A CALL FOR HELP!!
By David Millett VK6FAAZ
A short while ago, one of our members asked for assistance to repair their hex band antenna. The antenna had been the focus of many a cockatoo who had decided to feast upon the wires and cords, rendering the antenna next to useless.
The call was answered. Tony, Terry and I turned up on Saturday morning and set about repairing Don’s antenna. The first task was to lower the mast, literally! The hex band sat upon an old mast from a sail boat. The mast was lowered to a point over the garage roof so the antenna could be removed from the rotator. Clamps and cable were loosened and removed. The antenna was lifted up and over the end of the rotator shaft and lowered to the ground into the waiting arms of Don and Tony.
The antenna placed on a stake, which had been driven into the ground, to hold it steady while the team worked on the antenna. The old and destroyed wires were removed, ready for the new stainless-steel wires which would slow down the destructive antics of the cockys and resurrect life back into the hex band.
Don had painstakingly manufactured the new cables to the exacting specifications. Coiling and labeling each band’s driven and reflective elements. The team started at the center of the hex band and worked outwards, replacing the elements and adjusting the gap between the drivers and reflectors. There was some pretty fancy mathematics taking place, I can tell you.
With all the new elements in place, connectors cleaned and tightened, cables tensioned and secured and radial arms at the correct spacing, the hex band was ready to go back on to the rotator. With the help of a pole the antenna was positioned on the roof, then manipulated back onto the rotator, orientated North and secured. The coaxial cable was re-attached and secured.
The mast was returned to its upright position and secured to the patio post. Don fired up the radio, checked the SWR and tried out his ‘new’ antenna. The team had a good day helping Don with his antenna, lots of laughs and lots of learning as well. The team would like to thank Marjorie for rustling up a delicious Spag Bog for lunch.