This August and September, I found a little time to pursue some miscellaneous ham projects of my own.
In August, I acquired a nice 80 foot… well, 74 foot tall utility post from Dave, N0NAF. I talked a friend of mine into helping me move the post about 15 miles out to dad’s “farm” which has more space for me to play with such things as tall posts and towers and long wire antennas. The move was uneventful after we lopped off a rotting section at the top of the post and attached apparatus to tow the post… at least, until that last turn at the final location. The post was too long for such a narrow driveway, and after about five attempts to maneuver the whole length in, we ended up partially in the ditch, and stuck nicely.
Fortunately, a couple of neighbors happened to passing by, and we got some much needed assistance… lifting us up from the hole we’d gotten ourselves into.
In September, Josh, KE0CPH and I got together the day after the Buena Vista County club had its fun day at Black Hawk Lake in Lake View. Josh wanted to make some QSOs and invited me along to join him. Still exhausted from the previous day, I convinced him to come to Lake View, and we set up on the opposite side of the lake as I’d been at the day before.
Josh, in his haste to get on the air, had forgotten to pack an antenna, and neither of us was keen to fire a line over a tree to pull the antenna up. Fortunately for us, I had wanted to test out the military mast sections I’d gotten from Mark, K0MJT (IIRC)… and Josh had a couple friends in town who stopped by to visit. So we set up the nice mast system and tried to pull a line to the top with a very makeshift “pulley” at the top. We learned that the old military mast system does bend much, especially with a no-pulley pull to hoist the load. Perhaps a second set of guy lines would be smart. After an issue with the 40-meter dipole, the makeshift “pulley” snapped and the line came down missing all important people and things as it fell.
I ran back home (only a few blocks away) and rummaged for a pulley I knew I had… somewhere. It took me a few minutes to locate the pulley, and when I returned to the lake, we took the mast down and added the pulley to the top. Josh and I then attempted to raise the mast system with just the two of us, and it was quite easy. We got the mast up and wow is life so much easier when you try to raise that load with a proper pulley! After Josh was making some good QSOs, I worked on re-repairing my G5RV-type antenna (also from K0MJT – Thanks Mark!). Luckily, when it got caught by the rollbar on the mower, it simply pulled the crimped butt-splice off the ladder-line. So a bit of time to remove the heat-shrink and the old butt splices, check everything over… and I was able to re-splice the ladder line to get the antenna fixed once more. We switched out the antennas and Josh made a few more QSOs. Not a busy day, but fun, productive, and educational.