So, I’ve stood out in my yard more times than I can count it seems, gazing at the various trees and wondering just which ones would work best for antenna wires. The simple answer is that any antenna is better than no antenna. I’m famous for
planning and replanning but never actually executing a plan. Now that I actually have a radio, though, it was time to do some tree climbing. Disclaimer here: Please don’t attempt anything beyond your abilities! It’s far better to have an antenna that is too low than to be incapacitated with broken limbs, or even worse: having your family go on without you after your tragic death from a nasty fall.
OK, scary stuff aside, it’s time to get on the air. I decided that the existing mast on my house was a good spot for the feed point of a dipole, and there were trees roughly in line front and back of the house for the dipole ends. The larger tree out back was the easier one to climb. I shoved my extension ladder up as far as it would go, and then proceeded to climb as far as I dared from there. I took a nylon strap with me and the end of a cord, along with a quick link. A pulley probably would have been better, but the local home center didn’t really have anything that I thought would work. The best suggestion I’ve heard is marine grade pulleys from a boat shop, but I didn’t have any of those handy either. After swaying in the breeze for a while and admiring the view, I put the webbing around the tree without cinching it tightly, (don’t damage trees, please.) looped the ends through a quick link and threaded the cord through it. My plan is to attach the end of the cord to the dipole, then run the cord through the quick link and down the tree to a counterweight. I’m hoping this will allow the trees to sway in the wind without breaking the antenna or the support cords. Time will tell. =)
The dipole has arrived, and it’s now happily swaying in the breeze, about 25 feet up. I may have to do some fine-tuning but as I said earlier, any antenna is better than no antenna.