50Mhz Trophy - blue tower further.
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Hi all, Just an update on the tower. Incidentally on thinking about the incident with the front support leg; it decided to drop down or lower itself whilst I was towing the tower; it basically just acted like a skid and did not “dig in”. Had it dug in or dropped into a pot hole then the outcome could have been very serious. Fortunately I heard the scraping noise and doing less than 40mph was able to pull in and stop fairly quickly. Luckily no damage done!
To the point. Den & I spent several hours this morning investigating both issues that Andy mentioned.
The front support leg issue turned out to be the threads worn out on the actual bit that goes up and down. We took the equivalent one off the back and tried it on the front and it worked ok. We could clearly see the wear when we compared front to back. So we can at least raise the front up and down again. If we can’t effect a repair on the broken one before VHF NFD we can use an ACROW jack or similar in place of the rear support leg. Possible items/sources being investigated.
The luffing winch. After trying it for a bit we managed to get it to work reasonably ok. We got the impression that it just needed using to get working as it should again.
However, we managed to get the covers off and had a more detailed look. After clearing out the spiders detritus we remember that the handle actually unscrewed and that allowed us access to the clutch bit. After a general clean we found it came to bits fairly easily although lots of bits that should have had lubrication on were rather dry.
These bits were carefully lubricated and the clutch bits carefully dried. All went together ok and works as expected but we did not have a torque wrench to hand to set the main nut to the correct value. This must be done to get set the clutch properly so that it won’t slip or be to hard to operate. Work in progress.
Hopefully it will be available for VHF NFD but there are a couple of things we need to take more care over. When it is luffed (horizontal) with rotator, pole, antenna etc on, when trying to lift we must put as much weight on the rear support leg beam as we can to try and take some pressure (weight) off the front support leg. We think it quite likely that not doing this enough contributed to the thread failure of the front leg.
73 Tony, G4LDL.
PS. If you are helping set the tower up DO NOT pull any of the straps attaching various items off. Just undo them and leave ‘em where they are. It was not fun last night trying to thread one back in, in pouring rain and 7 degrees C!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> On Behalf Of Andy (G0UWS) via groups.io
Sent: 19 June 2022 13:46
Subject: [sdarc] 50Mhz Trophy
Many thanks for all those that came out to help setup, operate and pack up yesterday, whilst the weather was not exactly the best we should consider this another successful logistical setup of the station as once again we started on-time with no issues then found.
Unfortunately 50MHz was once again proving to be “un-magic” with no openings and at times some horrendous noise wiping out the band for 4/5 minutes each time. We operated for 6 hours, as planned, Total QSO’s are 90, Mult’s (Grid Squares x Countries) where 26 with final claimed score being 358,150 - Best DX was GM4ZUK/P at 609KM.
The log has been submitted a QSO map can be found here
Regrettably we do appear to have come away with 2 major issues with the tower, an issue with the luffing winch & the front support leg. Whilst we await findings & hope we can overcome these quickly. This should be a reminder to us all that whilst no accident did occur, we should take this as a reminder that working on/near the tower whilst being raised/luffed the unexpected can occur quickly and suitable protection should already in worn. SAFETY FIRST!!
My thanks once again to those that supported this event and we can now, hopefully, start to think about VHFNFD. Please put a date in your diaries for 2nd/3rd July. This time we plan (subject to tower) to be setting up 4 stations so all hands to the pumps please.
Andy Sharman G0UWS/M1G
That’s great news. Thank you for looking at it with Den so quickly.