Great Weather, working on the Station Build and running a bit of FT8

Weather is simply awesome. Wisconsin is always lovely as Fall settles in, and the weekend was really nice. Expecting solid week of this sort of weather as well!

Have been at the station building projects a good part of the weekend. Yesterday while it was a bit too cool outside which things warmed up, I worked on the Radio Racks.

Each radio rack is getting side panel to attach RigRunner, Router, Power Strip and other connectivity accessories. The main Flex-6700 based rack was the ficus, though panels were cut from phenolic resin based sign board for the Island Rack and Collin Rack. Other than a bit of woodworking and a few test-fitting of various pieces, the weather was too nice to lose much time on inside work.

I did try participating at the NEWDXA (Northeast Wisconsin DX Association) Zoom meeting, but I forgot my iPad in the main house and then had an unexpected visitor drop in, so I watch perhaps a quarter.

Outside work first included a fair bit of non-radio yard work and chores. Restoring a nice set of cedar lawn furniture a friend made for us some 20 years back, and replace a several pieces that weathering and usage had broken.

Then it was work on the main hexbeam. This is a RadioWavz Sentinel Barrett Hexbeam with Broadband Option that has been on the ground for several months after breaking a piece during assembly. Turns out that the original plastic ring wire guides had been upgraded to a heavy aluminum & stainless steel version, and I had been waiting for the upgrade parts. The parts came in okay, but as I had lost my crane slot to the crane suddenly being overbooked, I procrastinated.

That the biting gnats and biting deer flies made outside work in the woods really awful, my procrastination became prevarication. It didn’t help that it often very hot out.

With the fall weather the mosquitoes, gnats and deer flies are mus less a factor, and of course the weather is wonderful, so I’m back at it.

All the new wire guides are installed, but I found that a piece of one leg had been broken over summer. My wife had commented at one point that a young deer seemed caught up in the antenna one day, and I am wondering if that precipitated the broken part? Without some outside forces they leg pieces seem to robust to simply just break.

So I’ve contacted RadioWavz and also through careful measuring ordered up some other possible replacement parts just in case. RadioWavz new production uses a completely different leg design with solid leg elements, where my earlier model uses more conventional hollow leg elements.

One way or the other I should have replacement parts by midweek. I really want this antenna up very soon.

I need to made new half-sloper antenna spreaders, and will also focus on the tower bulkhead wiring while waiting for the fiberglass part. I’m budgeting two afternoons on the bulkhead, and one on final antenna preparation. If everything works out and a crane/operator is available I’m hopeful of having this big antenna running very soon.



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