts a dent in your operating time.  We have moved to a larger place about 20 minutes away from our old place.  This is a good thing.  The place is larger and closer to my pipe band practices.  It also means that my shack is on the second floor now instead of the basement.  I'm looking forward to that for sure.  I don't have anything set up in the shack just yet because there are so many other "house" things we have been busy at.  Minor renovations and painting seem to take a lot of my spare time lately...that and pipe band.  I do have a TV tower coming next week so that will be a start allowing me to get my VHF antenna up as well as a place to string my wire fan dipole from.  I hope I will be able to hit the VE3ORF repeater from my place with just 50W.

There's no rush on the tower work, of course, because as with most hams I'll likely leave that tower work to November when I'll need to wear gloves.  There's so much to do in a "new" house.  It's 100+ yrs old so it's not new...just new to me.  You always want to make a place your own and our place is no exception.  We have just under 2 acres and in the very center of the back yard is a monster weeping willow.  I may use it to anchor one end of my wire antenna however I'll likely need to use a pulley and counter weight system because I'll bet it will sway in the wind substantially.

I'm looking forward to getting my first contacts from the new QTH so I really should get going on it. I think the best plan is to take a week off in October and get it all sorted out.  As I've learned over the years, it's not about finding time for this hobby...it's about MAKING time for this hobby.