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W1AW, W1HQ Receive Inspections, New Antennas

05/22/2009

The antennas and towers at the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, and W1HQ, the Laird Campbell Memorial HQ Operators Club, received their semi-annual inspection on May 12. In addition to the inspections, new equipment was also installed on the W1AW antenna farm.

"W1AW at W1HQ has two antenna and tower inspections performed each year, one in the spring and one in the fall," explained ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM. "Sometimes Matt Strelow, KC1XX, and Andrew Toth of  XX Towers will also do some antenna work during the inspections."

Strelow and Toth replaced the az-el rotators located on the satellite tower -- originally installed back in 1997 -- with a newer model. According to W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, the older rotators were replaced due to signs of wear and fatigue after many years of use.

"The North tower received a new satellite turnstile antenna," Carcia said. "This turnstile antenna will be used in conjunction with our satellite weather fax receiver. This receiver is in use in the main area of W1AW and will allow visitors to see real-time pictures received from various weather satellites. XX Towers also replaced a coaxial pigtail on the 23 cm satellite antenna.

A new side-arm atop the 120 foot tower will allow for vertical wire antennas to be hoisted to the top when the antennas are in use, accommodating the hoisting of W1AW's new 160 meter vertical antenna. Carcia said that this will come in handy during contests or other operating events.

In addition to 160, verticals for 80 and 40 meters may also be supported by the new halyard. "We will soon be installing an extensive ground radial system for the new antenna," Carcia said. "Look for W1AW during the next 160 meter contest!"

Strelow and Toth also inspected the W1HQ antennas that reside on top of the ARRL Headquarters building. According to Allison, the SteppIR antenna made it through the winter in good shape and all mounting bolts where checked and tightened.



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