There are three "events" included on this page at the moment; Scroll down to see the three sections of this page.




Tower damage update number ONE:

Tower update number one: The top 100 feet on the self-supporting 140 foot tower (-this is the tower on the right side of the picture, in the top-most picture on the MAIN PAGE of this web site) was blown down on the evening of September 16, 2006! It suffered a compression failure on the North leg at the 40 foot level as a result of a freak series of wind gusts, as a weather front passed through.

The tower had been up for about 18 years; -Even though a major portion of the tower is gone, I will retain the above picture; -It looks nice, and will remain as a fond memory. -Visual information on the downed tower can be seen at this link, which includes movies as well as pictures.

  • Scroll down for a few pictures of the dismantling and reconstruction project...
  • The following image shows the present DB-224E antenna array:

    The above pix shows the "new" repeater antenna configuration; The original antennas have all been installed at the 40 foot level of what remains of the original 140 foot high tower. (The MAIN DB-224E repeater antenna is at the left, in the above picture; The Hustler STANDBY antenna is at the right.)

    It is surprising that the repeater's coverage is as good, if not EVEN BETTER than the previous installation! The contributing factors are as follows:

  • The main antenna (at the left) has decreased its height by 100 feet
  • The feed line length is now 50 feet; It was 150 feet long
  • The new Heliax feedline is almost two inches in diameter; The previous was half-inch Heliax
  • The MAIN antenna has been "properly adjusted" by smashing it into a self-dug groove in the lawn from a height of 140 feet...
  • (The newly created SWEEPING CURVE OF THE BOOM that was caused by the dramatic fall was largely straightened by the use of my 2-ton engine hoist/cherry picker. -But I didn't get it all straightened; -I ruined this same two-ton engine hoist in my attempt to fully straighten the lower portion of the well-built DB-224E antenna!!)



    Tower damage update number TWO:

    I lost another tower on July 10, 2008; -We had a hell of a storm... Lots of homes, crops, etc. were damaged in our area. My 56 foot Rohn tower was folded over the attached garage in this storm, which pulled down all of my HF (High Frequency) antennas, etc. Last week, I had taken it apart as an attempt to repair; I have now completed this repair work. I had to cut off a total of three feet of the tower, and I am now in the process of painting it. I will GUY the tower, now! It is designed to be a self-supporting unit, but the base clevis/bracket gave way in the storm.

    This is a slow-moving project at this moment, as I am still working on the building repair (garage) some, etc. I did not get to do any painting today. I am painting the tower one side at a time. I can do a better job of covering the metal with a LOT less strain, unlike how I had done it the last time. The Rohn tower has DIAGONAL bracing, which makes for poor foot-placement spots. (Which means that the task is more difficult, due to the uncomfortable stance that I must assume, when I am on the tower.) Painting the tower when it is down is a lot easier. -But, I must paint the tower in three sessions, as I can only access one "inside surface" of the tower at a time; I let the paint dry before I rotate the tower sections, then continue the task.

    My only functional HF antenna is the North loop. (I had two 160 Meter loops up; -One to the North of the house, and one to the South. The corners of both antennas were supported by the Rohn 56 foot self-supporting tower that was wrapped over my roof.) I also had a 40/75 Meter dipole, my "reference antenna," which was also supported by the tower that toppled. The North loop is up to some degree, but is very low to the ground. The attached pix summarize the damage. The restoration attempt is well under way at this time.

  • Scroll down for a few pictures of the reconstruction project...
  • The refurbishment of the tower is under way! I have removed one foot from one section, and two feet from a second section. The painting is now under way; The following two pix show the status as of 7:45 PM, on August 18, 2008... (You can see the two-foot chunk that I sawed off in the first of the following two pictures; It is almost out of sight, but if you can spot a short, less-than-perfect tower piece, that's it!)

  • The refurbishment of the tower is now COMPLETE! Peg, George (K0ZBI) and I managed to set the bottom two sections of the tower in place. Then, on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, I had a neighbor who has a 40 foot "boom truck" assist George and I so we could set the upper five sections of tower in place. (These went up as one piece, as I had them all bolted together, with the top mast, etc. all in place.) I had taken the time to make up a home-made 2-meter FM (ham radio) antenna and some fancy self-adjusting brackets (with pulleys for hoisting the wire-style antennas up) at the top of the tower. (This, with the heavy GUY CABLES, ropes, etc. was all in place when the tower was set in place.) [Two pictures of the refurbished tower are below..]

  • Today (9-30-2008) was the day that good old George and I applied massive quantities of not-to-gentle brute strength to straighten the well-curved North-West mast that held up that corner of the "North 160 Meter loop antenna" up. Then we splinted the broken part after I sawed out the mangled portion. By the time the sun was casting long shadows, we actually had the mast up at full height! HORRAY!!! (Thanks George!) [A picture of the North-West mast is below..]



    Tower damage update number THREE:

    I lost a loop antenna support MAST on the evening of 2-28-2012; -We had an ice storm... The mast that failed is one of FIVE supports for a 1015 foot loop antenna.

    Shortly after ten PM, I discovered ICE on the vines on the deck! I went out to drop the ropes that support the various wires, but I was too late! (Ratz.) When I got down to the antenna area, I could see that the first mast that I visited was toppled over. It was raining and blowing, so I was unable to see any details. I had fully expected to find that a wire had failed, when I walked down to survey the damage the next morning.

    I did not find any wires that made up the Gin-pole unit broken! Looking closer, it was apparent that the mast had failed due to an excessive SIDE LOAD. The mast toppled toward the wire that was broadside to the wind; Apparently, the direction of the wind ad allowed a differing amount of ice to accumulate on the wire.

  • Scroll down for a few pictures of the damage
  • All in all, this antenna has not been a good performer, so I do not feel much of a LOSS. The masts, etc. will be taken down when warmer weather permits. I am planning to put up a smaller loop antenna that will be a square shape. It will be fed from the South corner. (Or, that's the plan at this moment.)

  • The picture (above) was taken from the "upwind" side of the mast. The "main load" of the loop antenna is shown with the arrows. The picture was taken at about noon today. (The temperature was 35 or 36 degrees at noon.)

  • The last picture (above) shows a temporary support, allowing me to get the main wire off the long grass. (Now, THIS is an NVIS antenna! -Right?)