The Gods must be pleased with us - this was the third Activity Day in succession when we enjoyed brilliant sunshine and little wind. There was an excellent turn out with Mike ZL2BCW, John ZL2AYQ, Ralph ZL2AOH, David ZL4TAC, Bob ZL2CA, Wilbert ZL2BSJ, Malcolm ZL2UDF, Todd ZL2SP, Bruce ZL2ABC, Steven ZL2TRN, Geoff ZL2TGC, Julian ZL2FS, Brian ZL1AZE and Bob ZL2AMI (setting up for the Russian RTTY contest) all in attendance. We also received apologies from Doug ZL2AOV and Chris ZL1CT.

We made good progress on the maintenace projects around the antenna farm. The broken feedlines to the Europe and USA 10m yagis were fixed, including the installation of a new vertical section of open wire line to the USA yagi. At the same time we also raised the height of the reflector end of each yagi to give a small amount of additional gain at low angles. A loose connection to the balun for the USA SP #2 vee antenna was fixed and we also noted that a faulty feed line connection to the Europe SP #1 vee antenna had been fixed by Doug ZL2AOV during the week prior to the Activity Day (thanks Doug). We also followed up a report that the rhombic was "dead" but could find no evidence of the fault.

BELOW: ZL2AYF (left), ZL2BCW (centre), and ZL4TAC (right) working on the connection of the new open wire feed line to the 10m USA yagi.

10m yagi repair.JPG

A large team focused their efforts on the construction of the new VHF/UHF antenna system. The antenna rotator was successfully installed on the mast but the subsequent erection of the mast was less successful. The "leaning tower of Quartz Hill" was created after uplanned bending of the structure occurred during its erection. Not surprisingly, there were many prolonged technical discussions about how such a thing could happen and how it might be resolved! Plan B will be revealed at the next Activity Day.

We also made good progress on the installation of an open wire feeder system to replace the waterlogged coax that feeds the 80m/160m T antenna on the ridge. The open wire line was tensioned and a balun fitted at the gantry end of the line. The balun at the antenna end of the line still needs to be fitted. We are grateful to Wilbert ZL2BSJ for constructing the pair of beautifully engineered balun transformers for this project. Note that the 80m/160m T antenna is not operational while this project is in progress.

BELOW: ZL2BSJ working on the installation of the gantry balun for the open wire feedline to the 80m/160m T antenna.


Other activities included the fitting of "anti-skid" wire netting to the fence stiles, investigation of water overflowing from the header tank, the clearing of grass and weeds from the edges of the driveway around the building, and the usual housekeeping tasks inside the building.

Thanks again to everyone who came out and made the day such a success.

Posted by ZL1AZE on September 07, 2005