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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 8/20/2017 8:50:25 PM EST
Made a turn into a shopping center and all of a sudden I hear something make a really loud snap followed by a tinkling sound on the roof of the Cherokee. Yep, it was a low bar that you couldn't see because it was that close to the turn-in. The 40m coil on my UHV-6 snapped off. And, of course, I'm 300 miles from home on the way to play radio during the eclipse. Managed to find most of the parts and get them back together again but couldn't find the radiating element. So, went to Michael's and got some copper-clad 12ga aluminum wire (because that's what they had and it was the only place nearby). Had to file the diameter down just a bit. Also had to reinforce the base because the aluminum wire would bend of you breathed on it. I won't be driving with the 40m coil on until I get a replacement. Tried the jury-rigged setup first on 20m to make sure that wasn't hosed, then on 40m. Made a contact in Indiana on 20 and in Cuba on 40.

So, I'll be playing radio tomorrow probably starting around 1pm Eastern and going till 4pm Eastern. The Virginia Tech folks that are working to develop an ionospheric propagation model are wanting hams to use digital modes like PSK and JT-65 because they can either hear them directly or get info from PSK-reporter and others like that. I gather even if you're not in the band of totality, they'd still like info to use.

I need to get a tarheel screwdriver that auto retracts.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 9:15:14 PM EST
See... I knew this eclipse was bad "ju-ju!"

Hope you are able to make your antenna work out okay! Jim...
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:38:29 PM EST
This happened to me several times as well. After driving into my garage and almost breaking the whip on my Tarheel antenna, I installed an antenna spring. Now it simply deflects with the spring. The antenna spring was $25 at HRO but I would not have it any other way.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 11:03:47 PM EST
The 40m worked fine last night. I only heard one station during the eclipse and it was a distant one. The antenna looked a little ghetto, but seemed to work OK. When I get back, I'm going to try to order a replacement 40m coil. Not sure if they sell the parts separately. If not, I may get another UHV-6 or I may break down and buy a Tarheel.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 7:32:12 AM EST
Yet another reason I went with cheap Huster whips instead of a fancy screwdriver. If they snap, they're not all that expensive to replace. With my luck, the screwdriver would last a week. Yes, the gawkers are annoying as hell, but for the price, I'll deal with it.
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