Ralph Prepares for Serious DX
For those with hi-gain antennas on a tower, it is wise to take it down for maintenance once a year.
Today was the chosen day for our club vice-president, Ralph VE7OM. He was experiencing some problems with the rotor for his SteppIR at the top of the tower. It seems that pointing it "east" on the control in the shack, produced some other direction up top!
Ralph talked to Jim VE7UVL and Jim called together a few of the club members to help lower the tower into Ralph's back yard. Helping were Ken VE7KBN, Deme VE7CRT and Stuart VA7QB. With Jim up on the roof with block and tackle, and the others down below guiding it - Ralph was able to inspect the setup.
After extensive careful inspection and detailed analysis of the rotational misalignments, Ralph determined that all it was, was one lone bolt which had come loose on the mast. The mast was pivoting freely under the rotor - not what one wants. After a bit of jerry-rigging, all was tight again, and Jim did a brief check of all the other clamps and connections to take advantage of the antenna being close to ground!
Re-erecting the mast was perhaps the hardest part of the day's work as the block and tackle could not do the heavy work on the first 45 degrees of the lift back into place. The strong backs of VE7KBN, VE7CRT and VA7QB went to work and quickly got the tower lifted into place.
All is now good-to-go with Ralph's SteppIR antenna, and he's once again pulling in those late-night Europeans now that the bands are coming open again.
All in all a good club outing to help out a member.