Monthly Archives: August 2015

Antenna installation

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[Today’s run: 6 miles]

We ran this morning on the eastside-northbound lanes of the soon-to-be-divided Highway 45S.  They have the lines painted and the signs up.  Everything is just about complete.  There were a couple of crews working at 6 AM on tidying up the shoulders at intersections.

After running we went and visited a neighbor to see their new baby llama and a colt.  They have a very nice place.

And the big task of the day was to get the FM radio station antenna up on the tower.

I ended up climbing the tower twice.  The first time was to put in place a stub vertical element with a pulley on it.  Then I rappelled down and rested a bit.

I used the pulley to raise the new vertical piece with the attached FM antenna. I got it pretty close to the top then climbed up myself.  This second time up things seemed to go more smoothly.  I was able to get the new piece attached.  I did drop one nut which I will need to replace soon.  And I was dressing out the feed line when I discovered I had not brought a pair of pliers to work on the coax connections.  So we called it quits there.

One part which I was afraid would be difficult was removing the stub vertical with the pulley. That actually went pretty well.   The stub was an old piece of multi-section military aluminum antenna mast pipe.  The sections fit together by having a sleeve on the upper section go over the the lower section.  It happened that this sleeve also fit passably over my heavy aluminum mast on the tower.  It was a tight fit.  To remove I took a short piece of steel angle iron and slid it up along the mast pipe as a sort of hammer against the sleeve.  That got the job done.

I cleaned up all of my mountaineering straps and carabiners and rappelled down again.  We got the ropes all coiled up and put away and finally got myself out of the climbing harness.  That was that.

Tomorrow I need to go to Lowes and get a replacement nut or two, then back up to finish the job.

The rappelling worked out pretty well.  I had been down-climbing.  That takes a long time and is nearly as tiring as climbing up.  The rappelling takes some concentration on my part to make sure I don’t let go of the brake-side of the rope.  On the second trip I remembered about putting in an emergency follower which will halt me if I mess up.  I may put some gloves in the took bucket next time too, rappelling makes the rope hot.

My wife said that maybe it was good I took those rock climbing lessons and bought all of this gear long ago.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

New antenna is the little twisted thing on the add-on pole at the top

Aug 29, 2015
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