Archive for August, 2012

Antenna install and radio issues

If you are into amateur radio or just looking to put up a CB antenna so you can hear the rally information, installing an antenna and wiring the radio can present a challenge. K0BG has a rundown on OTR and RV Installs that summarizes the issues.

“Common threads often include long cable runs, limited antenna mounting options, poor ground plane issues, and RFI suppression. Worse, the answers are not always simple; the solutions are usually more expensive than passenger vehicle installations; and most manufacturers are generally less cooperative than automobile manufacturers. The latter is especially true when the chassis, and the coach-work are made by different companies; a common occurrence with RVs, and not unknown in OTR trucks.”

It is not only about where to put the antenna but also about where to put the radio and how to run the wires. Then you get into problems of interference and noise. It can get interesting …

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How not to RV?

On the ‘free Kindle Books’ today at Amazon: How NOT to RV; The Rvers Guide to RVing in the Absurd (The How NOT To Guides).

The experience is based on a 1986 Airstream 345. “That’s thirty four and a half feet of vintage Need This, Fix That.”

“I didn’t have a great time without getting myself into a few pickles on the road. If you’re planning an RV adventure you should probably learn to like pickles no matter what kind of rig you’re driving”

The author is a psychoanalyst and says that “if you are seriously considering following the instructions in this guide, you should see a psychologist and it should probably not be Dr. Jennifer Flower.”

Looks like a fun book if you have a Kindle and probably worth the $3 if you don’t get in on the free deal.

(note: Amazon Affiliate link – help the site, check it out, but you’re on your own as to what you see and do)

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Towel tech

There Is a Right and a Wrong Way to Use a Beach Towel — do you want to know why?

“That water-wicking blanket is actually an intricately designed instrument, fine-tuned to provide you with the best possible poolside experience. And here’s the thing: It’s entirely possible that you’ve been using it wrong all along.

The beach towel is not just an oversized, elaborately patterned bathroom towel, used to dry you off any which way. It has two distinct sides, designed for two very different purposes—and one side has absolutely no business in the bathroom.”

Gizmodo‘s Rachel Swaby provides some insight into the technology behind towels and why a bath towel and a beach towel are different. Who knew?

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Digital dashboard update

There is a transition under way from mechanical gauges for speed, coolant temperatures, oil pressure and other driver information to a video display. Extremetech has a rundown on the Digital dashboard: Why your car’s next instrument panel will be one big LCD.

There is the center stack – that’s in the middle where the radio, navigation display, and such things live. That radio is in transition, too, as it becomes more of a media center and interactive touch panel computing center. What to call the instruments behind the steering wheel is still a question.

“The industry hasn’t yet settled on a term for an instrument panel that uses an LCD or brighter OLED, so you’ll hear digital dashboard, virtual instrument cluster, reconfigurable instrument cluster, glass cockpit (borrowed from the aviation industry), and

digital instrument cluster display (ICD)

used to describe the instrument panel of the near future.”

It looks like that driver information is getting settled on a 12″ wide display with a layout selected as one of about four different options. There will likely be some customization available as well.

Once the transition to a 1280×480 display is done, the transition of the dial type display and some of the other gauge display styles that have become habit may occur as well. The manufacturer’s can’t change that look too much too fast as it tends to confuse drivers. Then there is the self driving car that is starting to become a realistic possibility. Driving won’t be the same and change is rapid.

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SNU Obsidian Dome rally August 2012

There were a lot of pictures taken at this year’s Obsidian Dome SNU rally!

See the gallery index page and dig in

Bears, scenery, sheep and grades on the way to Obsidian Dome, food, flamingos, …. and some excitement, too.

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SNU September Newsletter

SNU Folks,

The September Newsletter has been posted

Links to photo galleries and additional information mentioned in articles in this newsletter can also be found there too

Topics in the September newsletter

Obsidian Rally review -|- September Cantaloupe Festival Rally -|- Notes from the Prez -|- SNU newsletter update -|- Time to renew membership -|- 2013 proposed rally schedule -|- Belonging to a Unit -|- Don Williams, Region 12 Membership Chair -|- Don and Gail’s travels

September Cantaloupe Festival rally

Thursday August 30 to Monday September 3 2012 the SNU rally will be in Fallon at the annual Cantaloupe Festival. This is our first time at this event and we hope that many SNU members have called in their reservations for this event. In addition to nice shade trees and a grassy parking area, the campground sites have water and electric and there is a dump station nearby. We’ll have our usual coffee and goodies in the morning but shared dinners may depend on what’s going on at the Festival.

For the latest on the Sierra Nevada Unit, check the website homepage

> Check Zephyrs and find out what else is new on the


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