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I'm starting this topic as a pre-event planning topic for a fall workday.
This summer we cleaned up the connections on our HF vertical, apparent with some good results. That's good, but we have more work to do, primarily on our HF beam.
Work to do on the beam and tower:
1. install balun to antenna. This will probably be done by cutting off the old hardware and feedline connection, and perhaps drilling out holes for new mounting hardware. Next we secure the balun (already purchased, I hope), and replace the feedline segment currently in use up to the antenna.
2. check tower hardware by removing one or two bolts and inspecting them. Replace removed bolts no matter their condition.
This should improve the operation of our HF beam, and will also make future repair (or replacement) easier, by facilitating removal of the feedline. Tower inspection should be a routine item, and getting a handle on its condition is a good first step in developing long-term plans for tower maintenance and/or replacement.
We might also look at further maintenance on the HF vertical. After speaking with Bob and AJ, (K9SQL, KC9EVU), and emailing Corey (KB9JHU), it seems that while the vertical is in good shape, we might be able to improve SWR on 40m by tuning it for that band, probably sacrificing some performance on other bands at the same time. Bob's thought was that the vertical is primarily used on 40m and 80m so we should focus on those bands for performance. That matches my memory, so I think this is a good idea.
If we do this, it seems that we should first:
-check SWR at 40m and 80m to make sure there's even a 'problem'.
-check the antenna tech documentation for information about tuning the antenna.
-tune the antenna as indicated and re-check SWR on 40m and 80m
If anyone's got suggestions, criticisms, or other comments, this is a good place to put them.
In addition, give us a shout for what date/time you prefer for the workday. This weekend (19 Sept) is bad because of the triathalon. I'm unavailable in mid-October for various reasons, so we probably want to do the job on 20, 26, 27 Sept, or perhaps 3,4 Oct. Give feedback