For the first time in my life, central western Washington State got hit with
a doozy of an ice storm starting Thursday.
We had a temperature inversion that caused freezing rain for over 24 hours,
and power was out to over 35,000 homes in our immediate area. We still have
no power to the house at this time, although I am sitting here in my nice
warm office where power was restored this morning. The local power company
has now estimated two to five more days for restoration. We lost over half
of the 60 to 80 foot fir trees on our property, with the sounds of snapping
trees constant Thursday night.
With snow last night, I am not sure I have a final damage estimate, but so
The FORCE 12 6 elemnt 20 at 160 feet survived. The boom twisted in a
horizontal U and the elements were pointing straight down.
The FORCE 12 3 element 40 at 150 feet survived. No sag or twist on the boom.
Elements were of course vertically polarized but came back. I was concerned
about breakage of the linear loading wires, as most of these broke last
January in the wind storm of 63 MPH. FORCE 12 sent me a new set for $30 or
so and I had it back up 14 hours ahead of the RTTY Roundup.
The FORCE 12 6-15/4-10 at 110 feet did not survive. The elemnts were holding
up fine, but the boom SHEARED just inside the truss attachment points at the
unions of the boom joints. This I found hard to believe. While the 6 element
20 has two boom trusses, the 15/10 combo has only one. I imagine a second
truss would have saved the antenna.
The DX ENGINEERING 5 element 20 at 100 feet survived. The elements were
drooping about 3 feet with no visible distortion of the boom.
The LIGHTNING BOLT 2 element 5 band quad at 110 feet did not survive. All
four upper spreaders broke off the aluminum supports. Looks to be fixable
with new hubs. I left a message for Mike at Lightning bolt yesterday, and he
called back already to leave a message for me. It's tough to make a
connection with the phones just coming back on and no answering machine yet
The 80 Meter 4-square survived. The top 30 feet of a tree came down in the
middle of the nylon guys and missed them all.
The 160M Vee did not survive. It was taken out by trees at both ends.
I picked up one piece of ice that had fallen from one of the antenna elements
that measured 1.25" in thickness. Needless to say, we stayed out from under
the towers Friday and Saturday