Wellbrook Trouble

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Joined
Apr 1, 2008
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4,428
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San Francisco, Ca.
#1
Despite how I titled it, the Wellbrook ALA1530s+ is still a fantastic HF antenna. I've had it up there at 50' for 4 years now. Wind around here gets pretty strong and I solved a feedpoint playing hell with signals problem last year. But last week, the loop started acting up again where signals became jumpy with windy days. Like a +30 over 9 signal would jump down immediately to say s9 and back again. I was very confident it was not the feedpoint this time because I know damn well I took care of that-so on a hunch I went up there and checked those two thin long bolts that clamp everything together on that amplifier case on the loop. Sure enough, what it was, was the aluminum loop was loose where each end goes into the amp. Luckily, Andy there at Wellbrook uses some very strong plastic amp casing and stainless bolts that can take a punch. I'm pretty strong and I went a little gorilla on torquing down on those bolts till that loop would not move anymore within that casing. Problem solved. Today, winds are 16 with 24 gusts and not a peep, whereas before even an 8 MPH wind would affect signals.
So just letting Wellbrook guys out there know, apparently these things can work themselves loose with wind over time.
So if your signals are less on the meter one day when you wake up, or if they're bouncy on the meter, check those bolts on that amp!
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
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Location
Bothell, WA
#2
Ridge that suggests the antenna is probably picking up severe vibrations which (over time) caused those bolts to work themselves free. I wouldn't use a lot of force on them -- I'd suggest buying LOCTITE RED applying it liberally to the bolts. After 24 hours those bolts will never move again.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
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4,428
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#3
Ridge that suggests the antenna is probably picking up severe vibrations which (over time) caused those bolts to work themselves free. I wouldn't use a lot of force on them -- I'd suggest buying LOCTITE RED applying it liberally to the bolts. After 24 hours those bolts will never move again.
Great suggestion devicelab. I will get some of the "Red" and do this when I get a chance:)
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
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#4
Another option, use lock nuts with a nylon insert. They will not work loose but can be removed rather easily in the event you need to take things apart for some reason. They are available inch or metric.
 
Joined
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4,428
Location
San Francisco, Ca.
#5
Another option, use lock nuts with a nylon insert. They will not work loose but can be removed rather easily in the event you need to take things apart for some reason. They are available inch or metric.
Good advice thanks! I had some little bite washers handy so I went up there and put them on both ends and re-torqued the bolts-but they're not stainless so only temporary. The loop is still 100%, glad I found the problem.
 
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