05/09/09 — Antenna party! With a group of friends and a crane, we mounted the 3 large Force 12 antenna to Tower 1. Certainly no one in our group had ever handled antenna as large as the C51XRs. I thought the crane would be safer and save time – however it was on site for 7 hours. W5KGT and WX5CW were up the tower first to change out the top section (I had pre-assembled a complete top section with rotator, thrust bearings, guy brackets, and mast.) and mount the top C51XR. On the ground, we had much difficulty tuning the 40m portion of the 1st C51XR; took 1.5 hours, with the crane lifting and lowering the antenna a couple of dozen times. We also had difficulty with the crane boom being in the way of the elements as the 2 C51XR were raised and mounted. The C31XR install was pretty easy. W5WZ and W5PEM were on the tower to mount the lower 2 antenna – with W5WZ working on a tower for the first time. A nearby late afternoon thunderstorm brought everyone down the tower before the feedline could be run.
05/04/09 thru 05/08/09 — Wow! What a week! Many final finishing touches from gathering final nuts and bolts, assembling comlete top section, installing last PL259s, installing baluns, assembly of 40m sections of both C51XR, verifying lengths of coax for the up the tower runs, gathering tools, electrical tape, etc, etc ad nauseam. I did the very best that I could to plan ahead so the install would be smooth.
05/03/09 — Climbed a tower for first time – my tower – to the top! Assembled 2/3rds of the C31XR. Made a mast plate for the C51XR boom truss cables. Made 2 plates to sidemount the C31. Met with a crane company foreman to evaluate the antenna raising next Saturday. Found a broken element tip on one C51XR – will order tubing tomorrow. Wound the final 15m helical hairpin. Assembled the last balun for a F12 antenna.
05/02/09 — Helped take down my F12 C31XR from a tower at K5ER and put my KLM KT34XA up in its place. The C31XR will reside as my middle antenna at 85′, locked down to Japan.