Fishing

Chest holster re-strapping V1.0. 

Thought I’d post an update. Been wearing the new holster I got a couple months ago off and on for some work, and short hikes.


Have some setup issues.

They have it, as set for left hand draw,
Holster sits basically horizontal, grip left, muzzle right.

Shoulder strap run from top of holster (by hammer) up over RIGHT shoulder, down across back, under Left arm to bottom of holster(behind grip/by trigger).

The the chest strap runs around you, through a loop on the back of the holster.

Holster free floats on the chest strap, held up by shoulder strap.

When you go to draw, to keep holster from sliding left, you have to grip with the off side hand. 

Also while walking/working, it naturally drifts left, rotating the shoulder stap on your torso, sliding on chest strap, till under the left arm. (To where you cant grip the gun to draw without sliding it back to center chest with the off side hand.)

Because of shoulder strap placement/tension it can’t slide to the right.

Basically, the tension is backwards.

While hiking with it like this, every time I repositioned it (about every 150 yards!) I thought about strap direction and buckle placement, being pretty sure I could reverse it to the left shoulder, but still be left hand draw.

It actually was as simple as I thought. (Amazing)

I now have the shoulder strap run from top of holster(by hammer) over my LEFT shoulder, across back, under Right arm.

Now it gets different.. that bottom right end of the shoulder strap I connect to the end of the CHEST strap.

Chest strap goes Left, and Down through the loop on the back of the holster, then BACK to the Right, and around my back, to the Left bottom of the holster. 

So the pull to the left is now resisted by the tail of the shoulder strap, and the chest tension. If it slides, it will be down to the right. So even if it does move, it could go a ways before I couldn’t draw.

Muzzle end is also held by the chest strap. And because the chest strap and shoulder straps tension each other, once set, it can’t really drift very far either way.

So far as I can tell anyway. Will walk a couple miles with it and see.

Still needs work, but it’s better!


It even ended up with the tension right so the lower end of the shoulder strap is lower away from my arm and arm pit, more comfortable and crowds my arm less when moving. On the other side it tended to pinch and pull at my underarm. 

The only problems I see, are if it does move around, the gun/holster is semi fixed in line with it all, and it tensions through one end of it… As it moves one strap will tighten as the other loosens. So it’s going to chinch/tighten around me in one place or the other, and be crushing… 

And there is the other problem. With this set so it works, the chest strap is pretty tight… and rather crushingly uncomfortable already. 

I know I should be able to set this up so the weight and tension is all on the shoulder strap, and the chest strap can just center/position the gun on me and hold it semi loosesly..

What I’d like to try is;
The chest strap run from muzzle end of the holster, or the loop on the back, but a fixed atachment, not slidding, and around to the lower left corner of the holster as I gave it now. And the shoulder strap as I have it now for top of holster run over my left shoulder. 

But then attached to the center back of the chest strap.

Either floating or fixed at that joint. I think fixed would get the effect I want.

Will have to play with it some more, and see… need to find the 2 or 3 Big safety pins I have so I can pin this up how I want it before I cut/sew/ add/modify anything.

But as it is, it’s a lot better!

Pics to follow in another post if I can find someone to take them while I’m wearing it..

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Categories: Alaska-Life, ATVing, Backcountry, Customized, EDC, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Guns, Holsters, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts | 1 Comment

New ice tent fix & first ice fishing of 2017

Last summer a buddy of mines neighbor gave him an ice fishing tent… Brand new, in box. The guy had got it as a gift or something, and didn’t need two.. something like that IIRC. But unfortunately the guy was a little drunk when he was giving it away, and insisted on showing my friend how to set it up. 


Uhuh. Broke two poles in the process. And I’m really not sure how… These tents are so simple and idiot proof.. well, I guess not drunk proof.. lol. 

These things operate on a simple tension system, a X of poles, anchored at the outer corners of each wall, and the roof, a pivoting hub in the center attached to the wall. The X is a few inches bigger than the dimensions of the wall, so when you snap it out rigid it bows the wall out against the pressure, and it pops into place and stays under the tension. Super slick and easy. 

