Another work trip to NR5M in Texas during the week just passed.
While we were worried about the weather on this trip (the forecast included lots of wind & rain), we got lucky. All the prep work went off fine. The crane arrived at 7:30 on Thursday, and after two hours of setup, we pulled the modified 80M Yagi up 60-70 ft and checked the bandwidth and SWR. Having added the new M2 switching relay boxes, we were not sure what (if any) changes might have taken place. The beam had shifted a tad higher in the band (we set it up for phone), but we decided the changes were insignificant, and so proceeded with lifting it into place. W2GD and I climbed up, and once at the top, it took about seven minutes to haul the beam up and secure it. We worked on hooking everything up, while the crane crew began tearing the crane down, in order to move to our next location. It was amazing to watch them move the crane down the driveway with the boom EXTENDED! Looked like NASA moving an ICBM at Cape Kennedy or something. They kept the outriggers extended, mere inches above the ground, and crept slowly toward our unfinished 55G tower. This tower has been at NR5M for over 10 years at 100 ft, but George has always wanted to have it extended to 185 ft. We had pre-assembled the 55G sections, and the cane (once set up), lifted it up and I bolted the final 80 ft in to place, all in just a few minutes. Then W2GD and gang ran around hooking up the guy lines.
Friday and Saturday were spent working on some repairs–all corrosion issues (rotator & coax junctions need to be enclosed in Hoffman boxes, which we’ve been saying since our earliest worktrips). Once those were completed, we moved once again to the 6M tower, installing star guy brackets and orbital ring rotators.
George was doing SOABHP in the CQ WPX contest, and we were very pleased to see him have a 240 first hour! Tower and antenna installers/builders don’t always get to watch the results obtained or possible from their labors.
So this was a true treat.
I hopped on 20M this AM and gave George a point with my own WPX call, KZ4AA….he was closing in on 3000 QSOs….!