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Stay prepared with enough and reliable supplies.
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Transportation / Re: Truck Camper considerations
« Last post by surfivor on Today at 10:54:59 AM »
Have you ever had that much weight in your truck and driven it? My suggestion would be to do it sometime. Even if you have buy 30 bags of sand from lowes and return them in a couple days. Do it. See how the truck runs, drives, and most importantly, stops with all that weight in it. It may be fine. But I know when I would put more than a half ton in my half ton truck, it made driving and stopping a pain. I wouldn't want to do it all the time.

 I used to have a popup truck camper that was around 950 pounds dry weight. At one time I had that camper on a dodge dakota but my mechanic recommended a bigger truck. That's how I ended up with a Tundra but I drove around with the dakota for a couple of years or more. It seems like the ride in the dodge dakota could be more bouncy on rough roads etc

 My friend has a bigger truck and a much bigger truck camper, I told him to check the ratings and he has been driving all over the place in that thing for a few years but it's probably too heavy for the truck. He did say though that there a bigger leaf springs in the back that where installed

This website claims the 690fd travel light camper will work for the dodge dakota but that camper is 100 pounds heavier than the camper I used to have with my dodge dakota

http://www.oaklakerv.com/product-travel-lite/truck-campers-truck-camper/690fd-series

"ThIS Travel Lite 690FD hard-sided truck camper has been designed to fit in the bed of most mid-sized trucks such as the Dodge Dakota, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger."
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Transportation / Re: how long can a truck last ?
« Last post by Smurf Hunter on Today at 10:53:52 AM »
Here in N.E. Ohio it is all about the body and frame.  If the truck was undercoated then it is going to be body to the point of so ugly that you can not stand it or the holes become strategically placed and it get unsafe.  As indicated above it is all about service.  I just purchased a truck 1998 with 260K miles.  I had to spend on getting the front end rebuilt as soon as I got it home but was expecting it.  Ball joints, breaks, bearings,  tie rods and U joints all are service parts and they go, but the older stuff gets the more often they go out.

I got what I was looking for, I hope< something that will last 1.5 years and teach my son that he wants to get a good job and buy his own car as soon as he can.  Mom and Dad will get you something but it will not be nice.

West coast vehicles rule.  Less humidity, no salt on the roads - make a big difference in long term longevity.  But I agree that many drivetrains that are mechanically sound to 250K-300K miles have bodies and interiors that are less than presentable.  Unless you REALLY don't care how your vehicle looks, smells or sounds (squeaks and creaks will happen as interior pieces loosen), the super high mileage vehicles aren't always pleasant.
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Transportation / Re: Truck Camper considerations
« Last post by Smurf Hunter on Today at 10:50:11 AM »
many years ago, when I was young and cocky I delivered a yard of pea gravel in the bed of my 2wd tacoma pickup.  I barely survived the drive home.  The handling was almost unmanageable.
And I ended up blowing out both rear shocks.  Obviously a bigger truck can handle more.

But the trade off of a super heavy duty truck, is they are often unpleasant to ride around in.  This past weekend I rode in a heavy duty diesel Ram truck for 16 miles on a forest service road.  It had such a heavy suspension,  we were bouncing around terribly in the cab. Almost bit my tongue a few times.
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Transportation / Re: satellite internet ?
« Last post by Zef_66 on Today at 10:47:00 AM »
In the context of relying on the internet for your livelihood, it's not sounding like satellite internet is ideal.

Oh, the other thing is that the internet will drop out in bad weather. If a hard rain or snow storm comes through, you will lose internet. Just happened for about an hour last night when a medium rain storm rolled in. I wanted to check the weather map, but we had no internet service because of the clouds and rain.
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Amateur Radio How-To's / Re: Experimenting with a DIY VHF Dipole
« Last post by Smurf Hunter on Today at 10:46:52 AM »
Theoretically you should have a 1.5:1 balun between the dipole and coax. 

Also, I think as you get to higher frequencies, your dipole will be less broad banded, and its going to be difficult to get a low SWR across the entire 2 meter band.

We don't usually care about this on HF, both because of lower frequencies and we often have an auto tuner in line.
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Transportation / Re: Truck Camper considerations
« Last post by Zef_66 on Today at 10:44:31 AM »
Have you ever had that much weight in your truck and driven it? My suggestion would be to do it sometime. Even if you have buy 30 bags of sand from lowes and return them in a couple days. Do it. See how the truck runs, drives, and most importantly, stops with all that weight in it. It may be fine. But I know when I would put more than a half ton in my half ton truck, it made driving and stopping a pain. I wouldn't want to do it all the time.
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Transportation / Re: satellite internet ?
« Last post by Smurf Hunter on Today at 10:41:04 AM »
In the context of relying on the internet for your livelihood, it's not sounding like satellite internet is ideal.
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Transportation / Re: satellite internet ?
« Last post by Zef_66 on Today at 10:39:19 AM »
We have satellite internet, so hopefully I can clear some things up. The choice is between Hughesnet and Exede as you mentioned. We chose Hughesnet because of the cheaper overall costs and faster advertised speeds. So far, we have had a good experience. The service is okay. Not good, not great. Just okay. Okay get satellite if you have no other choice. As mentioned, if you have cell phone service, a mobile hot spot is going to be faster and cheaper. We don't have cell service. Nor DSL, cable, etc. Our only, only option for internet is satellite. In this case, something is better than nothing.

With that said, it works okay. We are a family of five. We don't have any other TV service. So we stream shows for the kids on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The quality does suffer some. But on our 26" TV, it's fine. A large 60" TV, I'm sure you could notice a difference. But overall, we don't usually have a problem with it. Our plan gives us 20GB per month limit. This includes uploads and downloads from 6am to 11pm. From 11pm to 6am there is bonus of 50GB. So if you can plan your uploads or downloads to those times, you can save on your limit. But even once you reach your limit, they just decrease speed. They don't ever cut you off completely (that I know of). Even with decreased speeds, we can still stream videos. We end up using up our 20GB data limit in about 20 days. No big deal to us.

We are able to skype/facetime successfully. It's not perfect as there is a lag on both ends. But it's not bad. Just takes a half a second and sometimes you both start talking at once. Overall, we don't use the internet a lot. The TV is off for 22.5 hours a day. My wife and I use our phones or tablet occasionally to check email, facebook pictures, etc. She will use pandora or amazon music while working around the house a little bit. But it works well for us. But again, it is our only option.

As mentioned, they will only install the dish in a fixed location. With that said, it wouldn't be hard to unmount and take it with you. Just takes a couple minutes to setup. In fact, the setup tech used his phone with a compass app and inclination meter to setup the dish. Quite simple really. So if you were resourceful, you could move it around.

Cost wise, for our 20GB plan, it will run us about $80/mo. Right now with signon perks, we are only paying about $55/mo. But that will change in a couple months up to full price. Install was $300 and that included all the hardware that we now own. You do have an option for free install, but then you have to pay the monthly rental fee for equipment of like $12/mo. If you are going to keep it for more than 2 years, it makes sense to buy up front and own it forever.

Hope this helps!
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Amateur Radio How-To's / Experimenting with a DIY VHF Dipole
« Last post by Greekman on Today at 10:31:16 AM »
So.... Assuming that a dipole has an impedance of 75ohm, which turns to 50 when it is made into an inverted V,

why shouldn't one make an inverted-V VHF antenna and then turn it 90 degrees for vertical polarization?





measurements



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