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About MacDuncan

  • Rank
    Impressive Poster
  • Birthday 11/26/1957

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  • Gender
  • Location
    El Cajon
  • Interests
    Adventure and Enduro motorcycling, tour and rock garden kayaking, hiking, mtn. and road bicycling, backpacking...

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  1. MacDuncan

    Picked up a new leftover 19 CRF450L

    Congrats Pokey, I would assume that every SDAR member is happy to see a fellow rider with a new bike in the back of a pick-up. It screams of joy and happiness! Well done, looks good!
  2. MacDuncan

    Antenna Upgrade for Baofeng UV-5R Radio

    Well Done Mr. PB, your articulate reply, stated at a level of understanding for this newbie, is quite appreciated. Thank you. Mac
  3. MacDuncan

    Antenna Upgrade for Baofeng UV-5R Radio

    It is always funny how quickly these snippets of info go beyond my knowledge - but I still want to learn. From last Saturday's ride: 1) about half way through the ride, I took the my rugged rh5r radio off my chest protector, on front, in a pouch ), and took the short standard ducky antenna off, and put on a ~ 14 inch rugged long ducky antenna on it, and then put the radio deep down my camelbak except for about 3-4 inches of antenna sticking out (so it wouldn't tap my helmet) (I haven't done that before because I like to be able to reach my on-off and volume). Immediately, I heard my buddies with far better clarity and they said my voice was significantly more clear (They have the Baofengs, uv5r with short standard antenna strapped on their chest protectors - but in the box that their radios came in, there is a longer antenna to use (careful if you buy the box of stuff because the longer antenna is hidden in the box under packaging - so don't accidentally toss it!)). We were having good conversations up to about 70 yards before the change, but that about doubled with just my antenna change. If they did the same change, but actually using that skinny ~14 inch antenna from Baofebg box, would there still be a significant benefit for all? Would we all benefit even more if we all used something as noted in this antenna topic strand like a "701"? 2) Strange, that one time when 2 of us lost the 3rd rider, I couldn't hear a reply in my helmet, but I could hear a reply coming through my friend's helmet, and we both had squelch set at 4. Is there another setting to be adjusted? My thoughts are that lower squelch, more static, and vice versa, right? 3) On occasion, I heard a loud consistent pulsating "scratch, scratch, scratch" at about 3 per second. It's a long shot, but it seemed like when I moved my push to talk up higher on my left mirror mount so the cable was further away from the metal of handlebar, it went away... could there be any logic in that... ? a ground-ing issue? other thoughts to avoid that? 4) one of the riders has a funky old chest protector and was wearing his radio under his armpit, but the antenna was at about a 45 degree angle from vertical. I told him that we need to find a place on his gear that the antenna could be vertical because it would be better. Is what I told him true, or a tale? Thanks, Mac
  4. If all you have is a weekend, you still better get a ride in when you can. It is winter after all, and the desert is beautiful. And, you can't always keep wishing you could make the weekdays with the breakfast club folks with weekday exploration time - lucky fellas!! A couple of buds needed a ride fix too, so we opted for a quick day ride on Saturday. What last minute readiness usually means is a little prep work early on the day you are going (knowing you should have done it last week ), so they arrived around 6:30 am for some prep work, and then off we went. We had a buddy who was going to be in Ocotillo Wells, and he said he would stash a 5 gallon jug of gas for us if we ended up out his way. That can add a lot more options as we were hoping to casually cruise out 8 east on the big interstate to ocotillo and wander from there (sure beats the windy long trek through ramona and/or the 78 or 79, and saves a lot of drive time). The wind was howling in Jacumba, but when we dropped down to the windmills, all was still - Nice . We parked with all the Jeep clubs, side by sides, and to my surprise, a whole bunch of groups that looked like they were "small SUV off roaders"... might be a new trend, all with tools, jacks on the roofs for digging out if needed....etc... all were at the Chevron getting ready for adventure. We geared up and started our bikes with no route in mind, but were thinking we would try to avoid the many vehicles out and about that looked like they wanted to find dirt too. Hmmmm, have the laws changed? I do not ever recall that so many quads and rzrs just driving on the roads in ocotillo to gas up (common in Arizona and Utah, and used to happen when the area "Yuha" was open to off-road). But that area closed to non-plated, and no one can ride off-road in Anza Borrego, so that must mean they simple head out to Plaster or Superstition, or all the way to wells or even through Painted