Catching up…the usual excuses

So…some recent work/jobs, seemingly worthy of discussion.

Down to W3PAL in Rock Hill, SC, where Andre’s PRO-57 with a 40M element, had been setting there on sawhorses, waiting on him to get some free time and freedom from backpain issues. Since the antenna was built behind his garage, it meant the tram line had to be installed over the garage, which meant I could not see the beam, while operating the capstan–a first and unique situation for me. Rigging the beam took a while, as there was not really a convenient anchor point, nor enough room to have the 40M element tips ON THE BEAM, on the sawhorses.  With Joe on the tower, me on the winch, Andre with his back issues, these all left us somewhat shorthanded to get the Yagi lifted up, in to place on the tram, and the element tips installed. Luckily, his neighbor stopped by and we drafted him into service, and the lift began. Overall, once we had the beam on the tram, it was really mostly a question of getting enough weight on the boom to balance the antenna (these asymmetrical designs–one side of the boom carries more elements than the other–are NEVER easy).

W3PAL PRO-57 & 40M element install W3PAL’s Yagi going into place

Headed to MD/VA after that, where the intention was to operate CQ WW SSB, as I’ve been doing since 1988, at W3LPL’s. But his xyl (who’s been struggling with some odd malady for two months, so far undiagnosed…) was running a very high fever, and ended up being admitted to the hospital, so the MM contest effort was aborted. That left me scrambling to see if the tower jobs, scheduled for the following week, could be bumped up in time. Luckily, no one minded my early arrival. First up was K1DQV, who needed his T2X rotator swapped out on his BX tower.  Climbing these towers is akin to medieval torture, but I got it done in short order. Only to discover an hour later that the newly-installed rotator was stuck, and would not turn. The motor just screamed, sounding like a collection of stones rattling around inside a hubcap. Climbed the tower in the dark, hoping I could force it around by hand (I was noodling around in the contest myself at this point), all to no avail. But, the next day, we were able to “borrow” yet another T2X from W3LPL, and I installed that one, which worked perfectly.  (10M was really hopping, by the way…)

The following day, drove up to N3ARL’s QTH, where I installed new Heliax and rotator control cables. All accomplished in exactly one hour. And then back to K1DQV’s, where I was crashing at Roger’s place.

Monday morning headed down to Spotsylvania, to WA4JUK’s QTH, to begin playing in the dirt. As I age, I find this work less and less appealing~! But anyway, bought the lumber and formed up his new BX-40 tower base hole, putting the first section in place, securing it with some SaKrete, as is my custom,ready for the pour this coming Thursday.

Finally, headed home, arriving about midnight. WA2TWA’s email awaited, and so the next day, headed to Mal’s place to install his TX-455 crank up and SteppIR. As I age, I find this work less and less…wait a minute…I just said that…but I do admit to not liking crank up towers. I know, I know, they are often needed or necessary, due to various restrictions, and the like, and that is the case here. But they are just too hard to climb or work on them comfortably, and who likes working on a ladder? But again, persevered and things went off without any serious issues.

WA2TWA SteppIR install Working atop ladder at WA2TWA

Next up, K4MK’s new 80M four square!

stay tuned…

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