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Antennas + Rotors: BEWARE

Subject: Antennas + Rotors: BEWARE
From: OOPDAVID@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu (D.RODMAN)
Date: Fri Feb 12 12:50:51 1993
Let the buyer beware.  Being the eternal optimist, how I got burned over
the last 2 years.  

We set up the KN2M station using 8 TIC General Ring rotors and 8 independently
rotatable yagis (7 from Mfg. "D" and 1 from Mfg. "K").  I felt confident that
this installation would go swimmingly and require little antenna maintenance.
Here is what happened to me:
1.) Within 3 weeks of getting up the 3 element 40 yagi, it was partially
destroyed in a thunderstorm by wind gusts.  With the help of my local
rigger and a 160' crane, the antenna was eventually repaired (per the
manufacturer "D") and reinstalled at a cost of $4000.  This time it lasted
two months, blowing apart in a late November storm.  The damage was so 
extensive, it was cut off the tower in pieces.  I replaced this with a 
custom designed linear loaded antenna from Mfg. "M".  To date, over the
last 6 months, it has been undamaged by 90 mph gusts.  
2.)  One of the Mfg. "D" antennas lost an element, due to hose clamp failure.
Being the top antenna, it was difficult to repair without the crane again.
Cost $2000.  
3.)  Mfg. "D" failed to tell me in the initial order that phased arrays
required their baluns oriented properly for operation.  That didn't cost
too much, just $500 to take two off the tower and swap the baluns.  Yes, 
I should have known better, but I figured such important information would
be somewhere in the directions.
4.)  Mfg. "D" antenna now has a broken reflector.  Still broken as I type
this.  The 90 mph gust above did it in, but it spared my custom designed
40, HUM.  Est Cost of repair: $2000.

Now, my point is, don't assume that because the manufacturer sells you
things, they really know what they are doing 100% of the time.  I did receive
a payment of cash and equipment from Mfg. "D" that partially covered my
lost antenna, but seriously, beware when you buy such things.  If wind
is likely to be your worst enemy, guard against it by insisting the antenna
survive 100 mph or more.  I double check the specs on all my antennas NOW
with Dave Leesons spread sheet and book in hand, sure wish I had it two years

Let the buyer beware.

73, Dave.

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