Diary of Disaster (Will it make CQ160 CW?)

After years of successfully keeping my Topband vertical in service during winter storms in costal environment my streak of luck has finally come to an end. This season alone I had more problems with the Topband vertical than in the past 10 years. Heres a quick recap of the so far very eventful season at SE0X.

November: Vertical comes down in a storm. A few days later we raised it up again, but the FCP and loading coil where destroyed when the vertical landed on top of those. We were able to force the pipes pretty straight with guy line tension. Stew Perry cancelled.

January 13: Loading coil and FCP replaced. Antenna back in service!

January 15: Another storm hits the area, measure loads of SWR via remote after the storm.

January 19: Quick visit to SE0X, the antenna is bent 90 degrees. I am able to raise it up, but now it is severely deformed.

January 23: Gail force wind in the area, remotely I measure 6:1 SWR. No no no, not again! Starting to look for alternative stations to work CQ160 from.

January 25: SWR back to normal, the antenna apparently raised itself up again and works well as soon as the wind settled. Logged JT and a few others. Hope is back, maybe the CQ160 is happening after all.

January 26 (today): Back at the station. One of the top guys have slack. Antenna looks sad, but at least it is standing up. More adjusting of guy lines to make it reasonably straight.

WX forecast for the weekend looks good with only moderate winds from S/W which is favourable. Now I can just cross my fingers that the vertical will survive CQ-160 so we can aim for another record.

And if I am really lucky it might even be around for 3Y0Z, that would be the real bonus.

So if you hear me in CQ160 CW this weekend, work me quickly. You never know when its time for another diary entry in this never ending story of challenges.

73 & GL!

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