Spring / Summer backyard tower project

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#26
Three up and two to go

[Image: IMG_2577.JPG]
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#26
Three up and two to go

[Image: IMG_2577.JPG]
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#27
I had a concern about going above the 15 metre height that I'm allowed through regulation.  Then I had a great conversation with Lloyd Hoffman with Radio Amateurs  of Canada.  They affiliate themselves with the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation.  Lloyd said he has had hundreds of inquiries like mine since the Federal Government allowed us the freedom to erect towers and antennae up to 15 metres in height.

In a nutshell, he said f you have a free standing tower on your property it is 100% Federal jurisdiction.  As long as the tower or base is not connected to any building or structure, even the local building authority has no say.

He suggested to play nice with everyone, meaning the Municipality and neighbors, but if it anything came down to a shoving match, the Feds have the final say.

With respect to putting a 27’ mast on my 45’ tower, he said that is not an issue either.  He said when the legislation was drafted, what the Government had in mind was mainly aircraft obstruction.  He said until you get up around 100’, it’s not an issue and that I would be OK to proceed.

This certainly eased my concerns.
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#27
I had a concern about going above the 15 metre height that I'm allowed through regulation.  Then I had a great conversation with Lloyd Hoffman with Radio Amateurs  of Canada.  They affiliate themselves with the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation.  Lloyd said he has had hundreds of inquiries like mine since the Federal Government allowed us the freedom to erect towers and antennae up to 15 metres in height.

In a nutshell, he said f you have a free standing tower on your property it is 100% Federal jurisdiction.  As long as the tower or base is not connected to any building or structure, even the local building authority has no say.

He suggested to play nice with everyone, meaning the Municipality and neighbors, but if it anything came down to a shoving match, the Feds have the final say.

With respect to putting a 27’ mast on my 45’ tower, he said that is not an issue either.  He said when the legislation was drafted, what the Government had in mind was mainly aircraft obstruction.  He said until you get up around 100’, it’s not an issue and that I would be OK to proceed.

This certainly eased my concerns.
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#28
thats good to know.nice job on yours.
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#28
thats good to know.nice job on yours.
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#29
I've been working on the 1-1/2" PVC conduit snaking its way under my deck and between the houses.  Today I wrestled in 1/2" Heliax, heavy duty rotor cable, and a 1/4" polypropylene rope.  It is unlikely I will ever be able to pull anything through this so I was considering leaving the joints where there is a bend unglued.  My thoughts being, the Heliax and rotor cable have waterproof PE jackets so if moisture was to get into the conduit,  I don't see it as a problem.  I would certainly be open to opinions from the more experienced.  73s.

[Image: IMG_2592.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2593a.JPG]
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#29
I've been working on the 1-1/2" PVC conduit snaking its way under my deck and between the houses.  Today I wrestled in 1/2" Heliax, heavy duty rotor cable, and a 1/4" polypropylene rope.  It is unlikely I will ever be able to pull anything through this so I was considering leaving the joints where there is a bend unglued.  My thoughts being, the Heliax and rotor cable have waterproof PE jackets so if moisture was to get into the conduit,  I don't see it as a problem.  I would certainly be open to opinions from the more experienced.  73s.

[Image: IMG_2592.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2593a.JPG]
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#30
Things are moving slow.  I'm still waiting for my vertical from Hy-Gain who seem to be having the same productions issues everyone else does these days.  I'm amazed at all the small things that have to be done in preparation.  I've got my grounding and bonding done.  I had to bring Ethernet up the side of my house and into the shack.  I'm sure the entire second floor of my house is on one 120vac circuit so I brought up and new 20 amp branch up from the outside.  If we sell the house, I hope there's an abundance of red brick so I can patch up the wall!

I knocked off a bit of time last week putting together a choke to mount on my mast under my vertical.  I needed a bracket to hold my block and tackle pulleys and my dual band 2 metre antenna.  I couldn't find anything that would work to my liking so I when to Canadian Tire, bought a wire-feed welder and made my own!

Any suggestions along the way are welcome :-)

Below are a few progress pictures:

[Image: IMG_2605.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2606.JPG]
Reply
#30
Things are moving slow.  I'm still waiting for my vertical from Hy-Gain who seem to be having the same productions issues everyone else does these days.  I'm amazed at all the small things that have to be done in preparation.  I've got my grounding and bonding done.  I had to bring Ethernet up the side of my house and into the shack.  I'm sure the entire second floor of my house is on one 120vac circuit so I brought up and new 20 amp branch up from the outside.  If we sell the house, I hope there's an abundance of red brick so I can patch up the wall!

