Sunday, May 31, 2009

CARS Work Day at the SSFD Radio Station

We had a really great work day at our club station at the Southside Fire Station on Saturday, May 30. We began arriving at about 0800 and quickly began to plan out what needed to be done. Our primary goal for the day was to get the antenna tower refurbished and back in good working order. First order of business was to get the tower lowered so we could better inspect everything. Kevin-WD0GFG climbed the tower to the roofline and and unbolted the bracket holding the tower to the building. We installed a pulley on the bracket and used it to secure a line to the trailer hitch on my truck. This made us feel a little safer as we began to lower the tilt over tower since no one really knew how much it weighs. Lowering went fine and we rested the tower on a ladder so the HF beam antenna would not lay on the ground. With the tower in this position we began to go to work. In summary we replaced the rotor and it's control cable, replaced the old 2 meter antenna with a new Diamond dual bander, replaced the feedline to the HF and the VHF/UHF antennas, replaced the wire cable that is used to crank the tower up, replaced several pulleys, U-bolts, Eye-bolts, rusted nuts and bolts, and installed three new pulleys with line for hoisting wire antennas. We also installed a new ground wire from the radio room out to the ground rods and tower. Wow, we got a lot done. With everything installed and secure, we tilted the tower back up in place and secured it to the bracket and locked everything down. We oriented the HF beam to North and calibrated the rotor control to match. Paul-KJ4FAV climbed the tower and locked the antenna shaft in place and then Kevin tested the rotor and control. Good to go. We finished the tower work around 1400 or so. It took about 11 of us six hours to do but it was well worth it and we now have a refurbished and functional system. Awesome stuff!
We also got started on the radio room by installing a new operating surface. Also took the opportunity to clean out the room and throw away some junk. Decided to call it quits around 1630. We have another work day scheduled for June 13th so we'll finish all of the inside stuff and test the station. Should be fun. We'll have this station running well for the upcoming Field Day activities at the end of June.
Thanks to the following HAMs that came out and really busted thier butts to get this tower work done. We all had a great time and enjoyed the project and each others company.

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