Disassembling my old Beverage farm

We finally got a break in the rain, so I had an opportunity to go back up to my old former QTH and finish removing the six Beverages I had in the jungle there. It’s really a shame to have to take everything down after all the hard work I invested putting them up, but I can reuse the wire, feed point transformers, and even the termination resistors. Due to all the rain, I was able to recover quite a few ground rods as well.

The wind we got last week definitely changed the appearance of the jungle up north. Many branches were down, and the ground was covered with fresh leaves. All my remaining Beverages were felled by trees, with the exception of my trusty EU/JA wire. It survived three years without breaking, even though a tree had fallen on it last week.

It is hard to see in the image, but this is a pandanas tree that fell across one of my Beverages.

It is hard to see in the image, but this is a pandanas tree that fell across one of my Beverages.

I dare say that my former EU/AS Beverage was “magical” - very quiet with excellent performance. I will reinstall this wire as my new EU/AS Beverage here at my new QTH. Hopefully it performs just as well!

Beverage wire and ground rods gathered up and ready to be relocated

Beverage wire and ground rods gathered up and ready to be relocated

I still find random WW2 Japanese beer bottles in the area.  This Kirin bottle was sitting under one of my wires.  I only found it now after three years, after the wind blew away some ground cover.  This area was used as a ranch and was occupied first by Japanese soldiers and later by Marines.

I still find random WW2 Japanese beer bottles in the area. This Kirin bottle was sitting under one of my wires. I only found it now after three years, after the wind blew away some ground cover. This area was used as a ranch and was occupied first by Japanese soldiers and later by Marines.

Kind of sad - my old QTH - all empty.

Kind of sad - my old QTH - all empty.

I still have a lot of work to do at the new QTH - the feed and termination of the NA Beverage, to make a path and install the new EU/JA Beverage, and to run almost 1500ft of RG6 coax.

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This post was written by admin on September 25, 2013

Beverage work started

I got started on installing one of two Beverage receive antennas this week. As I thought, it won’t be easy. So far, I have 730ft of 800ft run for a North American Beverage, and it is very difficult to get through the jungle due to the growth. Once I finish the NA wire, I want to install a second one for EU/JA, then run 1100ft or RG6 coax. As from my former QTH, I try to tread lightly - since I plan on removing everything when I transfer next summer.

This is close to the feed point (south west most point) of the NA Beverage.  You can see one of my homebrew wire insulators attached to the tree.  I make them from 1/2" PVC conduit and work great.

This is close to the feed point (south west most point) of the NA Beverage. You can see one of my homebrew wire insulators attached to the tree. I make them from 1/2\

The trees are all really small and densely packed together.  Makes it difficult to clear a path for the wire so it does not contact anything.  I use bare copper clad wire and I see signal attenuation if too much growth gets in contact with the wire.

The trees are all really small and densely packed together. Makes it difficult to clear a path for the wire so it does not contact anything. I use bare copper clad wire and I see signal attenuation if too much growth gets in contact with the wire.

Easier going through this stretch, a grove of palma brava trees.  These are used as ornamental plants in many areas.  Some of these are 40ft tall.

Easier going through this stretch, a grove of palma brava trees. These are used as ornamental plants in many areas. Some of these are 40ft tall.

It took over an hour to clear a 30ft path through these vines.  Very hard going through this section!

It took over an hour to clear a 30ft path through these vines. Very hard going through this section!

nabev5

I found the above photo in the NPS War in the Pacific Park web site photo gallery archives. It shows the Nimitz Hill area where I live, as it looked in March of 1945. The object at the top of the photo is a float - most likely this photo was taken from a Curtiss SOC Seagull float plane. These planes were most often flown from Cruisers and other large combat ships. The tent city you see is actually the 94th Construction Battalion, a SeaBee unit. They occupied the ground where I am installing my temporary receive antennas today. There are very few remnants left - you can still make out the grid work of access roads, but other than a few pieces of brick and pipe, there is not much else left. This probably explains why the vegetation is so dense - since this is not “old growth” forest. Very little “old growth” forest remains in this area, due to the heavy fighting and extended bombardment during the liberation.

