Friday, September 14, 2012

Wallpaper to Wind Gusts

2011 CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest Certificate
Nothing gets me more excited for the up and coming contest season like some wallpaper reminding me of what a great season last year was! I received this certificate in the mail this week and it will be proudly displayed on my wall with my others. Winter is fast approaching here and temps are below freezing over night these days. It won't be long before snow starts to accumulate in the yard and the days become extremely short. Thankfully, contest season warms the heart and the shack! It will be time again to get out some "butt glue" and stick to the chair in front of my HF rig for hours on end. I'm hoping this contest season is even better than last!

Reflector missing part of an element
Alaska recently experienced some early season Chinook weather systems and the wind storms did a bit of damage in Anchorage and left hundreds without power for days. Here in the interior, we had our share of wind and rain. I happen to be working on a window project during the last blow and heard a loud crash from the back of the house after a 63mph wind gust. I looked out the window in time to see part of my beam go crashing to the ground. I immediately went outdoors and I found a portion of my reflector element missing from my Mosley beam! It appeared the screw that was used to secure the elements together worked loose and the element fell to the ground as my antenna bounced around from the wind.

Only damage from hitting our metal roof
I inspected the section of my antenna closely and I could only see this dent in the trap from where it struck our metal roof. Everything else appeared okay and a search for the missing screw was in vain. I was just leaving for a short vacation so I tossed the element in the garage to repair it upon my return home.

After enjoying a week in Seward with friends, I returned home to an ever growing "to do" list. I managed to clean my wood stove chimney this evening and since I was on the roof, I decided to go ahead and get the beam back in working order. 

Penetrox working as it should
I was once again excited to see that the Penetrox I had used was working just as it should. There was no sign of oxidation on the element and it looked like the day I put the beam up. I can't speak highly enough of this great stuff! I've used it for years on the recommendation of an elmer of mine and I will always have it handy for any and all antenna projects. It has proven itself to me for many years now and has helped extend the operating life of my antennas. Good stuff and I'll leave it at that.

HF beam nested
My HF beam is nested for a few more days. I need to replace my guys to my Hazer and then I need to replace my broken house bracket. I just need a few more dry days to get that done and I can once again put my antenna up to the 43' level and start chasing DX.  And yes, if you have been following my blog, you will see that my Hazer has yet to find a place on my small tower. I need to make a run to "town" and get a 1¾" mast pipe. Once I have that, I can get that thing in the air as well. I'm looking forward to having a beam on 17 & 12 meters!  When it comes to tempting fate with Mother Nature, she tends to always win. At least that seems to be my luck anyhow.


  1. Phil,
    Engineering your way through the situation is right on and a run to 'town' is probably a lot different living in Alaska. Best results!
    73, DRR

  2. Thanks, Scot! Looking forward to catching you many times over the next few months. Yep, 2 hours one way is our "town" trip so we try to spread em out a bit. Talk to you soon my friend!