Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Butternut back up and running

The Butternut HF-V6, my main HF antenna, is back up and running thanks in no small measure to the kind assistance of my friend and fellow Echo Ireland contributor, Pat Fitzpatrick, EI2HX.

The "break", caused by high winds, might have been somewhat of a blessing in disguise. It gave us an opportunity to open some of the joints and let the water out HI!! And all joints were tightened up and sealed properly and, in two cases, new bolts fitted.

After about two hours of work we had the antenna back in one piece and had decided on Plan B as a means of getting it erected again. Plan A involved replacing the ground/mounting tube with some galvanise steel pipe which had a thicker wall. But it was not a perfect fit for the insulator at the bottom of the Butternut.

So we went for Plan B which involved using the original (broken, therefore foreshortened) piece of ground/mounting tube and so we drilled new holes in it and attached the antenna and slipped the antenna back into its wall brackets.

A quick test with the Yaesu FT-1000MP revealed that it was tuning on all bands. In fact, it had "held" its tune in a number of places and only needed slight adjustment. I made some DX contacts after we retired to the shack just to prove it was working. I worked Martinique, Newfoundland and Asiatic Russia. So I'm happy enough that it's working properly. We also reattached the ground rod and also some radials. All in all, a good night's work.

Picture on right shows yours truly (yes, that's a Superman hoodie!) trying to reattach the coil to the ground tube during the latter stages of the repair. I must say Pat takes a good photo, but it's just a pity about the cheesey grin!

Thank you Pat. If you haven't seen his blog, Pat writes about ATV activities and his excellent blog can be found at

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