Antenna Workshop Weekend

Antenna Workshop Weekend

It is nice to see so many people turning up for the weekend activities down at the Fort. Some members started to arrive early on the Friday and proceeded to set up their caravans. As more people arrived, the two Scam masts were collected from Franks’ compound and then positioned ready for a thorough servicing which was long overdue. With the light fading fast, it was decided to continue with the servicing in the morning.

Saturday started as expected with the servicing of the masts. Unfortunately they were in a poorer state of condition need than was envisaged, and so the servicing dragged on until mid- afternoon.

While some people worked on the servicing, the wheels were whipped off the trailer and taken for new tyres. Unfortunately, the tyres will not be fitted until Monday, leaving the mobile shack not so mobile at the moment. With a bit of a lull in the happenings, a moment was spent on investigating Charlie’s antenna which was not behaving. A valuable lesson was learnt here; use good coax and make sure that it is connected properly to the antenna and to the plug.



This brought us up to that most important time, The BBQ. The chef for this occasion was old’ Syd, and he burnt a mean burger.

After everyone was looking like a barrel, it was back to the field and the erection of the Scam masts and two other portable masts. Then it was time to measure out the 574ft of antenna wire required for the first antenna to try, a 160m Sky loop. At this point it was discovered that one of the Scam masts was positioned in the wrong place (no names to be mentioned, Andy) and that when repositioning one of the portable masts, two segments snapped (no names again…). Once this was sorted, the antenna was hauled skywards, only for it to be noticed that one of the segments of a scam mast had collapsed (No!!). So after yet more tinkering, it was erect again. Good work by Charlie and Pat in repairing the generator after Frank had snapped the pull cord.


Now with the antenna in the air, the lads attempted to play radio, working a couple stations on 160m and 80m. Unfortunately the reports were not favourable, so a Charlie connected up his FT857, and continued to play for a while longer. By this time, the night had taken over, and without a shack to hide from the elements in, the Franks shack was invaded, and some operating was conducted from there, until he threw them all out.

Sunday morning saw an unwelcome change in the weather, and two missing campers. Well not so much campers; they decided not to brave the cold night in their tents, but instead slept in the club room – light weights. With the weather threatening to change to rain at any moment, the decision was taken to lower the antenna systems, and put everything away. This in fact was very quick task and once complete, those with caravans started to pack away.


A couple of members not to be deterred by the ominous weather threw a kite into the air, tethered by 65m of antenna wire, and fed into the back of the FT857.

With this set-up, many contacts were made over the next two hours, before the Pat had to go home, and the battery voltage started to drop.

In all though, the kite set-up was more successful than the large loop, and brought many onlookers.



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