Just the facts…….
San Antone forecast – my temps usually run 3-5 degrees higher
It has been 52 days since I have been offsite for any reason. A supply run is approaching critical mass.
I have been on this gate for 266 days straight without a day off.
This time last year I was winding down my time at the Secret Hideout and if I had my druthers I would be there stll yet. Interestingly enough, that link parallels current events. What is old is new again, eh? Yeah, without a doubt, I would rather be drinking a cold beer on the porch at the Hideout as down here in the Puckerbrush where the bad dogs bark at night.
It is what it is.
Due to the weather, time outside is limited to early morning and late evening and the Have-To when traffic hits the gate. I have had a workover rig and a flowback crew in here for the past week so my time out the door has gone up significantly. It is just a fact that I could not do my job without good driveway alarms. The west windows of the NO Princess Palace facing the driveway are covered in radiant barrier and without electronic alarms most traffic would pass unremarked.
I guess I have run the gamut of driveway alarms since I pulled into that first oilfield gate back in February of 2011. The service station alarms provided by the company were a no go from the first minute. I cannot deal with that harsh dinging; no way no how. My next selection was the Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm and they did a darn good job of detecting vehicles. I never had a single complaint regarding their performance up to the point Little Blondie fled south; still don’t. I have 3 of them somewhere being held in reserve. At the price Amazon is getting on them they are well worth it. Problem is once I started running solo on the gate, the electronic chime on the Mule’s would just not rouse me from exhausted sleep.
I thought I had discovered the be all and end all of driveway alarms when I got my first Dakota Alert break beam alarms. The 4 zone chime woke me up *every time* and being as how the electronic beam had to be broken by a vehicle or something walking past they even caught my sneakers coming up to the gate in the oh dark thirty hours. I really thought I had me something; I endorsed them readily and even bought a second set of the pricey rascals. I withdrew the endorsement for the Dakota Alert Break Beams when the first set failed short of a year’s service and had to be sent back to the factory for a tuneup. Set Numero Uno (after factory refurb) is still in service as I write this. Set number two failed this Spring. They started working sporadically and then quit all together. When I removed them from their mounts, water poured out of the ‘weatherproof housing’. So much for that, huh? They are boxed up and awaiting a trip back to the factory. Batting 0 for 2 folks. Little wonder I withdrew my approval of this product. At $300 or so, they ought to announce all my traffic and fix me a sandwich too.
Replacing the battery in the Dakota Alert IR transmitter
These days I am relying on the Dakota Alert DCMT-2500 IR Transmitter and I have to say they give decent service at a better price point than the break beams. They work by detecting a heat signature that changes within their detection zone. So I get dings on trucks, sneakers, javelinas and even roadrunners sometimes. Sneakers (foot traffic) at 0400 are a priority (no doubt!) so I put up with the occasional false alert.
It is hard for me to describe in words how harsh the High Summer is here in South Texas. The furnace heat and scathing UV just really defy any words to describe them. Lately, the oldest of my Dakota Alert IR units has been having trouble with the heat. At temps over 102 it just gives up and quits working. I tried moving it to a more shaded location to no avail. My last ditch effort was to apply a sunshade over the IR lens with some duct tape and even that did not work. Oh well! Six more weeks of this hellish heat and then I am hoping it will be back to working.
This week I watched an incredible documentary on Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was on HDnet DISH channel and hosted by Graham Nash. HIGHLY recommended.
End Note: T for Texas by Lynyrd Skynyrd from the Collectybles cd.
Live Skynyrd – most excellent!