On the morning of Sunday 9 September, a team consisting of Jan ZS1VDV, Mike ZS1TAF, Rassie ZS1YT, Paul ZS1V, Ohan ZS1SCI and JP ZS1JPM headed to Hanskop to perform a major site re-installation.
Approximately two years ago, the tower at Hanskop blew over in a storm and all the antennas of the tennants on the site have been temporarily mounted on the building ever since. The new tower and cable trays have been recently installed and once the owner of the site had moved his own equipment on to the new tower, we were invited to install next.
The journey to Hanskop has become quite challenging. The usual access route has been all but washed away, necessitating navigation along some even more minor tracks. Even those are flood damaged and deeply rutted, some with pools of water 30 to 40cm deep and 50 or 60m long. The weather on the morning was cold – around 4C – but Hanskop was uncharacteristically wind still and so all team members jumped into action after arrival on site at around 9am.
While one group removed the temporary antenna pole from the side of the building and removed the antennas from it, another re-organised all the equipment in the rack, moving the equipment up to make space for the new battery backup system at the bottom of the rack.
New backup batteries
Rassie ZS1YT constructed a shelf to go over the batteries, allowing the duplexer and bandpass filter for the 2m repeater to stand above them.
Duplexer and battery charger on shelf
New cable gland plates have been installed in the building. New RG214 patch leads for inside the building were made up and attached to lightning protection devices.
Feedline connection points for the 70cm repeater, 2m repeater and 70cm link to Jonaskop
Outside Mike ZS1TAF was left to solo all the tower work after Paul ZS1V was unable to climb due to illness.
Mike attaching the feedline to the link antenna
Mike attaching the UHF repeater feedline to the antenna
Mike installed the three antennas, attached their feedlines and secured all the cables to the mast. On the ground, Jan ZS1VDV and the rest of the team prepared the feedlines, installing the connectors and routing them in the cable trays to the exterior of the gland plate.
Feedlines being secured
Final measurements showed the antennas reacting well.
The team packed up and left site just after 3pm.