Firstly HAPPY NEW YEAR ! Ok, thats that done 🙂
Its a bank holiday here in the UK and I made good use of the lovely bright sunny morning to get cracking with work on the tilt-base for the Nebula. It gets dark pretty quick here now in the afternoon so maximizng daylight hours and me not getting too tired really means making good use of the free-time.
I set about getting my tools together I would need to continue the build. I had left it at the point where I didnt have metal drill bits and the ones I had ordered were not SDS, so then had to get a SDS adaptor. After a couple of minutes of working out how the adaptor fits, i was able to drill the hole in the scaffold pole. Have to say the drill bits done an excellent job cutting through the scaffold pole like it was butter !
Having now successfully drilled the hole through the scaffold cut off i spent a few more minutes watching callums tilt base video (will post again below for reference) – the next step was to construct the base.
I was lucky enough to hold onto an old pallet that came with some goods i ordered on line, as there was no instruction or request to return it, I was able to use that. It had plenty of wood to cut down and move forward with the base construction. I already have a good electric handsaw, but its more designed for ‘flat’ cutting, so I purchased a Reciprocating Saw, HYCHIKA 18V Cordless Saw with 2x2000mAh – at £83.99 this is not ‘cheap’ but compared to other tools in the price range, it certianly is good value for money. I have ot say i was expecting it to be ‘will do the job’ but was really impressed that it came with two batteries (3/4 charged) and several wood and metal cutting blades. I can see myself using this tool alot on other projects, it certainly made light work of cutting up the bits i needed from the pallet !
Having cut the wood I wanted to get an idea of how ‘wide’ to make the base, so i popped around to see the Nebula mast and do my daily antenna inspection (yep, I check the knots/stakes are safe *every* day). Have to say the QTH antennas look quite seasonal.
Having got the Nebula radial plate i could then size up the base and fix it together. I have a number of electric drills, ironically the most expensive (Bosch) being utterly useless. I have a hand-held black and decker one and I added this electric screwdriver for £21.99 to the armoury of tools. Now for £21.99 you’d not really expect something that was particualy brilliant, in the video Callum uses a gorgeous Makita drill (envy) to get his screws in, but I have to say i was amazed that this little USB charged drill had plenty of torque to get the large screws into the wood. Only the last screw (which I think I put it in at an angle) required manual intervention.
Next I wanted to check i had got the holes aligned, and amazinly i had got them inline to about 50mm of each other. I did take a bit of a ‘wack’ with a lump-hammer to get the bolt thru, but sure enough, it went in !
Getting the rod out was interesting.. i used an old drill bit and hammered away, this did cause some slight damage to bolt, but nothing that wouldnt be seen or stop the build. I then went back to watch the you-tube video to work out the placement of the bolts and washers with the tube, making a sketch so i would get them on right.
At this point i could see that i have either drilled the whole too high up the pole or got a measurement wrong from the guesstimates made from the video. I was able to use the saw with a metal blade to shorten the scaffold pole so it would tilt fully.
I was now able to tilt the pole into position. I made some adjustments with the bolts and used the saw again to cut the excess off the bolt. By now my dog Sweety (yes hes a boy) was also after my attention and had been doing this for about 2-3 hours. I felt i had made really good progress and it was time to take Sweety for a walk and enjoy the afternoon with the missus 🙂
Having tidied up all the tools etc, I started to think about the next steps. I’m going to counter-sink the bolt-holes so they are not protruding and use some good all-weather protection for the wood. Next steps will be to secure the tilt-mechanisim to the larger pallet base, where by it should almost be ready to test out ! Hopefully the bright, but dry weather will continue over the weekend allow a few hours each day to get ever nearer completing and getting the Nebula up and operational !
Stay safe and 73
Alan / 2E0FWE