Monday, May 9, 2016

Not all things are QRP

This is not a QRP antenna rotor

Another Saturday morning working at the Excalibur antenna site...  Dick (N4HAY) and I were doing more maintenance on the tower. Part of that effort was to determine why the mast rotor had stopped working.

Paul (AA4XX) and Dick had cranked the tower down and lowered it to ground the previous weekend to remove the beam and gain access to the rotor.  

Mast rotor is a prop-pitch motor from a WW2 aircraft

The rotor is an old prop pitch motor from a WW2 aircraft so it's both heavy and heavy duty but it wasn't turning the mast. The motor was firmly attached via a number of rusted and inaccessible bolts. At first we weren't sure we'd be able to free it from the tower but after an hour of copious application of WD40 and slowly working the blots back and forth we were able to liberate it to freedom.

Once the motor was free we saw that the thrust bearing for the mast was seized.  That will be addressed in a coming weekend.  Until then Dick tested the rotor on the bench and found it still functioning so that was good news.  

Dick recorded a brief video showing that the rotor was alive albeit moving a bit slowly with only 12v powering it.

Taking turns with QRPp

Dick and I took turns fighting the bolts holding the rotor while the other worked 40m using the 1Watter I built.   Band conditions weren't the best and we had the feed line to the doublet crossing some elevated counterpoise wires installed for the 160m antenna so antenna access to the 40m/80m Doublet wasn't ideal as we still focus our work on the shack and tower.

There was considerable DX chasing going on which made finding an opening in the narrow tuning range of the 1Watter a challenge.  I did managed a 559 report from a station in WV.  I managed some ?? responses from a few stations but didn't work anyone else.  I need to work on the feed line situation before using the 1Watter there next time.

That's all for now

So lower your power and raise your expectations


Richard, AA4OO

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