Henry's East Ealing Site
Updated: 10 May 2004 -- 30S-1 page added
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OFF THE AIR - ALMOST
Well I was off the air, but I had to have something, so I hung a 20m dipole from my chimney. What a difference - but better than nothing! I worked two new IOTA islands EP6KI and FO5RK - three cheers for CW! On the right - the weather again tried to destroy my small new antenna.
I immediately set about ordering a new tower, and discovered that Versatower would supply a complete mast assembly without ground post or winches.
It took a few weeks, but the new tower finally arrived, literally on my doorstep. I had arranged for some strong young men to assist in lowering from the delivery truck. In the event it appeared two hours early, leaving the truck diver, myself and an elderly friend to lower the whole 600 pounds to the ground.
During the next few weeks (of incessant rain) and with assistance, I dismantled the tower, removing cables and pulleys, and carried the separate sections through to my back garden. There they lay for a few more weeks as the rain came down. (1) At last I lost patience, I called a couple of friends one rainy Sunday. They came over, and together we heaved the lower section of the tower on to the ground post. Next day - it was dry! - I wired the lower section to the winch and wound it up (2). That alone made me feel a whole lot better.
Two days later I managed to enlist the aid of an engineer friend, and the sun shone. we assembled the tower, replaced the pulleys and attached the head unit. (3, 4)
Next day I got up early, fixed on some guys and wound it up. Since then I cannot stop looking out the window to re-assure myself that I have a new tower. This was the situation in mid December, and guess what, due to rain I have as yet been unable to build a new beam and erect it.
The weather has been appalling, and I have been patiently waiting for a break. A few days ago the sun shone, exactly 3 months to the day since it all toppled, so I remade the driven element of my old Fritzel tribander, took the tower down and fixed it on the stub mast. Don't let anyone tell you that a dipole at nearly 70 ft is not a good antenna - I worked P29VMS through the pileup - I am back in business!!!
It's now May, and I bit the bullet this week. I have been working hard getting replacement parts for the damaged Fritzel WARC band elements, which were quite unusable. Luckily, the last pieces arrived from Germany a few days ago. It was dry and not too cold - two days of hard work got the complete 5element beam assembled and up in the air. I still hanker for the KLM, but that's to come!