N8KXM's Beam Installation

posted 9/16/20

This is a project that Lou - N8KXM has been working on for a while.

The tower base was started back in April of 2017.

Here the hole has been drilled.


The base section of tower has been inserted and supported.


The cement has been poured!


The base forms have been removed.


Some time later John - N5AAA and Lou added a couple of sections of tower.





In May of this year (2020) Lou's son Charlie did the top work!

Somewhere along the way a house bracket was added as well!

Lou says he didn't want to rush things!



Lou was assisted by Tony KN4MBG and James KC4KRM.



He also had Janey N2BLU and Steve K2SMA assisting!


The rotor will soon be going up to be installed!


Working on the guy wires...


Time to come down!


It had gotten too windy to put the beam on the top of the 60 foot tall tower so they were done for the day!


Now for a bite to eat!

Tony KN4MBG and James KC4KRM...


Here's Charlie!  WAY TO GO!



Thursday, 9/10/20

Keith - WA8ZWJ and Marian - WD8CJD head towards Tennessee.

We were pleased to see the sunrise as we were getting ready to head south on I-75.


We arrived at Lou - N8KXM and Sandi's a little after 2PM!  This is near Belfast, Tennessee.

Here's their house.


Here's the barn where they store their pickup truck and camper.


Here's a look at the back of Lou and Sandi's place.  That is Richard - VK5UK and Jo-Anne's camper on the right.

Their pickup truck is in the garage!


Here are Sandi and Lou!


This is Jake!  He is a fun boy!

Look at the smile on his face!


John - N5AAA and Jan - KA9VQS have arrived!  They will be staying the night in Lou and Sandi's camper in the barn!


Marian - WD8CJD got some gifts!  Here's one of them!


It would seem that the barn is Lou's Man Cave!


While Lou helps John move some stuff into the camper Keith laid out some of the parts for the tri band beam we are going to put up!


Lou has some incredible insight into how to get all the elements in line with each other...


He gets everything balanced the same way and tightens things up!  FANTASTIC!


Looking at the barn with the beam ready to go up tomorrow and John and Jan's car in front.


Before dinner we spent some quality visit time on the back porch!  Yes, we were socially distanced!

Sandi, Lou and Marian


Jan and John


This sign is inside by the front door at Lou and Sandi's.


Friday, 9/11/20

It is almost 7AM and time to start work on getting the beam in the air!

Keith - WA8ZWJ, Lou - N8KXM and John - N5AAA


Lou is working on the tag line that he will use to haul up stuff as it is needed.


The work has begun...for Lou at least!  He is climbing up the tower!


Lou is setting up the gin pole.

There is a bit of Keith's Moonshine off to the left!


The Moonshine is now on the lower left but Keith got another shot of Moonshine!



Lou is clamping down the gin pole to haul up the beam!

If you look into the upper left you will see some more Moonshine!


There were a number of issues with getting the beam past the guy wires but Lou finally got it all figured out!

The beam is on the mast on top of the rotor!



Yee haw!


I know it doesn't look like it but that grass was really wet.

Keith slipped and fell on his back twice while pulling on the line to raise the beam on the gin pole.

Marian helped Keith with the gin pole line duties and Jan helped John with the tag line duties.

No, John is not wearing a mask!  That is his beard!


Lou is finishing things up!



Lou is coming down the tower.  Keith has been hauling tools and things back to the work area in the barn.


Lou has been taping the coax to the tower as he comes down.


Did you notice here that all three of us managed to get kind of sweaty?


Here's a group picture with the girls since they ALL helped with the job!

Keith, Marian, Sandi, Lou, John, Jan


Lou wanted a picture of the beam on the tower with the house in it as well!

Here it is!


After a while we headed to the Old Delina Country Stor for some vittles!

Marian traded books in the "Leave one and take one library!"


Lou took a special shot of Keith and Marian beside the Old Delina Country Stor!

Yes, we all managed to get all fed up!


Saturday, 9/12/20

This spider has been weaving his web daily.

