Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dream Fulfilled - Roy's Antenna Farm

     Did you ever want some something really outstanding?
Something that only a few ham radio folks have! Like an antenna that out performs all others except stations like the voice of America. Its easy and you don't have to be rich. All it takes is a big piece of flat land, like forty acres and a few thousand dollars, some antenna knowledge, a lot of hard work and more than normal perseverance. 
                                                 
 
Home brew 197' tower almost up. 
  


197 feet up on a home brew tower

  

    After my first three years the in military I had been thinking about a big Antenna for a long time so in 1954, I built a multi Vee  beam antenna system on my dad's ranch 100 miles south of Tucson Arizona, just a few miles north of the Mexican  border. From the center tower I pulled seven wires spaced 30 degrees apart, 600 feet out on 40 feet high wooden towers all except for the center one. On the center tower I had a relay box that allowed me to select any of the six Vee beam antennas and with a built in home brew all band remotely controlled antenna tuner I brought the 52-ohm coax down to my  globe scout running 40 watts of AM.

 This antenna worked great on all bands 80 thru 10 meters. It was my first ham radio antenna and it made me feel like I had a KW. I used this antenna system for about one year till I was sent over seas again. During  my Air Force career I have held two DX calls, DL4DK and CN8IZ. 
   I retired from the Air Force in January 1968 and as my first job, I managed a cable T. V.  company for 10 years. The wife and I had made some good investments and I thought I could retire, so I bought a new truck and travel trailer and we went to Mexico for the winters and to Canada in the summers for 10 years. By that time we don’t feel so rich any more, and I was tired of being on vacation full time. The wife and I went back to work for the next 15 years, and after selling our business we bought 40 acres of flat land 40 miles south of Phoenix AZ. While in the military, I had the good fortune to work at some big and powerful transmitter sites and since then I always yearned to have an antenna farm some day. 
 
   73's Roy,  w7yrv . 


    




















8o meter 8 element sterba cutrtains on 200' towers.

 
 Wow this is a 200' tower pulled up with a 90' gin pole. I did this all by myself with a hand winch and I had to get a picture to prove that I got it this far up in case of a mishap. We know bad things happen.  

I am going to put up two of these antennas. If all goes well it will be one of the most power full 80 meter antennas on the band.

 This is the winch at the start. One turn equals about 1/2 inch and it takes many hours to get it all the way up.


 Ready to start the lift, the 3/16 inch cable goes to the top of the gin pole and back down to the winch giving you twice the pulling power.


The dead man is 3"pipe 8' long and 30 " down, and the VW truck is insurance that it does not pull out.


 To start a 24' gin pole pulls up a 60' gin pole.


 Now the 60' gin pole is ready to pull up the 90' gin  pole


 The 200' tower is in the fore ground, the vertical tower on the left is the 60' gin pole, the center tower is the 65' rhombic tower, the tower on the right is the 150' 40-meter  bi-square tower.


 The 24' gin pole on the ground has pulled up the 60' gin pole, and to the left the 60' gin pole is  pulling up the 90' gin pole which will pull up the 200' tower.

 The dead man is 30" down and the stake is not the guy anchor. This is the two middle guys on the east side.


 This is the two middle guys on the west side.


 This is the two top guys on the west side. The dead man is down 30" to the right of that stake.


 This is near the bottom guy on the west side.


 This is at the base of the tower and the gin pole. The 65' towers in the back ground 600' out are for the rotating rhombic antenna. They are  spaced 20 degrees apart.


 Another view from the pasture.


 The 90' gin pole pulling up the 200' tower. The rhombic tower was in the way so I took it down. The other tower on the right is the 150' tower for the 40-meter bi-squares.






 Another view from the pasture.

 My wife Mary Ann is taking lots of pictures.


 I quit for the night, hoping we don't have any wind tomorrow.


 Now we are near the balance point, meaning we have to move one set of guys to the back anchor to keep the tower from falling forward as the gin pole comes down.


 Now the gin pole is pulling too hard on the back guys.


 Here we hold the gin pole while we loosing the back guys enough to let the gin pole down about six inches at a time till the tower is vertical.


 Well, there it is,  surprised even me by not having any mishaps.


 This is how it looks from the ground.


 Now I will go up and see how it looks from top side.


 This is the first time I climbed a home brew tower this high. It feels very sound not scary at all. Where the rope is coming down behind that mountain is Phoenix 45 miles to the north.


600' out is my other 200' tower.

Looking down from the tower near my house


Looking down from the other tower that I never intended to climb, but a helicopter clipped the tower about 1/2" from the top, dropping both 80 meter sterba curtain antennas. He came back to see what he hit and then went back to his accident site. By the time I got there he had left, but days later I got a letter asking about damage and I told them only a couple of insulators that cost nothing. All I had to do was to re-hang the antennas.


A view of my QTH from near the top of the tower.


I hung some experimental antennas on the tower before I pulled it up and later I removed them and installed two 80-meter bi-squares as reference antennas. Then I installed an 8-element sterba curtain between the two 200' towers. Later I installed another 8-element sterba between my 150' 40-meter tower and one of the 200' towers.


My 200' towers use 9 of these dead men, 3 on each corner, they are about 3' of 3" pipe 30" down.


A view form the ground.


This is the point where I decided that I had to take down the rhombic tower.


This is the three 80-meter sterba curtain towers.


This is an 80-meter sterba curtain antenna between two 200' towers and about 600' apart. It has a gain of 9 dBs. Really big rhombics can have that kind of gain but they take up 40 acres of land.  This antenna will for sure make you a big gun on 8o meters in the antennas given directions.