Monday, May 16, 2016

Not Enough Snow

We got a little bit (a very little bit) of snow this morning but it was determined that there isn't quite enough snow to run snow machines over the tundra. So I walked out to the BEO Control Shed. The walk out was pretty enjoyable. It's been a while since I last walked over the tundra to the Control Shed from the road. One of these days I'll try it without the snow and ice. I had picked up a pair of rubber boots at a local sporting goods store with my $10 off coupon. It made them very reasonably priced and perfect for summer in Barrow. It's kinda fun splashing through the water. I don't think I've had a pair of rubber boots since I was a kid.

I had gone out to install a small directional antenna pointing back towards the SledShed. I put it about ½ way up the tower and removed the panel antenna that I had asked another group to install last month. The panel just wasn't able to get enough signal to lock on. The small dish locked on almost immediately with four bars (better than -62dBm). I still need to work out spanning tree to fail between the three radios to allow an automatic backup connection.

While out there, I also checked on another instrument a little further down the boardwalk that wasn't sending data. There was plenty of WiFi signal at that location but the little wireless bridge wasn't passing traffic. I believe that they are sending up a suitable replacement. Hopefully it gets here before I leave on Saturday.

Here is an example of the walkway that I had to follow. It wasn't very far from the road to the Control Shed but there just enough snow to make it difficult to find bits of the walkway. Once you spot another section, you head out in that direction. The nice wooden walkway only exists for part of the way through the tundra. Much of it was on black plastic grid resting on the swampy ground. In many places, the upper surface of the plastic grid was under water (ice). At least most of the puddles were still frozen though I did break through the crust quite a few times. It makes for slow going. My watch says it was 1.13 miles each way at the blistering pace of 2 mph.

It has been overcast just about everyday that I've been here. Pretty hard to get a nice midnight sun time lapse video. Oh well, plenty of opportunities this summer.

Tuesday Morning Update - Since I had brought the panel antenna back with me, I checked it's configuration closely and found two typos! Either one would have caused the radio not to establish a connection. Now I feel like an idiot for not checking it more closely before sending it out with the research group.

6 comments:

  1. Figuring out spanning-tree in Barrow, now there's some exciting stuff. Not.

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    1. Yes, exciting times here in Barrow...

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  2. What a dismal scenery, Richard, and the overcast sky doesn't help. Respect and kudos to those who live and work in this area.

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    1. I think that it has a stark beauty to it. And I'm looking forward to seeing it during the summer. But, yes, the overcast sky doesn't seem to help. I'll be going back out later this week and the forecast is for sunny skies!

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  3. Well, with no snow machines allowed, at least you got some exercise. Sounds a little like walking through sand - slow going. Of course sand isn't slippery.

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    1. I could really use the exercise. It's not as bad as walking through sand except when you break through the crust on the surface and each step ends up being a hole in the snow a foot deep. I was pretty sore the next day.

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