Our access to Samfundet is still somewhat limited (although less limited than it was a couple of weeks ago), so it took us some time to realize that our SatNOGS antenna mast had collapsed. While the receiver USRP is still out of commision, we thought it best to rectify the mast damage immediately, lest it worsen.
Fortunately the damage was limited to the wall anchors and some minor bends to the VHF section of the antenna. This was a really pleasant surprise, as it is infinitely easier to fix than what one might expect upon receiving the message “one of our antenna masts have fallen down”.
The current corona-restrictions limit the amount of people to a maximum of 5, in addition to some rules on distance and cleanliness. It is very convenient to have multiple people to hoist the antenna back up.
This week, yours truly learnt a harsh lesson in anchoring equipment for concrete/brick walls. The woefully inadequate combination of nylon plugs with too short screws were so bad that 8 fastening points had failed at once. Sheer luck allowed the final 4 screws to hold the mast from total collapse.
After a crash course in construction, we learned that the superior option for fastening is to fuse sets of threaded rods to the wall by use of a chemical anchor.
The work was completed over the course of two evenings. The first evening was dedicated to assessing damage, drilling new holes, plastering and preparing the anchor points. Once the anchors had hardened, we went back to erect the antenna. Everything went smoothly, and we are glad to have the antenna back up.
Thanks to Oda, LB5PI and LB7JG for their hard work. Please note that our SatNOGS station is still not operational due to the aforementioned USRP failure. We will make it a priority to fix or amend this issue once we have more access to the premises.