Alfonso Faustino: CARLA: Antenna Replacement Project (K6ASF)

Boss, N6MVT, invited me to go with him to one of the CARLA sites to replace an antenna on one of CARLA’s towers. I always enjoy helping Boss at his CARLA’s sites; because, I get to see all the technology that makes CARLA so great.

In addition to CARLA’s technology, CARLA resides in some of the prime real estate in Nevada, Oregon, and California. The views are amazing.

During this excursion, I got to meet one of CARLA’s pivotal operators, Charlie, N6JOA. Charlie and I have spoken on the HAM network for the past seven months; so, it was really a pleasure to get eyeballs on each other for the first time.

He and I provided ground support for Boss, who was up on ~200-foot-tower (the tower location was about ~100 feet above the main road entrance), removing an old antenna and replacing it with a new antenna.

It was windy and cold — wind chill factor felt like around 40-degrees Fahrenheit.

It was worse for Boss who spent hours suspended on the ~200-foot-tower waiting for us to hoist up tools and the antenna up to him.

Of course, whatever went up, must come down, and it all took time and care to ensure safety and prevent any damage to the existing antennas and dishes along the tower.

Our communications equipment came in as a major tool to talk with Boss while he was up in the air. The sound of the wind and the distance from the top of the tower to ground would have made communication close to impossible without our communications equipment.

Our communications equipment of choice was Motorola. Charlie used his XPR 6550s (one UHF and on 33-centimeter); Boss used his Motorola XPR 7580; and, I used my Motorola XPR 7580. Together, all three of us were able to communicate pertinent information to each other.

In addition to my XPR 7580, I carried my Motorola XPR 7550e (UHF) and Motorola XPR 7550 (VHF) in my Conterra chest pack.

My Conterra chest pack was sturdy yet flexible for all the movement I did that day.

It stayed in place, it was comfortable, and it securely kept both of my transceivers in place during all of my body movements of picking stuff up, guiding things up, and pulling things down.

I was very pleased with my Conterra chest pack.

The only thing that got in the way at times were the transceivers’ antennas — I fixed that problem by using stubby antennas.

Another usefull equipment I used was my surveillance mic and ear price. The ear piece sent all off Boss’s TXs directly into my ear without having to compete with any background noises. The mic was small enough that it didn’t get in my way whenever I made sudden and abrupt movements.

So, I was more than happy with my equipment — they all performed as I intended and expected them to do.

I thank the Trinity for a blessed day — we met our objectives and goals without any misfortune.

It was a great learning experience for me, and I am anxiously waiting to visit CARLA again to help out.

Check 6!

/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)

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