The Continuing Saga

Posted by in Antennae

Has it really been that long?

I wrote the initial “From the Ground Up” posting back on March 27 and today is June 19th (Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads). Guess what?

Yep! You guessed it… I still don’t have an antenna up…

Never mind the plans A and B of wire routing, I think I must be on at least plan G of erecting the antenna itself!

Although my residence has some HOA restrictions, they are loose enough to allow me to afford a little bit of height for the antenna, as long as it is only ‘a few feet’ above the roof line. With that in mind, I had purchased an MK-4HD fiberglass push up telescoping mast from Max-Gain Systems.

I’d have to look up my invoice for when I purchased the mast but it was probably back in late February or early March. Then I needed to order some 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200 for gluing the provided mast clamps to the mast tubings. The glue arrived but then I needed to wait for the weather to stop raining so I could glue the clamps to the tubing. By this time, it must be April sometime.

Fast forward to June and I finally have my mast assembled, but retracted and laying horizontally on the back porch. I thought for sure that this weekend I was going to finally rejoice, ‘My antenna is up!’, but so much for hopes and plans…

In devising a method for supporting the mast in a vertical orientation, I must be on plan G by now (as mentioned earlier). My latest plan upset was in trying to find U-bolts that are wide enough for the bottom tube (2.5 inch diameter) and long enough for my devised mounting plan (I need about 5.5 inches length, at least). I found some U-bolts for a 2 inch pipe but that won’t do. Nor would I need 10 of them (especially at a price of over $100!).

So now we have, let’s call it, plan H. Instead of U-bolts, I’ll use perforated pipe strap and form my own make-shift U-bolt from it. Sadly, I don’t have a junk pile of construction parts so I need to get to a hardware store to buy some. The problem with that is, a few weeks ago, I hurt my back from trying to catch a 50lb. wheelchair to keep it falling from the boot (trunk) of my car to the ground. I could pop out to the store to get the strapping but the XYL would be hugely disappointed if I left the house on a weekend and didn’t bring her along. The issue with that is that it would require me lifting the 50lb wheelchair in and out of the car and I am desperately wanting to give my back a day off to help it heal. I can visit the hardware store during a lunch break this week, so that part is covered. The plank of scrap wood that I will be attaching the strapping to is currently being painted to protect it from the elements and given that today is a warm day, I should be able to get a couple of coats of paint on it by tonight.

So, I am optimistic that next weekend you’ll be able to hear my rejoice of “My antenna is up!”. I bought 50 feet of feed line yesterday, the PL259’s are attached, so all that will be left is bolting two perforated straps to a plank of painted wood and extending the mast!

The routing plan? Well, I‘ll address that in my next post — its not as favorable as I had hoped for…