I’ve returned from vacation and brought back a ton of tidbits to share over the next few weeks.

I left the beautiful Pacific Northwest to work on my ranch house in Meade County, South Dakota. I had a number of projects I hoped to complete while there and got through a fair portion of my list that was mostly filled with “wishful thinking” mini-projects. Not all of these are electronics based but bear with me, there are some items of interest.. no guarantee it’s you who is interested though 🙂 I also hit up an AM site with one of my best friends and scored some goodies!

Water: My artesian well has low flow, this isn’t crippling but it can be a hassle. I’ve installed a water tank with a float that allows the well to fill a tank through a 3/4″ in-ground sprinkler solenoid. When pressure drops and the well booster pump kicks on it sucks every bit of water it can including any air it can find out of a contentiously flowing drain into a stock tank a couple hundred feet down the line. Now I’ll have a reservoir to provide extra water on the fly and filter some slight sand in the water supply.

Pump and Water Tank in the basement

Pump and Water Tank in the basement

Sewer: I had a collapsed sewer line… talk about the shits! 😀 I thought this was about all I would get done on my vacation as I was going to have to hand dig the line.. it was about 12 wide, 5 foot down. Luck day, I had a good friend stop by and helped me out a bit… that took off a few minutes of rockin’ the shovel.


With all that work out of the way I had some time to meet up with a friend at an AM broadcast site while he was performing some maintenance. I used to apprentice under him but ended up going a different career route. Not sure I made the right choice some days?

I grabbed my Rigol spectrum analyzer (you bring yours with you on vaca as well, right?) and threw a piece of wire into the input about a hundred feet away from the tower… the station is on 810KHz AM.



marker was obviously not on the peak on the reading above.


I took a ton of readings, compared mine to a much more expensive SA (very satisfied with the results) as well as taking some readings on a 948MHz STL transmitter.

I scored a nice directional sampling line and a bunch of SMA connectors with coax, a 20 watt digital OTA cable transmitter and a ton of other little goodies while I was at it. I great score. I got a VCXO, some filters, attenuators and just a ton of stuff I’ll check out here and there.


AM Antenna

AM Transmitter

Finally, I’ve got some video to edit and drop on the YouTube channel as well but I’ll get to that in the coming days.


  1. Reply

    Chas, you have been quite busy I can tell. A friend in need is a friend indeed! I guess it is even more so when the prospect of using the whole of your vacation to fix a sewer line is suddenly reduced to a day!

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