As always, there is one or two antenna installations that fail over the course of the winter. Such are the woes of the northern radio amateur. This year we had the SatNOGS antenna failure, and as recently discovered by LB4FI – a rotor failure on our main HF mast.

The main HF mast is based on a tiltable telescoping versatower. We use cable trusses and service loops in order to protect the cable from snagging on the mast while erecting or rotating the beam. It turns out that some of the trusses that were installed when we last overhauled the mast weren’t up to par, and had failed over the winter.

The rotor suddenly stopped working after rotating the main beam. Due to the missing trusses, the rotor cable had caught on the mast and unfortunately dislodged itself. This problem has become somewhat of a repair-staple at LA1K, so we have a quick-connect box at the top of the mast to make re-attaching the cable a breeze.

Rotor cable “quick connect” box.

Since LB4FI was unlucky enough to break it, he also had to fix it. Luckily he was up to the task, and set about creating a more rugged solution that hopefully should last some more winters.

With the trusses installed, getting the rotor back in service would have been a matter of simply re-attaching the cable in the “quick connect” box. Naturally ol’ trusty Trondheim showed up with some surprise mid-May snow showers to put a halt to our plans.

Trondheim weather in a nutshell. Snow, sun, rain and hail all within the same hour.

We’ll get our rotary abilities back as soon as the weather allows. Thanks to LB4FI for putting in the effort of making the extra-rugged trusses 🙂