Project "Autonomous" F-350

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Crazy times. Supposed to be social distancing but have been going to the store every day trying to get eggs, TP, etc. The kitchen is filled with mostly frozen foods. Yuck. I earn a lot of my income covering events which are now being cancelled. Luckily I have something big in the works. I brought in some help. Going to go big with the National Advocate Magazine. Stay tuned for our first big issue that will be coming out in a few weeks. Those of you who write, and take photos; I might run some of your content. PM me if interested. Stay safe out there.

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pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Well, this added to my to do list today. I got a creosote branch through the sidewall. I've been running the same stack of Falken Wildpeaks for 5 years now, and despite driving through all kinds of rocks, cactus, bushes, trees, broken glass, you name it; it's my first flat tire. Pretty amazing. I wore a couple out, but no flats.

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ITTOG

Well-known member
That sucks. It looks like you had what you needed to replace it. I have to ask, what is a creosote stick? I know creosote is a wood preservative used on railroad ties and Marine pilings but I've never heard of it on a stick.

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rayra

Expedition Leader
They make a good signal fire, too.

In the later 80s a Marine reservist got left behind in the wastes of 29 Palms as his unit completed their training cycle. He was likely dead before they even realized he was missing. A determined search was made, he wasn't found. IIRC several months later, in winter, a search party of explorer scouts finally found a trace of him, his folded clothes (probably delirium) and eventually his remains. With his rifle nearby. He'd apparently headed off for the horizon lights of the town, and not the closer base areas. Across the desert training area and well off any beaten path. Punishments were made, policies and standing orders changed. 'Desert survival' training was mandated, along with the routine 'range safety' 'do not touch my unexploded ordnance' lectures for any personnel coming aboard the base to train.
I'd tell my Marines to stay on or near the MSR. to dig into the relatively cooler sub-soil and rig some shade using whatever they could, draped over the aforementioned creosote bushes, on the north side, stay in the shade. Someone will come / pass. And if they got desperate, just go right ahead and pile up some creosote bushes and light the damned things on fire. Someone would come along pretty soon. The Range Safety operation there was up a mountain ridge, overlooking hundreds of square miles of the training area. Half the guys smoked. Every MRE came with a book of matches. They'd see the fire, a persistent fire, and calls would be made and someone would come.
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
They make a good signal fire, too.

In the later 80s a Marine reservist got left behind in the wastes of 29 Palms as his unit completed their training cycle. He was likely dead before they even realized he was missing. A determined search was made, he wasn't found. IIRC several months later, in winter, a search party of explorer scouts finally found a trace of him, his folded clothes (probably delirium) and eventually his remains. With his rifle nearby. He'd apparently headed off for the horizon lights of the town, and not the closer base areas. Across the desert training area and well off any beaten path. Punishments were made, policies and standing orders changed. 'Desert survival' training was mandated, along with the routine 'range safety' 'do not touch my unexploded ordnance' lectures for any personnel coming aboard the base to train.
I'd tell my Marines to stay on or near the MSR. to dig into the relatively cooler sub-soil and rig some shade using whatever they could, draped over the aforementioned creosote bushes, on the north side, stay in the shade. Someone will come / pass. And if they got desperate, just go right ahead and pile up some creosote bushes and light the damned things on fire. Someone would come along pretty soon. The Range Safety operation there was up a mountain ridge, overlooking hundreds of square miles of the training area. Half the guys smoked. Every MRE came with a book of matches. They'd see the fire, a persistent fire, and calls would be made and someone would come.
What about flat tires? I'm trying to stay positive but 2 in 2 days? Not only do I have to drive the van down to my storage, but I have to take apart, and then build 2 beadlocks. I can feel my hands buzzing already.

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pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I know I'm going to get the "This post is worthless without photos," but I swear I was just unable to break out the phone while I was working. I built a frame to mount 4 solar panels that will be going on the roof rack I also made on top of the Van. I will get some photos, I promise. After fabricating everything (aluminum square tube, and angle glued and riveted), it was too heavy to lift it up onto the roof by myself. The good thing about a cut-away van is that I will just load it into the back, and go find some help. While I was taking a break, and on an important call, I saw a huge tarantula walk by and head for some shade under the trooper. Sure wish I could have got a shot of him. He didn't look anything like the ones you used to see all the time on TV shows in the 60's. He was definitely roughing it in the desert. He was dusty and looked a little worse for wear. Interesting that I've seen a tarantula hawk flying around the past few days. Nature is sophisticated in how everything fits together. Anyways, pics on the way.
 
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