Receive antenna maintenance

The week before the ARRL DX CW contest, I figured it was time to walk the receive antennas again. It’s been a few months since I’ve done it last, and due to some windy conditions, I expected to find some issues.

Tree branch fallen against the Beverage wire - the vine behind the branch is a troublesome species since it grows so quickly.

Tree branch fallen against the Beverage wire - the vine behind the branch is a troublesome species since it grows so quickly.

As expected, I found a number of issues, mostly branches and vines that had fallen across the Beverage wires. Fortunately none were broken. I allow the wire to “float” through the insulators, so a branch will usually pull the wire to the ground but not break it.

The vine in the above photo is especially troublesome. They grow extremely fast and are very strong and difficult to cut with a machete. They often trip me up when walking in the jungle. Because of their strength, apparently they are used in the Philippines to tie up farm animals. In several places these vines quickly overwhelm the receive wire.

Signature of a hunter

Signature of a hunter

The area where my antennas are located have been unoccupied since WW2. Unfortunately, however, poachers have started hunting on the land, which is Government of Guam property. They leave telltale signs - such as the water bottle above. It is really sad that they do not pack out their trash, however I see it everywhere on Guam even in the most remote areas. Water bottles, beer cans, and Mr. Brown’s iced coffee cans scattered where hunters sit and wait for their prey. Fortunately, none of my antennas have been disturbed, however metal theft is a huge problem on Guam so it may be a matter of time until my antennas start disappearing.

Coconut fronds are heavy and easily pull the wire to the ground.

Coconut fronds are heavy and easily pull the wire to the ground.

This honey bee hive is located right next to my longer North American beverage.  Fortunately they are not aggressive.  Apparently these bees are somewhat rare on Guam.

This honey bee hive is located right next to my longer North American beverage. Fortunately they are not aggressive. Apparently these bees are somewhat rare on Guam.

A pig rubbed up against this tree, damaging the feed point connector.  It still works however I'll have to replace it at some point this spring.

A pig rubbed up against this tree, damaging the feed point connector. It still works however I'll have to replace it at some point this spring.

The red arrows point to tooth marks in my African Beverage termination where a pig grabbed the wire in its mouth.  No real damage fortunately; usually they don't see the black wire.  White wire gets torn to shreds quickly and I can't use it in the jungle.

The red arrows point to tooth marks in my African Beverage termination where a pig grabbed the wire in its mouth. No real damage fortunately; usually they don't see the black wire. White wire gets torn to shreds quickly and I can't use it in the jungle.

This fully loaded M1 Carbine magazine sits where I found it last year, under my original North American receive antenna.  It has sat here since 1944, where it was left at the edge of a Marine's foxhole probably on August 6th, 1944, when this was the front line during the Liberation of Guam.  Pretty cool stuff - which fascinates me.

This fully loaded M1 Carbine magazine sits where I found it last year, under my original North American receive antenna. It has sat here since 1944, where it was left at the edge of a Marine's foxhole probably on August 6th, 1944, when this was the front line during the Liberation of Guam. Pretty cool stuff - which fascinates me.

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This post was written by admin on February 24, 2013

BUFF fly-by

I live under the approach course for aircraft flying into Andersen AFB. It never gets old watching the planes fly over on their way to land. The other day, a B-52 cut the approach short, flying directly over my house.

flyby1

flyby2

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This post was written by admin on February 3, 2013