He managed to snap off two of the poles from one hub, snapped right at the end, flush with the metal pivot ends that fit in the hub. 

My buddy doesn’t ice fish(yeah, a weirdo, I know…), so he gave me the tent.  I just got around to going and getting it from him a week ago yesterday. 

New poles I found are $10 each plus shipping. They’re 49.5″ long, I hate to think what shipping to AK was going to be. But I figured there had to be an easy fix. 

My buddy thought PVC pipe over the breaks. I can’t remember seeing PVC that small. (3/8″ ID for the pole, 1/2″ ID for the end fitting.)

And I was hoping to not buy anything 😉  

I took it apart and took the end pieces out, headed to the shop. 

I had a plan, would just make a sleeve to join them, set screws to hold them in, long over the pole side for support against it torquing out, or snapping again. 

Didn’t have any aluminum big enough dia, that wasn’t 2″ Dia, so I used a scrap of bead stock brass. Ended up 5″ each sleeve, bored through at 0.375″ and counter bored on one end at 0.5″. Cross drilled, and tapped 6-32 for some brass screws I had. Cross drilled through the end fittings (aluminium), and ran the screws through instead of just against them. 

When you break a fiberglass rod, as you know if you have ever broken a ski pole or tent pole, it “blooms” on the end, sort of a spreading, or swelling to larger dia.

That made it perfect, I fed the fittings over from the opposite end, and it formed a press fit over the expanded area, I had to drive them on, down to the right length to end at 49.5″. Perfect! 

First assembly I had the end of the sleeve too close to the cross pin the ends pivot on in the hub, it wouldn’t fold. Went back and trimmedthem down a touch, now they’re fine. 

Sorry, only took pics after it was back together… In place, and in use;

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That was a week ago today. I’d been needling another buddy about going fishing some time soon on that Sunday. Day after I fixed this he sent me a message, lake name and date.  😀 This last Saturday. 

So, we’ll before first light we loaded up andheaded out;

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Two hour drive to the lake, short hike across the lake, we’re set up just after dawn. 3.5 hours of fun later; (yeah, so much fun I never stopped to take pics!)

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Little silver salmon. (Stocked lake). We had hoped on some big lake trout or pike that are usually easy in this lake, but they weren’t biting. I ain’t complaining! It was still great!

I came home 1 short of the daily limit! I’d caught 6, but put 1 back. Another guy caught 5 or 6 he kept. The other guy got 4 that he kept, but has a freezer full of salmon, so he let me have them. Had lots more bites we missed, and some that got off half way up etc.. Good times! 

We didn’t freeze either, and actually fished comfortably outside the tent, only setting it up with the buddy heater to wam up once. 5F with a 5 to 10 mph wind. Dreamy weather for a first trip of the season. (Always a bitch to acclimate yourself to the ice, wind, andfishing at -20F for the first trip out! 😉 )

I gotta say that little Victorianox paring knife is THE sweetest fish cleaning knife I’ve ever had. Thin narrow Wicked laser sharp blade, and a great grippy handle. Love it!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Improviser, knives, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Winter | Leave a comment

motor boating!

A buddy of mine is converting his outboard river boat to an inboard. Going from a outboard prop to inboard jet. 


The motor is a GM made Ecotec supercharged in line 4 cyl 2.4L. Mostly stock Except some EFI, exhaust, and cooling components. 240HP. And the super charger is off of a 2.2L Ecotec… the 2.4s didn’t come with them.

The outboard that came off was 80HP. 

He had a custom boat(among other things ) welding shop that another buddy works at chop, channel the boat and build the motor and jet pump mounts in the boat. Then he’s done all the install, wiring, tuning(most of it) etc himself. 

There is a lot of custom stuff done with this motor, it’s a popular one to swap into things, but this is the only jet boat, and IIRC only boat of any kind in the world with one!

