I still like this truck.

If it's about Power Wagons, all generations, this is where it'll go. This is the original PWR Forum Power Wagon Technical Discussion Section. And this includes everything that doesn’t fit in any one of the other categories related to the truck goes here!
Post Reply
User avatar
Mule
250_Posts
250_Posts
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:29 am
Location: Rocky Mtns
Contact:

I still like this truck.

Post by Mule » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:27 pm

Even if I spent way too much time in it this weekend.
Filled the back seat with computers, test equipment, printers, and gear... then loaded some more shit into the bed.
Image

Stop by the equipment depot for dishes/totes with more gear... then over the continental divide around first light, and find some dirt.
Image

New desktop pic at work for a while...
Image

Got up to the site and unloaded.
Dish and radio to site-3 installed, the easy one. Can see the other peak from the ground, easy to identify with clear LoS.
See how the tie-down on my grunt bag is horizontal? Yeah, it was windy. :shock:
Image

Get the rest of my shit together for the other shot further up the tower
Image

"Yeah, i'm going to need another set of hands up here". This wind is kicking my ass wrestling the dish onto the mount.
Image

Just enough of a saddle on the ridge to shoot over the trees back to site-1. With the additional cross-bracing on the upper portion of the tower, mounting the dish and radio was challenging.
Image

Ended up mounting the radio on the dish bracket, but it was in such a way I couldn't see the link and signal lights on the radio. Going higher put me closer to the FM antenna with 300W going into it than I wanted to be, and going above those antennas are problematic - end up with a lot of common-mode noise in the shielded network cable, the router usually negotiates down to 10mbit for a better connection. The "right way" to fix that is run power up to the radio on its own cable, then feed the radio with data on a fiber run.
Image

Could not get a reliable link on the shot to site-1. This link brings in IP not just to this site, but also sites 3 and 4. So if it's not up, it's not just the build I'm on that fails, but everything else down the line. Why do I always get these no-fail jobs. :lol: :angry:
Other guys had to take off, senior techs were on their way over here from site-3. Monch on some food, down a couple gatorades/waters, and wait about an hour and a half. 11k ft is serious business. There's a little space behind the building on the right, between it and a retaining wall, where I could piss out of the wind. :thppt:
Image

Other techs arrived, gear up, grab binos and a rope, start the ascent. Ended up moving the dish to the other rung (with experience and skill comes speed - they had some ideas that I wouldn't have thought of to make that work much easier/faster), but still couldn't get a reliable link.
Image

Tech on the tower radios down "I know what's wrong, we're done here". Button things up... turns out the shot he installed at site-1 to here, he pointed at a different mountain. :doh:
Didn't plan on watching the sunset up here... 11hrs makes for a long day, and it's still windy as fuck.
Image

We all headed down the mountain... they went over to site-1 (easy access/drive, and a real easy climb on a low tower) to get the link up, and I headed over to Steamboat to crash at a buddy's place. Don't use that light bar on the front much, but it's nice to have. :o
Image

Next morning... "Meet you at the shop?" Yup, see ya there. Fill out some paperwork...
Image

Pups heard something about a ride... :rofl:
Image

All loaded up, 3hr drive back to the house and get the truck emptied out.
Image

Today the truck's staying in the driveway. The Austrian mistress and I need to get acquainted. :rockon:
Image

User avatar
ghaugo
50_Posts
50_Posts
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:04 am
Model Year: 2012
Location: Loveland, CO

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by ghaugo » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:41 pm

I used to work on towers a bit with Great Plains Tower out of ND. We built some out here and lots of them up in that part of the country. Didn't have a power wagon then. Wish I did to get to some of the sites.
2012 Power Wagon
Frame-welded Aluminess Rock Sliders(welded to frame), Cooper STT Pro 315/70/17, ARE Z-Series Topper, FilterMag GP101 (front and rear diffs), DeeZee Tailgate Assist, Skanda Kryptec Typhoon seat covers, Husky X-act Contour Mats, Purple Cranium Diff Covers Front and Rear, Dodge Offroad Steering Brace, K&N air filter, Thuren Track Bar, Thuren Short Arms, Thuren Overland Shocks, Airlifter Ultimate 5000 airbags, Daystar Cradles, High Country Customs Bumper, All AMSOIL fluids from Code4Synthetics.com

gtomike60
50_Posts
50_Posts
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:28 pm
Model Year: 2012
Location: Milford,MA

