So…we headed up to Raleigh, NC, to deal with two problem antennas at CDXA member Larry’s (W6NWS) home. His 4L Yagi on 40M suffered some linear loading damage during last winter’s unusual (for this part of the country) radial ice. As the elements loaded up, and then bent downward, they simply pulled the 3/16-inch alumaweld rods out of the little junctions near the element ends. Obviously, the beam had to come to ground for repairs. We managed to get up there Thursday, get rigged, and get the beam down on the ground, and ready for repairs, all before lunch. Having built the beam and installed it just over a year ago, the experience was apparently fresh enough for us that we were able to fly it a bit faster and more easily than the first time. It went back up without too much cursing and yelling.
Friday morning we brought down the second M2 antenna, the 10 – 30 LP8, which Larry claimed had always been a litle squirrely, but now exhibited significant VSWR on 30 and 20M. Calls to M2 didn’t provide much in the way of helpful hints, and thinking about it didn’t offer up any obvious solutions. How can an LP (which is inherently broadband) not work on only two of its available bands? 10 through 17M were all excellent, showing almost no VSWR to speak of. The other mystery (which we never did reconcile) was why we “corkscrewed” the beam up and into place on the tower originally. There was lots of available space, and it trammed down pretty easily. Then the fun began. I sent Larry off to find the original instructions, and we began making measurements. It was immediately apparent that elements 3 and 4 had their tips inter-changed! Larry (who’d built the antenna) was pretty bummed to hear that, of course, but like I always/often say: shit happens. Look for the bumper sticker! So, in five minutes, we had the repairs made, ready to haul it back up. Took about 15-20 lbs of weight on the reflector side to balance it, but otherwise it flew perfectly. All in all, a very respectable couple days of tower work.
Next up, repairs to a rusted out 25G base in Atlanta.