The yellow arrow points toward the northeast (North America) and generally follows the path of the receive wire.

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This post was written by admin on September 18, 2013

This won’t be easy…

I have kept as busy as possible while dealing with chemo side effects which have gotten worse due to their cumulative effect as my treatment continues. I now have resonant antennas for 10-80m, leaving just 160 and 6 to go. Today I spent some time in the jungle adjacent to housing where I hope to install two Beverage receive antennas, one for NA, the other for EU. Unfortunately I don’t have the strength or time to install more, given I will be transferring off island next summer.

It will not be easy going - the growth in the jungle is very dense. Here in central Guam, the jungle is more “jungle like” than northern Guam, which technically is a limestone forest. Up north, the tree canopy and rocky ground keeps low vegetation in check. Here, the red volcanic dirt means anything and everything grows.

These vines are my nemesis.  They are extremely strong, and can only be cut with sharp pruning shears.  They catch you like a spider web, grabbing your ankles and tripping you up.  They are very difficult to get through, and on top of everything, they grow very fast.

These vines are my nemesis. They are extremely strong, and can only be cut with sharp pruning shears. They catch you like a spider web, grabbing your ankles and tripping you up. They are very difficult to get through, and on top of everything, they grow very fast.

This is real jungle growth!

This is real jungle growth!

newbev3

I still have my trusty WRTC 2002 compass which I use when blazing trails.

I still have my trusty WRTC 2002 compass which I use when blazing trails.

I also bring my Nexus 7 with a hiking app.  The built-in GPS allows me to record my track, and export it into Google Earth.  In this case, the white track is my path.  I parked my car at the Asan Beach overlook at the left.  My house is the 3rd one down from the top center house, to the left.

I also bring my Nexus 7 with a hiking app. The built-in GPS allows me to record my track, and export it into Google Earth. In this case, the white track is my path. I parked my car at the Asan Beach overlook at the left. My house is the 3rd one down from the top center house, to the left.

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This post was written by admin on September 13, 2013

New QTH

Over the past few weeks, I was very busy getting moved into the new QTH. It was a mad dash of sorts, to get moved before the start of my next round of chemo. I was able to get the Spiderbeam installed, and it has a fantastic view from the new location.

The view toward Europe and Japan

The view toward Europe and Japan

The view toward North America isn't quite as spectacular, but is still better than my former location.

The view toward North America isn't quite as spectacular, but is still better than my former location.

I am very much space limited at my new location. Since I will only be here for less than a year before I transfer, it is hard to justify the effort into developing a highly effective antenna for Topband. Even with time, I just don’t have the space, and since my new location is much higher visibility (next to a road), I feel it is more important to keep a sort of minimalistic attitude. Better to be QRV on the higher bands than to upset the wrong person and get shut down all together. That said, I am currently working on installing radials for a 40m vertical which I plan on top loading for 80, and perhaps additional base loading for 160. If nothing else, it will allow me to work some multipliers on 160 in contests.

I do hope to get two Beverages installed here as well. There is a bit of space, enough for a 700-800 footer toward Europe and North America.

Directly behind the house is a sharp drop off about 30ft to the road.

Looking up the hill at the Spiderbeam and the patio of my house.

Looking up the hill at the Spiderbeam and the patio of my house.

This not only raises the effective height of my Spiderbeam significantly, I hope it will provide a good takeoff for the vertical, which I am mounting right next to the drop off. Unfortunately, I really don’t have any vertical supports tall enough for an effective horizontal antenna for the low bands, even from this location.

I have done some preliminary HFTA runs and this location should be fantastic, especially into Europe.

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This post was written by admin on September 3, 2013