An unexpected antenna problem
Last Friday, I was working from home. I generally have one of the radios on in the background and of late, it has been the revived TS-940S, generally on 10m or 40m.
Thursday evening had been very windy, so when 10m seemed very quiet indeed, I wasn’t too surprised, I thought the coax had fallen off at the feed or something. I popped out and checked – it looked ok, but I tightened it all up and tried again. Still nothing!
I replaced the barrel coax connector between the antenna and the feedline, No luck!
Then I put a dummy load at the end of the coax – hmm. SWR 1:1.5 or so in the shack, but no receive noise. I quickly connected the FT-817 to the base of the antenna. Lots of signals!
A coax problem then! That could be interesting as the coax was buried in undergrowth around the perimeter of the garden. I gently started to trace the coax from the antenna back towards the termination point. Rather tellingly, just a few moments later the cause became obvious. The coax had been gnawed through.
A hasty bit of splicing and we’re back in business!
Tim: Squirrels seem to love to eat PVC. I’ve had them eat thru a few feedlines. Switched to Polyethylene jacketed coax, and they have left it alone for 10 years now.