So as storm Abigail gave Scotland a good shoeing this weekend, the south of England decided to join the general weather trend to a slightly lesser degree. With this in mind it would have been the ideal opportunity to build one of the growing pile of constructional projects I’ve got sat on the work bench but no, this genius thought it’d be a good idea to stick another antenna on the side of the house.
The radio club were in the process of resurrecting the 2m FM net which is run on 145.250 +- using the Club Call M0GZN/A and it seemed silly to be missing out on the action simply due to lack of antenna. So I duely parted with some of my hard earned in exchange for a Diamond X30 from the nice people at ML&S. A trip to Nevada resulted in a mounting bracket, 5ft pole, a lot of RG58 and Type N connectors.
Now I’ve got no problem with heights but the absence of a suitable surface to plant the ladder and the growing gusts of rain and drizzle meant the gable end of the house wasn’t a fun place to be on a Sunday morning! I can safely say the Health and Safety Risk Assesment for this one went “Chances of coming out of this one unscathed – Rizla cigarette paper thin!”
That said it was slightly reassuring that, as the coach bolts tightened on the bracket at least it would take my weight if everything went south in a hurry! The idea of a prolonged stay in A&E wasn’t on the agenda that’s for sure. This time I borrowed/nicked a tool belt from a friend and I can safely say, despite looking like a complete berk and Super Mario’s taller cousin, it made life one hell of a lot easier at the top of the ladder.
The whole lot was firmly planted, feeder tacked to the brick work and through the wall into the shack just as the weather really turned nasty. I even managed to tidy the garden and deadhead the numerous tubs on the patio while I was at it.
To avoid any domestic or neighbourly issues, I intentionally sited the X30 on the far gable end which is away from the rest of the world, at a height equal to the TV antenna which is on the other side of the house. The row of trees close by aren’t ideal but they’re not mine and I can’t do anything with them. Any antenna is better than no antenna and when sat back in the garden all that can be seen is the top 6″. Anyway, who looks at the roof of the house when you’re laying out in the sun? Exactly!