On The Road with the K4ZA/W2GD team

Finally, on the road, working, albeit with some spare time to share stories & details of the work, all while still ON the road!

Meaning, we finally got to the Montgomery County PA EOC tower site, where we’d arranged with Doug, W3CF, to finalize their HF Yagi installation. They have 100 feet of ALLIED tower (self-supporting, like Rohn SSV), which was erected without a top plate–apparently mostly to hold a collection of Station Masters every 20 feet up the siderails. But the boys have wanted a Yagi up there since day one, so I agreed to fabricate a top plate & rotator shelf, to make the tower more “ham antenna friendly,” so to speak. It took three months to get the engineering drawings delivered (you know how gov’t billing can be). Then there was a bit of a wait until I had other material to take to the galvanizing plant, & so on. Everything went fine (including lifting that top plate, 1/4-inch steel, almost 4 feet diameter!), with all 12 holes aligning perfectly. But the rotator shelf….another story.
The drawings did not show that the tower’s X-bracing “swapped sides,” as they install one piece inside, one piece outside. Having made a shelf that’s just like Rohn, my angle bracing (designed to simply bolt onto the tower legs), would not fit. But being hams, & being prone to problem-solving, we put up the mast & used the existing mast-mount for the T2X on top of it. A short stub of pipe went in the T2X & we shortly had the TH-7 on top of that. Not exactly pretty, not exactly robust enough for years of trouble free service, but they’re on the air with the Yagi.

We made it all work, & with about 10 minutes of daylight left, too. I’ll be building a new accessory shelf to accomodate the X-bracing when I get home, then another trip back up to install everything “the right way,” of course.

Next job? We travel back to State College to figure out how/why the TIC Ring rotator on the newly-installed 40M OWA has stopped working.

stay tuned…

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