[VHFcontesting] VHF plans for K1WHS

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Fri May 22 10:43:55 EDT 2020

It has been a few years since I set foot in my VHF shack. The three or 
four years has messed up just about everything on the towers.  The 
location is a windswept ridge, and it gets lots of wind.  A few VHFers 
ha ve been prodding me to get back on 222 MHz as there is a push to make 
WAS on that band.  I never bothered to pursue WAS there, but I do like 
to try difficult propagation modes.  I have been working steadily to get 
a few bands back in operation.

I was up on the hill yesteday, and removed two of four 144 end mounted 
yagis from a tower to make room to lower the huge 4 X 222 MHz array, 
which has a broken 29 ft long 22 element yagi way up on top. I need to 
remove two more of those yagis to make room to lower the 222 array. One 
of the yagis needs a new boom. I hope to get that array working again 
and concentrate on long haul skeds on 222 MHz. That big array was a 
killer and I never really used it much while it was in one piece.

While I was up on the tower, I looked over at the big 144  MHz 140 ft 
tower and saw a 1/2" hardline phasing line dangling down in mid air. It 
had broken loose in a storm and I could get no one to help repair that H 
frame.  We tried once, but my helper froze in place up there, as we 
tried to slide the H frame sideways on the main mast. It was difficult 
and I could only fix a portion of the loose coax. The winds finally got 
to it, and it has now ripped itself out of the feedpoint of a top yagi, 
and it dangles in mid air at 140 ft. So the work never ends. My same 
technique to repair the 222 H frame will have to be used on the 144 H 
frame as well! My plan is to unbolt the frame from the mast, whole 
lowering the whole assembly with a commercial come-along. If I can lower 
it about 10 ft, I can remove the top yagi and repair it on the ground.

I did try out the 50 MHz station for the 50 MHz Sprint, and was dismayed 
to find that my hearing was severely compromised.  In tgrying to 
determine what was wrong, I managed to blow up my six position Transco 
coaxial relay. I found another 5 position Dynatech coax relay. It had a 
broken position where the coax connector was broken off. The metal was 
pretty thin andf someone must have dropped it and cracked the metal 
shell. I managed to machine up some metal to fix that and have all five 
positions working. Now I have found that the relay will only work with a 
common +28 VDC lead, and my switching switch switches +28 VDC.  I can't 
easily change things as my uptilt relay is a Transco transfer relay that 
requires a +28 VDC pulse to switch it.  My head hurts trying to figure 
out the best way to overcome this situation. I think I need to reb uild 
the switchbox with two sections in the wafer switch. Then I need to 
unground the battery powered 24 VDC shack power buss. It is all very 
complicated.  At present I can use two yagis on six meters, but I sure 
would like to get a switching system back in use. It was so helpful 
during contests.

Dave K1WHS

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