I got some time yesterday to tilt down the 6-BTV and see the extent of the burn damage. The best I can tell the 20M trap is fine, but the cap and silicon inside the cap were burnt, with the plastic melting a whole through the entire trap cap. Not much damage. As for the cause, talking to KX5JT it was probably arcing caused by too much power. I usually tune up with less than 100 watts driving the amp, but I can’t remember if I did this prior to using the amp when I last made a QSO.
I want to get the 6-BTV back up and in line for the upcoming CQWW WPX -CW Contest, which is at the end of the month. I doubt the BigIR will be available at the end of May, so I will run one more contest with the 6-BTV before I dismantle it. I did find a wonderful site from AE1Z and his experience ordering and installing his BigIR, so I have been frequenting his site lately.
I plan on installing the vertical where the existing one is. Problems with that, first is the 4 foot metal pole I have driven into the ground in order to mount the 6-BTV. This post will have to be removed. The second issue, the 50 radials I currently have in place. I plan on replacing 16 of the radials, which are currently only 7′ long on the north side of the radial plate. I hope to double this length, maybe get them a bit longer. It will be interesting since I will have to dig under my fence in order to get them longer. I am debating about running 4-6 of them in an east-west orientation off the north portion of the radial plate in excess of 40-60 feet. Again, I will have to see what problems his could potentially cause.
The mounting pole is 24″ in length for the BigIR, with 8-10″ sticking out in order to mount the the vertical to. I will be looking at a concrete form tube for mounting purposes and some electrical conduit in order to run the necessary cables to the shack. The post and cables should arrive by the weekend, but I won’t consider the install until after the WPX contest.
Look forward the fun and thrill of the BigIR. Will report back as we make progress.