December 2013 The winter weather and its increasing severity is causing delays with this project. February 2014 Well, in view of the recent very powerful winds never experienced here before I have now decided that less hardware on the mast is now the criteria. Had the original top load assembly still been installed on the mast it would not have survived. Being in a residential area with small gardens and close proximity to my own and my neighbours homes, garages and garden sheds I feel I should consider the safety of my neighbours & their property. So I have abandoned the previous changes which were in fact becoming impractical to easily and safely construct. The vertical part would be too long to leave unsupported and in its original position the skeleton globe top would also strike the house when tilting the mast. Whilst considering the small size of my garden I will now experiment with a smaller top load on the strong top fibreglass pole whilst also reducing any side structures to keep the profile as low as possible to very strong winds (and the Starlings).
My next idea in the experiment is a 40mm diameter coil on a flexible former wound around a thick walled 100mm PVC tube and its supporting PVC pipe, the total diameter of this is 180mm. This elevated 100uH inductor as before is at the very top of the existing antenna support along with a 500mm aluminium disc as an anti-corona device.
Completed top load
A section of coil
I am already looking at improvements of this design if the assembly does actually work OK. I have had this new assembly installed for most of February now and although it does work far better than just the vertical wire I was left with it does require some improving. So having put my brain in gear I have an idea in mind using a similar design incorporating the coil and flexible coil former. Watch this space for for further experiments with an antenna for use on a small plot.