I finally had time to work in the backyard this weekend, after a series of storms hit NoCal with heavy winds and downpours at times. After taking inventory on my plants, those that are still alive, cleaning up piles of dog shit from the lawn and bark covered areas.
I noticed the flagpole, which doubles as my vertical antenna for my ham radios was listing about 15 degrees to the north. I figured the winds had increased the diameter of the hole, which I had driven a metal post 4′ into.Unfortunately, that was not the case. The post will still embedded within the Earth. Puzzled for a moment, I decided to lift the PVC flagpole off its mount and that is when I found the problem.
During one of heavy winds, possibly when the flag was still flying high, the actually antenna cracked and eventually broke in two pieces about 4.5′ up from the ground. Fortunately no further damage was evident. I have not yet removed the remaining antenna from the flagpole, but I do know I need to purchase a replacement 6′ section of antenna in order to remount it.
It is no wonder I have not been able to make any contacts on 20m using PSK31. I know propagation and conditions are improving and I can usually hear some stations attempting to make a QSO. One station in Hawaii is always booming. So, it will take $30 and a few weeks in order to get the vertical back up and flying high.
Until that time, I will spend my time on the local 2m repeater as well as ATV.