Late June Visit


Late June Visit

by rdpecken on Jul.07, 2012, under Seasons

So I came up to the Ranch on late June. I had three things in mind…

1. Get the satellite internet installed

2. Participate in the Ham Radio Field Day event

3. Go over to Bullhead City to visit my sister, Pam.

I met Ray, from Pegasys Satellite Systems (Chino Valley, AZ) in Chino Valley, and he followed me up to the Ranch. He was very pleased with my pole installation, and especially with the conduit run with pullstring for the cable to the house. Installation was simple, and we were up and running in about an hour. He spent about another hour going over the system, and setting up my WildBlue account. I ran a speed test and it came in very comparable to my speeds with Cox Cable internet back in Mesa. That’s pretty impressive.

ViaSat Excede Service WildBlue Dish installed

Once Ray had left, I began doing some basic measurements to see what kind of power drain this was going to be. I was surprised to find that the modem used about 30 watts continuous. That is a pretty heavy load, when you consider that it is going to be running 24×7. 30 watts x 24 hours = 720 watt-hours. That’s almost 1/3 of the total 2.5 KW hours that I am aiming for as a target usage on our solar installation. Adds up pretty quick, doesn’t it? I’ll have to make some measurements on the DC side of the power block to see if I can design or buy a more efficient power supply. 30 Watts seems like a whole lot for what it is doing. The router I bought for the ranch only draws 4 watts continuous.

So on Saturday, I spent most of the day participating in Field Day. This is a Ham Radio Event in which people drag their radios to remote sites and operate off of emergency power sources and makeshift antennas. This is to practice for operation during emergency conditions. It’s also a bunch of fun.

On Sunday, I went over to Bullhead City to visit Pam. It was good to see her, along with Sue & Wayne, and Charlene, who had all flown down from Denver.

On Monday, I got up early and took a hike up the South mountain to get some new shots of the Littlehouse. I hadn’t taken any since we added the porch roof on this spring.

I scared up some cattle in the meadow while I was coming back…

Cattle sharing our meadow

The photo’s are a little hazy, due to the low angle of the sunlight in the early morning.

View from the mountain


LittleHouse form the west side 
Close Up view of the porch


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