Upon arriving at Blackstone, a quick stop to say hello was made at the South Piedmont Agricultural Extension Campus (SPAREC) main building. There we examined the dish antenna and radio installation on the roof looking for any possible problems. However, no problems were noticed. Randy also took to trying to make sure the antenna was pointing in the correct direction with the use of a GPS program in his phone. With the accuracy of the phone compass a little questionable, it was determined the dish was still pointing in the correct direction.

Upon arriving at the radar site, no other major surprises were observed with the wireless dish or radio. Although here the signal level LEDs were observed and it was noticed that at times no signal strength was showing up. Logging into the wireless radio showed that the signal level was fairly low. Some effort was put forth to try to move the antenna into a better position in order to increase the signal level, but no amount of moving or raising or lowering seemed to increase the signal strength significantly. However, the strength did improve such that the network connection held fairly strong for several hours.

During this time, the radar electronics inside of the Blackstone radar were explained to Randy. The concepts of the phasing matrix, phased antenna arrays, and receiver front end were compared and contrasted to the Fort Hays radar.

With the connection still holding solid, the lights were turned off in the building and we left the site running in good condition. All and all, not a lot of work, but we got the job done and Randy gained critical knowledge of SuperDARN radar operations.