Dave KD2FSI read my blog post and watched the video about the mast support that I posted the other day. He sent me a message on Facebook:
I just finished reading your blog and watched the attached video about anchoring Jackite type masts and thought I would share a picture of my setup before you run out and buy ratcheting straps.
I use cam-jam cord tighteners; they are lite-weight, easy to adjust and you don’t need hose clamps to attach straps to your PVC holder pole. I also use heavier tent stakes with a nail type head that can be easily pushed in or hammered in if necessary. This setup works great in grassy fields, but not so well on a rocky mountain tops or sandy beaches or any other place where you can’t drive in stakes. And that is why I came up with my pack frame mount. "
Dave was a software engineer by profession, and he has the ability to "think outside the box" that I only wish I had. To me, he's like the MacGyver of Amateur Radio. I look at his solutions to things and always end up thinking, "Why couldn't I think of that!" He has a gift, he truly does.
This looks like a less bulkier solution than those ratcheting straps. I can use Dacron antenna rope that I already have, and a search online revealed that my local Home Depot keeps the CamJams in stock. I'll need to go and buy a new piece of PVC, anyway. For the life of me, I can't find where I put mine.
I emptied the back of the Jeep of all my radio paraphernalia when I moved Cara to college. I thought I put all of it back, but I can't find the mast holder! I looked in the shack, I looked in the shed in the backyard - I have no idea where I put it. And it's not like it's a tiny thing, either. You'd think it would be easy to spot.
It's probably in the same place where all those socks go that are missing from the clothes dryer.
On a totally different note, we had a wild night last night! It was rainy yesterday and we had a high temperature of 72F (22C). In the very late evening, I would say around 10:00 PM local time, an Arctic air mass started moving down out of Canada. I had disconnected the antennas thinking we might get some bad thunderstorms. In fact, I got messages on the cell phone that we were under a severe thunderstorm and tornado watch until about 1:00 AM.
No thunderstorms, but some rain and some very gusty winds. The weather station was reading sustained gusts over 25 mph. How do I know this? I didn't sleep well at all with the wind howling past and shaking the windows. I couldn't sleep, so I would check the weather display from time to time rather than just toss and turn in bed.
So today, I feel somewhat like a Zombie from the lack of sleep, and that's very appropriate! Tonight is NA5N's Annual Zombie Shuffle - hope to hear you on the air tonight. If I can manage to stay awake, that is! Both of my antennas stayed up even though the wind tried hard to knock them down. The question now is, will I be able to stay up tonight; or will I just nod off at the key?!?
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!