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Hustler 4BTV and Linear Loaded Inverted-V Antennas

 

After 28 years at the former QTH, we have decided to down-size the property and that meant all the antennas needed to be taken down and the tower removed. It was a sad day but I'm not getting any younger and it was the right move. So no more Mosley PRO-57B, my full wave loops for 40 & 80 and the 160 inv-L.


In an effort to get back on the bands I needed an antenna that would blend in with our new neighborhood. After some research, it was determined that the only possible solution was for a multi-band vertical and a linear loaded inverted-v for 40 & 80. While I was in Florida over the winter, I went to the Ft. Myers Hamfest and found an almost complete Hustler 4BTV vertical sitting on a table with a bunch of other aluminum tubing. It needed a base section and I was able to find a used one on QTH.com for a nice price. After it was received, I noticed that it had suffered the normal corrosion problem at the feedpoint. WB0NLY has a quick fix for that and I ordered the part from him to repair the base. Now that we're back at the northern QTH, I was able to get the antenna put together and tuned. I must say that after reading all the horror stories from other hams who have had trouble tuning these antennas, I found it very easy to do with the proper tools. I used a Rig Expert AA-230 and had the antenna up and running in less than an hour.

 

 

Hustler 4BTV hiding in the woods!

Feedpoint showing Balun Designs choke balun and the DX Engineering radial plate with 60 radials.

 

80 & 40 meter Linear Loaded Inverted-V

Added this antenna to the mix so I could get back on 80/75 meters. Linear Loaded Inverted-V based on the design of KG0ZZ. Mounted on a 28' fiberglass push-up mast from MGS which is secured at the base with 3 earth anchors mounted in concrete. The ends of the antenna are tied off on 12 foot 4X4 posts.


80 meter loading coils prior to adding shrink tubing

 

The wires protruding from the sides of the coils are the resonating stubs for the 40 meter section.



Switching arrangement for the 4BTV & Linear Loaded Inverted-V

Array Solutions 2-way coaxial antenna selector switch housed in a weatherproof enclosure. This switch is operated in the shack and is powered thru the coax.

 

Antennas from the past   

After many years of service, it was time to say farewell to a major piece of equipment that has allowed me to make thousands of contacts all over the world. The time had come to replace my Hy-Gain TH3MK3 tribander. Over the years, I rebuilt the antenna 4 times and it has survived some nasty weather including the 1991 ice storm that hit the northeast. This was one of the many fine antennas produced by Hy-Gain in Lincoln Nebraska and there are many of them still in service today.

You may wonder why I would want to replace it since it has been such a workhorse over the years. Last fall I came upon a brand new Mosley PRO-57B still in the box that was manufactured in 1997. The price was right so I took a trip to Pennslvania to pick it up. Not often do you find these still in the box and some 17 years old! Looking at the original labels on the boxes showed that the antenna was purchased by W8JTO in Ohio. I have tried to locate him but it appears he must be a SK. So, here we are today with a new antenna and another install project at hand.

 

New Mosley Pro57B circa 1997 (NIB)

 

First light of day since 1997!

 

Construction begins 05/15/2014

Boom sections and inner elements in place

All inner elements in place and aligned

 

 

Now I'm realizing that I may not be installing this by myself!

 

Time to disassemble boom in 3 sections to install on tower

 

Success! Installed and working very well

 


 

Antenna Project Spring 2013

After 27 years on the job, it was time for some regular maintenance and upgrades to the tower and antennas. My plan was to remove the 25AG3 top section, upgrade to a new flat-top section, install Phyllistran top guys, add a Rohn TB-3 thrust bearing, replace the aging D&L Brake Winch and aircraft cable, increase the mast size and strength, add a new Hy-Gain DB-1217 WARC beam, a junction box with bulkhead connectors for the coax loops to the antennas,and replace most of the coax and rotor cable runs on the tower. All the associated parts, hardware and cable were purchased from DX Engineering. Northern Tool supplied the winch and the aircraft cable was found and purchased on E-Bay

Upgrade Sequence:

Step #1 - Lower the tower and remove the existing Hy-Gain TH3MK3 and M2 6M5X, old mast section, rotor and coax cables and the Rohn 25AG3 top section with sleeve. Once completed, a close inspection of the tower showed that it was in great shape and only needed the replacement of (2) 1-1/4" U-bolt clamps on the tilt-section. All other hardware was inspected and found to be in good condition. It paid huge benefits to assemble the tower back in 1986 using 304 stainless steel hardware and Never-Seez. The winch and cable were removed and retired.

