The Weekend Antenna Party
This past weekend, my Dad had an "antenna party." He's an amateur radio operator with a tower in the back yard (about 60-foot tall?). He's had a small antenna up there for quite a while, but wanted to replace it with this big one he got several years back. So, this antenna party was to help him get the old one down and the new one up (mostly with the hoisting of the new one).
When we arrived the new antenna was all put together and sitting on some sawhorses. What's the answer to the joke "how many operators does it take to screw on some feedline?"
Dad had to go up the tower to get the old antenna down. We all had to laugh at this climbing harness he had. It's tough to see, but out of the back and over his shoulders go these big green arms with giant carabiners on the ends. I yelled out "it's Doc Oc!," but nobody got the Spiderman reference.
At the top of the tower, you can see the size of the old antenna. This is important so you can get a feel for just how much larger the new one is.
These guys aren't actually pulling the antenna up yet--this was a posed shot. I went and helped after clicking the shutter release.
Chris juggled while everybody else worked. Actually, the other guys were trying to figure out how to get the antenna around the guy lines stabilizing the tower. We had the rope tied to a tree to keep the antenna there. Notice how much bigger it is than the other one!
After we got the antenna hoisted all the way up, somebody had to go up the tower to bolt the antenna in place. My Dad was going to do it, but I volunteered. He gave me his heavy boots and old climbing harness to wear and told me what to do. Bolting the antenna in place wasn't too difficult, but it didn't take long to feel the thin metal that I was standing on digging into my feet through the heavy soles of the boots. By the time I came down my legs were just jelly. I suppose it's just because there isn't any place to move to or shift your weight around. Anyway, it was quite a bit more exhausting than I expected!