This summer the Student Society of Trondhjem underwent a complete roof replacement. For ARK, that meant disconnecting all antennas, removing cables from the roof, and even removing some antenna poles. Combine that with summer vacation and COVID-19 restrictions, and you understand why we’ve been QRT on many bands for a long time.

But now the new roof is in place, and the Norwegian government and public health authorities have lifted all COVID-19 restrictions. It’s time to meet again, get to work, and get back on the air!

LB9WI in the tower. The dipole on top should not be parallel to the boom of the beam!

Mondays are designated working days at ARK, but LB9WI, LA2QUA and LA6YKA couldn’t wait and started already on Friday. Our 10/12/15/17/20 m beam was pointing 90 degrees off from the 40 m dipole stacked on top of it. It’s not a big problem, but it’s not very beginner friendly and it’s a bit annoying when using computer software to point the antennas. LB9WI first loosened the bolts, but the antenna wouldn’t turn. It was then LA2QUA’s turn to climb the tower and give it a try. After a lot of huffing and puffing, we finally got the antenna rotated 90 degrees. Lesson learned: If using force is not working, use more force!

LA2QUA using more force. The dipole is parallel to the beam elements. Both antennas pointing in the same direction.

Then came Monday. The very same HF beam also had a tilt. We can’t claim that a few degrees off horizontal qualifies as wrong polarization, but it looked silly, and we don’t like looking silly. So we decided to tilt it back to horizontal. This time it was LB5DH, LB6GH and yet-to-be-licensed Aleksander’s turn to climb the tower, enjoy the view and loosen and tighten bolts. In the process we discovered that it wasn’t only visually unpleasing, but the wire keeping the long boom of the HF beam straight was actually grinding against the tower. Good catch — and no longer a problem!

LB6GH in the tower and LB5DH assisting on from the roof. In the background, the flags of the UKA student festival that is currently engaging many of our members, both as volunteers and audience.

We’re still waiting for some final touches to the roofing, such as proper ways of passing cables through the roof. We also have at least one antenna pole to put back up. But winter is coming and it’s getting dark early, so it’s limited how much we can get done in a day. We all have classes and work to go to, so when we finally meet in the afternoon we only have a few hours of daylight left. It will take us a while to finish it all. More work and more fun for more Mondays.