One of my worst fears became realized this morning when I discovered, at some point in the past few days, that the lower half of my 40m vertical dipole antenna had worked itself loose and fell straight down into my downstairs neighbor’s fenced yard. It stuck like a dart and bent to lay in the grass. No matter how well I engineered against weather and wildlife, it still broke, and it could’ve potentially injured someone or damaged property.
The double-whammy is that I had to ask my neighbor to help retrieve it, wherein he told me through his closed door to just go back there and grab it; that meant bugging a second neighbor in the next building so I could go through both of their yard gates to do so. That’s perhaps the most difficult thing to deal with: telling the neighbors what I have up there and no longer having it all on the down-low. I hate getting other people involved in my doings.
If I rebuild, Antenna MarkII will have to be more secure. I can’t risk another failure. The failure mode appears to be that the hamstick, being blown by wind and swinging in the tree, had started spinning itself out of its own threaded socket until it ran out of threads and fell. I used a treatment of anti-ox compound before screwing it all in, and tightened it all with wrenches until it was no longer finger-tight, but it still jiggled loose and the compound served as lubricant. I’ll need to use lock-tite or a lock washer next time, and tie everything together with UV-resistant rope so it fails safe.
Radio is hard.
Edit: this problem has been solved. We got it on lock, y’all.