The RLP Experience

W2USA Gives Back To The Military

We started out with 15 RLP's (Rythmic Log Periodic) antennas. These antennas are trailer mounted and are 100 feet tall when erected.
During the course of June 1999, 13 of the antennas was returned back to military duty and was transported to Oregon to get refurbished. From there, they will be placed throughout the United States and other countries to augment communications for the military. This is the story of our last two RLP's.

The W2USA Clubhouse with Mount Rainier in the background

July 23, 1999

08:30 - The day started out cloudy and cool. Major Heather Meeds, CW2 Richard Montgomery, Captain Frank Escalera (KC7LRP), Master Sergeant Cathy, and another Warrant Officer was out on site to supervise the dismantling and stowage of the last 2 antennas. I, George Ftikas (N7TQZ), arrived on scene with cameras to record the event.

The last aerial view of both logs in the air The last aerial view of both logs in the air

09:00 - The "Wrecking Crew" arrives with a 60K Generator and Tractor to move the trailers under the antennas. They arrived and got busy getting the stage set. They hooked up to the farthest RLP and started to bring it down. A small problem occurred when a hydraulic hose burst spraying the inside of the antenna bed pretty heavily. They raised the antenna and decided to try out the other antenna.

The truck and generator The truck and generator

The other antenna came down with no problem. We disassembled the boom section and stowed the antenna elements in the antenna base. They had one small problem getting the mast section retracted but that was quickly resolved. In just over three hours, they had the antenna stowed and placed on the trailer. Then it was back to the other antenna.

The second RLP is down Some of the signatures on the boom

Stowing the second RLP Getting the RLP on the trailer

Getting the RLP on the trailer Moving the second RLP into position

Jim, KB7UTQ, and his work truck After getting a bucket truck, driven by Jim Deyoe (KB7UTQ), and some fluid from Camp Murray. they replaced the broken hose and brought the antenna down. The boom element was frozen in place and they could not get it to swivel level as the mast was being lowered. So it was back to the bucket truck and up in the air to remove the elements and sections of the boom to get the mast a little lower so they could work on the rotating motor. That was a slow process in the hot sun as the morning clouds burnt off and the tempature started to rise. Once the mast was lowered enough to work on the motor section they were able to release the motor and move the boom by hand. They stowed the elements, boom, and mast, and started to get the antenna prepped to go on the trailer. Another problem hit as the brakes for both of the leveling legs were frozen. We finally got one side to work, but the other side also presented another problem. The pin that keeps the stop in place was rusted and would not move. A cutting torch allowed them to cut a bolt to remove the electrical panel to get better access to the pin. Finally, things started go go as planned. They got the antenna raised and placed the it on the trailer. The day ended at 18:00 after it was moved to the parking area.

This ain't water! What a mess! Getting the bucket truck into place

Fixing the broken hose

It was truly a sight to see these huge antennas lowered and stowed and placed on the semi trailers. The "Wrecking Crew" proved that they are well versed with these antennas. W2USA sends our thanks to the "Crew" for their hard work and friendly disposition on such a huge project. We hope that the return trip back to Oregon was a safe one. It was a sad day to see these giants being taken down, but it is good to know that they are being put back into military service and will be given the TLC that they truly deserve. It will be hard to replace the effectiveness of the RLP's, but we will continue to survive on HF.

The picture gallery is being set up and there will be plenty of pictures added in the weeks to come.


The "Wrecking Crew" consisted of:
Larry Davidson
Les Paul
Ron Thrasher
Bill Hampson
Tony McAllister

They are from Oregon CSMS.

Other people that popped in for a visit:
Pat Keyport (W7PAK)
Chuck Verdon (N5KAV)
Gary Kohtala (W7NTF)


The Gallery Pages

Gallery - Page 1

Gallery - Page 2

Gallery - Page 3

Gallery - Page 4

Gallery - Page 5

Gallery - Page 6

Gallery - Page 7

Gallery - Page 8

Gallery - Page 9

Gallery - Page 10

Comments? E-mail me at n7tqz@juno.com.


Page started July 23, 1999
Updated: July 24, 1999


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