At Work & Play…

Headed to mid-MO last week w/old pal AI0O’s 2L 30M Yagi atop the bed rack, along w/a 25AG5 section of tower. Couldn’t make the trip (16 hours) in one go–getting old, apparently. Great to see Rob again, & we immediately got to work building the Yagi. I was following the basic design included in the Antenna Handbook, w/some slight mods to accommodate on-hand tubing & materials.  I’d requested W3LPL model what I’d built, & Frank told me the DE was “off” by 4-inches. But that the REF needed an additional 49-inches of tubing! Fortunately, Westlake’s Hardware stocks tubing, & we were able to find suitable telescoping sizes. Then it was a relatively simple task to finish stacking tower. Used the old trick of hauling the beam up past a guy point, then securing the guys underneath it, & hauling up sections through the beam. Easy enough w/a 2L design. We used Rob’s son Justin & his friend to haul the beam up on to the mast, while Rob kept the boom level & pointed North, as I tightened things down.  We spent our evenings chasing the various PJ stations around the bands & otherwise playing radio. Shades of the early 80s when I lived in Columbia, MO, myself….

Then it was back on the road, headed East, to K0KL, in Warrenton, MO. Ed had an AN Wireless 100 footer w/a broken Prosistel. I arrived w/three hours of daylight left, so scooted up the tower in hopes of getting something done, but just as I got all the bolts loose, I looked out at the horizon & saw the lightning. It was raining steadily before I reached the ground. I managed to get the work done the next day, including my old time favorite task–standing on the top plate, secured to the mast, to replace his 2M vertical.

I headed to WB4YDL’s place that afternoon. The GPS always finds the shortest route anywhere, which in this case was some god-forsaken tiny road leading to a ferry across the Mississippi River. Which stops running daily at 6PM. Since it was PM when I arrived, this was not good! It took forever to get out of there, as it’s literally in the middle of nowhere.  All the other work at the doc’s went well, until it came time to mount the TIC Ring motor. Apparently I’ve managed to mount the Ring frame incorrectly, as the motor will NOT engage. This means another trip back there, another 12 hour trip…no joy in Mudville, indeed. But everything else went okay, including the high dipole for 160/80, the ComTek switch boxes & control cabling, the Hoffman boxes for control lines, etc. I was even able to resolve the Orion rotator issue, by replacing the ICE MOV-protection box w/a higher voltage model. Apparently it was doing exactly what it was designed to do, & the Orion would only turn CW.

Home this morning at 3AM, to find a helicopter blocking the driveway to the house! A Med-Evac unit, that had landed to pick up a struck down pedestrian. I assume, at that hour, it was someone walking back from the racetrack, the NASCAR race having ended late last night. Naturally, I had to detour around it, & get home the back way, which took another 30 minutes. Frustrating when you can see your house but “can’t get there from here,” literally.

Comments on this new blog layout/design by KA9FOX are overwhelmingly positive. Thanks Scott!

stay tuned

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