For many many years I had been contemplating the purchase of a mast and new antenna to replace my existing ground mounted R6000, and Sirio 4 element beam which was on a 15 foot pole but like many things contemplation never seemed to turn into reality until one day i was sat in my shack monitoring the bands while filling in my logbook when in storms the station manager phone in one hand and the tennamast brochure in the other. The brochure was placed on top of my logbook and the phone thrust into my hand. Then the instruction was given "before you fill in any more of that theres the brochure theres the phone PLACE AN ORDER NOW" . Station manager then turned to leave the shack with the words " I will be back in ten minutes be sure that the deed is done for before return".
So after taking a minute to recover from the shock i realised that I had no option but to obey the command of she who will be obeyed and a mast was ordered.
The mast was delivered on 20th January 2010 but with the wet and windy weather it didnt seem quite the right time get things sorted out so I decided to hold off until the weather improved a little..............
But not so the station manager !!, on Wednesday 08 April she returned from a visit to Bob the Builders and announced " you had better get on the phone and order some concrete for Saturday as the hole for the mast is being dug tomorrow (Thursday) hail, rain or sunshine EOA" ooooops ive been kippered again and so it was that the concrete was ordered for the Friday.
So Friday arrived and i was up bright and early not even a chance to fetch my morning papers let alone read them as Bob the builder arrived at 07:30 "blimey there are two 7:30's in a day I thought there was only one at night time!!!". So off we plodded to the bottom of the garden where the mast was to be sited first job was to remove newly laid out crazy paving of station managers.
Bob took his trusty spade and started digging the hole, one metre square and one metre deep.
As the spoils from the hole began to build up a new area was used on the other side of the hole. Amazing no hitches all was going to plan and then ...................
Bob the buiders feet were suddenly immersed in water!!!!!!
I had known for years about an underground stream at the bottom of the garden and Bob the Builder had found it!!
Thats it I declared project abandoned fill in the hole, just as i said that the station manager came down the garden with some refreshments.
Whats the problem she asked as she approached, and Bob the Builder explained the situation to her as I sat there cleaning my boots having declared my intention to abandon the project.
So whats the solution then because abandoning the project is not an option she asked.
Bob the Builders only solution was to line the hole with a plastic membrane to hold back the water until the concrete was poured, "so where do i get one of those" enquired the station manager and Bob the Builder said she could get one from Wickes.
Off up the garden station manager went saying, "have a break I will be back in ten minutes".
Ten minutes or so passed and the station manager returned with said plastic membrane in hand and the hole was lined.
That was it nothing else could be done now except to wait and see what the morning brought.
Friday arrived and station manager went off to work leaving me and Bob the Builder to it. Bob arrived at 07:30 shortly after the concrete pump arrived and the crew started laying out the pipes.
The concrete lorry arrived on time at 08:00 so Bob the Builder went to check on progress with the laying of the pipes
Once the pipe laying had been completed the pump was started and the concrete began to flow
THE CONCRETE PUMP HAD BLOWN UP
and the flow of concrete stopped
I knew things were going too well. We were now in a situation where there were pipes full of concrete going solid rapidly!!
The guys from the concrete pump looked at each other with a panic stricken look and decided the only option was to split the pipes and carry the concrete to the hole manually.
You carry on I told them ive paid you to fill a hole with concrete and thats what I expect to happen Bob the Builder and I will go and have a cuppa while you sort it out!!
Eventually the hole was full, so the bottom part of the mast was placed in its sleeve set for upright and the concrete left to set.
A couple of days later Bob the Builder returned we had a clearing up session and the plastic liner was all trimmed off
Once all the clearing up was done station manager set to and the crazy paving was all re laid and cemented in.
Next job assemble the rest of the mast and a new antenna.............. I wonder how well things will go this time?
This is me saying goodbye to my old antenna setup before some of my mates arrive to give me a hand to take them down and assemble the second half of the new mast.
The crew this time will be
David (my son)
yampy (my sons dog)
First job was to take down the R6000 vertical then lower the beam to a safe level
here we go i thought things were going too well tried to fit the rotator in the cage and the fun begins the holes dont line up!!
next we fitted the main part of the mast onto the bottom section
that was soon sorted with the aid of an electric drill and the rotator cage was fitted
here is a very rare sight
me reading instructions to work out how to thread the wire ropes.
normally instruction books or as i call them destruction books normally go right in the bin.
testing the hoisting mechanism for the first time...............
with the aid of the instructions that was soon sorted
IT WORKED FIRST TIME
miracles will never cease
And finally the antenna was installed