Today is Halloween, and I was expecting it to be spooky, but not this early and not this much.
This is also the day of the year in which the leaves, one by one, detach themselves from the bright coloured branches of the maple in the yard and swirl down, each in a brief and individual flight: a natural metaphor for life itself. This morning, when I eagerly opened the curtains of the window to enjoy the show, this is what I saw on the ground among the fallen leaves:
Yes, that is (actually, it was) the “vertical” wire multiband-HF-stealth-antenna. Hurricane Patricia was no longer a hurricane when it reached the QTH a couple of days ago, nevertheless, its continuous rain and strong winds may have been too much for the rope holding the antenna up the tree. It snapped, and the 55 feet of wire collapsed down and curled on itself on the floor.
I have already rigged a temporary antenna with the S9 14-meter telescopic mast held with bungee cords against the trunk of the sugar maple inside the fence, but the mast will have to come down after the weekend, as previous experience shows that it tends to spontaneously telescope down if exposed to wind, rain and cold.
So far, the emergency antenna seems to be working fine as shown by a few QRP QSOs with stations in Serbia and Italy (in 30m) and Hungary (in 40m), as well as a few Hellschreiber contacts in the US, made in the context of the “Full Day of Hell”.
Then in the Spring I will have to think about a more permanent replacement, although operating “QTH/portable” may have advantages: the physical exercise, for one…