Normal life here is on a break. My niece and nephew are here for their annual holiday visit which means there is time for some radio. Not too late or too early though because the shack is also a sleeping room for the moment. With an extra pair of hands available eager to turn the winch we tilted the tower over this week. Time to realign the WARC dipole over the tribander’s boom. They got shifted in one of the storms earlier this year. I took the opportunity to do a visual check of all elements of the antenna system. It’s been 15 months since I last checked everything up there. All nuts and bolts still tight, weatherproofing seemed OK, lubricated the tower’s moving elements. I found a loose nut on the bolt of one of the ‘roller thingies’ that makes the inner section of the tower glide smoothly. In fact it was a nut / counternut combination. The nut combo was tight alright but it wasn’t screwed against the plate so the ‘roller thingy’ could slide over the bolt that serves as a shaft. Gee this is hard to describe. Should have taken a picture.
When the tower was vertical again my tower-intern insisted on cranking it up. And so he did. I let it there from Tuesday to Friday. In the mean time I checked daytime propagation with about 300 QSO. Oh solar spots, where art thou? I really like casual DXing in between contests but -and I keep coming back to this- this is very boring. I guess most people feel the same and don’t bother to get on the air awaiting cycle 24 solar spots. Of course the W’s and JA’s suffer the same disease: not getting out of their own continent. Hang in there friends. I hope we’ll soon meet again above 18 MHz.
WX forecast mentions heavy T-storms the coming days, so on Friday I had the winching intern slide the tower down and I disconnected all cables before they enter the house. While I am typing this the sky is roaring. This weekend is IOTA contest. Last time I checked I wasn’t attributed an IOTA reference so why bother? A real IOTA activation is still unchecked on my ‘try at least once’-list though.