[TowerTalk] Trap Drain Holes

Crownhaven crownhaven at bellsouth.net
Tue Apr 9 09:04:11 EDT 2013

I had an A3W up which went south on me in terms of SWR.  Tested 
everything to no avail.  The problem occurred after a significant period 
of wind and rain.  Finally got the antenna down and every one of the 
traps, drain holes facing down, was jammed with wasp carcasses, larvae, 
etc.  Apparently this had been going on for a long time but the unusual 
storm somehow allowed water to get in the traps where it was "trapped" 
by all the stuff in there.  When dry, I imagine the debris didn't affect 
the performance but once it got wet, that was it.  I imagine if I had 
waited a little longer, it all would have dried out and things would 
have gotten back to normal. It is hard to describe how much insect 
matter was in those traps.

Steve, N4JQQ

PS, I have a Force 12 now.  :)))))))

On 4/9/2013 4:55 AM, Brian Alsop wrote:
> I lost one trap due to exactly this.  Wood wasp got into the trap and 
> built his mud and saliva nest.
> I've taken a bit different route.  I use fine mesh plastic window 
> screen. The reasoning of course is that it's designed to keep out 
> insects. I simply place a strip of it over the holes. Several strips 
> of Scotch 33 tape is used (wrapped around the circumference of the 
> trap) to secure it.  Of course one doesn't tape up the holes!
> A balun I recently purchased recommended drilling 1/16" weep holes 
> where the water would accumulate with the balun in place. Apparently 
> this diameter is small enough to keep out the bigger insects which 
> cause trouble. Supposedly it it large enough to still allow water to 
> escape.
> 73 de Brian/K3KO
> On 4/9/2013 03:17, Dan Hearn wrote:
>> The ideal antenna drain hole would have a reasonably large diameter but
>> would not allow insects to enter and build nests. I believe there is 
>> a way
>> to accomplish this.
>>    There is a material used in sanding pads which is springy and 
>> would allow
>> water to pass but not insects or debris. It is somewhat similar to steel
>> wool physically but is not electrically conductive as far as I can 
>> tell. I
>> have been using strips of it to wrap around wires into and out of metal
>> cabinets at the base of my towers to discourage Wasps from entering. 
>> It is
>> quite springy and I have noticed no deterioration over 5 or more 
>> years here
>> due to sun and weather conditions .
>>    If you have a coil in a PVC cover I would drill a hole possibly 
>> 1/2 inch
>> or so in diameter , cement a short piece of PVC tubing into it at the
>> bottom maybe an inch or so long and insert some of the springy 
>> sanding pad
>> material into it.
>>    None of my antennas have traps so I have not tried this. I plan to 
>> get
>> some of the stuff and check if it affects the inductance of a coil 
>> out of
>> curiosity
>>    There are probably readers out there who know more about this 
>> material
>> than I do and I invite comments on this idea..
>> Dan, N5AR
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