Amateur Radio Station K6JEB

from beyond the horizon

Archive for June, 2008

Caveat Emptor

Posted by Jack on 8th June 2008

Man, what’s that they say about buyer beware? Maybe it should be SELLER beware! Yesterday I finally got around to putting together my Cushcraft A3S which I had bought a couple years ago from a ham on eHam. I was recently motivated to finally put this thing together since my Elmer (weird name given to the person who helps you become an amateur radio operator), Harry, KC2THV, got back on the air and he and I have been trying to suss-out a band and time when a California-to-New Jersey contact would be reliable.

Anyway, I was putting together the A3S and I first thought it was odd that I had a couple traps with the very visible original label of “TE” which I figured were just new traps Cushcraft had sent out to a previous owner. Things were going well until I realized I had two of the 1/2″ aluminum tubes (“EG”) which were quite a bit longer than the 36″ they were supposed to be. I thought maybe the previous owner had made some mods that would explain why.

I got up this morning thinking I would simply cut the extended parts and put it together and make final adjustments with my antenna analyzer with the yagi pointed at the sky.

But then I got to thinking, some of these parts are also what appear on the A4S tri-bander by Cushcraft. What if this were somehow mixed-up with an A4S or maybe by hook or by crook, the guy sold me something other than an A3S? Just to check my sanity, I carried the assembled boom back on to the patio this morning, and measured the diameter of the tubing. Hmmmm, 2″!!! I then measured the length, which should be 14 feet for the A3S. I started laughing when my 16′ measuring tape ran-out and there was still more boom left.

I was sold a Cushcraft A4S!!! At least most of one. I’m guessing I have the three main elements and not the smaller one. For now that’s fine. That will give me only two elements on 10m, but that’s OK since I believe there should be increased gain and perhaps increased front-to-back ratio with the extended boom length.

So now to print-up the Cushcraft A4S Manual and assemble the antenna accordingly.

Stay tuned!

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