Success At 200 Feet

The crane arrived early at K4TD’s….& was mostly set when K1TO & I arrived. While they made their final prep, I gathered tools & slings, & headed for the man basket. The crane guy agreed to let me hang a couple of 2X4s out in front of the basket, so we essentially made a forklift out of it. Securing them with some ratchet straps, we then loaded a rope & the rools, & TO & I were off to 200 feet! In minutes, we were securely under the broken 80M Yagi element, & beginning the dismantling process. Then we found my first error: I should have brought along the entire Metric toolbox, as the support U-bolt nut’s sizes were not included in the wrench collection I’d brought along! So…I had Rick put my toolbox in a Klein bucket & pulled it up to us.  Probably spent more time attaching “safety” slings on the broken boom element than necessary, but it came apart & off in short order & we were on the ground. The rope proved useful in allowing the ground guys to manuever the basket in among the trees, too.  Then we went back up & removed the 2nd element. This one took only 15 minutes; experience pays off!  The broken boom took another hour, securing it with slings, & carefully making sure it was secure on the basket.

While the tower looks a little bare up top, Rick can sleep peacefully at night, knowing the big Yagi isn’t about to break loose & tumble down through his tribander stack, ruining them.  He was grinning ear-to-ear as the plan for removal went off flawlessly.

K1TO dis-assembled part of the boom afterward. Almost every single “splice plate” insert in the OptiBeam was damaged—the threads were simply gone, which allowed the joint to move excessively. Once this process started, things escalated quickly, & the damage just piled up. I continue not to be a fan of their multi-sectional boom design. I much prefer the more typical (leastwise here in the USA) method of telescoping tubing, bolted together.

That way, at least, should there be a problem, you still have the tubing helping to hold the joint together, even if the through-bolts fall out.

Home at 3AM. Playing catch up as usual, readying projects & getting ready to go back on the road. The Dakota rolled over 100K miles on this trip. Wow…that’s a lot of miles in three years…!

Hopefully some pictures to follow…

stay tuned

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