On 25 March 2017 at 09h00, club members met at the clubhouse for an Antenna Work Party, under the direction of Noel, ZS1FW.
About 17 people attended, Rob /ZS1SA, Noel / ZS1FW, Barry / ZS1FJ, Fritz / ZS1FZ, Danny / ZS1BL, Paul / ZS1S, Pieter / ZS1PGC, Hans-Jurgen / ZS1HJH, Wolfgang / ZR1WLH, Chris / ZS1CDG, Lem / ZS1LEM, Mike / ZS1PE, Elsabe & John / ZS1AGH, Skippy & his buddy, and Nick / ZS1ZD. Thanks to all who contributed to make the work party a successful one.
We took down the main Cushcraft Tribander beam, which had been giving poor SWR readings and was clearly in need of attention. Due diligence was applied to the 10m traps. SWR measurements were made, adjustments made to the elements, measurements re-taken, further adjustments made to tune up the antenna. On raising the beam again that afternoon, we got significant improvements in the SWR readings, especially in 10, 15 and 20 m bands. (SWR of 1.06 : 1 on 15m) We’re very grateful to Pieter / ZS1PGC and Paul / ZS1S, for taking readings with their broadband antenna analysers. Also to Hans-Jurgen / ZS1HJH for bringing his network analyser along too.
Simultaneously, Noel, Chris and Lem tackled the Force 12 antenna which had been under-performing since the Lighthouse Weekend. Its individual elements were diligently re-measured cleaned and re-assembled and re-riveted. We hope to see a similar improvement in that antenna’s performance in due course.
Skippy and Nick tackled the longwire antenna which had become entangled in trees and infrastructure.
Hans Jurgen and Wolfgang started assembling the MFJ vertical multiband antenna, which has been kindly donated to the club. It will, in due course, provide backup coverage of the HF bands. The feedline for this antenna was also routed into the clubhouse. We will hold a further mini-work party to erect this vertical once it has been fully assembled and tested, Our club will be on the air shortly.
It was really great to see new club members pitching in and helping the old timers with the work. Thanks also to Elsabe and John/ ZS1AGH, who very kindly brought along a scrumptious platter of gingerbread to sustain the workers.
We finished work at around 14h30 after a most productive day.
Chris / ZS1CDG has produced this fine video of the event on YouTube [here].
Photos are [here].