The antenna replacement party at the SORM club station was an excellent time on Friday.
Tom Pillon and Dave McCarter were the first to arrive late Friday morning, and Tom gave Dave a tour around less frequented areas of the building. One area of the basement would be a great area for a "Builders Workshop", just requiring a few tables and chairs.
When Jim Morris and Ansil Rock arrived shortly after noon the work began of replacing the small gauge wire that was temporarily used for the loop antenna with a new larger gauge wire. Dave Lambert arrived and photographed the progress.
John Pedersen had installed marine grade pulleys on the end of each of the four support ropes, so the plan was to use the existing wire to pull the larger wire through the pulleys. Rocky and Jim soldered the two wires together into a nice low profile splice. Rocky held the reel and fed out the wire while Jim began pulling in the other end of the small black wire. The plan was working well as the white wire went through the first three pulleys, until the smaller wire snapped while going through the forth pulley, both wires fell to the ground, and the now empty pulley hung forlornely high up in the tree.
The pulley proved too light to encourage it to pull the line up into the tree, simultaniously coming down to the ground so we could rethread the new wire. So Jim pulled the pulley out of the tree and Dave got his air cannon ready to get the rope back into the tree. It took three shots before the line was well placed, and Rockie's contribution of a strong but thin builders line meant that the light fishing line could manage to pull the builders line through the tree and then it was strong enough to pull in the heavier antenna support rope. Then we tied the pulley back on, threaded the wire through the pulley and pulled it all back up in the tree.
While we were raising the antenna back up with the rope over the SORM building the antenna caught on a dead branch. While freeing our wire by pulling down the dead branch the antenna support rope suddenly came down as it had been supported by another dead branch that broke as we worked nearby.
Dave got out the air cannon again and in one perfect shot got the fishing line over the tree, significantly higher than it had been before. Rocky fed out the light builders line as Dave reeled in the fishing line, and then that line was used to pull the antenna support rope back up. This time the antenna was quite high up before the other end of the rope was even in Jim's hands. Now the loop is up significantly higher than before. We practically need to put red lights on it!
Later Jim reported that “contacts were made with France, Argentina, Porta Rico, Austria, Czech Republic, St Martins, Martinique and more.” IT WORKS!
References for information on the antenna: