WV-Stoc 2022

Got on my way to WV-Stoc at Blackwater State Park in Davis, WV, Monday morning 10/3. Was going to head out Thursday 9/29 to Hot Springs, NC, for the annual BRG Gathering, but hurricane Ian put my plans on hold. So my next plan was to go out Sunday, heading to WV WV-Stoc, but the remnants of hurricane Ian was still churning in Virginia and West Virginia. 

10/3: Made my way up to Willville motorcycle camp, VA, and stayed overnight.  Beautiful weather. Hardly anyone there. 

10/4: Continued on the Parkway Tuesday morning with the intent of riding somewhere further north on the Parkway. However, the Parkway was closed in two locations, and decided to go around the rest of it, and took a hard left in Harrisburg, proceeding over the mountain into 33 and Germany valley, 28 up to Seneca rocks. Camping at Snow white campground. 

Germany Valley.

Yokum Camp, Seneca Rocks.

10/5: Ate a good breakfast at Yokum’s, Seneca rocks. Headed up the mountain on 33 into Davis, and Blackwater Falls State Park. Beautiful roads, and perfect weather in the low 50s. 

Blackwater State Park Campground.

Cabins that some of the crew stayed in at Blackwater State Park, WV.

Inside cabin. Very nice, for those that don’t like camping in colder weather.

Lunch somewhere.

Set up camp, and rode down to Blackwater Falls to take a look. Nice place. Highly recommend staying at Blackwater Falls State Park. Great place to camp. Very nice campground. 

Blackwater Falls

 

10/6: Out riding with the rest of the gang. Around 150 or so miles total. 

 

10/7: Stayad at camp, as I didn’t really feel all that good. Fever. Covid? I don’t know. Guess I need to get tested when I get home. 

10/8: Headed home. Rode about 450 miles through VW, VA, NC and SC. Started out at about 30 degrees, and the temp didn’t increase much until I came off the mountains in NC. 

10/11: Got tested for coved. Positive. Oh well. Just have to ride it out. Have no idea where I got it from. 

Nice riding trip. 

Aluma T-75XHD tower install

Aluma T-75XHD tower install:

The tower finally came in, and I didn’t waste any time before starting to dig.

The 6″ hole was dug using a 1 ft bit with two extensions. It got heavy after a while, so used the tractor to lift it up after the bit filled up.

Nice and smooth all the way down.

Again, used the tractor to lift the massive MP2 pole into the hole, and proceeded to level it up.

Nice and level.

A couple of weeks later, and the pole is set completely back-filled and hard-packed all the way up to the surface.Tower carefully strapped underneath the bucket using plenty of wood for support. Yaesu 1000 DXA rotator and mast already installed.

 

 

Beautiful…

Cabinet in place, containing coax poly-phasers, roter control arrestor, and other equipment.

Fully extended to 70 ft.

This was an easy two person job, with the help from my lovely wife. She was doing the supervising. This install was a long time coming. Now for the next stop, getting the Optibeam OB 12-4 yagi installed on top, using a crane. More to come.

9/16/2022: Finally got the crane in to lift the Optibeam up in the air, and bolted onto the nested tower. What a beautiful sight.

Yours truly bolting the antenna to the mast plate.

Now on to digging a trench for pvc, and pull cables.

Business end

Trenched in a few minutes, about a foot deep. 

Started working in the tower cabinet. Connected up the Poly Phasers and the rotor control lightning arrester. Plenty of space in there to add a 4-position coax switch a little later. I added a 120 V feed into the cabinet to enable the use of a 120 V electric winch. Cranking this thing up using a manual worm gear winch that was supplied by Aluma, gets old pretty fast.

Almost done. Need a RatPak antenna switch in there.

All Done….

Optibeam OB 12-4 HF antenna assembled

Finally got the Optibeam OB 12-4 HF antenna assembled and ready to be installed on a tower. This thing is built like a tank, weighing in at about 140 lbs. 40, 20,15 and 10 meter bands. Can not wait to get this beast installed and up to 75 feet.

25 ft boom, Longest elements are the 40 meter elements at about 50 ft.