Sunday, May 20, 2007

REI Basecamp 6 Tent

A couple weeks ago while REI was running a sale, I bought one of their Basecamp 6 tents for family camping and bug out use. It's a six person dome with aluminum, shock corded poles, and a separate rain fly. (My family is four people but I wanted a bit more space than a 4 person tent.) It's self-supporting but has loops to stake it down if it's windy. The floor is 10'5" x 8'4". This afternoon I finally had a confluence of good weather and free time, so I got to set it up in the backyard.

Here's how it looks without the rain fly:

And here it is with the fly:

Closeup of the vestibule, which'll be handy for gear storage:

In the last two pictures, you can see one of the two vents in the fly. These are held open with Velcro-encased plastic rods, that you access through zippers in the roof of the tent. Unless rain blows into them they should be weather-resistant. They can be closed if you really need to batten down the hatches.

I have several more pictures of the tent here.

Inside, there are several loops and mesh pouches sewn to the tent wall, along with a mesh gear loft up top, for stowing small items. If you don't use the loft there's a sturdy loop sewn to the center of the roof, from which you can hang a lantern. I am very pleased with both the workmanship and design of the tent, and I'm really looking forward to taking it out into the woods this summer.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Quicksilver Radio PanelRelief(TM)

Hmm, haven't posted here in awhile.

Last night I installed a Quicksilver Radio PanelRelief(TM) bulkhead in my ham shack/office/laundry room (can I multi-task or what?!). The PanelRelief is an adjustable two-piece Lexan panel that sits in a window, and has two M-M connectors. The one I ordered has two SO-239 connectors. This allows me to run my antenna cable into my shack through the window without having it open to the elements.

Along with the PanelRelief, I got a 3-foot antenna patch cable to connect the inside connector to my FT-7800R, a roll of Coaxseal, and a single PowerPole to dual PowerPole splitter cable.

I tested the new setup by getting on last night's MARC net. Everything sounded good to me and apparently my signal was getting out fine.

Around 1700 tonight I heard thunder so I ran into the office and disconnected the patch cord from the PanelRelief. The easy ability to do this was another reason I got it.