Nearly two weeks ago the UK suffered from ‘Severe storms’ with high winds across most of the country. I went outside in the rain on the Saturday morning, looked up at my aerial and was disappointed to see this.
You can see the 40m element in the top is very loose and blowing freely in the wind.
It wasn’t immediately clear what had happened because although I could see that the 40m element was flapping around, it wasn’t obvious exactly what and where it had broken. I checked and the VSWR had gone very high so something bad had occurred.
Today was the first combination of a calm and dry day we’ve had since so I took the opportunity to lower the mast and check. Once it was lowered, it was very clear what’s actually happened. The loop at the end of the element has simply slipped off the centre pole and the element has threaded itself back through the first spreader.
All I had to do was hook it back over the top of the centre support above the balun.
To stop this happening again, I used a couple of cable ties, one through each loop and securely fixed in place.
This also gave me the opportunity to make sure I can reach the top of the aerial without any difficulty by using my new ladder. I’m going to install an ADS-B aerial right on the top and now I’m confident that I can get to it safely. Note that when I climbed the ladder to work on this that I had people supporting the base and it’s also well pushed into the garden.