my father's hernia surgery wound was still hurting so my mother gave him the day off while she opened up the cafe herself. that didn't stop him from coming over to my place this morning with more radio equipment, including an extra long bamboo he'd polyurethaned to make it waterpoof. the bamboo was to make a longer pole (4ft longer than the previous bamboo pole) for the hanging DBJ-2 antenna. he also brought the QYT radio and took back the TYT radio to set up as a cross-band repeater at the cafe.

it wasn't until my father returned home to belmont after setting up the TYT at the cafe were we able to successfully test the cross-band repeater function for the first time. i was broadcasting with the QYT while he only had the baofeng but with a tall chimney mounted 2m DIY ground plane antenna. so here's what we discovered: even though 70cm seems to work best communicating between my house and the cafe, when i transmitted at 70cm my father couldn't receive my signal. it was only when i used 2m (low power) did he hear my loud and clear receiving on 70cm. and when he was transmitting from belmont, sending at 2m there was a lot of static with only 20% clarity at best, but that's when i realized i was also receiving at 2m instead of crossband at 70cm. when i forced the radio to only receive at 70cm, i was able to hear him loud and clear. however, when he transmitted at 70cm, i received him just fine at 2m, 100% clarity. although he could hear me just fine, sometimes when he transmitted the beginning of his transmission would get clipped off, and every once in a while there'd be an occasional empty audio gap in his message. i also tried the MFJ antenna. it seems to be no good at transmitting, and the only time my father heard me was when i used high power at 70cm, but only 10% clarity. i on the other hand received him just fine, 70cm to 2m, and 2m to 70cm, although 2m-to-70cm occasionally we'd run into the same problem when i received him on 2m and the transmission was full of static.

my father also dropped off the replacement 2008 macbook pro battery i had sent to my parents' place. i immediately installed it into my mac to charge it up. quality-wise, it can't compare to apple's stock battery: this is one made of plastic instead of metal, the color doesn't exactly match the machine, and the LED lights have a rough finish to them. but for $20 it works, and i no longer have to be afraid of my laptop shutting down completely every time i accidentally jostle the power cord. i noticed it only holds 2-3 hours worth of charge at most (maybe because my macbook pro runs hot regardless of what i'm doing), but that's fine. the battery is really more of a backup, as i normally use the computer plugged in to the power supply.

only after i made myself a kielbasa sandwich topped with arugula for lunch with a glass of chocolate milk do i leave for belmont in the early afternoon, taking the motorcycle which i parked 2 blocks away due to street cleaning. i went out in the backyard to do some weeding and water the plants.

the rest of the afternoon i had nothing to do but watch some cable television and snack. i did fall asleep on the couch after reading a few chapters of oathbringer, until my sister interrupted me running into the house, and then later when my mother returned home.

we ordered pizza for dinner, my mother had a craving for hawaiian. we only ordered one pie, which was enough for the 3 of us (my father and i each had 3 pieces while my mother ate 2). afterwards i returned home.

back in cambridge, we tested the cross-band repeater again. earlier my father climbed the roof in belmont to straighten out a bent wire on his antenna. we were hoping this would improve reception but in our testing performance was actually worse. it probably wasn't antenna-related, could be more weather influenced, as there were many low clouds in anticipation of the rainstorm arriving late at night early evening. my father could hear me just fine, but i couldn't receive him. the radio seemed like it was trying to receive, and i could hear the crackle of incoming transmission, but there was just no audio, or sporadic audio at best, nothing like what we experienced this morning. when there was audio however, it was loud and clear. we did find out that using just the low-powered boafeng we could communicate between my house and my parents' house, we didn't need any fancy radio equipment, besides the cross-band repeater radio acting as a middleman. we also found out that the DBJ-2 antenna works just as great outdoors as indoors. our next test is to install a commercially-built antenna at the cafe (instead of the current DIY ground plane), hoping it might give us better performance. i disassembled the bamboo pole mount and brought down the DBJ-2 antenna since it was going to rain tomorrow (DBJ-2 not designed to be waterproof).