We began today by installing the remaining two element housings on our SteppIR DB36. We first assembled and installed the element housing for Director 2. This step was nearly identical to what was done for the Reflector. The Driven Element housing is a different assembly due to its larger side. The first step was to install the two Inner Support Tubes onto the driven element stepper housing. These tubes are held in place with a stainless steel clamps and a set of foam rings seal the inside of the driven element housing from the weather.
The next step was to support the driven element sweeps on saw horses so that we could install them on the antenna. Note the white inner support tube extending out of the left element extension tube associated with the driven element. This is the end of the Inner Support Tube installed in the previous step.
With the Driven Element sweeps installed, the final footprint of the antenna can be seen. The DB36 is truly a big antenna!
The next step was to install the three Element Support Trusses for the elements with sweep housings (the Reflector, Driven Element and Director 2). You can see the support lines associated with the Reflector element support truss in the picture below. Similar truss assemblies were installed on the other two sweep elements and the support lines were adjusted so that the antenna elements droop about the same amount as Director 1. It is important that the ends of the sweeps droop enough to allow water which collects in the sweeps due to condensation to drain out of the ends for the sweeps. If they do not drain, the water can freeze and break the sweep housings.
The beginnings of the 80m Dipole assembly that will be installed on the upper of our two DB36 antennas is shown in the picture below. A support rope is fastened to the ends of the boom and to the element support truss posts to support the 80m Dipole.
The 80m Dipole switch is shown below. The 80m Dipole support lines from the ends of the boom are connected to the switch. The lines will support the wire for the 80m Dipole.
Well, our SteppIR DB36 is almost complete. Here’s a picture of the antenna with all of the element housings and associated trusses installed and adjusted.
We will complete the installation of the 80m Dipole, install the 6m Passive Kit, wire all of the control cables and test the antenna next. I hope to complete these steps sometime this week.
– Fred (AB1OC)