Playing in the dirt

Some have asked what I’m doing. My answer? Playing in the dirt…with my Grandson.

I’ve an ongoing project to upgrade my Ham Radio antenna system. I added a 40M OCF (Off-center-dipole) to the side of the house in June. Now it’s time to re-install my vertical. When I first planted it some fifteen years ago, the nearby trees were much smaller. Over time they grew and one tree’s upper limbs reached the antenna. I had thought just to trim the limbs but that proved to be less than satisfactory. I decided to move the location of the vertical antenna.

That project started last week after Mrs. Crucis and I returned from our excursion through a few western states.


Grandson Andrew starting the hole.

We, or rather, Andrew, discovered that digging through the accumulated thatch and grass root system was harder than it looked.


Hole finished. 24″ x 24″ x 7″.

The hole is finished and a small ‘sump’ hole dug to provide more stability for the pipe. By this point, a few hours after the first photo, we’d only received a few chigger bites.

Ready for the Quikcrete-b_08072015

Ready for the concrete.

The hole is now ready for the concrete. The pipe continues 3′ into the ground leaving around 20″ remaining above the surface of the concrete. I’d gone to Home Depot and bought four bags of Quikcrete. They tried to sell me eight bags. I thought that was too much.


Four bags full.

I was wrong. Four bags wasn’t enough.


Watered and set.

I was wrong. I bought two more bags.

The first four bags were 50lbs. each. I bought two 60lb bags of a different type that should produce a smoother surface. That is the next task. I’ll post some more photos as the project nears completion.

That was the status as of Friday evening. Sometime during Friday, we must have stirred up a nest of chiggers. I counted thirteen bites on me. Andrew had about the same.

Note to self: use bug repellent next time.