Tag Archives: Tennadyne Anntennas

Gifted an awesome Station Sign, Lost Shoveling Mulch, and Antennas Still Need Assembly

LED station sign made by N6JSX

Actually two but this is the illuminated one, as the other is a raw carving of my callsign into a piece of “purple heart” wood.  I’ll post a picture of that CNC carved sign when I my finish work is done.

Dale N6JSX has some new toys, 3D engravers, printers and and CNC hobbyist level gear, and is making a lot of items for relatives.

Much appreciated and looks rather cool on my operating desk!  THANKS DALE N6JSX!!

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My hiatus from blogging is not complete, as I am 75% through spreading 36 yards of mulch which is around 500 garden center sized bags.  Had a bulk delivery which the XYL claims is more about being able to use the skidsteer and lawn tractors than the savings (in bulk my cost was about 30% of buying it in bags, though the savings would be less if I waited for a garden center sale.)

A lot of Garden Mulch

A lot of Garden Mulch!  Right in front of the Radio Room, so I can’t ignore it either!

I do have a couple drafts that will be finished up and posted while I am still shoveling and of course involved in the important project that I need to do.

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The Antennas still need to be assembled, as the mulch was a very overdue “honey do” that threatened to interfere with radio activities if I put it off any longer.

I think the T-28 will be easy but the T-12HD really need a set of helping hands.  Any volunteers?

73

Steve
K9ZW

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How a Tennadyne T-12HD arrives – prior to unboxing

The Tennadyne T-12HD I ordered is now all here. The boxes are nicely marked.

Mine came in two groups, a first group of five parcels and a follow up parcel with the truss kit.

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Some Assembly Required – Tennadyne T-12HD antenna arrives

Some Assembly Required – Tennadyne T-12HD antenna arrives

Five UPS parcels arrived, two long cardboard tubes, two long boxes and a square box, containing my new Tennadyne T-12 10-30HD Log Periodic antenna.  A sixth parcel with the truss kit is expected to arrive Friday.

This antenna is big enough that it will be a two person assembly job.

I had run a T-8 at my old home QTH, one that I purchased used and after a bit of lightening encounter replaced with a new T-8 a couple years back. That T-8 is going up at my island QTH, hopefully this summer, and is already on the island.

As previously posted, I changed antenna directions dismantling & putting the never installed very large RadioWavz Hexbeam into storage pending technical redesign/upgrades. That RadioWavz has gone radio silent not returning phone calls or emails also factored into my decision.

Having had excellent experience with the decade plus T-8 as my main antenna, another Tennadyne was high on my list to take the main position on the home Skyneedle tower. I’ve cut & pasted the basic claimed specifications:

  • Model    T12.10-30HD
  • Coverage in MHz    10 – 30
  • Boom Length    36 FT
  • Gain/dbd/dbi*    8.0/10.1
  • Longest Element    53 FT
  • Elements    12
  • WT.     115#
  • Turning Radius (ft)    27.6
  • Wind Load (sq.ft)    16.21

Some differences between the T-12HD and the T-8 which interested me:

* The T-12HD should tune 30m, which the smaller T-8 did not do very well at all.
* My Station should have a gain improvement of close to 3dB which is always appreciated for RX and can’t hurt on TX (or would allow running lower power) vs the old T-8 based station, plus any effect for being up another 20ft (6m)
* The T-12HD is a trussed-boom construction vs the untrussed T-8 (not certain if that is ultimately good or bad)

Here is a picture taken from the Tennadyne website of a T-12 (presume standard vs my new HD model) at another ham’s station:

Tennadyne T-12 (Tennadyne’s website photo)

There are some integration advantages for a LPDA (Log Periodic Dipole Array) antenna when running a Flex-6000 based station, as the LPDA tends to present an acceptable SWR to the radio or if running QRO the PGXL amp, when used within the LPDA’s design frequencies. Typically the ham band optimization matches other ham designs while respectively the non-ham band lower performance you would see from other non-actively tuned beam antenna designs is avoided or minimized.

I found both barefoot and running QRO with the T-8 was basically a no-tuner required situation, one that I hope the T-12HD matches.

