Mike ZL2BCW, Brian ZL1AZE and Doug ZL2AOV visited Quartz Hill today (7 January 2006) to find that severe gales over the New Year holiday period had caused significant damage to the antenna farm. The following is a summary of the situation.
20m Europe long path yagi - one end of the reflector element has broken, and the other elements have all been bent (except the front director). It is suspected that the damage was initiated or compunded by a glass insulator and associated wire (from an old 160m dipole) breaking and falling across the yagi. The yagi was lowered today and has been moved to the compound area for a full rebuild.
BELOW: Photo of the damaged 20m yagi antenna.
10m USA yagi - The centre rope of the structure supporting the yagi elements has broken, causing the 1st and 2nd directors to fall to ground, and bending the 3rd director. The antenna will have be lowered to ground level so that the broken rope can be replaced and the directors reinstalled. A broken feed line jumper wire on the feeder pole beneath the antenna also needs to be repaired.
BELOW: Photo of the damaged 10m USA yagi antenna.
10m Europe yagi - The rope supporting the antenna at the reflector end has broken, and one end of the front director has also broken. The other directors are bent and the feedline is twisted and broken in several places. The antenna will have be lowered to ground level so that the broken rope can be replaced, directors repaired and a new feedline connected. Broken feed line jumper wires on the feeder pole beneath the antenna will also need to be repaired.
BELOW: Photo of the damaged 10m Europe yagi antenna.
160m sloping dipole for short path to Europe - This fault was reported prior to the New Year gales. One leg of the dipole had broken at a crimp joint near the feed point The broken wire was repaired today.
80m sloping dipole for USA - A broken rope supporting the coax fed line was repaired today.
USA short path vee #1 - A broken feed line jumper wire on the feeder pole beneath the antenna was repired today.
Rhombic - The top stay wire on the East side of pole 13 has rusted and broken, at the point where it connects to the pole. A new length of stay wire needs to be installed.
Europe short path vee #2 - A feed line wire has come adrift from its supporting insulator, on the feeder pole that is located at the eastern edge of the swamp.
We will need at least two or three calm days to complete the outstanding repair work. Additional maintenance days will be scheduled over the summer period to undertake this work. Note that in the meantime the yagi antennas are not available for use.
The extent of the damage to our infrastructure indicates that these were some of the strongest winds experienced at the site, possibly similar to the winds associated with the severe storms in early 2004 that caused flooding in the lower North Island. The highest gust recorded at Kelburn over New Year was around 140 km per hour so it is likely that the gusts at Quartz Hill were well above that speed, above 150 km per hour and perhaps closer to 200 km per hour.Posted by ZL1AZE on January 07, 2006