Monthly Archives: March 2017

Bluster Antenna Buster

Wisconsin is know for aggressive March weather, and this year has been exceptional in weather extremes.

This week we had nearly three days of high winds, with area airports reporting 70 mph winds. Our local recording equipment appears to have been broken by the wind as it showed 1 mph winds when the actual weather was throwing semi truck trailer rigs on their sides.

These same winds did some damage to my Tennadyne T-8 LPDA by bending an element which had previously been temporarily repaired and knocking another element down.

Wounded T-8 Antenna

Wounded T-8 Antenna

This particular T-8 has withstood a huge amount of weather over a twenty plus year exposure. (I acquired it about 15 years ago second hand).

So now the decision is whether to patch it up for now with the idea of doing an antenna overhaul in warmer weather, check how it tunes to possibly just live with it as is until warm weather is here, or do an upgrade/replacement?

How much damage has time, wind and the lightning issue actually caused?

How long do I want to have the tower down-&-over putting me off the air?

Bounced some ideas off a friend Vern K9EME who helps with my station, my buddy George W9EVT who lives near my other QTH on Washington Island and who takes the time to explain what has worked well for his station, and then Rog WB8NDC owner of Tennadyne.

In the end I’ve ordered a brand new T-8 with new choke coil, and a hardware upgrade kit for the this damaged T-8.

Should be here in a few days, and I will assemble & swap the antenna on the tower, then rebuild the damaged one this summer.

Whether it takes a bit to get parts won’t matter, and I can take the time to do a complete tear-down rather than just a patch.

Will need to decide what to do with the renovated T-8? Might store it as a spare, could take it to the Island QTH, might put it up at my work compound as a tower is going up there for a club repeater that could be configured to take a rotator and beam, or I could sell it onwards once restored.

I have some sheet metal fabrication to do as well from the storm. The custom anti-climb panels were blown off and beaten up. They really should have been redone for color coordination reasons when we had the house painted a year back, so no huge loss.

Always things to do!