More on unscheduled mast/antenna lowering.by M0TTB - Andy on 11/23/12
An update on my antenna incident.
During a violent squall on the 21st, my Scam 12 pneumatic mast toppled over... it didn't plummet, it didn't land on anything other than flat lawn, but the hexbeam obviously suffered a bit, brushing into an oak tree on the way down. Seems as if a guy rope attachment came adrift at the top of the mast, possibly down to a knot to the hook being lose... no evidence of an actual break in the rope.
The base of the scam mast (bolted to an acro prop buried in concrete) seems to has swivelled and flipped out a bit, the acro bending as the mast keeled over. The brackets/plates holding the mast to the acro slipped, although they have not bent at all. With the acro bent, I will have to abandon that base and dig another, probably using an rsj as a ground post next time.
The scam mast seems fine, and retracting the sections whilst it was horizontal was far easier than I feared, no bent sections and the air released when compressing came out of the exhaust at the base of the mast rather than any leaks in the sections. I won't fully know if it is 100% until I get a load on it and raise it vertically... but I'm fairly confident.
Each (of the 6) hexbeam fibreglass spreaders is made up of 3 sections... I have lost just 3 sections in total, 2 of the thicker sections and one tip section. And that's it, and Ant MW0JZE is coming to the rescue with service above and beyond the call of duty.
To sum up, no big problem, except digging new base in a different position, probably more central in back garden... which could well have a number of benefits.
1: More centrally placed, the antenna will no longer be slightly over my property boundary, and I don't have to rely upon goodwill of neighbour.
2: Less visual impact to a number of neighbours and from main road.
3: Far more room to play with as far as guys being placed at proper angles.
4: Far more room available if I fancy a larger HF antenna, as turning radius of even full size 20m elements on a longish boom would be well within my property boundaries.
The only bad news is that my HF activity is at an end for the time being... ZL9 is not a big loss, as I'd pretty much given that one up due to being away at the time. The 5T dxped and not making 200 on 12m in the year is a hard one to accept, so I'm going to see if I can get a cb vertical up next week and put some sort of signal out on 12m and 10m.
Just to recap on the excellent PT0S dxped, I got them on 5 bands... 4 of those very early on in the dxped. With LoTW credits already confirmed, I'll certainly be donating some extra money when I come to using their OQRS.
And finally, a big thanks to all my friends for rallying around with offers of physical help... greatly appreciated.