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Thursday, March 28, 2013

N8WC's CushCraft R-8 Project

     Tim and I were VERY pleased to help Mike, N8WC, get his CushCraft R-8 up in the air and working.  He did an excellent job putting the antenna together.  And, it is obviously working FB.

     For those who were not there, Mike, N8WC, had assembled the CushCraft R-8 and it was waiting in his garage when we arrived.  I put a coax connector on his cable and Mike and Tim got the cable run through the side of the house into the shack.  We then carried the antenna out in the yard and stood it up for a test.

     The test results on Tim's MFJ-259B looked good so we proceeded to attach a 3-foot piece of 1-1/2-inch water pipe to the top of the tower.  Tim, K8RRT, took care of this.  This mount was about our 4th or 5th idea.  We had a good deal of difficulty acquiring the right parts but finally got what we needed.  The 3-foot piece of pipe is clamped to a tower leg with four U-bolts on the inside of the tower so that it can be supported laterally by the bracing of the Rohn 25G.  This left enough room above the top of the tower to mount the R-8 on the water pipe.

     The BIG part of the project was pulling the antenna up with a gin pole.  It was difficult because we had to attach the rope BELOW the center of gravity.   This meant the antenna wanted to turn upside down!  But, with Tim at the very top of the tower, Mike, N8WC, just below him, and me providing the "ballast" to hold the end of the rope that was supporting the weight of the antenna - we got 'er dun!

     Once a coax connector was put on the other end of the feedline, we tested again and the numbers were not as good as when we were out in the yard but still mostly good.  Maybe this is because Mike has a metal roof on his house just a few feet below the antenna.

     We had another issue with the Kenwood TS-940S/AT which had not been used for over 20 years.  Tim and I were about to give up and head home when Mike came up with one more idea that was the key to fixing the transmit portion of the transceiver.  With that I found a spot for FG5FR on 30-M (at just after 5 p.m. local time) and Mike managed a very nice QSO with him (First Call by the way!)  Then, when Tim and I were back in Charleston, Mike telephone to say that he saw a spot for a ZL on 12-M and managed to work him on the First Call as well.

     All in all it was a VERY successful day!  We adapted, we overcame, and the end result is that Mike is back on the air.  The job would NOT have been completed today if it were not for EVERYONE!  Each person filled a vital role and solved a piece of the puzzle to get the job done.  It sometimes DOES take a "Community" to complete a project.