If you look carefully you can see the spider and his web!

Keith took this shot when he went out for his morning walk!


One of Sandi's flowers has bloomed!  Beautiful!


The major chore for the day was to get the coax into the ham shack and get the rotor cable spliced and into the ham shack as well.

Here Lou has begun splicing the rotor cable!



The splicing is done!  Nice job Lou!


Lou drilled a hole in the floor of the closet to bring the coax up and out of the crawl space and into the ham shack!


OK!  The coax is hooked up and the SWR looks GREAT!  Yippee!

Lou used a temporary piece of coax to connect things up because the coax was a bit short for the job.


As many of you know, Lou was a firefighter and a paramedic for many years!

He has a few special items displayed in his ham shack!


Lou is now connecting the rotor cable to the controller!


Here are some more firefighter memories in Lou's ham shack!



Lou is chatting with John - N5AAA on ground wave 30ish miles away on 20 Meters on the beam that we put up yesterday!

It's working!  Yee haw!


After a while we headed up to John and Jan's to meet up for a visit on John and Jan's back porch!

What was really cool is Debby - KB4LOO and Chick - AC4CT came up from where they were staying in Alabama to join us!

Here are Debby and Chick!


Here's the gang socially distanced and visiting!

Sandi, Jan, Debby, Marian


Keith, John, Lou


John, Lou, Sandi, Jan, Debby, Marian, Chick


Then we went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant!


Yes, we all got all fed up and then some!  Keith actually had a left over!


When we got back to Lou and Sandi's the deer and wild turkeys were out and about!

They tend to hang out beside and behind the barn to the left.


Sunday, 9/13/20

Keith took an early morning walk.  Here's a look at Lou and Sandi's from the end of their driveway!


This shot of Lou and Sandi's was taken from their neighbor's driveway!


Here's another look at the back of Lou and Sandi's from beside the barn.


Lou is enjoying his morning coffee from his IOOK mug that Chas - AI0OK gave the IOOK!


On the Sunday morning 20 Meter Net we never heard Lew - KC4US but we heard Charlie - NN3V in California without difficulty!

Lou is transmitting!


Keith is transmitting at Lou's!


Here is an item that Lou printed from an e-mail that Hoss - WA5ZAI sent him many years ago!

It is under the glass on Lou's desk!

Rest In Peace Hoss!  God Bless You!



Now it is time for the 40 Meter net.  Dave - W8TVC was subbing as net control for Keith!

We heard Dave - W8TVC and Mike  - KG8CW a bit early.  Mike was mobile in Michigan!

Lou is checking in!  Yee haw!


Here it is Keith's turn to transmit!

We ended up having 11 check ins and the band changed during the net.  Early on we heard everyone!  Later on a lot of them faded away!  Towards the end of the net things kind of came back a bit!

Then we met the local gang for brunch!

It was raining like crazy out there!

No pictures but it was N5AAA, KA9VQS, Sandi, N8KXM, WD8CJD and WA8ZWJ for brunch!

It was still raining when we finished up!

In the afternoon we spent some time making up some coax jumpers to connect the antennas to the antenna tuner.

The rain outside continued!

It turned out that the coax coming in from the antennas was just a few feet short of where it needed to go on the back of the antenna tuner!

Here's Lou doing some soldering.



Now he is connecting the coax to the back of the antenna tuner!


This is looking off their back porch at the heavy rain.

What you are seeing is heavy rain not fog!


About an hour later the rain backed off and I grabbed this shot!

Lou's rain gauge ended up measuring four and a quarter inches of rain!


A while later Sandi saw these deer and a turkey out behind/beside their barn and I managed to catch this shot!


Keith and Marian headed home on Monday morning!

Many thanks to Lou and Sandi for their hospitality!

We had a great time!

It was great seeing everyone!

I am so happy we got the job done and everything is working!  Yee haw!

Photo contributors were AC4CT, N5AAA, N8KXM and WA8ZWJ...