Sunday, January 5, 2014

Installation of BigIr antenna

Six months ago my wife and I moved to a new QTH.  We moved from Galveston Island to League City on the mainland.  We chose our new location, partially, because the deed restrictions allowed for the installation of ham radio antennas.  After getting permission from the HOA, I finally got around to installing my BigIr during the Christmas holidays. 

Like most installations mine is a compromise.  The depth of my backyard is only 13 ft.  I have utility lines behind the house.  And only a six foot easement between my house and the fence separating our yard from the neighbors.  The installation is being done in segments. 

I am planning on installing the 80 meter coil for my BigIr vertical antenna.  At that time, the coax and control cable will be buried in conduit and run up into the attic and then down into the shack.  I will also hide the ehu inside a fake landscaping boulder.

But for the moment I am on the air.  Playing radio and having fun.
Here are some pictures of the install as it is right now.

This photo shows the Transworld vertical antenna I was using, temporarily.  The blue tape marks the future site of the BigIr antenna.

The hole for mounting the BigIr mounting post.  The hole is approximately 12 inches square, 2 ft deep and expands to about 18 inches wide at the bottom.  I filled the bottom with about 4 inches of gravel for drainage.  I filled the hole with approximately 130 pounds of concrete.

Mounting post in place with the Dx Engineering radial plate and some radials.

The antenna is mounted with a 1:1 balun, there is an 8 ft ground rod at the side of the radial plate and a lightning arrestor on the radial plate as well.  You can see the 24-63 ft long radials in place.  As noted earlier, eventually I will mount the 80 meter coil and run the coax and control cable to the house via buried conduit.  For right now, I have to open the window and bring in both the coax and control cable when I wish to operate.

Since my yard is so small, the radials have to make a a 90 degree turn and run down both the east and west side of the house in the 6 foot easement.

This photo shows the antenna in place.  You can see the three guys, 2 run to the top of the fence and one to the house.  You can walk under all of them which helps make things YL friendly. HI!
You can also see some of the utility lines.  The utility lines closest to the antenna are low ones: cable and telephone.

So far the antenna is playing well.  As the work progresses I will run some shorter radials in a fan shape from the radial plate.  All radials are lawn stapled and the grass should absorb them this spring and summer.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

73 and good dx
Leslie, ad5wb
League City Texas

nice conditions today on 10 meters

I heard my first station ever, from Vietnam this morning.  What a treat.  I run a BirIr vertical so stations that others hear I often struggle to hear.  Running barefoot, I could not break the pileup.  But still a treat non the less.
I hope you signals are full quieting.
73 and good dx
Leslie, ad5wb
League City, Texas