This past weekend some of your HCRA BOD members were hard at work getting the trailer in ready for field day!
We’ve took almost everything out the trailer and made note of any damaged or missing items. We also partially assembled one of two WRTC TX-38 antennas that we’ve purchased to get a general idea of how it will be assembled. Even though there are a lot of parts, it’s not really that bad.
Over the winter HCRA has acquired another 40 meter 2 element beam that is the same make and model as the one we already have. Since we’ve moved to school street park, we’ve been using 40m beams on both CW and SSB but we’ve always had to borrow the 2nd beam. Now we have two beams.
The beam has seen better days however but the traps are decent shape and there is no major damage other than crack in one of the support arms that doesn’t effect the antenna. The antenna also has rusted and missing U-bolts. We lightly sanded the antenna, assembled as much as we could and tested the driven element.
We hoisted the driven element up into a tree and hooked it up to an analyzer
Results are not bad considering the testing conditions. Once the replacement parts show up, I think we will have a decent beam to add to our stock. We will no longer have to beg people to use their antennas as we’re now fully stocked
The AB-577 towers
For many years whenever we needed to put up a fourth tower, we’ve always had to ask a club member to use their personal AB-577. Since we’re now located at School Street Park in Agawam, having a 4th tower is important due to the lack of trees with the height for a 40 or 80m wire antenna. This year proved quite difficult to obtain a 4th tower so we thought we should purchase one. Thankfully the Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association (MTARA) had an AB-577 they were willing to sell. We’ve since picked it up and it’s now with the other AB-577s we have in stock. It’s in really good condition with no work needed. This means we no longer have to beg people to use their tower. If there were ever a situation other than Field Day where we would have to set these up, it will much easier to deploy and we would hopefully have enough.
Overall the day went well. Other than a couple broken bolts/clamps, the list is quite small. We now have a better understanding of the TX-38s and having the 4th AB-577 made things much better and easier.
If you’re going to be in the Agawam Area on the weekend of June 27th, please stop by school street park and say hello. We’re also looking for volunteers to help with setup, operating and teardown. Without volunteers, Field Day at School street park will not be possible. So please check out the Field Day page for more information.
Hope to see you there!
– Jeff (NT1K