Link to Tennadyne antennas: http://www.tennadyne.com

73

Steve
K9ZW

[Edited on 15JAN21 to correct formatting and photo insertion problems with original posting, and capture that mine is arriving in six parcels rather than five parcels]

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A change in Antenna Direction at K9ZW Home QTH

On my main Skyneedle was supposed to go a RadioWavz Barrett Hexbeam with Broadband option.  The antenna was bought about four years ago and health and then a home QTH move kept it from going up in the air.

RadioWavz built this antenna with the high power and heavy duty options, and it is purported to work as a rotatable dipole on 160/80/60/30m, a 2el wire beam on 40/6m and as a 3el(+) wire beam on 20/17/15/12/10m.  Original configuration was using three antenna drop feedlines, but two can be combined with a harness they offered.

RadioWavz helped me out sending new element guides made of metal which replaced the DOA original fiberglass guides, replacing most of the parts missing from the original antenna (though the spare parts ordered have never arrived) and sold me a upgraded support rope set made of a Kevlar type material.

In the antenna building process twice I have had damage from deer getting into the antenna.

First incursion pulled a number of elements loose and broke one of the smaller fiberglass arm pieces.  My calls and emails to RadioWavz had not been answered, when I figured out who supplied the fiberglass.  Ordered new fiberglass parts direct and made the repair.

Second deer incursion again pulled some elements loose but this time half of the 40m element with insulators and spacer cord went missing.  Presumption is it was caught on the deer’s rack and carried away until it could be shaken loose.  The wire element I can cut locally but as my spare parts supply of extra insulators and cordage was never shipped, I’ve had to have the special insulators locally fabricated and I’m scrounging for similar cord.  Again my emails and calls have not been answered by RadioWavz.

What I have learned is that the business was sold to the next generation, and the founders retired to another state, plus the next generation is up to their eyeballs dealing with a child’s severe health issues.

I get it.  Family is WAY more important, period.
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Replacing an old T-8 with a new Tennadyne T-8 at the K9ZW home QTH

[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.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Installing SlippNott Upgrades at K9ZW

The Tennadyne T-8 used two stainless u-bolts for attachment. In the highest of winds the large double booms of the Log Periodic antenna caught enough wind to slightly rotate on the mast.

To counteract this I decided to upgrade the T-8-to-Mast and Mast-to-Rotor connections with Tennadyne’s improved attachment method, the Tennadyne SlippNott.  (The much smaller T-28 Log Periodic doesn’t have enough surface area to need this upgrade.  U-bolts work perfectly fine for the smaller antenna.)

T-8 Original U-Bolt Clamp

T-8 Original U-Bolt Clamp

Another view of the original attachment. It had taken six years to pivot perhaps 10 degrees, though no matter how you look at it, it was moving even if very slowly.

T-8 Original U-Bolt Clamp

Original U-Bolt Clamp – Another View

The SlippNott retrofit upgrade uses two machined clamps with roughly one hundred time the surface contact area of the two u-bolts.

T-8 with SlippNott Retrofit

SlippNott Retrofit – another view

Another look at the retrofit in place.

T-8 with SlippNott Retrofit

T-8 with SlippNott Retrofit

I did the install from scaffold after lowering nd tipping over the whole tower.

Tower Access

Lower, Tilt and Scaffold

Also installed was a second SlippNott providing additional grip of the mast at the antenna rotator rotor unit.

SlippNott rotor installation

SlippNott rotor installation

This one was a fiddle to install given the restriction of the three nested tower sections.

Inside Nested Sections

Tight Quarters

Again it provides a huge increase in clamping action and limits the risk of the newly enhanced situation at the antenna twisting the whole mast in the rotor clamp.

Rotor SlippNott Installed

Rotor SlippNott Installed

A worthwhile project – wish the SlippNott was available when I put the tower and antennas up.

You can read more about them at the Tennadyne website – http://www.tennadyne.com

 

Direct link to the SlippNott page is http://www.tennadyne.com/slipp_nott.htm

73

Steve
K9ZW

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