Sunday, February 18, 2018

More Snow in the Forecast

Sunrise this morning was at 8:38am. This picture was taken about ten minutes before that. The clouds moved in and blocked the actual sunrise. The temperature was still in the mid-teens (°F) but warmed up to about 20°F by the middle of the day. Several days ago, the sunshine seemed very bright. Almost too bright.

Snow is forecast again for the next week or so so the plow went back onto the truck. But snow generally means that it'll be warm, at least according to Weather Underground, for the next couple of days. I've been watching the Olympics using the over-the-air antenna that I picked up from Amazon a few months ago. The antenna is working pretty well even though it's just sitting on a table in front of the tv.

Monday, February 12, 2018


That end of the cold spell that was being predicted for the last couple of weeks seems to finally have arrived. On Saturday night, it was still -18°F so the positive (°F) temperature on Sunday morning is feeling pretty nice.

The Ural made it out of the garage but not to coffee this morning. I rode it around the area enough to get the engine warmed up and do some sliding in the fresh snow. I didn't want to get all geared up since I was waiting for a phone call. The front and pusher tires are still only running about half of the number of studs as usual so there is some slipping just to get out of the driveway. None installed on the sidecar tire. I might try it like this for a while.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Still Feels Like Winter

In spite of NWS forecasts stating that it was going to be warming up, the days have continued being on the cold side. I was thinking that it was going to be Ural weather this week but now it looks like maybe not until next week.

Monday Morning - Still -20°F (-29°C). I'm guessing that I won't be riding to the Airhead get together this evening. But it's 9:10 am and the sky is all lit up on the south-eastern horizon as sunrise is in about 10 minutes. Pretty nice. Plus the daily high temperature is matching the sunshine again. In December and January, the high temperature for the day could occur just about anytime as there isn't significant warmth from the sun due to the low elevation in the sky.

Tuesday Afternoon - I finally got the correct resisters to finish the keyer to practice sending morse code. It works stand-alone but will also work with a radio. This type of key is required by the Skype class that I had signed up for starting in April. Most use mechanical switches connected to paddles. The green circuit boards sticking out are touch sensitive with the left pad a "dah" and the right pad a "di" so a very light touch is needed. The configuration is set by entering commands using morse code. Kind of an interesting way. The three of the four buttons on the front are for storing things in non-volatile memory such as your call sign. The red button is to enter command or configuration mode. The knob on top is to set the word-per-minute rate. The 9-volt battery is the box zip-tied to the right side and has the power switch. I'm glad to finally get it working.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ural Top Box Done

Here are the two of the four threaded knobs holding the box onto the rack. The front two are 8mm bolts and the rear two are 6mm bolts. The only reason for the difference is this is what the hardware store had in stock. On this rack, all of the hardware is either stainless or aluminum to minimize rust. I mention this as removing the stock hardware was a hassle requiring generous doses of PB Blaster. I think rusty hardware is the norm for any Ural. About all that's left is covering the unused mounting holes. Instead of Gorilla tape, I may use the Eternabond roof repair tape. That stuff seems to stick to anything and never come off.

After the knobs are tightened, the box is really solid. And the positioning is just about right to lean against while riding. For the last couple of months, I was trying to figure out how to fabricate a rack with the stock bench seat and every solution I came up with would either put the top box too far back or too high. This seems like a good solution as the box is centered directly over the rear hub. I had considered getting a solo seat from Raceway or Ural of New England but they were way too pricey. Their seats are probably more comfortable since they have spring suspensions but we’ll see how this works. Some people complain about the Ural tractor seats but not everyone.

The lock on the top box is a generic key so I may replace it with something more secure such as the same key as the trailer compartment doors. I think that I may still have one left. And I will probably start riding again next week!