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by gtomike60 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:17 am

Nice description of your day,and great pictures
2012,2600 stall CircleD converter,MYoung locker bypass,Dynatrac bjs,Dynatrac no-spin kit w/Dynaloc hubs,Thuren 3" coils,trackbar,shackles and Kings(3"F-2.5"R) shocks,Thuren Alien arms,Synergy steering,Thuren/King steering stabilizer,Carli diff guard,White Knuckle sliders,Thuren bumper,37" Cooper STT Pros,Corsa exhaust

User avatar
olyelr
2000_Posts
2000_Posts
Posts: 3647
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:00 pm
Model Year: 2016
Location: Kewadin, MI

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by olyelr » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:03 pm

I always enjoy your posts Mule. Looks fun out there... wish my ass wasn't afraid of heights though!!!!
2016 Ram Power Wagon Laramie - Granite Crystal Metallic - Ramboxes - 35” AT3W - TazerRAM

:patriot:

User avatar
Mule
250_Posts
250_Posts
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:29 am
Location: Rocky Mtns
Contact:

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Mule » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:18 pm

Trust your equipment. :wink:
Image

Snowmobile expo this weekend... Thought about taking the moto on Sunday, but had more stuff to bring along than I expected... took the truck instead. I need to get bags on my 1190 for that shit. :cash:
Workshop(s) went well, good attendance/questions/engagement for those that I went to. Booth(trailer) was busy most of the day saturday, so I wasn't able to duck out and peek into some of the workshops I wanted to see.
Image

Image

Topgolf with the crew saturday night... Even if you aren't into golf, it's still a good time. Food's real good too. Was fun relaxing and shooting the shit with sponsors and some other avalanche pros, one made it out here for the show from Canada.
Image

We're always the first ones in and the last ones out of the expo - there's one door the truck/trailer can fit through, and we have to wait for all the manufacturers and big dealers to get out of the way before we can get through that door.
Image

User avatar
Oilbrnr
50_Posts
50_Posts
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 7:26 pm
Model Year: 2016
Location: Flagstaff & Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Oilbrnr » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:23 pm

What do you use to 'rough-in' the alignment of the dish to the remote site?
'16 with '17 FWC

User avatar
Mule
250_Posts
250_Posts
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:29 am
Location: Rocky Mtns
Contact:

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Mule » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:41 pm

Oilbrnr wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:23 pm
What do you use to 'rough-in' the alignment of the dish to the remote site?
Radios have a couple of signal strength LEDs on them.
Sweep one direction, till you see where the signal drops, then picks up again, then drops again. That's one of the side lobes.
Sweep the other direction, same deal. Find the main lobe (wider range of full-strength signal) and the side lobes. Once you know where the main lobe is, it's little adjustments with assistance from the guys in the doghouse radioing numbers up to you.

Getting *a* signal is pretty easy, there's enough beamwidth that with even a remotely close alignment, you'll get a connection. Peaking it takes some time.

Image

User avatar
coder
1000_Posts
1000_Posts
Posts: 1332
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:18 pm
Model Year: 2007
Location: Ladera Ranch, CA

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by coder » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:08 am

Beautiful country perfect PW territory
Vehicle: 2007 Power Wagon Quad Cab - Factory Options (Inferno Red, Premium Cloth Bench Seat, Light Group, Automatic Transmission, Leather Steering Wheel)
Suspension: Carli 3" Hemi Coils, Carli Control Arms, Carli King 2.5 Pin-Tops, Carli Stainless Steering Stabilizer, Carli Trackbar | Synergy 1" Rear Shackle
Performance: Magnaflow Muffler | Magnaflow Y-Pipe
Wheels/Tires: Yokohama X-A/T 35x12.5x17
Steering/Drivetrain/Axles: Carli Front Diff Guard | Dynatrac Ball Joints | Mopar HD Steering Gear
Miscellaneous: Line-X Bedliner | Locker Bypass Switch | Mopar Rock Rails | Odyssey Extreme 65-PC1750T | Performance Friction Brake Pads | Weathertech Digital Fit Mats | Winch Thermal Protection Bypass

User avatar
Mule
250_Posts
250_Posts
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:29 am
Location: Rocky Mtns
Contact:

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Mule » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:03 pm

