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Get on the Air (GOTA) Install Team Strikes Again

Olev_KO4WUB (Photo by Jack N4KIN)

It was chilly when I met Ryan AF4O for breakfast at the Sunset Grill restaurant in Clearwater. We needed to fuel up before tackling our next project, swapping out a 10M vertical antenna for Olev KO4WUB.

When we showed up at Olev’s QTH, he had everything prepared for us and was already working outside. The first order of business was connecting the elements of the antenna. Once that was completed, we connected the coax and commenced SWR testing.

(L-R) Ryan AF4O and Olev KO4WUB checking the SWR (Photo by Jack N4KIN)
Look at that SWR! (Photo by Ryan AF4O)

After a lot of adjustments and raising and lowering of the antenna on the ground we finally got an SWR we were all happy with!

Once that was completed, Ryan AF4O connected one of his radio kits and got a quick 59 QSO with a fellow in Manitoba, Canada. So, you know what that looked like…it went something like this.

This is the equivalent of Hold My Beer while Ryan AF40 Tests (Photo by Jack N4KIN)
Glossy radio screen and sun in your face are not a good combination! (Photo by Jack N4KIN)
Photo by Jack N4KIN

Me holding the antenna while Ryan played with his radio. On the bright side I had the sun to my back. The same could not be said for Ryan! Once we know the antenna was working, we had to remove the current 10M/6M ground plane antenna. The author didn’t get any pictures of that process, but we have some from the install of the new one. This next photo is after the departing antenna was removed and the new ground mast was in place. The concrete block we had to connect to wanted to fight the process but after some work, plastic anchors and longer Tapcon screws, we finally won and had a secure stand-off. Don’t ever expect it all to go smoothly. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment.

Photo by Jack N4KIN

After some discussion we made the decision to increase the height on the horizontal crossbeam between the masts for more stability. It took several hours but we got the antenna installed. Even though we had the morning sun on us the whole time, it wasn’t raining, and the temperature was pleasant. Once we were finished with our work, Olev and his wife Karen KQ4HNI sat us down for lunch and conversation. It was a fun installation. Next installation at Olev’s is a 6M antenna so he can have fun during the 6M season. Who doesn’t love the Magic Band (No. Not the Disney kind).

If you need help Getting on the Air (GOTA) reach out to the club and let’s see what we can do so you can be using your radio. We all need to be on the air learning, practicing and having fun! Until the GOTA Install Team shows up at your QTH..

Until Next Time! (Photo by Jack N4KIN)
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