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It takes a Village…

… to raise a mast, or in this case 2.

The weather held for Saturday’s mast raising at Dan’s (N6AU) QTH. A dozen or more of us gathered to raise 2 40′ masts that Dan had built in the preceding weeks finalizing a project he began nearly 60 years ago. -geu

Dan tells the story.

This antenna is very much like the one I put up in 1952 in anticipation of getting my novice license. On June 30, 1952 my ticket arrived, wn6qnb, and I was able to get on the air the same day. I worked 80m cw for the first months bringing up my code speed. The 1952 antenna was up only 30 feet, due to architectural concerns of my parents. One end was the 30 foot mast, the other was a pole attached to the chimney of our house. I paid for the antenna with the income from my newspaper route with the San Rafael Independent Journal.

This first mast and chimney mount pole served for antenna experiments on 40m (a vertical), a wire beam (w8jk design) and adventures on 160m, 20m and 15m. After my general ticket arrived, I worked mostly 40 cw using a dipole.

The mast design came from the 1952 (and perhaps earlier) ARRL Handbook. It appeared each year for many years.

Incidently, Dick Rich, w6opx, put up the same mast in Palo Alto in the early 1950s when he was first licensed.

The Zepp design originates from the days of the lighter than air ships. They trailed an antenna out the back and end fed it.

In Portola Valley, CA in my mid 30s, I used two end fed Zepps in a Vee configuration, fed in the center, to create a beam for 80m and 40m. The center was up 60 feet in a tree. It was a superb antenna.

Although this project has been a dream for many years, I did not get started in earnest until 4 weeks ago when I bought the lumber. The mast is made of 2x3x20 dry Douglas Fir. This dimension of lumber is not available on the island, so I bought 2x6x20 sticks and ripped them lengthwise to create the 2x3s. The center anchors are 4×4 fence post hardware, seven sacks of SacKrete were used for guy and center post anchors.

I think it was wonderful how we all worked together, all willing helpers. I wish the Club would do more “together” projects. Field Day is nice, but it seems to be more an activity of many people working on individual projects.

The sausages came from my favorite restaurant supply house in Bellingham. Most of the rigging material was purchased on eBay.

I have attached a picture and information from the 1961 ARRL Handbook.

73 – n6au

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