Brainstorm: Rover Rebuild Parts II & III: Antenna Layout & Desk Build, and Training/Schedule Balance Skewed

I was considering a cross beam a little while ago, but until I started consolidating antennas it wasn’t a reality due to the wind load that would be placed on the rotor. Having scaled down the 6m antenna from an occasionally problematic 3-element beam to a halo, this drops the weight being imposed on the rotor by about 5lbs and provides less surface area for wind resistance. If I have time to add this on I will, but this last weekend wasn’t as productive as I had hoped – this may be an ambition for June.

My Directive Systems order arrived, giving me the properly cut threaded rod and struts to finish up my 10ghz dish, and the mounting bracket assembly for my 2304 looper was part of that as well. Barring any unforeseen issues, I’ll be active on 6m through 10ghz, with 5.7 being my only gap this upcoming weekend.

My most urgent problem to solve at this point is a new operating desk – I have a handful of 2×2’s in the garage from a summer garden project that never came to light, so I may re-task some of those, and a small sheet of hobby plywood to create a similar operating position similar to what I had in the Patriot for the last few contests – from up front I’d control 6m-3400 right from the driver’s seat, and would only have to move to a mobile position when operating 10ghz. For the 10g operation, I’ll either mount the dish to a mast on the hitch, or off a tripod – I’d just take a minute to move the IF rig from the 900, 2304, and 3400 transverters prior to operation. 

I keep filling time from one hobby to another – bowling one night a week, and just starting hockey on another (yes, I know, nothing like waiting until you’re two weeks from turning 30 to learn how to play an entirely new sport), while also balancing in Marathon, and Ironman training… luckily I’m not starting the heavy training for another couple of weeks!  

Mid-Feb through the end of March is going to be heavily training focused, and April through September is going to be a little daunting, with a race every 4 weeks, where the minimum distance is 13.1 miles..


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