spring antenna maintenance plans

I'm creating this topic as a place to put ideas, requests, and plans for antenna/tower maintenance for this spring. Good weather is coming sooner than we might think!

I know for a fact that we need to re-guy the HF vertical antenna. That will take something like 100-150 feet of guy line. I don't recall the source that Jerry once sent via e-mail, but it was approximately $1 per foot at the time. We definitely need to do this purchasing in advance, and it wouldn't hurt to have a bit of extra line hanging around the shack.

We also need to do tower maintenance. From what I recall when I was last up there (over two years ago!) the tower with the HF antennas on it needed at least a good rust-bust and a coat or two of paint. The tower with the VHF antennas on it needed some additional bracing or hardware, as the upper portion wobbled pretty badly.

That's all I've got so far, anyone else know of things we should take a look at?


kb9jhu's picture

We've tossed around the idea

We've tossed around the idea of how nice it would be to have a 6m beam if there was room enough to distance it from the HF beam, but there is no space at all.. 6m beams are fairly inexpensive and would be great for techs. The other problem with that would be getting another feedline run, I think we are at our limit for what the IMU will allow us to have.

I know that is not technically maintenance, but while we are on the topic of shack antennas..

-Corey KB9JHU

kb9jhu's picture

I'll add that if we could

I'll add that if we could get an antenna analyzer (borrow one for the day or maybe bring someone along who has one.. WB9HXP maybe?), I'd like to see what the 2m repeater antenna is looking like these days. Just want to toss that into the list..

-Corey KB9JHU

kb9jhu's picture

I'm going to try and revive

I'm going to try and revive this thread.. I was walking outside of the union yesterday and saw the hf vertical flapping from side to side in the wind, literally..

What do we need to purchase to strengthen or properly guy it? Let's set a date and get it fixed, preferably before INQP.

-Corey KB9JHU

wrt the HF vertical and guy

wrt the HF vertical and guy lines:

If we're going to re-guy the vertical, we really need to do so higher up on the antenna. My impression is that most of the flapping occurs at the joint where the antenna sits on a fiberglass insulator, which itself attaches to the antenna base (which is secured to the building structure). That's where the antenna broke three years ago, too. Removing the wire radials may affect the guying situation too, but I'm not certain.

As for general antenna maintenance, I agree with Bob (k9sql) that we should cut off the feed line for the HF yagi, replace the attachment hardware (and only those two pieces) with SS, bolt a 1:1 balun on there, and put a PL259 onto the feedline. That will go a long way towards improving the life and electrical characteristics of that feedline, which is now simply soldered onto the yagi. That is, currently the dialectric on that feedline is exposed to sun and rain, which isn't doing us any favors.

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