Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Hustler 4BTV base cover.


Lower section before balun install.

Autumn is here along with the leaves all over the lawn, once or twice a week I take the lawn mower out with the grass catcher on and vacuum the lawn of leaves. Doing this got me thinking of winter and my Hustler 4BTV antenna regarding the snow. I did some internet searches and some left the base alone while others covered it. The conscience was that snow does not bother the vertical with regards to performance but I was concerned about the connections and isolation balun.
I decided to make a box to cover the base section of the antenna but one that could easily come off in case of a storm and I had to lower the antenna. I wanted something simple, that would stand up to the weather and remove without issue. I came up with a cover made of wood and only 4 deck screws had to be removed to remove the box cover from the antenna for storage. The top also has 4 deck screws it can be removed for access to the antenna if it has to be taken down due to high winter winds.

I also made the box with room on the side as I knew I would be adding the choke balun to the mix. It's going to be painted white to mix in with the snow when it comes and I will keep on top of shovelling the snow on and around it just in case the antenna has to come down due to windy weather.
As said before to remove the box ultimately all that has to be done is 4 deck screws removed and the side cover and half of the top cover comes off and the box can be removed and stored for the summer. In case of poor winter weather, 2 deck screws are removed and half of the top cover is removed and the antenna base is exposed. 

Room for the Balun

 Completed box to be painted
To take the antenna down I was going to purchase a tilt base but to tilt the antenna because of its length there were obstacles in all directions. What I do (as I did this during hurricane Fiona over the summer) is the loosen the lower section screw clamp then the complete antenna can be removed from the base section. I then loosen the screw clamp at the top of the 20m trap and separate the antenna. This splits the antenna in half and can be stored in the shed until the storm has passed. As with any vertical antenna you have to fine-tune the SWR by adjusting the tubing. This can get very fussy and time-consuming and once done it's best not to tweak it. The tubing section at the top of the 20m trap just bottoms out and is not meant to be adjusted. Therefore when the antenna goes back together this section bottoms out and the SWR on all bands is not affected. This was proven during Fiona when the antenna came down and went back up again without SWR changes. 

The final picture shows 1/2 of the top cover removed and the lower screw clamp is exposed and can be loosened for the antenna to be removed. The cover goes back in place.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Nice idea Mike. Don't think the wood will have too much effect on the antenna. But what if it gets wet? Of course you'll paint it, but still water will be left on top. Except if you designed the top to be slightly slanting. 73, Bas

VE9KK said...

Hi, Bas very nice to hear from you. This box will only be out during the winter but if wet weather comes and affects the antenna it's very easy to remove for a temporary time. The box is now painted (white to blend in with the snow) I also have installed the box and the SWR was not affected. But as said if the SWR is affected either due to weather it can be very easily removed.

MadDogMcQ said...

Hey Mike, great idea, nice little project. I think Bas might be onto something with a sloped lid. Anyway, it'll certainly keep the snow off the connections, etc.

I heard you get a little bit of snow over there in Canada LOL

Take care,

Tom, M7MCQ.

VE9KK said...

Good afternoon Tom very nice to hear from you, I have read of those who do not cover the antenna base but for me, I would feel more comfortable keeping the snow off it.
As for snow yes we get enough of it here...last year in was in around 8-9 feet of the white stuff.