Oklahoma is OK

Well, there is no view from the tower on this trip, as W2GD did the climbing, while I did the sling rigging & ran the capstan winch. Since we were dealing with a 40M OWA, both these items were critical, as the Yagi weighs close to 350 lbs!

The QTH we were working at belongs to Ken, K5KC, & being in Stillwater, OK, experiences winter conditions somewhat differently from the rest of the US. This winter, Ken suffered some serious icing, followed by those mid-Western winds. He experienced ice loosening the Big Grips (at the time we installed things, ice dams for Phillystran weren’t available), as well as over-loading the 40M beam, so much so that elements twisted on the boom, despite being held in place by DX Engineering Super Duty saddle clamps! (This is the first instance, EVER, where I’ve seen these clamps NOT HOLD!) So obviously we had to lower the beam. But Ken didn’t want to use a crane, since there was no way to determine or predict how long repairs would take. After extended discussions, GD & I agreed to try doing this job the “old fashioned way,” by simply tramming the ruptured aluminum monster to the ground, & then hoisting the repaired version back up. Luckily, Ken’s tower is 55G, well-guyed.

While it took us a lot longer than expected to get the antenna to ground, the repairs took less than two hours. Basically, we re-aligned the elements, & then installed 5/16-inch Grade 8 bolts through both the boom & the DXE clamps. If that does not hold, me-thinks it may be time to take up stamp collecting.

While this would have been a good project to document with pictures. everyone’s hands were more-or-less full while working, & nothing got recorded. Special thanks have to be given to Ken, who provided food & drink for the two days we were out therein the hot OK sun (93 degrees), along with W5TM, for his able assistance. Next up, work here in the Carolinas.

stay tuned…

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