Saturday, October 12, 2019

Catastrophe - The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men

With all items packed and ready to go on site to install the Repeater, it was a perfect sunny day with an excellent panoramic view in all directions from the hilltop. The gear was unloaded and installed into the hut in the site at Abbeyknockmoy. The Cavity Filters for the Repeater were given their final tune up and the Repeater was installed and connected to the network without a problem. Almost straight away the signals came through via the network. A pleasing conclusion will be found at the end of this write up.

Great we thought. Job Well Done! We placed the APRS system on air and it came to life as soon as we connected it. Better again.

And then we peered up at the antenna system. Well there were not enough swear words in the dictionary to describe the situation and none of them were repeated twice. The Repeater antenna was totally destroyed and all its components were draping down from the pole.

What was originally this:

was now this - all of the dipoles had sheared off the pole where the clamps holding them to the pole had disintegrated.

Naturally the Repeater is currently disconnected until further notice until we can replace the antenna. Hopefully Radio Structures Ltd will replace the antenna which has only been on site for 1 1/2 years.

The pole had suffered a little with the high winds and seemed to be a little bent on the bottom end where it was clamped to the pole

This was part of the clamp that held the dipole element to the pole. The others had completely disintegrated and disappeared,

This is the other part of the clamp which had litereally shattered like china.

A sad end to what could have been a really great day.


The Good news, however, is that a very quick respose was received from Radio Structures LTD who have offered to replace the antenna under a three year No Quibble Warranty which were were unaware of at the time. The replacement antenna was dispatched on Monday the 14th of October, just 3 days after sending an Email on Saturday.The antenna arrived in Galway on Friday the 18th of October.