I was out with him on Monday the 18th for the first ever in water running and tuning. We spent 9 hours on the water, only about 45 min running it. The rest of the time was chasing fuel supply issues, mostly mechanical, but also in tuning the computer control of the EFI.. 

I’ve learned an Epic amount of stuff that I didn’t know about how EFI systems work.

There is a lot of his builds details posted on a couple forums;

https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/2-4…5-supercharger-2272-mv-jet-boat-build-322969/

http://www.meanchicken.net/webmain/forum/viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=69&t=19737

Apparently jet boats are Really popular in NZ? A lot of the info hes using came from down there!

http://www.nzjetboating.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30216.0
It just amazes me, the new motor and jet setup is only about 100lbs heavier than the old setup, if that much, he’s still only drafting 6″ under this thing,(on step it has to be 3″ or less!) With selling the outboard motor off it, he’s almost broke even, and gained 100+ HP ( 80 to 240, but ya lose some to the jet pump).

Unfortunately I lot all my video and pics from that day except one shot;

Yeah, the scenery is pretty epic too! 🙂 

That lake is unique in the area, and relatively new, only been there a couple years. It’s only about 1/2 mile,  maybe a touch more across the London way, 1/4 the other way I’d guess… BUT  It’s within 2 minutes of the industrial part of town, and 5 minutes from metro/downtown,  a 10 min max from just about anywhere in Fairbanks.

 It’s Deep, has a great launch and floating dock, picnic areas, bathroom facilities,  and allows power boats. That last one is the big thing… Otherwise it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to a lake that allows powered craft. Otherwise it’s the rivers… But playing in a current can get old, and these are shallow water rivers… Can be less than fun at times.  

It’s perfect for this project, as shallows and a current could be killer for testing a new motor! 

As a bonus, this lake does outlet into the Tanana river, so it has options.  And fish.. 😉 
So, onto the next time we were our with it, last Saturday;

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Junk yard GM ecotec 2.4L with a supercharger from a 2.2L. Full custom setup for fuel delivery and injectors( the only GM part left is the rail itself). The jet pump unit is top of the line made by Scott. 

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Our day out the first time that Monday, 9 hours on the water, 45 min run time mixed with problems…. But it did run all the time… or would run for short times.

This last time out on Saturday, boat was in the water 6 house before we got it to run at all… uhuh. 

First 3 hours it would fire over but not stay running. We were trying to run it without an O2 sensor (which technically it should do!) since the machinist that’s making the O2 adapter for the marine water jacketed exhaust had the sensor. 

No go. 
We had his spare sensor, but different plug/wire harness and colors. Tried unsuccessfully to hot wire it in. 

Drove the 40 miles(1.5 hours) round trip and picked up the right O2 sensor. 

Installed. 
Then it wouldn’t even fire! 
Checked and found no spark. 

Serriously turning into a rough day at this point. After over an hour of checking everything, I found a main fuse blown. We’d shorted out something and blown power to the whole setup when hot wiring the first O2 sensor! Oops!!

Them it ran great! Other than a hick up or two at about 3200 rpm, where it would stall out, and if you pushed it, the compute would kill the electronic throttle… 

We found out later that the tuning/computer fuel tables transition at that point to a higher rpm/load setup, but it not set right and it leans out too far– enough to cook the motor fast– computer was doing right to protect the motor when it was cutting off. 

So that will need chased in the programing, to richen up that tables’ mixture curve. 

For the rest of our testing we kept it below 3K without a hitch.

Its a non issue for general run though. We hit 50% throttle and 25 to 30 mph at 2800 rpm or below depending on load in the boat. 


And there is the big point; load in the boat. 

First run with around 900 pounds in the boat and it went “on step” within a boat length, and ran like it was empty! 

So we bumped up to all we had.

Two 50 gallon drums, two 20 gallon drums all full of water, my friend and I, and we had 1800 pounds in the boat. 

With the full 1800 in it, it took maybe 40 feet to get on step, then ran 40% throttle to 25 mph, at around 3000 rpm, ran fantastic, circle after circle in the lake, without a hitch. 

