Wednesday, August 8, 2012

K8RRT Repairs Antennas Damaged by "Derecho" Wind

PRO-57B Going Up
2-L 30-M Going Up
After the June 29, 2012, "Derecho" wind that blew through the eastern U.S., K8RRT had his mast bent severely.  See this Blog Post "K8RRT Wind Damage" for photos and more information.

Today, 8-August-2012, he was able to take down his antennas, replace the mast, install a new rotor and re-install the antennas.  In addition, he added a Hy-Gain VB-66DX 6-element, 6-M yagi to the stack.  The new mast has a .375" wall thickness so it should stand up to the wind from now on.

The photo on the left shows the full-size 2-element 30-M yagi going up to the top of the mast.  This antenna was converted by Charlie, N8RR, from a 2-L 40-M CushCraft that I used to use in Ravenswood.  This antenna, although the biggest in Tim's stack, suffered absolutely no damage in the big wind.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

The photo at the right shows the Sky Power JLG 600A 4-wheel drive boom lift rented from SunBelt Rentals.  This piece of equipment was the "berries" for removing the damaged antennas and replacing the mast and re-installing the antennas.  It reaches to a height of 60-feet and that was "just enough" to get this job done.
"Helpers" Owen and Grant

"Paul" and "Woody" were the crew from Beam, Inc. of Poca, WV, who did the aerial work.  They were very experienced in doing this type work and knew how to get the job done in the shortest possible time but with quality work.  While they were on a break, my grandsons, Owen and Grant, (at left) checked out the boom-lift.  They were very helpful during the days operations and are learning how to do this antenna work for when Grandpa gets too old to do his own!

Below is a 2-minute video showing the boom lift raising the Mosely PRO-57B from ground level to the top of the tower.  This method of antenna installation is really slick.  Not cheap, but slick.  Tim was pretty much forced to go this route because the wind damage made it nearly impossible to safely remove the antennas from the damaged mast.

     For the icing on the cake, once the antennas were up, Tim ran the coax and rotor control cable through the back door into the shack and made a QSO with D64K in the Comoros.  This was an ALL-TIME New One!  What a way to christen his re-born antenna array!  Congratulations, Tim!

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