Chris' Magnificient Erection


       Over two years ago, Chris and a couple of friends helped disassemble a fifty foot
       Ham Radio Tower belonging to a ham radio enthusiast who had passed away. The
       tower sections were stacked behind the shed. They sat there as shelter for chipmunks
       and mice as wildflowers and weeds grew up between the support struts.


Chris had decided that this would be the summer to get the tower up, however his back and sciatic pain were trying to foil his plans.  By July, he was feeling some small relief and began the steps for the raising.  First, he had to clean each section and spray paint them using dark grey for the lower sections which would visually blend in against the shed and silver to match the sky.

Then a hole 4 feet x 4 feet had to be dug to accept concrete which would support the base of the tower.  Chris hired Mike, handyman extraordinaire, to dig the hole.  Of course it was the hottest, most humid days of the summer but he battled the sand, digging down a foot per day.  Once that was complete, Chris built a support structure for the concrete and tower.

         Mike aka hole-digger, Mike, ham radio bud and Chris pose around the tower base.

                                                                   "Up your tower!"

     Later that day, the cement truck arrived and Mike, Chris and I raked and leveled the
     wet cement around tower section #1.  The tower's base secure in the cement was a
     small erection for Tamarack Road but a huge accomplishment for Mike VE3WVX
     and Chris VE3XKZ











    
   The next day, Chris and I managed to install tower section #2, the erection was growing!
   We spent a couple of days assembling the DX Engineering Hexx Beam and Rotator on
   the front lawn.  It demanded patience and finesse to place and secure the wires in their
   proper locations.  It was similar to building a spider web without the costume or special
   powers of Spider-Man.




      Chris had to don a hazmat suit to combat the fibreglass insulation and crawl around
      in the attic to create a hole to accept wire which would come from the tower, into his
      "Ham Shack" to feed the new strong signals to the radios.



     A few days later, on a day when no wind could be felt, Hams Jeff VE3CV, Bill VE3NH
     and Chris assembled for the Tower Raising.  Ham Radio hobbyists, also known as
     Amateur Radio, are very generous sharing advice, information, and wisdom with other
     Hams.  And, they often assist each other with technical, equipment or set-up projects.
     Jeff, Mike, and Bill all willingly gave up their time to help Chris erect his tower.  It could
     not have been done without them!


          Chris and Jeff buckled on their safety belts and pocketed nuts n' bolts and tools
          for the job.
                   Bill and Jeff have been "Hamming it up" and building radio towers for years.



                 Bill and Jeff are very experienced hams. With years of experience, they are
                 extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the invocation.


                       Bill worked the ropes and hoisted tower sections up to Jeff and Chris.
                                                        
                                      Dixie supervised all safety aspects of  the construction.
                                   
             
                 Notice that each section is narrower, leaving less and less standing room for
                'the boys' to work at the top.  I became more nervous as the height increased.


Dixie decides that things are getting too scary to watch!


           After all the tower sections were attached, Bill and Caron hauled the antenna to 
the top for Chris and Jeff to install.







        With the help of the experts, Chris had his tower erected in a few short hours.  After
        lunch he and Jeff sorted and connected all the wires from the antenna, to the house
        and the Ham Shack.  We celebrated with cold beers and burgers on the barby.
        Thanks you so much to the volunteers! 73!




     The tower needed to be grounded against lightning strikes so later on in the fall Chris
     dug a channel around its base. He drove in ground rods, added copper wire and carefully
     heat-bonded them in place. The new antenna has been brilliant in bringing in "Good DX"
     from around the world.  I am always interested in Chris's new contacts like South Africa,
     Norway, Japan, Santiago Chile, Canary Islands and Antarctica.


                                       

                                                  Of course Dixie supervises once again.
                                                           
                                                            A tower for all seasons.

Note...the blog title was "borrowed" from another Ham who had warned his neighbours to watch out for his "Magnificent Erection".

No comments:

Post a Comment