|Jim EI2HJB uses binoculars to see how|
badly entangled the rope was.
Anyway, I called my friends into action and they duly obliged by making themselves available at 10am this morning (Saturday, 28th), to help retrieve the situation. Thankfully, none of the antennas was actually broken, but I was unable to turn the hexbeam without causing something to break, and I was anxious to get it sorted out.
Jim EI2HJB, Fintan EI7CEB and Pat EI2HX all arrived to help. It was a delicate operation. While we could lower the inverted v system, which is on a rope and pulley, the problem was that the rope from the hexbeam was very much tangled up in the 80m inverted v and wouldn't let us lower it down. Using binoculars, we could see that the entanglement was severe. The rope somehow got knotted up quite well by the wind!
The eventual solution was to lower the hexbeam slightly and to rotate it so that Fintan EI7CEB could get into a position on a ladder to reach the knotted rope. This sounds simple, but it involved taking the stay wires off the hexbeam's supporting pole, and also loosening the pole from its brackers. After about an hour or so, we finally had the knot opened and I had to get up onto the shack roof to reattach the rope to its correct spreader on the hexbeam. Then we had to right the pole again and re-attach all the stays, plus the 80m inverted v had to be reattached to its support. All in all, a tough job but we got there in the end!