Last Saturday morning was cool and damp. What better outdoor activity for such a time than putting up some antennas.
I had the opportunity to help put up an 80m/40m Doublet at the Excalibur antenna site. My only previous experience at getting antennas in trees was to use a throwing weight with kite line, but Paul Stroud (AA4XX) showed me the finer points of using a slingshot.
|Up, Up and... well that didn't go where I aimed|
- Attach a fishing reel with lightweight 6 lb fishing line to a slingshot. Lubricates the line with a very lightweight oil or teflon to let it better slide over branches, especially in the spring when the sap starts to flow.
- Attach a 1-2 oz weight to the line with a snap hook. You'll be taking that weight on and off the line frequently.
- Sight well above the tree and aim for a hefty fork in the branches that you wish to support the antenna wire.
- Let it fly... At which point there are a couple of possibilities:
- If you are Paul and you've done this many times then you move on to the next step.
- If you're like me you miss badly a few times, or you tangle the fine fishing line on the launch. When you miss:
- Gently tug on the fishing line watching for where the weight is at the other end. Mark that spot in your mind.
- Go detach the weight, come back to the rod, THOU SHALT NOT try to reel the line back with the weight attached. If you leave the weight on while trying to reel it back IT WILL wrap itself around a branch and you'll have to cut the line and likely lose the weight.
- Reel the line back in and try again.
|Correcting one of my many blunders. Homebrew ladder line in the foreground.|
The feedline was 125 feet of home-made open wire feedline made from cheap insulated 18 gauge wire and electric fence insulators. The plastic electric fence insulators had a hole drilled in each end and small zip ties were used to hold the wire in place. Insulators were spaced approximately 18 inches apart on the feedline. That's a lot of insulators. Paul is a patient man.
Other work at the site
While Paul and I were working to get the 80m and 40m doublet raised Dick (N4HAY) was doing an inspection on the antenna mounted on the 75 ft crank up tower. The tower had been lowered for maintenance.
Cranking it back up is a good cardio workout.
|N4HAY displaying the proverbial "High Standing Wave"|
So I'm learning about raising wire antennas and sharpshooting with slingshots. Fun times.
That's all for now
So lower your power and raise your expectations