September 2012. The “New Top Load” assembly shown on page 10 of this section suffered gradual damage due to the severe weather earlier this year and over a few months became unsafe and had to be removed. The support rods used were 2 metre long “garden canes” from our local garden centre and were made of a plastic covered light steel tube. As well as being a support for the perimeter wire the tube was also a part of the antenna top load. After removal from the mast it was obvious that the weather-proofing had not prevented water getting under the plastic and corrosion of the tube had caused it to weaken & eventually break.
The new construction is made from non-corrosive parts including fibreglass support rods, Perspex sheet & nylon nuts and bolts. Four telescopic fibreglass rods make the 2 metre long supports to carry the copper top load wires and are fixed to a centre assembly with the nylon nuts and bolts. I have designed the telescopic rods to be extended to their full length of 3 metres if this becomes possible. Even though the new construction can be made larger the skeleton is 100 grams lighter than the previous assembly and possibly less wind resistance due to the tapered rods. Click image below for large picture