In 2015, I did some work for a fellow ham and in return was given a Cushcraft Ringo Ranger II. I mounted it on three sticks of chain link top rail next to my shack and connected it to the transmitter using LMR-400. For the past 5 years, the antenna has performed well. Unfortunately, about a week ago, a gust of wind brought the Ringo Ranger down.
During bad weather, all my antennas are left up so they take a beating. The Ringo Ranger has made it through several violent storms and 2 Hurricanes. The hurricanes caused damage to the antenna, but the SWR never went above 1.2 : 1.
The first hurricane caused the most damage. At the first joint, the top section was bent. One of the ground plain elements went missing.
The top section does not show an impact from flying debris, so I am left to assume wind bent the tip of the antenna. This does not explain the missing ground plane element. The second hurricane knocked a second ground plane element off. It was found at the base of the antenna and showed signs of being damaged by flying debris. Once the second element was damaged, the SWR went to 1.2 and continued to operate fine.
By chance, when the Ringo Ranger II ARX-2B fell, I was walking my dogs. There was a gust of wind and I looked up just in time to see it falling to the ground. The base of the antenna is still on top of the mast. In the future, a new antenna will be installed and the base will be removed so the failure point can be examined.
The phasing stub has stood up well to the elements. There are no cracks or any apparent damage. After the base is removed from the mast, and depending on its condition, repairs may be made to this antenna.
Over all, I can’t ask for anything more out of this antenna. Going into to each hurricane, I expected to have to replace the antenna when it was all over but it survived both times. It is very tempting to get a new Ringo Ranger to replace this one.
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