N0DL’s Beam and Tower Project Photo Slideshow. Either click the pause button or hover your mouse over the image to pause the slideshow.
Here is the photo gallery if you want to browse the photos:
My Radio Shack 36' mast served me well for around 30 years, holding up a couple of fixed wire dipoles during that time. But I longed for a better antenna. One that could be rotated to face stations I wanted to hear or talk to.
Getting there. Almost time to insert the tower base, then fill it with cement. I pulled out a lot of the dirt over many nights but didn't think to have anyone take a photo of that. I'm no good a selfies.
Getting the cement buggy ready to haul 3 yards of cement from the truck to the hole.
Another view of the cement buggy - that turned out not to be of much help at all.
Mark and Joe smooth the top surface. I am in the background wielding a toilet brush used for texturing.
Joe and Mark check out the position of the tower base in the cement, poured mostly by hand using a borrowed wheelbarrow.
Here are the tracks left by my many trips from the truck to the hole using a small wheelbarrow, borrowed from a neighbor.
The base is placed. The cement is left to set up for at least a month. Joe insisted that we NOT include his call letters in the cement since he believes it would guarantee having to sell the house within a year.
Ice cords are a special feature of the VHQ Hexbeam, designed by Vermonters who understand ice buildup and how devastating it can be on an antenna held up by fiberglass struts.
The 40' aluminum tower is delivered in November, 2022. Too late to put it up for the year. Need to wait until spring.
Checking the tower to make sure the rotator plate is present. I didn't realize they included an extra straight (non-tapered) tower section until fully unpacking it in May.
Putting the tower to bed for the winter. Need to keep the tubular ends away from the ground and ideally out of the snow so ice wouldn't form, freeze and possible deform the ends (which would be a disaster).
We ended up with several feet of snow covered the tower, most of the snow arrived in April but this photo was taken in February before the tower was fully buried by snow.
Fast-forward to May 7, 2023: Hanging the Hexbeam's fiberglass support struts for painting. Applying a coating of paint helps them withstand UV, extending the life of the antenna from an estimate of 15 years to perhaps 20.
The panel box, made by KF7P Metalwerks arrives with the surge suppressors and other copper fittings needed for a professional installation.
The Diamond D130 Discone antenna for K-Dave, built with excellent craftmanship by Joe, KK0SD. Radials were secured with threadlock, something this antenna's predecessor didn't have (and could have used).
Joe and I built the VHQ Hexbeam on the ground where it sat for a few days before mounting on the tower mast. Joe got me started and I was able to finish it on Saturday, May 13th and touch up a few unpainted areas before it was due to be 'sent up' the tower.
Mark built the steel tower base extension section that serves as a tip-over fulcrum for the aluminum tower. Mark disassembled it at home, painted all the pieces and with me handing him tools and hardware put it all back together the morning of Monday, May 15th, 2023.
The bottom two 10' sections of the 40' aluminum tower, attached to the base extension with large hinges, tipped partway over to check for clearance and proper hinge action.
Two sections of the aluminum tower, at rest alongside the mounting base extension.
Joe and mark slide the top half of the aluminum tower to join the bottom half. The entire tower is starting to take shape!
Joe heads up the ladder to step onto the scaffold in preparation for mounting the hexbeam to the tower mast.
DeAnna snapped a photo of me helping mount the antenna onto the mast. I'm not afraid of heights but recent illness was causing me to be shakier than either Joe or I liked while on the scaffold.
Dan took a panoramic photo of the tower including the antenna to show the full scope of everything.
With the antenna mounted Joe strings and secures the coaxial cables to the tower.
The panel box showing the ground strap along with surge arrestor/suppressors and a 1.5" ID plastic conduit to run cables into the shack.
The new ground, an 8' 5/8" copper rod is shown in the ground where it resides under a paving stone. Joe recommended putting it inside an ice-cream bucket for easier future maintenance. The ground is connected to the ground plate in the panel box by 2", 0.014" copper foil. It is also connected by another copper strap to the utility ground.
View of Hexbeam, Discone and Tower from the front side of the house. Despite this photo appears to show the entire structure blends into the trees in the foreground and background pretty well. I don't think the neighbors will complain too much.
I lost a collection online photos of our vacations. When I find time I may reconstruct it. In the meanwhile all I have are snaps of it provided by archive.org’s Wayback Machine.