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Old 02-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #6121
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You might want to hold up on the oil until you do your staining.

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Old 02-08-2012, 10:59 AM   #6122
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Gulf Island Building.


All I can say is WoW! You sure are an inspiration cocobolo...
Congratulations on your home, and such a beautiful setting.
It's is gorgeous, and you're awesome!
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #6123
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Gulf Island Building.


How's everything coco? Haven't seen any new posts in my favorite thread in a while, figured I'd check up on you.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:36 PM   #6124
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How's everything coco? Haven't seen any new posts in my favorite thread in a while, figured I'd check up on you.
I'm also getting concerned. You ok?
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:51 PM   #6125
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I'm also getting concerned. You ok?
Coco is having internet problems right now being on an island is tough sometimes.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:46 AM   #6126
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Hi everyone...back, at least temporarily.

As Jim says...internet problems.

In a nutshell, our ISP, Rogers, is scrapping the Inukshuk system - which I might point out that taxpayers sunk a few million dollars into - in favour of dumping us on to an already overloaded cell phone based system.

They are replacing our modems with something that barely works and letting us fend for ourselves. The new "RocketHub" they gave us is not only very poorly named, but it barely works at all here. A call to Rogers tech, essentially a waste of time, yielded the brilliant suggestion to hunt down and buy a suitable yagi antenna. At our expense of course.

Without getting into a massive load of detail, I decided to build such an antenna myself, but had not the foggiest idea what I might need or how to do it.

However, I did have the good fortune to run into an Aussie website by the name of Whirlpool (No, not the appliance manufacturer) a site dedicated to broadband and all its' ramifications. Amazing place and some truly brilliant people there.

Long story short, I got myself educated and built a test yagi, if you will. Well, the darned thing worked like a charm, so now of course I want to build a better one. Some people are never satisfied.

In my usual disappointment with Rogers and my equal rush to try and make this thing, I neglected to take any pics. So what I have here will be all after the fact for the test antenna, and a few of the new one.

First up is a 14 element yagi tuned to the 850 mhz band. The plans for this are freely available to anyone who would like to build one.

What was happening was that everything was extremely slow to load, if at all. Simple stuff like a youtube video would stop and start every few seconds. That sort of nonsense. Speed tests were atrocious, to say the least.

OK, here's a shot of the yagi in use.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:59 AM   #6127
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Basically a yagi is a very simple and quite directional antenna. Not difficult to build and very cheap to make.

The one above was cobbled together from an old TV antenna and some wood...you all know I have a pretty fair supply of that around here.

It took me about an hour to make, and you simply wouldn't believe the difference in performance from the antenna which came with the new "RocketHub" modem.

Even compared to the old Inukshuk based modem - with which I had no complaints I might add - this yagi is much faster. Download speeds are about twice as fast as before...so if any of you out there are connecting to the web via a cell phone based system and it's slow as molasses in winter...consider making yourselves a yagi.

The new one I'm building is affectionately known as the "big mutha". Why, because it's over 8 feet long! Pics aren't much good because they were taken after dark this evening. Maybe i can get a daylight pic tomorrow of the whole thing...but a couple of details here.

First thing you need to do is to make a boom. The boom holds the elements, which are the bits of aluminum which gather the signal. The boom for the big mutha is made from 4 pieces of red cedar, only 3/8" thick. So, it is very light. It is partly screwed together with brass screws and partly glued.

Here I am laying out, punching and drilling the screw holes.
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Gulf Island Building.-laying-out-drill.jpg   Gulf Island Building.-punching.jpg   Gulf Island Building.-drilled.jpg  
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:06 AM   #6128
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The section that is screwed together will be removable for attachment of the coaxial cable which will run to the modem.

Next the elements will be cut, and the big mutha has 27 of them! Some time ago I found this tiny little saw and bought it mainly because it was so cute. Well, that and because it is supposed to be able to cut lead cames for stained glass work.

That little blade is only 2" in size, and the manufacturer claims it will cut through stuff like brass and steel! Ahhhh, I dinna think so laddie.

However, it might cut .035 wall 3/8" aluminum tubing, which will be used for the big mutha.

I did make one test cut, and much to my surprise is actually worked. Slowly, mind you, but nonetheless....
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:12 AM   #6129
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I cut the four pieces of red cedar from a single board hoping it would all stay nice and straight, but Murphy was next door visiting.

Cedar has a habit of curving when it is cut rather thin, and these pieces managed to develop quite a downward curve. Once the box shape was screwed and glued together, I clamped it in such a fashion as to try and get the end to bend back straight again. The pic might explain what I was after. The end that is up in the air was curved down the opposite way, and I want it to be straight. I hope the wood will creep overnight and straighten out.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:19 AM   #6130
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Man that is a challenge, I won't complain any more about my slow PC, I have become spoiled to fiber optics. After doing a fresh install of XP pro I am good to go, I wish your fix was as simple. That is interesting Keith, it is great to see you back, we hope all your problems are solved and really soon.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:00 AM   #6131
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Gulf Island Building.


Very impressive Keith. I'm starting to think there's really nothing you can't build.

Thanks for posting the pics.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:10 AM   #6132
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..... we hope all your problems are solved and really soon.
Thanks Jim. Well, as you know the crummy internet is the least of our problems. When the issue you are aware of gets resolved- we hope - then perhaps I can share it with everyone.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:16 AM   #6133
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Very impressive Keith. I'm starting to think there's really nothing you can't build.

Thanks for posting the pics.
Barb, making one of these yagi antenna's is child's play...really it is.

All you need to know are the dimensions for each of the elements along with the spacing thereof.

You can use a piece of plastic pipe for the boom if you like, or wood, or even a piece of aluminum tubing as long as you isolate the elements from the tube.

You can also make a small version of these to use with a cell phone if you are in an area with bad reception. You would need a phone with an external antenna jack for that, but many of the newer cell phones have such a capability.

So, for anyone out there who connects to the web via a cell tower...this is the cat's meow.

I may even have the big one done today, depends what else gets in the way.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:55 PM   #6134
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Great to see you back again. Hope your antenna helps to eliminate your internet problem.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:36 PM   #6135
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Perhaps I missed it trying to skim through the 409 pages! Do you have any Currently Up to date photos of the outside of your home? Like Just "Overall" shots.

I read the entire first 200 pages or so, and then tried skimming through. lol Amazing work, and amazing view. What a dream to live there!

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