So the problematic shot just wasn't doable. I think the simulation software had bad DEM data.
Couple trips by other techs in the past few months, including one to get an LTE gateway installed. Running 3 sites over LTE VPN is less than ideal.
So coordination happened, equipment happened, and space on an additional site between the two was acquired.
Only one problem now... it's the end of december and the site's snowed in.
Image

This is as far as I can go. Road's plowed to the right towards the main house, but I need to go left past "Cow Camp" to get to the site.
Image

Couple miles later, i'm back up to the top.
Image

Either the lock on the door to the building is totally fucked (which is a possibility, it's been broken for a while and there's a replacement sitting on the shelf at the depot) or the key I have isn't the right one. Last time I was up here one of the other guys opened the door, so I never checked my key here. Oops.
So i've got comms to the guys on the other site about 12 miles away getting the dish aligned on their side, and comms to operations 150 miles away who's remoted into the router 4 feet below me to give me signal readings. :lol:
Image

Short shot like this is a non-issue for these radios.
Image

New FXR gear is legit. They used to be the discount/budget gear line and the quality showed it. About 6 years ago they got serious about mountain riding, with the FXR MTN lineup. It was a step in the right direction. We went back to Klim, then FXR picked us up again this fall. It's not as inexpensive as it used to be, but the quality's come a long ways since then. Real happy with this stuff so far.
Image

Link up, lock down all the bolts/connectors, make sure everything's as weather-sealed as possible, check doors, and GTFO.
Image

First ride on a top-end. Parts came in a week before this trip, got everything bolted back together last weekend. Sled fired up first pull with no codes - not sure if i'm good or if I got lucky. Couple heat-cycles in the driveway, topped off coolant and checked everything over. Ran great to the site and back, fed it a little more coolant just to top things off after I got home. Clutch is "close enough", couple small adjustments I want to make but I can do that next weekend.
Image

Image

I-70 is stupid. Glad i'm not in that mess going the other way. Backed up for miles.
Image

:rockon:

Code: Select all

 1  * (172.16.x.x)  68.886 ms  10.686 ms  6.913 ms   (Controller/master)
 2  * (10.x.x.x)  6.907 ms  39.372 ms  6.443 ms
 3  * (10.x.x.x)  44.155 ms  41.363 ms  6.400 ms
 4  * (10.x.x.x)  6.170 ms  6.421 ms  55.252 ms
 5  * (10.x.x.x)  8.908 ms  9.691 ms  45.510 ms
 6  * (10.x.x.x)  12.140 ms  41.444 ms  10.783 ms (Site I built a couple years back)
 7  * (10.x.x.x)  10.784 ms  42.879 ms  32.039 ms (Site we tried shooting to in September)
 8  * (10.x.x.x)  16.578 ms  48.478 ms  12.636 ms (Intermediate since the original shot didn't work, was built that morning)
 9  * (10.x.x.x)  13.673 ms  14.676 ms  53.004 ms (Site I was at)
10  * (10.x.x.x)  17.955 ms  17.069 ms  51.105 ms (Other shot from this site)
11  * (10.x.x.x)  19.758 ms  17.994 ms  58.125 ms (Far end of the network)

User avatar
Oilbrnr
50_Posts
50_Posts
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 7:26 pm
Model Year: 2016
Location: Flagstaff & Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Oilbrnr » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:35 pm

I expect sub 10ms pings. You'll have to go back and do better. 😎🤣

That pretty cools stuff man! Nice toys you've got too. How'd you get into that line of work (and what do you call it, there must be a title for longer radio shots like that)? I'm assuming you can stay fairly busy given our demand for wireless coverage these days, and the never ending upgrade cycle.
'16 with '17 FWC

User avatar
Mule
250_Posts
250_Posts
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:29 am
Location: Rocky Mtns
Contact:

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Mule » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:11 pm

There's likely some rain (snow) fading on that path, might pick up a few db in clear skies and with that a little less latency as data rate/qam constellation changes.

