Sunday, September 23, 2012

From Guys to Brackets

Main Tower Bracket 
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, I write frequently about our weather, both local atmospheric and space weather. During a past wind storm, my fabricated bracket which held my tower to our house was heavily damaged. Taking advantage of some warmer days here recently, I was able to complete my bracket project and once again secure the tower to the house. This bracket is made from angle iron so I'm not expecting a repeat of my last project which was made from aluminum. I also began changing out my guys, which are Dacron. I use Dacron for several reasons and it holds up very well. The guys I am currently changing out are attached to my Hazer, which normally gets lowered when the local winds begin to exceed 50 mph.

After having my antenna nested just above the roof for the last few weeks, I have been looking forward to getting it back into the air. I completed the repair of the reflector and I wanted to make sure all was well with SWR and it was ready for the up and coming contest season. It just so happened that today I was getting texts from Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) which I have running on the shack computer, that Europe was hearing Alaska on 10 meters! I had to take a break from working on the tower this afternoon when the winds began to gust upwards of 40 mph. Once that subsided, I was able to get back to getting the antenna ready to make the trip back up the tower. By the time I was able to raise the HF beam to it's normal 43 foot level, I was only hearing a few beacons and stations on 10 meters. But, I should be ready for the next opening! Let's hope 10 meters is open this winter like it was last winter!

I still have plenty to accomplish outdoors and I'm hopeful that we will have a few more days like the last few. We did receive lots of rain recently and it has many of the rivers in Alaska running very high. Many places are experiencing flood conditions and just down the road from where we live, the Nenana River was chewing away at the Parks Highway, reducing it to one lane of travel. Many places south of here received much worse damage, places such as Talkeetna. So much of the lower 48 has experienced drought conditions for months and we just broke the record at our QTH for being the wettest summer since we moved here. 

I've winterized our travel trailer and my QRP operating will now be from the shack. I'm looking forward to having the IC-703Plus hooked up in here again and hopefully participating in a few QRP contests this winter. With the computers running in the shack along with the radio equipment, I can usually expect a furry visitor or two when I'm operating. Seems on those cold winter days and nights, our shack is a pretty popular place to take off the chill. 


  1. Phil, I guess you'll operate in the CQ WW RTTY contestt next weekend? Hope to meet you again then. It would be nice if that is on 10m....73, Bas

  2. Bas - Glad you mentioned it as I had not checked the contest calendar. I sure will plan on being there! I have a very busy month coming up in October but I sure don't want to miss that contest, one of my most favorite digital contests! Hope to see you on and yes, let's hope for the 10 meters AK / EU path!!! 73, Phil