Skyneedle and Hexbeam – Slow Progress and Other Tasks

Have been working on the Hexbeam replacing the Generation-One wire guides with anew design supplied by RadioWavz. RadioWavz worked hard to get the needed parts to me to meet a scheduled crane date that was rained out. So I am rescheduled alter this month.

Old Generation-One wire guide

Here is a photo of the center post. Winston KC9FVR has been helping me put the antenna together.

Hexbeam Center Post

Now let’s start with one of the weeks distractions – trees falling down. Across the road is one of ours, which with some great help from Vern K9EME was moved off the roadway to wait cooler weather. Not only has it been raining but it has been in the high 80’s/mid-90’s this week. (31 to 36c)

Top of our tree that fell across the roadway. Most of the tree was off the road.

The second big tree down (we had a lot of small ones come down in the storms) folded up blocking our main driveway. This one took over 2 hours to pull apart, cut into movable pieces and clear the driveway.

The second tree that came down. This one was a much bigger chore to remove.

Of course when it is very humid and hot, guess what decided to up and die? Yes, our refrigerator packed it in with uneconomical to repair total failure. A bad design sealed system issue, and even if we wanted to repair it parts are a couple weeks out. Shopping for a replacement, which delivers this week, was an adventure as few models are actually in-stock & immediately available.

The dead Kenmore Refrigerator – pretty and useless

At the start of the hot spell our main furnace and air conditioner developed a serious problem, one that either required spending yet again a silly amount of money in repairs and parts or biting the bullet for a replacement. We’d done the repair drill twice since we bought the house, once under warranty and once out of pocket, and were saving up to replace the whole unit perhaps in autumn, but another massive breakdown pushed up the replacement. So while we have no refrigerator we also had no AC or air moving in the house for a couple days while the old equipment was removed and this new setup added.

The new HVAC system


Back to things radio – a lot of the electrical loose ends are being tidied up:

Flagpole Vertical is all wired but needs landscaping next.


In the end I decided to go underground from the control/switch panel to the tower, rather than overhead.  The pipes and weather-heads are now in place:

All the undergrounds are to the Skyneedle

Here is the control/antenna switch panel:

Tower control/antenna switching panel.

The Skyneedle ground rod array is in and thermo-welded to the tower:

One of the grounds CAD-Welded to the Skyneedle

I had to take a break to make a new house sign for the XYL as the existing sign was too far gone to save with paint:

The existing house sign bit the dust.

I used a Phenolic Resin and Wood sign board, and number handmade as part of a Haitian aid project fundraiser.  Lots of weatherproof paint, clear coats and all stainless hardware.  The XYL is pretty happy with the results!

My new sign, using handmade metal numbers of phenolic sign-board.

So notched up a lot of extra work unrelated to the station and still am getting some station work done as well.



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