My buddy Darrin (n9jpi) held an antenna/tower raising party last weekend. I was able to stop by and assist Sunday afternoon and into the evening. We’ve been working together on the project for probably over a month now. After a bit of an absence Darrin got bit by the ham radio bug in a big way. Part of it’s due to a nearby lightening strike that took out some shack gear and other consumer electronics in the house. Must’ve been a sign from above. New radio, antennas, accessories…. It’s always fun to visit another ham’s shack and play with their goodies.
One thing that made this endeavor nice was a man lift. Darrin could work up in the tower and I could get things staged on the ground as we were ready for them. He had a rope up there to haul the various parts and pieces up to the bucket.
We installed two antennas on the sixteen foot mast. At the top is a Cushcraft triband VHF/UHF antenna for 6m, 2m, and 70cm. The 6m portion is horizontal and the 2m/70cm portions are polarized vertical. Below it we installed a typical Cushcraft A3S tribander for HF. A Ham IV is used to rotate this assembly. Another nice touch is a cross beam with eye bolts at the ends that can be used to haul up additional wire antennas. Once you have a tall antenna support structure (like a tower!) you just have to hang a bunch of stuff off of it.
We worked well after dark into the night with the aid of spot lights and some lights on the ATV. When I left all the work up in the man lift was done and all connections were made. Darrin reports that so far the measurements on the antenna have been good. This has been a challenging project that required some custom fabricating and a lot of patience. I think this winter the rewards will be well worth the effort. On last pic below of the tower just before sunset. I thought it turned out nice.