Phillystran guy wire

Began assembly of Phillystran guy wires.  Installed ground rods at tower base, connected to tower legs via #4 solid bare copper wire.  After more HFTA modeling, made final decision as to location of antenna on Tower #1.

Big Aluminum Comes Home

After 18 months of offsite storage since acquiring them from W5IZ, I finally moved the pair of Force 12 C-51XR antenna to my shop, in preparation for assembly.

July 2009

July 2009 — Still working to overcome the lightning strike.  I have done much this month:  installed single-point grounding plate, 6 Polyphasers, bonded those to the existing station ground.  I also began ‘standardizing’ my control cable connections with DB-9 type connectors.  Installed them along with PowerPoles on all my StackMatch control boxes.  These ‘quick connects’ will better enable me to disconnect for lightning protection and also be able to swap a controller to another cable quickly in case of failure.

Also fabricated and installed a cable tray to run the length of the shack.  It is about 12 inches above the floor.  It is made from a section of 4″ PVC pipe.  I cut  a 1.5″ slot down its length.

Also pieced together a working computer from several that were lying around.  It won’t win any speed records, but it is Win98 and will run most software that is needful in the shack.

Also ran a 1″ conduit from my house to the shack (250 feet).  Pulled 2 runs of CAT5E, and connected to my wired network in my house.  Now I have a network connection with DSL for internet access, and a VoIP phone extension in the shack.  What better way to call “room service” at meal time?  I’ve never had high-speed internet in the shack — it sure is nice!

Top Band and ICE

Finally strung my 160 meter dipole up in the trees on the north side of my property.  It runs east-west, and is more or less an inverted vee.  The peak is at about 60 feet, and the ends are about 15 feet up.  I know it is not the optimum setup, but it is better than none!  Also spent some time tweaking some intermittent problems with my TopTen Band Decoders, Ice 419s, and Six Pack.  Finally resolved by making a modification to the source driver boards in the the Band Decoders.  The mod is to install 1N4148 diodes to prevent the Ice from switching the Six Pack relays.