Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cushcraft MA5B down

Well, yesterday as I was about to go out with some family members, I looked at my Cushcraft MA5B and noticed it was about 20-30 degrees off the vertical. The damage must have been very recent as I did look at the antyenna the day before and it was fine. I went in the back of the house to have a better look at the problem and it was the mast that had suffered wind damage: metal fatigue somewhere above the last anchoring point. Luckily I had Steve, our son-in law around and we both climbed up on the garage roof and took the antenna down. It was also lucky that we had almost no snow on the roof, but for one corner, of course near the antenna. It was a windy day though and we could hear the wind gusts coming up our way. So between gusts, and with a good dose of luck we took the antenna down. No damage was caused to the antenna, but the mast will need to be replaced with a stronger thus heavier one. I will also need another anchoring point to make the entire system even stiffer. My anchoring points to the house showed no sighns of wear though and that is good. I do live near the top of the hill, by a gully where wind is coming up and is gusting so I'll need to take that into account.

I still have my Cobra-Ultra lite which I was using for 40-160 so now it will get used on all bands. It is not as good an antenna as the Cushcraft MA5B so I'll be looking for materials for the mast and putting it back up as soon as the weather allows. See you on the bands!