Desert...... But I thought that Painted Gorge was a plated area too...... is there another action spot that they would go to that would have them swing by to gas up in ocotillo? Regardless, we headed towards dos cabeza, then out to the S2, then as we approached canyon sin nombre, it looked like an off-road vehicle convention- haha. We passed by and decided to take south carrizo by the trees... The dirt was super nice and that road used to be quite skinny, meaning that only rigs that were ok with scratches would go there. It has been opened up a bit, which is ok I guess, since there are less dangerous blind curves. We then flew up the wash to head to Diablo Drop (skipping the Mud caves route- Tapiado- and the cross over, to avoid vehicles). Wow, we were all proud of ourselves as we were enjoying a completely free route with nobody on it.... Yahoo, until we then discovered why.... A large section of the cliffs collapsed and as of saturday, it didn't look like any vehicle has yet won the battle of finding a way through. The issue may not just be how to get over the rubbish, but how to also avoid the mucky muck mud on the other side. We found a goat trail along the edge and worked our way over. We stopped a truck who was headed that way and shared that heading back to the cross over would be the only way out, they were appreciative. So zip zam zoom, and down Diablo drop, and out of fishcreek, dodging jeeps and many vehicles at the opening and near the windcaves. We found our buddy, got a free cold one, and some gas, and turned around. 2 hours and 20 minutes, 55 miles. We then zipped over to Trestles for a break and a bit to eat, and to listen to the loud music from various groups who had claimed their spot under the bridge.... it always seems like a music festival there... , and offers a good view of where we were headed. From there we rode over to Superstition so we could go up to see the view... It is always spectacular from up there! And it always adds a little more challenge for me riding in that soft sand. Last October I made it up there and went over the handlebars twice at 2 mph as I tried to go down a hill of talcum powder.... knee deep to get out... and always a bit anxious (mechanically) of where that incredibly soft sand might end up in, or on, my bike. Yep, my buddy was proud to have made it too - smiles. From there we headed west, parallel to hiway 8, opening it up a bit and cutting across through the zone I call "Sharp rocks" on the way to painted Gorge, then through the super cool area of bizarre mix and match of ravines, mounds, yellow dirt, etc... as you cut the corner from the western part of the gorge as if you were gonna head back north up the valley of S2, but east of it along the mountain (maybe a lot of mining up there still). So many diverse geological riding zones in that one day. Great ride with part 2 being 2 hours, 50 minutes, and 56 miles. Wow, our gas stop was almost exactly halfway. Pretty cool loop. We finally got out of the maze of tracks and got back to Ocotillo, where the wind began to howl, and it was cold, but we were casually headed back west on the interstate in the comfort of a truck. Great day, Great ride, we all felt lucky! Just how it should be. It was a great Saturday loop.
  5. That is super cool that you found the phone, well done!! and got another ride in, and... I hope, gently untangled something that can be quite dangerous if it had found a body part. I have seen a couple riders pick up rubbish barbed wire over near superstition, but never on the route you took. I even once chased some fella over a mile to let him know that he was dragging about 30 feet of wire that was wrapped around his boot - he never knew..... a close one no doubt! Yahoo. I was gonna head out on that loop saturday to find the phone, so glad you already found it. Cheers.
  6. Thanks, Super cool data on that interactive global perspective, from the ride link you shared. When I saw your first loop, I was wondering why when you got to Vallecitos you decided to go back to pinyon drop instead of heading to diablo drop, I didn't think it was a gas issue (as they might have been about the same from where you were to where you were going, and you must of had the big tanks, or carried gas, for that kind of loop....., but maybe you just wanted more dirt since you already logged a few tarmac miles, or the fun of the stairs and heart attack hill to round out the day. Regardless, well done to the both of you, and for the early sunrise crisp morning start, the dirt and sand must have been super!
  7. Nice post PM, I was able to follow the route as if I was there Well done. That's a cool app. I hope the other boys had a good lap and really wish I was on one of those rides - dang emergent house chores - grrr. Cheers.
  8. MacDuncan

    Rugged Radios 20% Sale Today

    Hey DWreck, I was waiting for a sale too. Thanks for posting.
  9. MacDuncan

    Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas to all (and their sidekicks.... family, friends and pets ). Looking forward to more great rides and great riding partners. cheers, and thanks.
  10. MacDuncan

    Latest Comms Update But wait... there's more!

