On Tuesday I stopped off at Radio Shack on the off chance they would have a TV antenna rotator. As luck would have it, they had some in stock. After consulting the hex beam Yahoo Group, I was told this rotator would turn my hex beam. While it might not be a long term solution, I figured $79.99 was a good price, compared to the $200 (or more) I am going to spend to refurbish the Hy-Gain Ham M I received from my dad last year.
I was able to pull off the make shift mast I created along with 3 guy wires to turn the antenna in the needed direction. While I am still not happy with the mast I am using, for now it will work. The upper section of the mast is about 5′ long, so I secured the rotator to this section of the mast and then bolted on the hex beam to the rotator. Once it was together I slid the small mast onto the longer mast and aligned the hex beam to north.
This work was accomplished just in time for ARRL Field Day, which takes place this weekend, starting at 11am on Saturday morning. While I won’t be putting any real effort into FD, I will fire up a portable generator I am being loaned and get on the air. I will be operating as a ‘1E East Bay’ from my home station and if I happen to make any QSOs from my truck as a ‘1C East Bay.’
It seems there are a handful of groups from the Northern California Contest Club that are setting up Field Day stations. Unfortunately none that I have heard are close to my house. I was hoping N6RO would put in a solar effort, but I have not read anything about Ken and his usual group doing anything for this event. Not a big loss for me, as I must work both Saturday and Sunday making my operating time only about 2-3 hours beginning at 22z on Saturday. With band conditions being poor currently I could not justify taking time off to participate in a “non-contest contest” when there are more events on the horizon I would rather participate in.