Step #2 - Assess the needs for a mast to hold the new antennas. After some investigative work, I bought the book "Up the Tower" by Steve Morris K7LXC. This should be required reading for anyone contemplating a home tower installation. I learned many things from this book.

Specified in the book is information on masts and a software program for sizing masts taking into account number of antennas, loads, turning radius and mast height above the tower. I purchased the software from Champion Radio Products and below is a screen shot of the specifications for my installation.

 

Based on the information above, I opted for a 12' section of 2"OD X 1/4" wall 1026 steel tubing. Since the tubing I bought was not hot-dipped galvanized, I followed Steve's advice and picked up some LPS Cold Galvanizing Compound from Graingers and did the job myself.

Tower Upgrades 2013

 

New mast and Phyllistran upper guy wires installed

 

New Rohn flat-top section with TB-3 thrust bearing

 

New Dutton-Lainson B-1200 Brake Winch and SS cable

 

Upper junction box for coax loops

 

Hy-Gain DB-1217 WARC beam assembly and install

During assembly of the DB-1217, it was noted that there are really no specific methods indicated in the instructions to align all the elements to the boom other than to eyeball them. I found a suitable method that was quite simple. Using 2 V-blocks, a perfectly straight wooden board with cut-out for the element clamps and a spirit level, I was able to align all the elements in a horizontal plane. I started by making sure the temporary mast was aligned vertically then used a homemade jig to insure all elements were perfectly horizontal.

 

Temporary mast in position for alignment procedure

 

Making sure mast is completly vertical

 

Alignment jig and tools in place

 

Elements in perfect alignment - worth the time & effort

 

Balun Designs 1115SChoke Balun installed

 

 

Hy-Gain DB-1217 on the mast!

 

07/23/2013

 

The upgrade took some time but I'm glad I did it. The results have been very gratifying. 12 & 17 meters are no longer uncharted territories for me. Thanks to all who provided support in the effort. Steve Morris (K7LXC) for his expertise and thorough knowledge of tower installs and designs. Gary Weslager (K3GW) for his observations, findings and suggestions which were the results from his install of a DB-1217, and to my wife for putting up with the many days of me out in the backyard neglecting the yard work!

As of September 2013, I removed this antenna because of interaction with the Hy-Gain tribander. I did not want to increase the spacing between antennas because of the increased load I would be placing on the tower. The Rohn Fold-Over is rated for 150 lbs at the apex and with both antennas and a 46 lb. mast, I was pushing that limit. It was taken off the tower and put up for sale. The antenna now belongs to Walid, OD5ZZ in Lebanon. Strangely enough, I worked Walid recently on 17 meters with "my" antenna!

On May 21st 2014, the Hy-Gain TH3MK3 was lowered to the ground for the last time, partially disassembled and sold to KD2XN

 

ANTENNA SYSTEMS - 2012

My antenna farm consists of a Rohn FK2548 foldover tower using a 4-point guying system. Atop the tower is a Hy-Gain TH3MK3 tribander. It is rotated by a Hy-Gain Ham IV rotator. Also mounted on the tower is a M2 6M5X six meter beam, full wave loops for 40 and 80 meters fed with Balun Designs 2112 (2:1) transformers and a 160 meter inverted-L fed thru a motorized base matching capacitor (Heathkit SA-2550) and Balun Designs choke balun.

 

Other Antennas

160 Meter Inverted-L motorized matching capacitor (Heath SA-2550)

 

160 meter control enclosure with Balun Designs 1:1 Choke Balun, Heathkit SA-2550 motorized 500pf capacitor, Alpha-Delta TT3G50 surge protector and copper ground buss. Housed inside a Hammond polyester hinged cover enclosure (PJ14126H) On the outside right of the enclosure is an Array Solutions bleeder inductor. The Heathkit SA-2550 motorized matching capacitor is controlled from the shack. With this unit it is possible to match the antenna any place in the 160 meter band to a 1:1 SWR. Currently I have 40 (130') radials bonded to an aluminum plate which in turn is connected to the 2" copper pipe which is sunk 8 feet in the ground.

 

View of the feedpoints for the 40 and 80 meter full wave loops

Feedpoint for the 80 meter loop

Control enclosure for the 160 meter inverted-L showing ground rods and bleeder inductor