Inband antennas are up

A lot has happened lately. I’ve gotten great help from SM2UVU, SM2LIY and SM2XJP which has resulted in us getting the inband antennas up. It was a bit tricky because we had to lift the whole tower 50mm to get the worm gear under the tower since I hadn’t measured that it actually would fit. I thought it should be obvious it would fit but apparently it was not, poor design.

We also managed to get the 2el 40m assembled and hoisted plus when SM2LIY arrived we also hoisted the homebrew OB16-3 antenna. I spent a whole week down at SJ2W and also made a trip down to Kurt, SE2T where I helped him replace the gamma and coax on his 20m yagi. It was a bit tricky since I could not reach the gamma so I had to shift the whole beam so I could reach it.

I have also managed to get the internet link working again and now also with lightning protection at the top of the tower plus the bottom. I have also added extra shielding which should improve their immunity against interference from the HF bands.

A cabinet was also built for the inband tower to hold all control electronics and batteries.

SM3LIC, SM3UZS and my dad visisted as well which was a blast!

Check the captions of the pictures for more information.

Antenna work, inband rotor and winch

I have gotten great help from SM2UVU the last two weekends and we’ve gotten quite a lot done even though weather was pretty poor last weekend on Saturday. He also had his girlfriend with him which was nice since she and Anna spent time with each other and seemed to have fun.

Me and SM2UVU almost completed the OB16-3 copy. Just some minor stuff left to do such as attaching the boom guys to the center strut and also adding the balun. After that it should be ready to be hoisted, which will hopefully happen quite soon. I also finished the RF choke for the 40m Yagi so that one just needs the hairpin built and it is ready to go up as well. I have some plans to take a week off work soon and hopefully then we can get them mounted on the tower if weather and ground crew allows.

My neighbor called and asked if I needed any construction wood. I said not right now so he said he’d put it away then. When SM2XJP came by and I told him he said “Did you ask if he wasn’t just going to give it to you?”. So I went there and asked the price for it, since I will need it sooner or later. So he told me it was free if I just took it from there which SM2XJP did with the help of the neighbors tractor. It’s great to have such neighbors :) It is quite a lot and the planned rack for aluminium and steel materials seem to be happening this summer :)

I got an inverter that I ordered from China to be used on the winch. I tried it and it works great so me and SM2UVU got the 200m of wire onto the drum of the winch. However I took 20m off it later to have a bit more space, since I will never more than 180m. I will also add some plates to make the drum sides a bit higher to minimize the risk of the wire climbing over. But it seems as if we keep the winch aligned properly to the tower that the wire lays out on the drum nicely by itself. Now left to do on it is welding those side plates on plus making the controls for it. Plan is to have one control on the winch itself but also a remote, at first by cable but I have some plans to make a wireless remote as well.

I have also ordered an inverter based gasoline generator which will be super great when working at the inband tower. And with the new inverter for the winch (1-phase to 3-phase) it is possible to run the winch of it.

WARC beam up and carpentry

The weekend was a great success! The weather was great plus I got very good help from SA2KNG “Knegge” who spent the weekend at the QTH helping me with various projects. SA2KNG is a very skilled ham who got his license just one year ago but is very interested in pretty much everything mechanical and electrical, so he is a great addition to the team. We managed to get the WARC beam finished, tuned and hoisted plus we also fixed the party tent.

I have purchased some nice Hitachi power tools as an early birthday present, so I felt like building something and it ended up being the door for the coax inlet positioned on the barn. I am extremely pleased with the tools and now it feels really fun to build, having the tools at an arm length not needing to get extension cords etc. Anna painted one side of the house and I also did some painting on the white details of the house.

On Sunday me, SM2XJP and XJP son went to remove some branches and trunks from some trees that SM2XJP had cut down. It was a good exercise considering the rather warm weather (we are not used to these temperatures yet).

One thing that happened when we had hoisted up WARC beamen and I had gotten it attached to the tower, was that I found 2 pieces M4 allen screws in the pocket that should have been on the driven element for 12m. After a few profanities I unscrewed the antenna and we took it down again. As I was feeling exhausted after a long day in the sun I felt we needed to call it a night and SA2KNG was nice enough to stay one day longer so we could finish the work which was highly appreciated.

Unfortunately, it was the aurora when I was going to test and compare with the old antenna but hopefully I will get more chances. What was planned to be a little 4+5el duoband yagi ended up being a long boom (15.2m) with 17m (5EL) on 13.5m boom and 12m (6EL) has 14.2m boom.

I’ve thought about running the CQ-M competition this coming weekend but we will see how the weather will be. Bad weather and I might consider doing it but if the weather is good I might work outside instead because I feel extremely motivated right now which is fun.

WARC beam finished

Last week I spent most of the time finishing up the WARC yagi. I made the side supports for the boom, attached the coaxes, made the RF-chokes and also mounted the winch so it can be hoisted. Hopefully weather allows us to put it up during this coming weekend. Left to do is to climb up with the lift rope and get the tram wire mounted. Then we will need to tune the beam and I will first try to get the 17m at the right frequency before I try to mess with 12m.

I will also need to build a switch that toggles between 12 and 17m since I only have one coax up the tower and I don’t really feel like wasting another one for WARC. I will use a switch to use the 15m 1 1/4″ coax going from the tower to the switch room for WARC as well. The plan is that when there is a coax going there for 80m that one will be used instead for WARC + 80m.

Now when thinking about it I should really have another coax running up to the WARC yagi since I would just need one switch and not two, plus I would not need to have it up the tower.

Keep tuned…