INSULATOR CHANGE ON THE OPTIBEAM OB6-3M
After a few years on my tower, the spacer insulators which keep the tips of the 20 metre Moxon elements at the correct distance, started to fail. Finally one of them broke and in January, Vic (EA5KV) came round and took the antenna down for me. One of the insulators had snapped completely and the other one was not far off going the same way. Here's what it looked like:
You can see in the foreground the broken insulator. Apart from changing the antenna characteristics, it also in the long run would have let to more 20m element failure.
Here's a close up of the insulator after being removed:
The UV had done a lot of damage. Apart from having become brittle and snapped, it also left a gooey mess on one of the ends which had to be cleaned up.
Tom (DF2BO), the owner of Optibeam, is aware of this and the new version of this antenna comes with beefed up spacers. For a token price, he popped a couple of these in the post to me. In this photo, you can see the two new ones on the left, compared with the old one on the right:
Let's hope these ones, apart from having superior mechanical strength, also do a bit better against the sunlight!
Here's one of the new ones installed:
In the end we didn't manage to get it back up on the tower today, let's hope we manage to find time before it gets too hot out to do antenna work.....