Progress has been made! I was able to finish up some items on my wife related to do items and put some time into working on getting the SteppIR BigIR installed. It’s been October since I last operated in a contest (CQP) and with very little free time to play radio, getting aluminum in the air hasn’t been a high priority.
I spent about 15 minutes digging a hole that would then be filled with concrete surrounding a metal support mount that the SteppIR BigIR would be mounted on top of. I spent a few minutes aligning 2×4 pieces of wood that held the 24″ metal post in place, in the center of the hole. I mixed up some concrete and began pouring. In just a few minutes I was rinsing out the bucket, washing off the tools and letting the concrete dry.
I figure I will check it on Sunday, at which time I will place the SteppIR BigIR in place. There was other work that had to be accomplished before getting on the air. I had to cut the control cables from the antenna end when we moved in December. It took about 45 minutes, but I was able to rewire the control cables and reattach them to the SteppIR BigIR.
Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday I will be able to get some ground radials in place and begin configuring the antenna for use. I am still aiming at May and the CQWW WPX CW contest as a return. I am still undecided on how to get the hex beam in the air. After being on the roof attaching my weather station, I won’t take the chance to climb on the tiled roof again. Safety is a huge concern and I am not ready to chance it.
That leaves me very limited. I am still looking at possibly at attaching a mount to the facing that hangs down off the roof. This would possibly allow me 25-30′ in which to raise the antenna. Right now the hex beam is about 7′ high sitting on a larger tripod. Obviously NOT ideal, but sometimes we must go with what we have. The last option is to raise another 4×4 post in the ground and attach the mast to the 4×4 pole and raise the hex 15-20′ into the air.
It seems the true tower options are just not viable right now. I thought I had a lead on a 55′ crank up, tilt over tower but the work to get it down and moved, only to possibly not have it installed, I could not justify following through.