Back on the air – FINALLY!!!
Well I’ve long since lost track of when I was last on the air. The last storm not only destroyed my antennas but also my motivation. We seemed to be having huge winds or blizzards every few days and it was hard to sit down and build the antenna back up or even to walk to the shack. This morning I got a 20m dipole back up and will be trying to operate for the RD contest today and tomorrow. Looking forward to chatting with everyone again.
Well a little update for the 28th June. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any antenna damage here. I have gotten very good at quickly packing it away before bad weather hits and have been lucky up until this past weekend. Unfortunately the blizzard came about 12 hours early this weekend, blowing at up to 80kts my fan dipole was shredded. The upgraded mast held fast but the antenna is no more. The coax feedline had also cracked so there’s now a lot of work to repair it all. If I get on air for the weekend it will likely only be on the vertical, I’ll have to see how I go for time to get things all sorted.
New fan dipole damaged
On Tuesday we had a blizzard forecast. The forecast said 40kts of wind for the middle of the day so I took my new fan dipole down and laid it on the ground with small rocks holding the spreaders down. Unfortunately the wind was a lot stronger, it hit 88kts and stayed over 60kts for almost 14hrs. When I went back out to put the antenna back up it was buried under 5ft of heavily compressed snow in places. The spreaders have been damaged trying to get it out of the snow and it’s still partially buried. Hopefully I can get it repaired before the weekend.
New fan dipole is up
So I spent about 3 hours this morning getting the new fan dipole up and trimmed to length. It is under 1.5:1 VSWR on 40m,30m,20m,17m, hopefully I will try out some 17m and 10m SSB today
Not a great day to operate
I had hoped to be on the air very early this morning but the winds had other ideas. So I did some other stuff and then got on Youtube to answer questions in the interview that VK7HH had done with me. After that the wind died slightly so I figured while I waited I would build a new, better fan dipole that would cover 40m,30m,20m and 17m.
Most of the day was spent in the workshop and finally I had a nice looking antenna to try/tune. Unfortunately in my rush to get it up an get on the air it must have snagged on a rock and as I kept going lifting the mast I heard a giant crack. That was the end of that mast. Pretty much only 30 minutes later the wind was back up over 30kts. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
Due to the extreme weather here, especially the high winds I currently take my antenna down every day.
I’m thinking of removing the 40m fan off the dipole and replacing it with a 17m and a 21m fan. That way I can possibly leave the slightly shorter antenna up for days at a time. This would allow me to operate more seeing as I don’t have to drop the mast every night.
I might put up a vertical for 40m and above, time will tell
The setup stage
So I’ve been down at Casey for about 2 months and have only really just got my gear setup.
Currently I’m running a 40m/20m fan dipole about 12m above ground. Unfortunately due to the high winds we get it has to be taken down each night.
I’m using an Icom 7300 and a 300W linear amplifier which seems to get out well. I have so far made almost 300 contacts from about 6 hours of operating. I will post a sked page soon so people can keep an eye on when I will be operating and what frequencies I’ll be on.
April 8th, 2021
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