I knocked off a bit of time last week putting together a choke to mount on my mast under my vertical.  I needed a bracket to hold my block and tackle pulleys and my dual band 2 metre antenna.  I couldn't find anything that would work to my liking so I when to Canadian Tire, bought a wire-feed welder and made my own!

Any suggestions along the way are welcome :-)

Below are a few progress pictures:

[Image: IMG_2605.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2606.JPG]
Reply
#31
It's been a while since I've posted any updates due mainly to problems with back-orders at Radio World.  After waiting more than two months for my Hy-Gain vertical, MFJ could not give Radio World an ETA.  MFJ, who I'm told is difficult to deal with at the best of times, ran everyone around in circles.  The antenna I was after was a special order item, however, at DX Engineering it is a regular stocked item so I had them deliver one in three days!  This is not my first involvement DX with but I find they are a first class operation.  I especially like their CFO Tim Duffy's close involvement with the customer.

Angelo Meffe, president of Radio World, really felt bad about my experience.  He was looking for some way to extend an olive branch so he  offered me a ZeroFive-Antennas 43GP (43' vertical) for cost with free shipping.  It was a deal I could not turn down so I intend to put this up in my back yard with an MFJ-998RT remote antenna tuner this fall.

It took me about 10 hours to assemble the Hy-Gain and get it temporarily mounted on the back of my wife's garden shed so I can tune it.  It is quite a struggle to balance it to get it up there, and only after its up there can I install the eight 72" radials at the bottom.

In order to tune it, I will have to remove the bottom radials and bring it down each time.  I have never tuned an antenna before so this will be quite interesting I'm sure.  I welcome any feedback.  It has been suggested to tune a little lower than where I would like to be because as I raise the antenna, the resonant frequency will increase.  This will be going on top of my 45' tower.

73s Rob VE3RWY

[Image: IMG_2634.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2635.JPG]



[Image: IMG_2636.JPG]
Reply
#31
It's been a while since I've posted any updates due mainly to problems with back-orders at Radio World.  After waiting more than two months for my Hy-Gain vertical, MFJ could not give Radio World an ETA.  MFJ, who I'm told is difficult to deal with at the best of times, ran everyone around in circles.  The antenna I was after was a special order item, however, at DX Engineering it is a regular stocked item so I had them deliver one in three days!  This is not my first involvement DX with but I find they are a first class operation.  I especially like their CFO Tim Duffy's close involvement with the customer.

Angelo Meffe, president of Radio World, really felt bad about my experience.  He was looking for some way to extend an olive branch so he  offered me a ZeroFive-Antennas 43GP (43' vertical) for cost with free shipping.  It was a deal I could not turn down so I intend to put this up in my back yard with an MFJ-998RT remote antenna tuner this fall.

It took me about 10 hours to assemble the Hy-Gain and get it temporarily mounted on the back of my wife's garden shed so I can tune it.  It is quite a struggle to balance it to get it up there, and only after its up there can I install the eight 72" radials at the bottom.

In order to tune it, I will have to remove the bottom radials and bring it down each time.  I have never tuned an antenna before so this will be quite interesting I'm sure.  I welcome any feedback.  It has been suggested to tune a little lower than where I would like to be because as I raise the antenna, the resonant frequency will increase.  This will be going on top of my 45' tower.

73s Rob VE3RWY

[Image: IMG_2634.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2635.JPG]



[Image: IMG_2636.JPG]
Reply
#32
Yesterday my wife and I had the challenge of bringing the Hi-Gain down twice as I made my first attempt at tuning an antenna.  We weren't without our challenges!

These were our initial readings out of the box:
80 Metre 1.07 @ 3.940
40 Metre 1.99 @ 7.200
30 Meter 1.14 @ 10.170
20 Meter 1.39 @ 13.248
17 Meter 1.26 @ 18.100
15 Meter 1.30 @ 20.700

These were my approximate targets taking into account a slight increase in resonance frequency the higher a vertical is off the ground

Targets:
3700
7100
14150
18125
21125
28400

The 80 Meter capacity hat has eight 48" radials which puts me at the top of the 80 Metre band.  Underneath is an inductor coil which you can tap at various points allowing you fine tune the frequency you want to work at.

