Posted by: GW7AAV | May 4, 2010

Antenna Maintainance

I spent a few hours this week working on my two metre beam. I got the ten element Jaybeam from a club member some time ago and it has done sterling service with some amazing contacts in to most of Europe and the length and breadth of the UK. All the more impressive when you consider that for all that time it was mounted at only twelve feet. I had purchased some stainless steel bolts and wing nuts to replace the old rusting mild steel one and some time ago I had bought some replacement mounts for the elements. It was job waiting to be done but kept getting put off because I wanted to use the antenna to chase some SOTA activation or other.

The thing that got me motivated was finding someone selling an eight element Jaybeam. You see the ten element was meant to be a cross Yagi, but its original owner had never used the second set of elements and had mislayed them when he moved house. I bought the eight element antenna for a bargain price expecting to use at least the driven element to restore the cross. I was surprised to find that although the boom size was smaller the spacing and lengths of all the elements matched. So I only had to make 2 elements, which was less than I had to replace when I got the 10 X. The antenna is still only at 12 feet, but is back to its full glory and in some ways better than ever. The next job is to replace the coax with some of the 200m of Westflex I bought last year, then I will mount it on the rotator at thirty feet or so. It should improve my signals on 2m FM a tad and I might just get a few more of those hand held rubber duck only SOTA activations. I think I may swap the old Trio 9130 I use on 2m FM for one of my Yaesu FT-857s to give me a little more power too.

What a pity Jaybeam do not make amateur radio antennas any more. A tragic tale if ever there was one.

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