Monthly Archives: September 2012

Base bearing finished

This weekend me and the girlfriend went down a bit late on Friday to the radio QTH. The plan was for her to do some painting on the house and I was intending to get the some work done on the bottom bearing for the 40m military tower project plus maybe try to get the hole ready to pour some concrete into it. However the work with the hole did not work very well. I used a pump to get rid of the water and thought I could get the dirt that had fallen down during the winter with a shovel but I was very wrong. When I jumped down I sank down almost to my knees in mud and I realized the only thing to do was to call the excavator. He will hopefully empty it sometime during the week so we can get some work done with it this coming weekend.

The base bearing work did go a lot better. I managed to get it pretty much completed and now what is left is to paint it or maybe sent it for to get hot dipped galvanized but I am not sure if they are OK with receiving parts that are partly already galvanized and some painted as well. I need to find that out, if I need to get it all sand blasted first I think I’ll just paint it with hammarlack instead.

My girlfriend did some painting on the house and also cut the lawn after I had cleaned up the yard a bit more.

Hopefully next weekend I will cut down some stumps from old trees so that SM2XJP dares to drive the L70 tractor in there with gravel, if so we can start making the foundation which will be huge fun.

SJ2W strong in W9

I got this clip from my buddy Matt KB9UWU, when they were testing his friends new rig with a short wire on the floor. It was very good propagations yesterday, that is for sure!

The yard got cleaned up

This weekend SM2LIY was working the Scandinavian Activity Contest as SOAB LP. We did not know that the ACOM 2000A that we got sponsored by Ojojoj Music AB would show up before the contest, so SM2LIY was signed up for SOAB LP on the Swedish “National Team” in the contest. The propagation’s during the night with aurora ruined the chances of taking a new Swedish record, but Pelle seem to finish in second place after OH5Z.

On Friday I did connect the last antennas since we dug the cables down in the ground earlier in the summer, to prepare for the contest. I also built a mould which will be used to make the concrete base for the 40m tower. Hopefully next weekend we get to borrow an L70 tractor to get some gravel and maybe the concrete mixer from my neighbor, so we can start making the base for the tower.

On Saturday SM2XJP had borrowed a tractor that we used to move the tower sections and all the wood left from the house work during the summer. I have a small hay barn which is 20m2 that has been standing empty, so we moved the wood there and also the insulating material which was left for the last wall of the house, which will be finished next year. When SM2XJP got tired in his clutch foot I got to drive the tractor which was a lot of fun but when it got too exciting he got to take over ūüôā Now the yard is starting to look decent again but still some cleaning to do before we can call it ready for the winter, which hopefully wont arrive in a while if we are going to get that 40m tower up.

SG3P has borrowed me an TS480HX that I will be using to remote control the station. The openASC system is supporting control of all antennas etc remotely and now I’ve started to make it so that we can control it over ethernet as well, which will make it even more neat. However to make the station fully steerable I will need to add my rotator boards into the rotator controllers so we can turn the antennas remotely.

We got sponsored by SM2O and his Microbit 2.0 AB company with lots of remote gear. The well known remoterig system which is an excellent product to make remote operation enjoyable with very low latency, possibility to send clean CW etc. All in all we got a complete set of RRC-1258MkII with an extra control unit for SM2XJP, a Webswitch 1216H and also an RC-1216H for controlling the ACOM amplifier. I soldered some cables for this so hopefully I will have it operational after the weekend!

Stay tuned…

Moskojärvi, a real adventure

The weekend of 7-9th of September a brave bunch of men (and Anna) went up to Moskojärvi to take down an old 60m high rotatable OH8QD tower which was put up in 1983. This tower must have been one of the biggest setups in the world by that time, since it held 4/4/4/4el on 20m, 3/3el on 40m plus some smaller antennas which were a 4el for 15 and 5el for 10m. Giselle, our host was very kind to us and we got the tower and all accessories for free if we just took it down. So it costed us some gasoline money and the cost of a crane for 6 hours.

I had seen the tower a few times when going between Luleå and Kiruna for work, but I had never stopped. I had heard that it was painted and in very bad condition so I did not really ever care about the tower, since in that case it would have been ruined by this time. SA5BJM called a few years ago and talked about that the lady had given him the tower if he just took it down and asked if I was interested but I said no, since it was in bad shape. But then last year Aloys, PA3DAT sent me pictures of the tower during his trip through Sweden and I could see on the pictures that the tower was galvanized, which changed the interest in the tower drastically. So me and SM2XJP took a trip up there to check it out (450km one way drive) and it was in beautiful shape. The antennas looked like trash but the tower and all hardware such as guy wires looked like it was put up last year, so we got very interested and decided to take it down. However it did not happen last year and I was about to postpone the plans this year too because of both economical but also the lack of time. However, SM3JLA thought I would be stupid to postpone it and when SG3P (SK3W) offered to join us I decided we should try this autumn. So after a bit of planning we had decided for the weekend 7,8,9th of September. We would arrive on Friday, start taking down antennas on Saturday and the crane would arrive on Sunday morning sometime between 8-9.

Everything went very smoothly and SG3P did most of the climbing with SM2NOG helping out a bit in the beginning. I was lucky enough not needing to climb at all, which was probably for the best since I was feeling a bit stressed about things the whole weekend. The most tricky part was taking down the 3el for 40m which was broken in half, but that was taken down without any big problems and by Saturday evening the tower was stripped off and the only antenna left was the top 3el for 40m.

The crane driver was not very happy when he arrived, since he though the ground looked very soft. But I told him that it is very hard 20cm below the surface but many has probably told him that before, without it being true. But after a bit testing he discovered that I was right and he was good to go. It took a bit longer than I expected but the total cost of taking down the tower (excluding gasoline for the cars) was below what I had expected.

Of all the aluminium in the tower most can be used again. The 40m beams looked to be in pretty good shape and I can without a doubt use the material to build the 2 pcs of 40m yagis (2el) that I have been planning to put up in the 40m military project. Also a 4el for 15m will be used and put up @EU in the 18m tower (currently also holding 4el for 20  @EU and 5el for 15m rotatable). There was also a 5el for 10m that was in pretty good shape, one element missing but otherwise OK.

Giselle was a great host and seem to enjoy our company at the cabin and also stayed to bbq with us during Saturday evening. We had a great time, things went smoothly and big thanks to SM3JLA, SM2NOG, SG3P, Anna and me for helping out during the weekend. SM2Z also stopped by a while to say hello on Saturday.

The tower is planned to be put up next year, either in the summer or winter depending on if we will use a crane or not to put it up. Plans are to build a 2el monobander for 80m (probably ~23-27m long elements) and 4x6el or 5x6el stack for 15m. A big 10m stack is currently postponed for next solar cycle peak.

It is so many pictures, so I was too lazy to write texts to all of them, but enjoy! And for Swedish speaking people (or people using google translate) there is also a post about this on Elektronikforumet, http://elektronikforumet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=875356#p875356