after making a ham & cheese sandwich for lunch, i biked to belmont in the early afternoon. rain was in the forecast, but there seemed to be a period of lull in the evening that i might be able to bike home. already there was a light drizzle by the time i arrived; i put a plastic bag over my bike seat so i wouldn't get soaked. my mother made some noodles so i had a second lunch.

when our barbecue grill replacement parts arrived, my father and i went out to install them. the new ignition starter worked immediately once i put in the battery. my father had thought the old starter might still be okay, and that it was a grounding issue, or perhaps all the AAA batteries we used were faulty. as for the carryover tubes, these new ones were the perfect length, but much thinner than the originals. they also came with more screws and washers than needed. after we installed them and lit the burners, i don't really know if they do too much. supposedly they're supposed to "carry over" the gas and the flame, but each burner already receives its own supply of propane and once one burner is lit, the heat from the flames will automatically ignite the other burners. they do however cover up the side holes on the burners, which are slightly larger on the near ends, which reduced the orange flames.

i contacted ed fong - the maker of the DBJ-1 antenna - to ask about our antenna performance. what i really wanted was an okay to return the antenna for a replacement, but fong wrote me back and told me to call him directly. he picked up right away and knew who i was immediately. he said the fix was simple: just trim the end off of the antenna, a quarter inch at a time. "what if i trim too much?" i asked. he said it was just a simple matter of soldering back a new length of wire. it wouldn't look good, but would revert the antenna back to factory condition. he asked what SWR meter i was using, i told him a surecom, he said those aren't very accurate (he told me the SWR he uses but i didn't recognize the model). he said he tests all his antennas before shipping, and sort of intimated that our DBJ-1 was fine, but if i wanted to trim it so that i get a perfect reading with our SWR meter, that was okay too.

later when it looked like it'd stopped raining, my father and i climbed the roof to install the chimney antenna mount. by the time we finished it'd started raining again. still later, my father went onto the roof again to install the DBJ-1 antenna, without trimming, just to see if it'd perform any better mounted at the most optimal location. the SWR meter revealed there was hardly any chance, so we will definitely need to trim the antenna at some point to get better measurements. performance wise it seemed to be the same as our DIY ground plane antenna, and despite the antennas being so close to each other, there doesn't seem to be any interference.

after dinner it was raining even harder so there was no way i could bike home. instead i put the bike in the garage and got a ride from my father. in order to capitalize on seasoning opening excitement, there were two monday night footballs tonight, jets vs. lions, and rams vs. raiders. only watched the first game, rooting for matt patricia's detroit. unfortunately the lions lost big, 48-17.

i managed to set up a pirate box using a raspberry pi zero w. i also used a 64gb card to give it more space. it was pretty easy to install, just flash the piratebox image (v.1.1.4) onto the card and start up the pi. i logged in using SSH to edit the settings. conceptually it's interesting, but it's difficult to use in real life. after connecting to the pirate box wifi network, the interface is done entirely through the browser. i'd imagine the pirate box to be a wireless repository for movies and books, but it's more of an anonymous bulletin board where people can upload small files. but the difficult comes in actually connecting to the pirate box network. i can do it on my macbook pro, but when i tried using my android or apple phone, because the network doesn't have internet access, the phones will then try to connect to a different network. i managed to get it to work on the phones, but only for a few minutes before it connected to a different wifi network.