There is no joy in Forest or Culpeper

What a week~!

The trip to Forest VA & W0ID’s QTH went easily enough, hauling the 9-ft wide rolls of
Polygon Rod along. Monday found me building & assembling the Tri-Ex tower sections,
including replacing a set of bearings in one of the K0XG rings. Tuesday morning found the crane there at 7:30 & W2GD & I were setting the rotating tower in place by 10AM. Moving & setting the 5/16-inch EHS guys took a while (they are heavy!) but we were then ready to mount the M2 40M Yagi at the tower top. Dick’s plan was to use a DOM mast (27-ft long) & have the 40M beam out of the tower by 20-ft, with a big (60-ft boom~!!) 20M beam side-mounted to the tower near the top.

We finished the 40M install at the end of the day. We did the 20M install the following morning, then shifted our attention to Phase Two of the work, his second tower–a crankup with its base mounted on top of 30-ft of PIROD tower, & also rotating! In a word, wow!!

Despite preparations, the tower would not crank UP. Even with an on-site electrician (NS4L), we were unable to resolve it, so we simply went ahead with the scheduled work–stacking a pair
of KT-36XAs on the tower. It was a tight fit since the sections would not separate, but we managed it. Once again, I made a “flying forklift” out of the man-basket using some 2X4s extended out over the front of the basket, secured & holding the beam. And once again, it worked like a charm.

Then it was off to W4CYS’s, where I intended to install a new ten-turn pot in his Prosistel rotator. Had it down in short order, but this time, the original pot used a literal roll pin to drive the pot shaft. (Others I’ve seen & modified used a solid rod pin.) Naturally, the roll pin broke when I installed the new pot. So…I’ve brought the rotator home to repair here on the workbench.
His beams are pinned in place in the meantime. Luckily, Hank’s gone to FL for several days & won’t miss turning them.

That night, W0ID called to say the 40M beam (which tested fine before we lifted it up) was now showing an infinite VSWR. I stopped off there Friday on the return leg of the trip & spent several hours in the man basket at 140-ft trying to figure out where the intermittent is/was, all to no avail. Finally, in desperation, I brought the one driven element down to the ground, where it was still showing the erratic SWR–moving from 1.5:1 to infinity & everywhere in between. NOTHING seemed to lead us in any good direction, so Dick’s decided to work on it on his own & I’ll install it after CQWW. I surely hate intermittent type problems! Who knows what he’ll find?

Rain is in the local forecast, so already-scheduled work may be delayed once again.

stay tuned…

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