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,

  1. Wonderful photo’s guys!
    And it’s less than 6 weeks ago, since I was there myself as you requested. Looks like yesterday!
    I really would have like to be there with you all, to help. Would have been awesome!

    Did Giselle offer you the Siemens TeleTypewriter as well? The old metal type T100a. I told her we use computers for RTTY nowadays (and for the last 30 years… :mrgreen: )
    Greetings to all of you, from the Netherlands!

  2. hi Mike:

    Very nice tower, & looks like vy fb tower WORK!

    Continue to “follow along” with your station
    building efforts. Kudos to one ‘n all…
    73 Don K4ZA

  3. Moskojärvi, well done!! And interesting.
    73, PY2XU, SM0CXU ex. SM2CXU

  4. Tapani Nisula, OH5BM

    Hi Mike,
    Quite nostalgic feeling seeing those pictures.
    I was there in 1983 with OH8QD putting those antennas up.
    Somehow mixed feeling to see those and tower dismantled at least I belive they will go for a good home and will be much more in use as they used to be.
    The first night we got 4/4/4/4 ready and cabled we fired Börje’s
    Signal One tranceiver (the best and most expensive on that time)and gave a call on 20m on empty band.
    And we got unbelievable yankee pileup. W’s were saying only signal from Europe and how are you so strong!?.

    Later I heard local hams were about to run the contest from there, but the it somehow went happy together party and no big results..
    See you again inte contests and take good care of that old tower!
    Tapani, OH5BM, OG5B, OH4X

  5. That sounds wonderful Tapi! I heard then SM5COP had talked with OH8QD about us taking the tower down, and he also said it seem to go to a good home. Also he said that he stayed there during a road trip with his wife a few years back, and had a silent minute while watching the tower. Must have hurt a bit in the old mans soul seing the antennas in such bad shape.

    The tower is in beautiful condition, there are a few sections where I will need to touch up with the galvanized paint, but otherwise they are in great shape. OH8QD also told me that I should cover up the guy wire rings, since the old model had problems with ice and snow making them freeze up.

    Was it OH8SR who helped Jaakko to put the tower up? Or was it OH6RM?

    The plan is to get the tower up next year, and it will be the main tower for an 80m yagi and a big 15m stack.

    Great to hear from you Tapi, and hope to work you on the bands this contest spring! I will be doing SOAB or SB 20 in WPX SSB.

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