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Wiring up the apartment

This has been a geek weekend. I discovered that I have cat 5 ran to all the phone/coax outlets in my apartment and terminated in a distribution block in my closet. This is significant in that it finally solves my age old problem of getting wired internet to the bedroom for high speed file sharing. It also means I can finally throw a PC running Linux full of hard drives in my closet and use it for file storage for my 70 MB TIFF scans and other fuh. I hope whoever moves in after me doesn’t want a phone, because I totally ripped out all the jumper wires.

Also, I rigged up a dipole antenna on my balcony. At this point I have no idea what bands I intend on using. With the length I’m afforded, it gives me enough for a quarter-wavelength 10 meter. If that doesn’t yield anything interesting, then I’m putting a load on my rain gutter that runs right outside my balcony. Problem is, I don’t have a good ground reference. Ground the coax to my balcony railing? If I lived on the first floor, I could bury ground radials in the lawn. Another thought I had was hot gluing wire around the edge of the stairwell for a random-length antenna. I fully expect a series of failures with this, but so far it’s fun to me.

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