[December 10th, 2017 – releasing this post that somehow never was added back in September]
What does a log-periodic (LPDA) antenna look like when a combination of wind-fatigue, corrosion, and some issues from a nearby lightning strike all come together?
The old T-8 after 20+ years of abuse missing elements and with broken boom-element interfaces.
The Old T-8 Being Abuse by Winter
My old second hand T-8 had seen better days. Coronal arcing was from a nearby tree lightning strike. Corrosion was caused by the previous owner having injected elements with some sort of spray foam sealant. And the wind was the 20+ years of exposure, including some recorded high speed prolonged winds. Sort of like driving the antenna at freeway speeds from here to Chicago and Back.
Vern K9EME was instrumental in changing out the antenna, as I had some very restrictive health limitations at the time.
The new improved T-8’as it was being assembled on the tower
We had a snorkle-lift to use and the replacement went very well. The reason we assembled the elements after the booms were installed was how easy the lift made the work.
Also replaced was the choke-coil and feed line.
Again with many thanks to Vern K9EME, the K9ZW station returned to the air very quickly.
The corrosion that had set into the old antenna along with the effects of the lightning strike to a nearby tree made the old antenna a candidate for recycling. No amount of effort could separate parts of the antenna, and other parts were powder.
Despite the abuse it had really earned its keep. I really didn’t want to change it for anything else.
Since he took over the company, Roger at Tennadyne builds his new antennas with MUCH thicker boom material, better clamps and hardware – all resulting in a new T-8 being a significant upgrade.