Sunday, May 09, 2021

Giving a helping hand

First off, I don't know if I have any YL readers who are also Moms; but if I do - Happy Mother's Day to you! Enjoy your day - I don't know what we'd do without you.

Secondly, sometimes the best Amateur Radio activities are not performed on the air. Yesterday, I had the chance to help a Ham get back on the air. Our SPARC Club President, Bill W2AOF, has been a Ham for a long time, as you can tell by his call. He recently got back into the hobby a few years ago after a long hiatus.

He had put up an economy vertical on the roof for his HF rig, which is an Elecraft KX3. Unfortunately, he wasn't hearing much. At our get-together for World Amateur Radio Day, Bill was impressed by the 40M End Fed Halfwave that was being used by one of the stations. He was able to hear signals on his radio that he hadn't been able to at home.

As a result, Bill ordered a G5RV which arrived on Friday. He texted me yesterday, asking if I would bring my antenna launcher over to his house The weather wasn't the greatest, heavy over cast with bouts of drizzle, but as they say ...... perfect antenna weather!

Bill has very tall pine tree on one edge of his property. On the first try, we did not charge up the air tank with enough pressure and only got the line up about 30 feet or so, nowhere near satisfactory. On the second try, I was able to get a line into the branches at about the 50 foot level. The tricky part of course, is getting the projectile, or "bullet" as I call it, to come down to street level. Many times, it will get caught up in branches on the way down, necessitating another try. Luck was with us this time.

One end of the G5RV went into the tree and then we shot another line from the back of the house to the front of the house, so we could pull the rest of the antenna into the backyard. Bill had the remnants of a clothes line pole in the corner with the rope pulley still on it. This was to be the other anchor end. In effect the antenna would become a sloper.

Much to our dismay, while pulling the antenna into the backyard, the wire got hung up on the corner of Bill's chimney. As a result, he had to get up on the roof to free the wire. Luckily, Bill owns a one story ranch, and it was not a chore that he was unaccustomed to. While he was up there, Bill took the coax from the vertical and hooked it up to the feedline for the G5RV. With the antenna now free, we got the other end into the backyard for the final part of the installation

At this point, Bill thanked me and I headed home. A little while later, I got texts letting me know that successful QSOs had been made with Serbia, Spain and Croatia - all with 5 Watts!.  Bill is on his way to DXCC and I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had helped someone get back on the air. How cool is that?

73 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. It's always nice to read about hams helping hams. You did a very nice thing for you to do Larry.