Friday, December 10, 2010

Putting Dad's Antenna Back Up

A few weeks back we had some strong winds blow through that brought down many tree branches and limbs. In addition to the limbs and branches, dad's antenna fell. The rope holding one leg of his 40 Meter Windom had snapped in two. Of course we all know that when you use yellow nylon (non-UV protected) rope, you will eventually have to replace it at some point.

So over the Thanksgiving break, Robin and I both went over to help put the antenna back up and get dad back on the air with that antenna. Of course he still has his 80 meter inverted V so he wasn't suffering from total HF silence. We first had to get the loose leg and balun out of the tree it was dangling in. Luckily for us, the loose leg hadn't wrapped itself around a branch like we had initially thought. Otherwise, we would have likely had to loosen the other leg to get it all out, climb the tree, or worse - find a way to cut the branch mocking us from 20 feet overhead.

Once we got the loose leg free, we were able to proceed with running a new length of rope to pull the loose leg of the antenna back up in the air. This is a practice in vigilance. To do this, we tied fishing line to a lug nut and I used a sling shot to shoot the lug nut over the tree. Once over the tree (of course this was done from the roof of the house after several failed attempts from the ground - and we lost our favorite gear weight pictured below) we then tied some twine to the fishing line to pull back over the tree. We have to do this as fishing line isn't strong enough to pull the black UV protected nylon rope over the tree to tie to the antenna leg. Once the twine was pulled over we tied the rope to the loose antenna leg and to the twine and started pulling. In no time the antenna was back in the air and no sky hook was needed.

Dad checked to make sure everything was working properly and we were on our way back home after a job well done.

If you are interested in Ham Radio and haven't a clue as to where to start or what it's all about here are a few links for more information:

For our outdoor enthusiasts, ham radio is an effective means for communication while out in the wild. Most places we venture, we rarely get a cell signal. We never go on a trail longer than 3 miles without carrying our HT (handie talkie). With that we don't need to worry about whether we have a cell signal in the event of an emergency. In most cases, we can make contact with another Ham that can arrange for emergency assistance if necessary. Do your own searching on Google and you will find many examples where ham radio has aided in emergency rescue efforts of hikers lost or hurt on the trail.

Ok we will get off our ham radio soapbox now. Until next time...

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Ms. Coo says, "Coo-S-T Coo-S-T: Only 15 days til Christmas! Coo-S-L?"