Repairing The 80m OCF Dipole

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This week, there has been a lot of wind and rain here in Florida. After one of the big storms, I noticed the 80 m OCF Dipole was down. The lug on the shorter leg of the dipole was ripped out of the enclosure.

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At first, I suspected the cable tie being used as strain relief broke from rubbing the aluminum bracket.

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While inspecting the long section of the dipole, I discovered the real reason for the failure. A large limb fell out of a pecan tree and brought the antenna down with it.

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The enclosure was damaged and needed to be replaced. It was not designed to take the weight of the dipole much less the force of a 4 inch limb falling on it.

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The 4:1 and Choke balun were not damage and can be reused. Fork connectors were used to connect the balun to the lugs. This probably saved the balun from being damaged.

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To provide better strain relief for the dipole wire clamps were added to the aluminum bracket.

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Blind nuts were installed in the clamp to insure the threads do not get ripped out. The blind nuts were super glued and compressed in place.

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The enclosure did not need any changes and was reprinted.

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The balun was removed from the old enclosure and further inspected for damage. All was well with the balun and it was installed in the new enclosure. No changes were made in its setup.

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Enclosure cover was sealed with rubberized tape and screwed in place.
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The legs of the OCF Dipole were attached to the lugs and weatherized with a rubberized sealing tape. The cable clamps work much better than the cable ties and are much more presentable. After the antenna was hoisted back up, radio testing was done. The raspberry pi 4 was fired up and several 20 m FT8 and FT4 contacts were made.

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Links

https://km4nmp.com/2020/01/18/80m-off-center-fed-dipole/

https://km4nmp.com/2020/01/04/40m-dipole/

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2 thoughts on “Repairing The 80m OCF Dipole

  1. Good repair on that 80m antenna. de kd1s

    Liked by 1 person

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