How it started….
In the beginning in our former QTH in Heerjansdam (2995 BE) we started with a long wire for HF (home-made) and a dual band antenna from Diamond for 2 meter and 70 cm. Very soon the 13 element beam came up for 144 MHz and also one for 70 cm, a 21 element, also from Tonna and several other antennas for different bands. Where to put them: all together in one single tower or more steel or aluminum pipes in the garden at the side of the house. I decided to put one steel pipe with the Yaesu rotor at the far side of the house, nearby the shack with one on top to reach a height of 30 ft. (10 meters) above ground level. On top I put the small vertical for VHF and in the middle the U-shaped aluminum tube for both the beams. On that same tube I placed some small beams vertically for the same bands, 2 meter and 70 cm, keeping them at least a half wavelength from each other. At the bottom part of the steel pipe I hung the HF beam for 10 (originally 11meters/27 MHz), just so that this one was almost 6 feet above the rooftop. However before I mounted the whole installation at the wall I took down the vertical and replaced that on a separate aluminum tube a few feet away. This worked very well……..until the famous January storm of 2007. Anneke, my wife, called me on the way home that the storm was very strong and that the bottom pipe began to lean down to the roof side and it wouldn’t take long before he completely broke. When I came home, that already happened. After a careful inspection of the situation, in the dark with a flashlight, I saw that the connection between the two pipes had collapsed and the upper pipe was on the roof and the antennas…….oh that was a mess of aluminum tubes en wire. The two beams for 2 and 70 were scrap and the HF beam was fallen down with the boom in the roof isolation making a hole of approx. 3 inches deep and 5 inches wide. I had something to do the next day. The coming weeks we had to do without some of the antennas and forget DX-ing. Because of the bad weather and time of the year I only made plans for the new antennas, considering the new toy in the shack, the Yaesu FT-2000 which was coming in a few weeks. We also wanted a solid antenna for this rig and several types of HF beams were in consideration. Like the beams from GB antennas, (never again) and from Fritzel or HyGain one of their 3 (and more) element beams. We saw almost everything from 1 to 5 elements for 1 or more bands. We looked at the prices which varied from cheap to expensive. In April the new Yaesu set arrived and now I had to make a decision. By this time I choose for the Fritzel FB-33 for HF 10-15-20 meter and later on a 4 element for 50 MHz/6 meters from GB Antennas &Towers. A couple of days later I bought a 24 feet (8 meter) antenna tower with a manual hand winch to raise and lower it. Top height is about 21 ft. Inside the rotor (Yaesu G-2800DXC) I put a steel pipe of 15 ft (5 meter) on which I hang the new antennas. In top a small dual band for 2 meter and 70cm horizontal.
When we moved to our new QTH I set up this tower at the side of the house near the front door to get the maximum height allowed here. After a while I thought I missed some action on several bands so I went “shopping” on the internet to look for an addition to my antenne farm. The Fritzel FB33 for 10/15/20 mtr did his job but I needed something for 30 and/or preferably 40 meter, so I bought the optional kit for this FB-33 to get 30 or 40 mtr. Because of the lenght of the driven element which went from almost 27ft to abt 39ft for 40 mtrs I changed the element to the 30 mtr band.
This lightweight square tower went down with the antennas in a light storm during the evening of December 28th in 2011. In it were a 4 element 50 MHz antenna and the FB33 with the extension kit for 30 mtr with the ropes tied to the boom and elements. The FB33 driven element was bent and almost scrap.
The storm lifted the innerpart of the tower up with the antennas and completely bent over the outer part and fell down in the side garden near our car and shredded the wooden fence and gate to our garden.
Due to telling this accident to a radiofriend I stumbled across a new tower which I bought after transporting it from A to B. After putting up this tower and repair of the damaged antenna I was back on air again. The whole view of my new tower has changed in the past years with several antennas resulting in 3 antennas up in the air for 6 to 30/40 mtr, but this worked fine for me……..untill the neighbours bought a new kitchen device or appliance which gave me a huge signal of S9 +10dB on the S-meter. When the neighbours decided not to be helpful in solving this problem I bought another antenna for 12 and 17 mtr, the HyGain DB1217. With 7 elements a big one, 3 for 17 mtr and 4 for 12 with a reflector of almost 33ft in length. This was the bottom antenne in the tower and the FB33 was above. On top I had the old 4 element 50 MHz antenna. Three antennes were no problem for the stronger built tower but for my neighbours it was a ugly sight. So I informed at two of my nextdoor neighbours about getting one antenna instead of three. The both agreed that one was better than three, so I upgraded to a 3 element SteppIR with the 30/40 loop in it. But this was also an ugly sight I think since I got a visit in March 2015 from a city-inspector and later on a letter from the city counsil about the complaints over this very big antenna with a 4 week notice to remove the “illegal” buildingprojects as they called it. I told him about my earlier problems and invited him over to my house to see for himself, and told him I also had some troubles back in 2007 and 2008 which resulted in an approval for all of my antenna farm, as the vertical on the chimney, the vertical HyGain AV640 for the XYL and my tower with antenna(s). This was a little “slap” in his face, because he never accounted for my “declaration of confirmation and approval” signed in name of the mayor. The whole case will be overlooked by my attorney and the man from city counsil and I have to wait and till then I can use my antennas for as long as possible.
The whole story turns out to become a soap since the written and signed approval in 2008 and the changing of the city rules and legislation in 2010 and again in 2013. Now we have 2015 and I never heard anything from the citycounsil since 2008. At this moment they have decided that the SteppIR is an excessive antenna and I may be forced to remove it and get me a smaller antenna (name one that does 6 to 40 mtr with a smaller diameter or surface! 🙂 ) or maybe they can, will or must allow me to replace the tower to the backgarden behind the house so it’s not as visible as it is now and can’t be seen as an enormous and huge antenna which is prominently visible like now (see the photo).
I will wait and see what the outcome will be! To be continued soon I hope 😉
If you have any questions about my antennafarm….please do not hesitate to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org (pa9rd at amsat dot org)