Never bogged, never pulled bad… was almost like an empty boat!! 

:D

Technically, the hull itself is only rated at about 1800 pounds, so add in motor, jet pump, and gear weight etc, we were a good 500 pounds over that. Ha! 

So the most weight you could ever safely have in there, and more than you’d ever really need to, and it ran basically like the loaf just wasn’t there.

100% success to the project! (A single 66″ moose, 2 guys and their gear last fall with the 115 hp outboard, he couldn’t get it on step, and they got back with less than 2 gallons of gas to spare. Almost didn’t get back, basically!) The point wasn’t a speed demon, but a super weight hauler for hunting. I think he’s got it. ;)

A bonus too, on about the third loop around at constant rpm/speed, the fuel ratio suddenly improved by dropping on air percentage.. anything over 15% is bad, and 17ish on up will cook the motor. 

We were running between 14 and 14.7 to start, at cruise speed. OK but not great. It suddenly dropped to 12.5. The computer is learning what it can do, and what the motor needs, and is tuning itself. 

At this point, the more it runs, the better it should run the mixtures as it continues to learn. Shouldn’t have to worry about it as much. 

Anyway, our last two runs of the day, part one and two from in the boat. And part three from the launch, while we waited for some kids to get out of the way of loading on the trailer. 

Slight hitch at the end of this next one… lol. 

Sorry you don’t get to see me.. (lucky you actually! ) we started out both filming, but he ran out of hands between throttle, steering wheel, and phone… lol.

So, anyway, this has really been a lot of fun for me, I’m super grateful he’s included me, and allowed me to be a part of helping with this. 

  As you all know, I Really enjoy custom work, things out of the ordinary. Along with my automotive interests, growing interest in boats, and absolute (if probably a bit weird)love of troubleshooting, improvising  and chasing a problem,  I really am loving this project. 
As I type this, he is mounting the marine water jacket exhaust(last few days anyway), and custom O2 sensor mount. Be interesting to see how, or if, that changes the run of the motor. 

All things stay good, and God willing, on the 3rd of August this boat is one of three going on a church group fishing/camping trip. 3 days in Minto Flats, one of the biggest and most remote norther pike hot spots in the state.  Yes, I’m going! 😉 😀

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Summertime, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

First ice fishing of the season!

Up at 4am, me a buddy at 530, little over an hours drive, short walk(100 yards..) to the spot, we were on Birch Lake and fishing by 7. 

Wasn’t too cold at around 0 to 5F but the steady breeze at 8 or 10 mph with gusts to 25 or 30 mph was COLD!!

An Eskimo shelter and double bottle propane buddy heater fixed that… 

in the 10 minutes from drilling the holes, till we got setup the holes started to ice over… an hour later we had it so warm in there, basically t shirt weather, we’d melted all the remaining slush from the holes… ha! 

yeah man, between the shelter, the heater, and the gas ice auget, we were really roughing it! LOL.  

My haul of rainbow trout and silver salmon. The biggest, the rainbows were a little over 12″. I’d caught about 7 total, kept 4, and my buddy let me have a couple of his, he’d gotten about 10, kept 7 or so… Not bad for first trip of the season! 😎👍👍
3 rainbows made dinner, the rest froze for later, first time I’ve ever gotten 2 meals from a single ice fishing trip!

 Also first time I’ve eaten rainbow trout; pretty dang good!  Good flavor, mild but not bland. Not as dreamy as the big Lake trout I had last summer, but still great! 

Don’t think I actually posted this knife here when I got it last month, but my new Case Cutlery 47 frame Muskrat pattern folder makes a fantastic fish cleaning knife! Long slim razor sharp blades are a dream to use. 

I normally use a Case Sodbuster Jr. but it was a little duller than I needed this time, and being already slimy and bloody, it was too much trouble to sharpen it. So I simply grabbed my recent edc, the Muskrat. 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, EDC, EDC/MT use, Fishing, Hunting, Ice Fishing, knives, Outdoors, Winter

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