    Thank you pb, I was nervous about playing in chirp and losing set-up on existing radio when trying to set up new ones (even though it may not even be possible without a radio hooked up because the initial Chrip program has a blank screen when booted up unhooked to a radio - hence the need for a cable - I think :) .... and a bit challenging navigating around the program with the plethora of options like “remove squelch tail” function, etc... that a newbie would never know about unless guided by a pro... If there are other "No Go" choices, feel free to share with me, especially because some of the choices may make it better for the listeners of my transmissions. I don't use repeaters, nor scanning, but by having a couple 2m frequencies available to increase safety while adventure riding in a group or with a bud is a priority, especially when communicating clearly while going 60 mph on dirt roads. I recall the time that you were leading about 10+ plus of us while going faster than that across the desert when I scooched up while in the 3rd spot to avoid the rock spray, and you noticed my long shadow splitting the 2 front runners..... and you simply asked in a low calm voice without taking your eyes of the trail or turning your head if I wanted to pass or maintain rank..... I was able to reply why I was there so both front runners knew of my position, and my intent, and all was good. That type of communication is simple, yet valuable. In this rainy weather, a couple of my buds who will be future radio users are listening to the questions, and the supplied answers, to all of the questions for the amateur license test on Ham Whisperer .com (because it makes passing the ham test significantly easier) . Governor (Bagstr) , if you care to copy and paste any communications I have shared (or asked about) to a dedicated communications strand to consolidate info, feel free to do so, and edit as you wish.... your info and efforts are always appreciated. PbdBlue too, of course. It is impressive how much you all know!! Cheers, and Thanks. Over
  11. MacDuncan

    Latest Comms Update But wait... there's more!

    Well, I just received a couple beofang uv-5r radios in the mail. I had programmed a couple Rugged RH5r radios a few years ago with help from a computer wizard on an old windows computer. They have worked well. Aren't all Rugged RH5r radios actually Baofeng UV5r's, in regard to programming? Awhile back, Rugged did seem to help set up radios prior to sending, but the folks there I recently talked to said they will now only send standard radios without frequency adjustments made, so the customer will need to use Chirp for their individual programming needs. Dang, the very old windows computer crashed this morning. Likely, not a big deal if I get this story right.... as I transition to Mac OSX now since it is my primary computer. If I download chirp today, and the misc other stuff recommended by chirp (serial driver this and that - always seems confusing/risky). I could use the RH5r rugged radio to download and save settings from that radio, and then hook up Baofangs and copy same channels and other settings used on the rugged's RH5r's, so all radios have same frequency programs... right? Except, It will be unlikely that my windows "USB to radio" cable is now useable because of computer language - right? and there seems to be a specific cable to avoid (the $10 cheaper one, and buy the $20 expensive one for Mac) right? Is there a place in San Diego that I can walk into a store and buy the correct cable to hook up both rugged RH5r's and Baofeng UV5r's to Mac computer? Thanks, KM6....
  12. MacDuncan


    Atta Boy Uncle, I am years away still, but my guess is that it will take about 48 hours to embrace the new mindset . Congrats.
  13. Well done LB, there was a lot of great stuff on that outing that can never be replaced. Those are precious times. Thanks for sharing.
  14. MacDuncan

    Sicass in ABSP

    Camped in Ocotillo Wells this weekend, Truly great riding.... Rangers were handing out a lot of tickets for going faster than 15 mph on access roads near Blue Inn. Saturday was a loop to superstition, but on our Sunday loop, we headed north west and eventually ended up where a lot of SDAR rides hit dirt near the Borrego dump and Inspriration wash. As we were about to enter the wash from the south, a group of 20 riders on 2 strokes, quads, an off road truck, etc were buzzing all over the place like a swarm with no intent to stay on a roads, and there seemed to be tons of off road tracks and jumps that I hadn't ever noticed before. I thought that was all Borrego Land ... as in street legal vehicle area, but the lines sure seem to be blurred in that area... maybe all the rangers were on fonts point and not inspiration..... however, as I continued my ride.... I purposefully looked for signs about what should ride where... but it is hard to really tell. Is there a SDAR post or web site that includes a good map for that region? Heck, we even saw guys shooting just east of peg leg road, and not far from that, the signs that head east from from there are marked, "foot traffic only" in the middle what looked like roads.... regardless, Thank goodness riding season has arrived.
  15. MacDuncan

    CA and NV BDR Loop

    Thanks for sharing your adventure, and well done covering lots of open dirt roads solo! Sounds like you had a good plan, and cool that you blended two BDR's to avoid the long grind back.... and glad the biff wasn't too bad!