SteppIR Antenna Problems

One day, after 9 years with the antenna living at 80 feet enduring the Arizona sun and monsoons, Pete (W6PJ) found that the 3 element SteppIR antenna was stuck on one band and was no longer tuning.

Terry (W7KW) finally tracked down the problem (after climbing the 100 ft. tower) ...

broken wires

... broken control wires after the cable had come loose and wrapped around the rotator base.

Since the SteppIR had been in the air for so long and it's condition was unknown, Pete and Terry decided to take the SteppIR down. The SteppIR will be evaluated, possibly refurbished and re-installed later.

They decided to replace the SteppIR with a known solid performer, the Cushcraft A-3S.

Cushcraft A-3S Install
November 17, 2014

Pete ordered the A-3S and had it delivered to the station location at Terry's home in Cave Creek, AZ. Terry assembled and had the new antenna ready for installation in relatively short order.

Terry decided that rather than again climb the 100 foot tower, which over the years he has done a number of times, he would rent the service of a 100' Crane with a 2 man basket. He would also enlist the help of an experienced DX'er and veteran antenna expert, Hardy (N7RT).

Here's the entrepid duo, Terry on the right, Hardy on the left.

Terry and Hardy

Bob (W7SNR) was also enlisted, as ground crew.


Here's the crane...


Now, the installation...

work 1

work 2

work 3

Job complete! Then a Wave and a Thumbs Up !!!

work 4

Back on Terra Firma...

terra firma

Only 1 1/2 hours to take down one antenna and install another. It took good planning and no hitches.

The new antenna. Lowest of the three...

new antenna

The new antenna is mounted 90 degrees offset from the others above it to minimize interaction.

The upper antenna is a Cushcraft A-3WS for the WARC bands. And the middle antenna is a 2 element 40-meter Cushcraft.

And finally, a station photo with the new antenna...

station photo

Photos by Bill (K7UOP)