Author: Bobby

W1/Eastport and W1/Calais

In April a storm ripped through the Northeast corner of Maine with winds in excess of 70mph. At both sites we encountered minor damage but nothing serious. This meant a scheduled trip to Maine was in order, on May 13th the RHR team traveled to the great state of Maine to do a realignment of antennas and get the stations ready for the 6M season. In the photos: Ray W2RE works on both W1/Eastport and W1/Calais sites doing adjustments and maintenance, this gives you an idea how good both these QTH’s look from a birds-eye view. Photos courteous of Bobby KC2UPN using a DJI Phantom 3.

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Repair in wind and rain!

Its important to the RHR team to have station uptime and we strive to keep things running 24/7 but occasional we will have a hiccup.  On the morning of March 28th during the VK0EK operation, we noticed the amp tripping on 15M in W2/Summit with SWR over 2.0. The RHR quickly disabled the 15M band and went into action. Its now 8am, the RHR crew, Ray W2RE and Bobby KC2UPN trek the 105 mile ride to the Catskill Mountains, after fueling up and grabbing breakfast. At about 11am the team arrives and accesses the situation and quickly puts a plan together, after 15 minutes of testing they decide the issue is on the tower. Its now 11:30am with 40F temp and blowing misty rain, but no time is wasted as Ray W2RE gets to 60’ and starts testing each mono-bander with analyzer. After testing each antenna the problem is with the 5EL 15M @ 105’, its showing 2.0 SWR through the 15M band and dipping 1.1 @ 20.3 mhz. Ray reaches the 15M yagi as seen in photo in 20mph winds and blowing rain, he realizes the issue is with the 15M phasing lines on the Cuschraft XM155, the lines are touching each other. After, adjusting the insulator spreader he re-tests the antenna and the SWR is now 1.1 @ 21.200. Its now noon time and we can enable 15M back on Summit. By the time he is off the tower, operators are back on 15m chasing the VK0.

What A Mess

On February 24th the Northeast experienced a violent storm that road the east coast creating high winds and T-storms. The Hudson Valley took the brunt of this front, with winds recorded over 70mph in Dutchess County, NY. The W2/Blueberry site sits at 1200’ asl with incredible drop off to the south and west which is wide open to the normal weather pattern here in NY. The site experienced winds during the storm in excess of 80mph.

 

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With no time to waste, at 7:30AM Ray(W2RE) climbed the tower and attached rope half way up the mast (no kinks in mast). He pulled the rope to a tree 300’ away with come a long with the help from Bobby KC2UPN and Lori KB2HZI.

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At this point we salvaged the 1028 mast, the winds are now picking up as the sun comes up over the horizon.  Ray, quickly aligns the yagis.

 

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A few days later while the weather was warmer, Ray W2RE lowered the mast 2’ in the tower to relieve the stress point of the 1028 mast. Here he is working on taking rotor out to lower mast.

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Footage of the mast after the repair

Tree Maintenance

In W2/Monticello we noticed the reflector on the Force 12 was getting close to touching a tree branch @ 60’. Ray W2RE and Bobby KC2UPN (shown) used a launcher to get over the branch. Using rope and come-a-long to break the tree branches.

The Force 12 XR5T is now turning without any issues!