Autumn Colors – It’s Antenna Time!

As the trees start taking on the magic yellow, reds, orange and golden hues of Autumn Color, an amateur radio enthusiast’s thoughts naturally touch on the common sense of doing antenna work before the autumn leaves are gone.  Once exchanged for the cold snows of winter antenna work is an “as needed” task rather than an enjoyable pastime.

Here I will lower the tower, tilt it over and look everything over well.  This year I am planning to open up connections and renew the waterproofing of each join.  I also need to decide whether I should swap rotors out.  The present rotor is doing ok, mostly.  It was used and unknown when I acquired it, and on a few occasions it has shown a small dead spot about 120 degrees where response to the next move required a slight clockwise/counterclockwise wiggle.  I am uncertain if this wasn’t actually a rotor cable splice issue, as after opening & renew the waterproofing at te tower base the condition has never reoccured.

I do have a C.A.T.S. Rotor Service rebuilt identical unit I’ve had as a reserve for a couple years, as my usual station idea is to have a “functional spare” of critical items read to go.

This is why I have a rebuilt rotor on hand, why there are two feedlines, two rotor cables and two remote switch control cables in the chase from the shack to my tower.  While I do not have exact identical replacement radio gear, I do have “functional spares” that would keep me on the air in most contingencies.

Last year I decided to put off the swap another year.   In fact I put off the tower service, only greasing the cables and tower itself, skipping the tip-over phase do to poor weather on the days I had open to do service.   Now I’ll have to decide again whether to leave or to replace a working rotor when I have the tower down.

I’ve also had a 80-6m GAP Titan DX Vertical basically in storage in the edge of the woods.  I put it out there seven years ago and have had the feedline coiled and ready for the last four.  I think I’ve even had the DX Engineering tilt-over base I won at Dayton on the shelf for three years now!  Alison KC9MPL doesn’t want the GAP Titian DX to be an eyesore, so I have to either locate it in the edge of the woods or switch to a “Plan-B” option.  The Autumn Color tells me again I need to resolve the plan & execute, or await the spring thaws to do it then.

As an option I’ve been thinking of a Flag Pole Antenna which would allow it to be positioned in the front yard as a point-of-pride and reduce potential for coupling with the tower.

Then when one is joining the ranks of “empty nesters” next summer, do I hold until the XYL has reached clarity on her input into our housing plans for the next ten years?

In the shack I am similarly working through some space redesign.  I am thinking of staying the former wine cellar but moving other things out to given me space for the vintage station, a projects station and a rack to hold SDR & long-term radio gear.

I best not let that thinking get in way of doing the needed outside work unless I want to stand in snow doing service and repairs.

Autumn Leaves….



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