December 2012 · · PAGE 363.
December 10, 2012: This week takes me to the DFW
Airport to install fiber optic equipment for my day job. I worked several days with
a contractor on the satellite and CATV fiber optic links that will support all television
services in American Airlines Terminal A. Some of the fiber components I am
installing will eventually support all the airline terminals. These four modules
near the center of this chassis transmit satellite signals from the admin building to a
building at the center of the airport terminals.
Most of this equipment at the central utility plaza (CUP) was installed in 2009
to distribute CATV signals via single-mode fiber. The two un-powered modules near the
center of the chassis below will expand the CATV service to new locations. The two
units at the bottom of the photo below will send the satellite signals from the photo
above to all the airline terminals as the fiber links are built. For now, the only
links from the 12-port optical splitter near the bottom of this photo will go to Terminal
A where re-construction is moving forward. All 12 ports could be in use in few years
as all the terminals get the upgraded satellite fiber optic technology. The device
at the bottom of this photo is an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA).
This equipment in the north end of Terminal A will provide a redundant service
for the CATV signals and basic Direct TV satellite signal distribution to three service
areas in the north end of the terminal. An unbalanced 35% / 65% optical splitter is
in the center of the rack frame in this photo. The devices on either side in the
frame a balanced 3-port optical splitters. The fiber optic switch will have two
optical inputs when all fibers are connected allowing a fail safe source of the optical
signals that feed CATV signals to equipment closets in the terminal.
Here are the folks I have been working with on this project. Pete Moxley
works for the airport and is standing at the left of the photo. I apologize for not
having a suitable hat today and the bright sun causing my squint. Mark Dixon
maintains all the Olson Technology fiber equipment from the existing 2009 installation.
I am training him on the new equipment being installed this week. The guy on
the right in the blue work vest is Kevin Adcock from Able Communications. His
company won the contract to do the work of installing all our new fiber equipment and many
new HDTV displays in Terminal A.
I filled some of my time this week with more customer sales meetings when I was not busy with the airport project. The airport job was completed by the end of the day on Thursday for me. I traveled Thursday evening getting close to Little Rock, Arkansas for a sales meeting there on Friday morning, December 14 and another meeting in Memphis, Tennessee later Friday afternoon.
December 15, 2012: The last two weeks on the
road for the company deserve a day off with friends and talk about airplanes. I am
spending this Saturday in Huntsville, Alabama with David Edgemon. We met at the
Moontown Airport east of Huntsville on US 72. David has a hangar there with both of
the airplanes he built kept there. He has changed the content of his instrument
panel of the RV-8 again. He has been adding new Dynon equipment for ADS-B support
and information display. His panel looked like this in the beginning. There is
a new display in the center replacing both of the "smaller" Dynon displays seen
here. The left side of the panel has been replaced with smaller items, and there is
one more ADS-B unit needed to send out his position data. I apologize for not taking
a photo of the new version of this panel.
I had called Wendell earlier this morning to let him know it was the Saturday
for the EAA Moontown Chapter to have a fly-in breakfast fund raiser as they do every
month. It was not long before Wendell called me back asking where I am on the field.
He and Ron Knowles had flown over here for a visit. I last saw Wendell the
day I took off with my plane for Florida on October 7, 2012. I got David Edgemon to
pose with Ron and Wendell before they loaded up for the short flight back to Folks Field
near Chickamauga, Georgia.
The "Moontown Airport Control Tower" in the background and the grass strip
have been seen in my photos from my earlier visits here.
Here is the crew of RV-8 N940WF taxiing past the FBO and heading for the runway
David stopped at a hobby shop on the way from the airport back to his home.
He picked up an HO-scale model train for his son. We went out to the shop
where he built his RV-9A and RV-8. He has a new airplane under construction. The
plans call it a Bearcat, but it has nothing to do the Grumman F8F Bearcat that was built
after World War II. This airplane looks a lot like a Piper Super Cub with a steel
tube welded fuselage and tail feathers that will be fabric covered. The wings are
all aluminum and it will do very good short field landings yet fly at 120 knots.
David is doing all his welding with a torch, not an electric MIG or TIG welder.
David bought the full wing rib kit and spars for this airplane. The nose
ribs on this table should look familiar as they are from the same vendor that builds the
ribs for Van's Aircraft kits. The wing spars have not yet been delivered. That
other airplane in the background is for his son to learn to fly. It is a
radio-controlled Telemaster, a stable and docile design from the late 1970's. That
radio below the fuselage is a new digital transmitter.
The other rib sections are on this end of the work table, along with he
HO-gauge model train set brought home from the hobby shop today. These ribs are
large enough to need stiffeners, also seen on the table. The wing span will be 38
feet on this airplane when completed. The fuselage may be fabric-covered, but the
wings will have aluminum skin panels and no fabric.
Those long steel tubes on the back wall are the fuselage parts cut to length
and ready for welding. David was telling me all about this new airplane before we
put the new HO train together for Michael to see. That steel work table at the right
was built from the same chrome-moly steel tubing.
David also had a 1963 Lionel train upstairs above the garage / shop. It used the same motor and a similar power transformer as my Lionel train from 1953. The memories of my youth came flowing back and merged with my electrical skills to get the older train working again. At the end of this Saturday, we all went out to a good Mexican Restaurant.
December 16, 2012: I took a leisurely ride from Huntsville to Birmingham, Alabama in rainy weather today. I went by the location of my first business meeting for Monday morning and checked into a nearby hotel. The high-speed internet is good here via Time Warner Cable. I composed the previous page updates last night in the motel in Huntsville and completed this page today in Birmingham. The internet connection yesterday was slow and I decided to post these new pages today here in BHM.
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