Saturday, January 04, 2014

Antenna repair work

always seems to be conducted when weather is less than optimal for such things.

You may remember me telling how I had to temporarily re-hang my 88' EDZ wire last Saturday. Just a week ago, we were enjoying weather in the low 50s (11C), it was a good day to perform that task.  But then during the week, I noticed it wasn't working right and seemed to be deaf.  I thought initially that there was a short in the PL-259 connector.  I changed that out and it made no difference.  I suspected a fault maybe a bit farther back in the coax, as feedlines always seem to be a probem, but then I thought - what if the problem is with the window line and not the coax?

So today, I headed outside and this weekend, the weather is quite a bit colder than last. In fact, it's quite the opposite of last weekend. Last night we had a low of -3F (-20C) and today's high was about 20F (-6C), so where did I find myself?  Of course, in the back yard, freezing in the new fallen snow, inspecting my antenna to see where the fault might lay. And since I work better without gloves, that just added to the pleasure!

Fortunately, the fault was found quickly and it was an easy fix.  When I was re-hoisting the antenna, the window line must have flexed and stressed badly at the BALUN terminals, and on one side, the wire had snapped.  It proved to be a simple matter of loosening the screw, removing the old tiny bit of wire, stripping back a bit more of the insulation on that side of the window line and re-screwing the bare wire back down in place.  I needed tools no more sophisticated than the Swiss Army Knife that I always carry.  (You can't work for a Swiss firm for 22 years of your life and NOT carry a Swiss Army Knife with you wherever you go.)

I went to my basement shack, where it's a balmy 58F (15C) and was delighted to see the KX3 deliver a match in literally, just a couple of seconds.  My preferred wire is now back in action and I am quite a happy camper.  Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that my temporary support line will hold for the rest of the winter!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Anonymous10:55 PM

    It's even better if you do this at night, Larry, and with the flu...makes it work even better !
    73 & HNY !
    Brian K3USC/4

  2. Hello Larry,

    You're a brave man. I'm staying inside until the temperature rises a bit.