Antenna build is on hiatus until next weekend, and another week goes by without an activation

Well, I got this far at least, though I’m not sure about the copper-clad material; it’s not G-10, it’s some old-time thermoset like cheap Bakelite, it’s brittle and has a really strong chemical stink when freshly cut.

Also, the finished dimensions are way less than perfect, though for what it’s worth I really did just pick them out of the air; it needs to be wider to provide space for the tripod head, and the 1/4″ hole might need to be a bit off center for the same reason. Maybe I will make a new one this week while I am waiting.

The real reason for the hiatus, though

is the lack of an M4 tap:

I seem to have overlooked one small detail in my planning, or maybe brushed it aside while addressing Larger Concerns; if I had bought the kit, the brass plug for 3/4″ PEX tubing would have come pre-drilled-and-tapped. The ones from my basement plumbing supplies are obviously not. Oops.

I remember checking to see if the hardware store in Sparta had an M4 tap when I was getting the 4-40 one, but didn’t pursue it any further. It was only when I started work on the first loading coil that I realized that aside from minor stuff I could do, work was not going to proceed beyond a certain point until I had that tap. It was the work of moments to order one complete with the matching 3.3 mm drill from Amazon … and then comes the waiting until Friday for it to arrive.

February 23 was the last activation I have done. Never a particular reason, just that every day when I could activate there is something else that requires my attention. Over at today there is a field report from someone who did an activation in the middle of a winter storm in Latvia, so any weather-related excuses I might have fall so flat in my ears that I am not even going to try. Maybe next weekend.





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