[Image: IMG_2650.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2647.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2639.JPG]

The 40 Metre band needed to come down and the Hi-Gain manual said trimming 1" from the radial will reduce the frequency 4 KHz.  I trimmed 1-1/2" and t didn't make any change.  The next break in the weather I will take the antenna down and be more aggressive with the 40 Metre tuning which I'm sure will impact my other settings since you should tune the lowest frequency bands first.

[Image: IMG_2648.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2640.JPG]

All the bands from 6 Metres up to (but not including 15 Metres) are tuned by adjusting little aluminum studs that slide inside aluminum tubs for each band.

[Image: stub.jpg]

After getting the antenna back up, I have ran into a new problem - the 20 Meter band dos not resonate (not at all).

I scanned from 13500 to 15000 and it hugged the 15 line on my meter which I think is as high as the scale goes. I was thinking along the lines of a bad connection even thought I visually looked the connections and solder joints over.  I am going to bring it down and check continuity with a meter on everything.

I still have some adjusting to do otherwise.  Here is where I sit at the moment.  I wish the weather was better!

80 Meters = 1:14 @ 3.732 MHz
40 Meters = 1.08 @ 7.386 MHz
30 Meters = 1.58 @ 10.17 MHz
20 Meters = 15:1 @ 14.2158 MHz
17 Meters = 1.8 @ 18.168 MHz
15 Meters = 1.66 @ 21.020 MHz
12 Meters = 1.97 @ 24.987 MHz
10 Meters = 1.47 @ 28.534 MHz
6 Meters = 1.07 @ 53.264 MHZ
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#32
Yesterday my wife and I had the challenge of bringing the Hi-Gain down twice as I made my first attempt at tuning an antenna.  We weren't without our challenges!

These were our initial readings out of the box:
80 Metre 1.07 @ 3.940
40 Metre 1.99 @ 7.200
30 Meter 1.14 @ 10.170
20 Meter 1.39 @ 13.248
17 Meter 1.26 @ 18.100
15 Meter 1.30 @ 20.700

These were my approximate targets taking into account a slight increase in resonance frequency the higher a vertical is off the ground

Targets:
3700
7100
14150
18125
21125
28400

The 80 Meter capacity hat has eight 48" radials which puts me at the top of the 80 Metre band.  Underneath is an inductor coil which you can tap at various points allowing you fine tune the frequency you want to work at.

[Image: IMG_2650.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2647.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2639.JPG]

The 40 Metre band needed to come down and the Hi-Gain manual said trimming 1" from the radial will reduce the frequency 4 KHz.  I trimmed 1-1/2" and t didn't make any change.  The next break in the weather I will take the antenna down and be more aggressive with the 40 Metre tuning which I'm sure will impact my other settings since you should tune the lowest frequency bands first.

[Image: IMG_2648.JPG]

[Image: IMG_2640.JPG]

All the bands from 6 Metres up to (but not including 15 Metres) are tuned by adjusting little aluminum studs that slide inside aluminum tubs for each band.

[Image: stub.jpg]

After getting the antenna back up, I have ran into a new problem - the 20 Meter band dos not resonate (not at all).

I scanned from 13500 to 15000 and it hugged the 15 line on my meter which I think is as high as the scale goes. I was thinking along the lines of a bad connection even thought I visually looked the connections and solder joints over.  I am going to bring it down and check continuity with a meter on everything.

I still have some adjusting to do otherwise.  Here is where I sit at the moment.  I wish the weather was better!

80 Meters = 1:14 @ 3.732 MHz
40 Meters = 1.08 @ 7.386 MHz
30 Meters = 1.58 @ 10.17 MHz
20 Meters = 15:1 @ 14.2158 MHz
17 Meters = 1.8 @ 18.168 MHz
15 Meters = 1.66 @ 21.020 MHz
12 Meters = 1.97 @ 24.987 MHz
10 Meters = 1.47 @ 28.534 MHz
6 Meters = 1.07 @ 53.264 MHZ
Reply
#33
Good luck Rob. These commercial antennas can be a pig to work on. That's why I have always preferred simple wire antennas. If I can help at all just let me know; I am only 5 minutes from your place.
John, VA3KOT
SKCC #11989T NAQCC #7155 FISTS #19777
May the Morse be with you.
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#33
Good luck Rob. These commercial antennas can be a pig to work on. That's why I have always preferred simple wire antennas. If I can help at all just let me know; I am only 5 minutes from your place.
John, VA3KOT
SKCC #11989T NAQCC #7155 FISTS #19777
May the Morse be with you.
Reply
#34
(2020-08-03, 20:06:44)VA3KOT John Wrote: Good luck Rob. These commercial antennas can be a pig to work on. That's why I have always preferred simple wire antennas. If I can help at all just let me know; I am only 5 minutes from your place.

