Raising of the Mast

The time has finally come. The mast has finally been raised.

The Recap

This day has been in the planning for a while.

After building up the antennas, Setting them up on a short pole in the garden, to ensure the tuning was correct. Then getting the support pole up on the wall and installing the rotator and getting all the coax’s through the wall.

The Day Before

The day before I started to get things prepared. I put the coax’s through the wall and fitted the connectors. I then hooked them up to a Dummy load and checked them on all the frequencies I would need to use them on. At this point I decided that it would be a good idea to colour code the coax at either end so I could remember which was connected to which antenna. With this all done I brought the antennas through into the shack ready for the morning.

The Day of Raising

So the day nearly got off to bad start with the weather forecast the day before saying there would be rain by dinner time. Fortunately the morning came and the rain had gone. After a quick run to do the weekly shop it was time for action.

I enlisted my Dad to come round and help as an extra pair of hands was defiantly needed. Unfortunately I got a bit distracted by actually doing the work and so didn’t take many photos.

First job was to use the wooden frame I had made to prop the mast up ready to mount the antennas.

After getting the antennas attached and lined up we fitted the coax and tied to the mast most of the way down.

The next step was step was to set up the rope line between the two pullies one on the mast and another fixed to the wall next to the wall brackets. This is one of the moments that didn’t get photographed as it was very hands on. It was basically 2 double pullies with the rope looped between them twice.

This allowed the mast to be pulled up vertical with the top bearing already clamped on the mast at about the right position. You would think this was the difficult part of the job… but you would be wrong. At this point the mast was still sat on the floor. Now we had to lift the mast, using the rope and pullies to help stabilise it, up into the rotator.

Once it was lifted into the rotator, one of us heled it in position while the other bolted the thrust bearing bracket to the support pole on the wall.

Image curtesy of Kat Sampson

No was the easy job. We lifted the mast slightly as the manual for the thrust bearing instructed and tightened the bolts onto the mast. and then tightened the ‘u’bolts on the rotator. Holding the coax clear we tested the rotation before tying the coax in place leaving the right about of slack to allow the mast to turn.

This was the final job done and all that was required now was to hook up the radios and give them a try. Some of the SWR’s were a little higher then I would like and this might be due to the separation of the antennas although they were fitted with a spacing of 1/4 wavelength at the lowest frequency, which was 2m, so about 50cm. But some could also be due to the patch leads I was using.

I Still wish to move the weather sat antenna up onto the house wall to the right of the mast and there is still the changes to the HF antenna to come.

The Finished Shack

So with the antennas up, a new radio (FT857) and a couple of other bits the shack, except for putting up some shelves, was finally in its finished condition.

Remember you can keep up to date with my amateur radio activities and you can also view my QRZ Page Here.

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