"Communications Technician" is what I generally call myself. Similar to "Test Engineer" at my real job, it's more jack-of-all-trades work vs. specializing/excelling in one particular thing.
RF theory/circuits, antenna theory, digital/analog systems, AC/DC electronics/power distribution... electrical engineering stuff.
Mechanical engineering/fabrication skills; take things apart, fix them, then put them back together without leftover parts. Some understanding of things like torque specs, material/fastener properties. Some days you've got to get creative with what you have to "just make it work". Computer/instrument assemblies, engines (snowmobiles/gens/motos/trucks), trailers, etc.
Networking/programming, things like OSI model and routing/firewalls. Understanding various protocols, buses, etc.
For site access and work at high-elevation, some survival/outdoorsy knowledge is helpful. My understanding of snow and skills riding offroad vehicles comes in handy here. Much less important when I go between my desk and the engineering lab, but critical when something's broken on the top of a mountain. Doing the snowmobile/offroad thing recreationally means I've already got that equipment... someone just getting into the business probably doesn't have that stuff, nor the skills to not crash and be a safety hazard to themselves and the job on the way up.

Then there's a lot of trade-tier stuff... tools and equipment, not just hand/power/test&measurement/safety tools, but also the computer/software tools and how to use them. Work with guys who've been doing this shit for decades, you'll pick up all the helpful tips/tricks. Some of it you're going to have to figure out/learn on your own. Some ham clubs are pretty decent with this stuff, too many of them are just old guys spinning dials on HF radios.

Cellular and broadcast are two industries I'd rather not touch. :rofl: Lots of money there, but lots of politics that come along with it.
Two-way/paging is a weird niche business. Some overlap between all of them (some sites are colo'd with broadcast tx'rs; some guys work in both worlds) but there's definitely the "cliques" between them all too. Cell guys (techs and companies) have the money to buy/build/own all their own stuff (land, towers, backhaul, spectrum) so it's rare but not unheard of that I'm working around cell stuff.

And you have to be a little crazy to do the job. It's definitely not for everyone. I'll talk to my day-job coworkers about the other jobs I do, and they nope out real quick. ;)
Image

User avatar
Oilbrnr
50_Posts
50_Posts
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 7:26 pm
Model Year: 2016
Location: Flagstaff & Scottsdale, Arizona

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Oilbrnr » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:26 pm

Interesting!

Understood everything you said. It's a job I could have done and a field that I think I would have enjoyed. We probably have many interests in common beyond a PW! Your comment about the HAM guys made me chuckle. I got my tech license about 8 years ago for off-road use, and possible emergency use to hit a repeater and get help. Listening to older guys is kinda entertaining, but they are sure cranky at times.

I got a degree in Computer Science from the U of Arizona back in the early nineties and have worked in IT shops (all pretty big with the exception of a .com in the early 2000's) ever since. The last 13 have been with Discount Tire here in Scottsdale. I joked with you about the latency, mainly because I give our networking guys a lot of shit. Usually when something doesn't work, I blame them. 9 times out of 10 it's a firewall issue.

Growing up and spending many hours exploring and hunting with my father, we came across many communication sites. Arizona, like CO and well most of the western states are littered with peaks that sprout towers supporting some type of comms. It always intrigued me. Lots of man hours and engineering going into those sites, in very tough topography. Hell, even the high tension wires that are strung up from all the hydro, coal and natural gas that went in during the 30's through the early '70's is staggering.

My Grandfather (mothers side) worked for, I guess what is now USGS back in the early 1900's doing Civil Engineering work setting the quadrant marker in New Mexico and Northern Arizona. Most if not all the work was done on horseback. When he came to Flagstaff in 1917 he decided that it was where he wanted to live and so he stayed. My Dad's side hit Flag in the 1890's, so that is where I grew up and still have our home, though Scottsdale is where we spend most of our time since it pays the bills.

My son just turned 16 and I'm trying to pass on as much mechanical, electrical and computer knowledge to him that I can, all while trying to help him find a niche that he'll enjoy doing. You know the old saying, something like if you find a profession that you really enjoy, it will never be a 'job'. At 53, I'm kinda at that 'job' stage, but it's too late to switch gears.

Welp, enough about me. I enjoy your posts. Maybe I'll run into you one of these days, hopefully in southern Utah.
'16 with '17 FWC

User avatar
Mule
250_Posts
250_Posts
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:29 am
Location: Rocky Mtns
Contact:

Re: I still like this truck.

Post by Mule » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:41 pm

you'll have better luck finding me if you go north where there's snow. :lol:

First avy class of the season this weekend. Intro class friday night with on-snow saturday, then a rescue course sunday. I'll likely spend an hour or two of new years in the backyard playing with beacons so I don't embarrass myself too bad around students. :rofl

Post Reply