Thanks John I appreciate your offer.  I have discovered an out of band orphan spot that might be trying to impersonate the 20 Metre band.  I have discovered 1.28:1 @ 13.290 MHz.  The 20 Metre capacity hat has four 15" radials.  Hy-Gain claims the antenna is tuned at the top of all the bands and you tune it down to the desired frequency by trimming the radials.  Since I want to go up, not down, it seems to me I might want to add longer radials.

The antenna came with two spare 40" radials for people to start over if they trimmed too much.  Maybe I could try these to bring 13.290 MHz up to my target 14.150 MHz.

73 Rob
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#34
(2020-08-03, 20:06:44)VA3KOT John Wrote: Good luck Rob. These commercial antennas can be a pig to work on. That's why I have always preferred simple wire antennas. If I can help at all just let me know; I am only 5 minutes from your place.

Thanks John I appreciate your offer.  I have discovered an out of band orphan spot that might be trying to impersonate the 20 Metre band.  I have discovered 1.28:1 @ 13.290 MHz.  The 20 Metre capacity hat has four 15" radials.  Hy-Gain claims the antenna is tuned at the top of all the bands and you tune it down to the desired frequency by trimming the radials.  Since I want to go up, not down, it seems to me I might want to add longer radials.

The antenna came with two spare 40" radials for people to start over if they trimmed too much.  Maybe I could try these to bring 13.290 MHz up to my target 14.150 MHz.

73 Rob
Reply
#35
I think this is where my inexperience got the best of me because I was thinking backwards trying to tune this.  The manual clearly states, trimming the spokes raises the resonant frequency.  Since I have no resonance in the 20M band, and I discovered 1.29 @ 13.306, I should be able to raise this to 14.150 MHz by trimming the radials for the 20M band.  There are four 15" spokes.

I read on eHam, plus I may have heard from Tom or John, I can get pretty close to the resonance I want by laying this on the ground on an angle.  It would save my wife and myself wrestling this up and down every time I make a change.
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#35
I think this is where my inexperience got the best of me because I was thinking backwards trying to tune this.  The manual clearly states, trimming the spokes raises the resonant frequency.  Since I have no resonance in the 20M band, and I discovered 1.29 @ 13.306, I should be able to raise this to 14.150 MHz by trimming the radials for the 20M band.  There are four 15" spokes.

I read on eHam, plus I may have heard from Tom or John, I can get pretty close to the resonance I want by laying this on the ground on an angle.  It would save my wife and myself wrestling this up and down every time I make a change.
Reply
#36
I've had my vertical up and down about 6 times now.  I have worked out a sequence where I can actually do it all by myself without my wife's assistance.  I have a better grasp on how one change in one band influences the other bands.  My most difficult challenge was no resonance for 20M.  What was supposed to be the sweet spot for this band was at 30.306 MHz.

There are four 15" radials for this band.  The manual tells you you only have to trim one.  I found out the hard way the consequences of trimming them ofall.  I started to keep a spreadsheet of my changes and tests which has really aided in fine tuning this.  I still have to change the 20M band 598 KHz to get it where I want which means the antenna comes down one more time.  Here is a sample of my spreadsheet:

[Image: tuning.JPG]

73s Rob VE3RWY
Reply
#36
I've had my vertical up and down about 6 times now.  I have worked out a sequence where I can actually do it all by myself without my wife's assistance.  I have a better grasp on how one change in one band influences the other bands.  My most difficult challenge was no resonance for 20M.  What was supposed to be the sweet spot for this band was at 30.306 MHz.

There are four 15" radials for this band.  The manual tells you you only have to trim one.  I found out the hard way the consequences of trimming them ofall.  I started to keep a spreadsheet of my changes and tests which has really aided in fine tuning this.  I still have to change the 20M band 598 KHz to get it where I want which means the antenna comes down one more time.  Here is a sample of my spreadsheet:

[Image: tuning.JPG]

73s Rob VE3RWY
Reply
#37
Today was a great day to get my tower completed and the vertical erected on top.  I rented a 45' Genie man lift and with a little help, the job went very smoothly.  The bands are a little narrow on 40M and 80M but I have a second antenna project in the making after I'm finished here.

I ordered two 6' sections of wiring loom for my shack and was hoping to get that connected today but the looms are stuck in the Purolator sorting centre in Toronto.

