Beginning with work…the trials ‘n tribulations of rebuilding the cubical quad, then re-configuring the tower, etc. finally came to a near-conclusion for the KZ5ED install. Turns out, there was (is) an apparent problem with the old ComTek antenna switchbox used to select the various quad driven elements. We were unable to get it working, so in the meantime (while I’ve been off having tons of fun), Eric has purchased a new DXE switchbox. If it ever stops raining, I’ll run up there & install it, along with installing the new EHS lower guy set.
This weekend found me once again getting beat up on 20M by the guys at K3LR. We began the contest under some severe limitations (these are not to be construed as excuses, mind you, just observations….). No high 20M antenna rotator, despite the installation of a newly rebuilt 2800 the previous week, which Frank assured me had worked perfectly until I sat down & tried to turn it to JA. Dead, just dead. Being pointed at 60-degrees was certainly no help whatsoever. So we worked until Saturday morning around 9AM with the rotating tower stack for EU, which has to beam THROUGH the other 20M tower, never a good thing. Once I got the big beam (& the lower stack) oriented on EU, things started hopping. But I knew we were way behind. And that’s how things ended. 25M for us, 32M for K3LR.
On the route home, I stopped at N4UP’s, to resolve some rotator issues for Peter. Turns out,his Orion 2800 had been factory set for a South stop, which means he’d been turning it 360-degrees for the past two years, just to get the beam pointed right. He had originally thought it was just a slipping issue (the Orion clamp is known to be somewhat problematic in this regard, especially with hardened masts, like his chrome-moly). So, that meant working on a partially extended tower (he has a 72-ft US Tower crank up), never a good idea. Peter told me to simply get a manlift–no haggling, no questions or discussions, etc. Just do the work the safest, simplest way. Ya gotta luv clients like that ! So, we picked up a towable manlift & quickly discovered there had not been any significant slippage.
A quick trip to the shack proved the stop was in the wrong place, however, so re-programming the M2 control box (the manual’s especially poor on this procedure, IMHO) resolved that. Then I went back up & re-positioned the antenna again, & I believe Peter is finally in business. He celebrated by working an ATNO for himself this morning (A35). Headed home & ran in to rain just below Greensboro; awakening this morning to find it also raining here in Charlotte. The forecast calls for rain for the next three days, wreaking further havoc with the already tattered work calendar.
All clients stand by & please be patient; you’re not forgotten, merely stuck on hold until….