A special thanks to my friend Jeremy (VA3JL) and his son Peter.  Here are a few pictures of today's adventure.  By nature, I have a fear of heights but I definitely overcame it today!

[Image: one.JPG]

[Image: two.JPG]

[Image: threea.jpg]

[Image: foura.jpg]

[Image: fivea.jpg]

[Image: six.JPG]

[Image: seven.JPG]

[Image: eight.JPG]
Reply
#37
Today was a great day to get my tower completed and the vertical erected on top.  I rented a 45' Genie man lift and with a little help, the job went very smoothly.  The bands are a little narrow on 40M and 80M but I have a second antenna project in the making after I'm finished here.

I ordered two 6' sections of wiring loom for my shack and was hoping to get that connected today but the looms are stuck in the Purolator sorting centre in Toronto.

A special thanks to my friend Jeremy (VA3JL) and his son Peter.  Here are a few pictures of today's adventure.  By nature, I have a fear of heights but I definitely overcame it today!

[Image: one.JPG]

[Image: two.JPG]

[Image: threea.jpg]

[Image: foura.jpg]

[Image: fivea.jpg]

[Image: six.JPG]

[Image: seven.JPG]

[Image: eight.JPG]
Reply
#38
Update: The day after I put my tower up we had a huge storm with high winds.  For some unknown reason, the SWR on my Hy-Gain went up on 80, 40, 30 and 20.  These bands all have coils and capacitance hats.  After speaking with Hy-Gain support there is a strong indication something came lose.

One day I hooked up my analyzer in SWR mode and noticed the SWR on a resonant frequency was drifting up and down as the antenna swayed in a light breeze.  This seems to confirm something coming lose.  When the weather cools down I will rent another man lift for the weekend and bring it down and investigate.  Hy-Gain told me I can tune it on its  side on the ground taking into account it will tune lower.

In the mean time, this was an incentive to get my Zero Antennas 43GP vertical up.  I mounted this on the back of my wife's garden shed and attached an MFJ-998RT remote antenna tuner.  Although the tuner is a little quirky, I am amazed how it can dial in very low SWRs across all the bands.

I've certainly had my share of frustrations and problems:  I can't share my 2m antenna because it won't work passing through my PalStar AT2k manual tuner.  My Ameritron RCS-4 antenna switch would not work because I bought lightning arrestors that did not pass DC voltage for the switch.  I thought the remote tuner did not work because you have to pass CW RF for it to tune.  The new 20 amp line I brought into my shack didn't work because the breaker was defective.  I've certainly learned all about patience and perseverance this summer!

73s to everyone.


[Image: IMG_2693.JPG]
[Image: IMG_2704.JPG]
[Image: IMG_2697.JPG]
[Image: IMG_2708.JPG]
Reply
#38
Update: The day after I put my tower up we had a huge storm with high winds.  For some unknown reason, the SWR on my Hy-Gain went up on 80, 40, 30 and 20.  These bands all have coils and capacitance hats.  After speaking with Hy-Gain support there is a strong indication something came lose.

One day I hooked up my analyzer in SWR mode and noticed the SWR on a resonant frequency was drifting up and down as the antenna swayed in a light breeze.  This seems to confirm something coming lose.  When the weather cools down I will rent another man lift for the weekend and bring it down and investigate.  Hy-Gain told me I can tune it on its  side on the ground taking into account it will tune lower.

In the mean time, this was an incentive to get my Zero Antennas 43GP vertical up.  I mounted this on the back of my wife's garden shed and attached an MFJ-998RT remote antenna tuner.  Although the tuner is a little quirky, I am amazed how it can dial in very low SWRs across all the bands.

I've certainly had my share of frustrations and problems:  I can't share my 2m antenna because it won't work passing through my PalStar AT2k manual tuner.  My Ameritron RCS-4 antenna switch would not work because I bought lightning arrestors that did not pass DC voltage for the switch.  I thought the remote tuner did not work because you have to pass CW RF for it to tune.  The new 20 amp line I brought into my shack didn't work because the breaker was defective.  I've certainly learned all about patience and perseverance this summer!

73s to everyone.


[Image: IMG_2693.JPG]
[Image: IMG_2704.JPG]
[Image: IMG_2697.JPG]
[Image: IMG_2708.JPG]
Reply
#39
Sounds like you have had a good education of Murphy's Law, what can go wrong, will .... don't worry, we've all been there...
Reply
#39
Sounds like you have had a good education of Murphy's Law, what can go wrong, will .... don't worry, we've all been there...
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