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Challenger Restoration Project

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  • crivil64
    Hi everyone, I am Chris, VE2VAE, from Montreal area in Quebec, Canada. I joined this group a few weeks ago, and this is my first message. Well, I just acquired
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 20, 2013
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      Hi everyone,

      I am Chris, VE2VAE, from Montreal area in Quebec, Canada.
      I joined this group a few weeks ago, and this is my first message.

      Well, I just acquired an old Challenger Dx, that was knock down, many years ago, by a severe ice storm : the kind we have over here.

      Now, I did a first inspection of the parts, missing or broken, and well, I am now wondering if it worth it or not to restore it.

      I just created a photo album, so you can see some pictures of it. It is in the photo album : VE2VAE - Challenger Restoration project.

      It is very sad to see the kind of damaged that an ice storm can do on an antenna, particularly when it had no protection, no guying cables.

      So, if I am going thru the restoration project, I plan to put it on an homemade tiltable base. So, at anytime, it could be lowered in a minute.


      So, here is what I have discovered.

      1- The Base section is broken (and missing) and a part of it is still inside the lower section : Not a big thing to fix.

      2- Wires, Coax and Capacitor unit need to be replaced : Alrigth. Here is the big part : here goes a hundred dollars.

      3- Bended lower section : hum... feasible but... lets take time to think about the best way to do it.
      There is also other tuning rods that are not so straigth anymore.

      4- Needs a good clean-up : not a problem : a Scotch-Brite pad and soapy water should do the job.

      5- The Top tuning rod is missing about a feet in length. It broke rigth at the retaining screw hole. So, it takes a new one.


      Well... this is it.


      Now, it would probably cost me approximately $150 to $200 to restore it. But it migth then works as a new one ($350).

      It is more for the pleasure of bringning something back to life again. Imagine the proudness I will have looking at it, standing in the sun, or under a starry nigth, and on all the QSO's I will made whit that re-borned Challenger. :-)

      So, what do you think ? Does it worth the restoration ? Any suggestions to fix that bended lower section ?

      I am thinking that, aluminium is aluminium. Give it a nice clean-up, and it will shine.
      After probably 20 years, it surely deserves a new coax and wiring, anyway.
      So, what are your experiences about a project like that ?


      Thanks.

      Chris, VE2VAE
    • Bill Grimwood
      Call or write GAP and see what they would charge for the parts. I rebuilt one in similar condition a few years ago for about $100.00. Bill, W4WEG From:
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 22, 2013
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        Call or write GAP and see what they would charge for the parts. I rebuilt
        one in similar condition a few years ago for about $100.00.



        Bill, W4WEG



        From: GapAntennas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GapAntennas@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of crivil64
        Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:05 PM
        To: GapAntennas@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [GapAntennas] Challenger Restoration Project





        Hi everyone,

        I am Chris, VE2VAE, from Montreal area in Quebec, Canada.
        I joined this group a few weeks ago, and this is my first message.

        Well, I just acquired an old Challenger Dx, that was knock down, many years
        ago, by a severe ice storm : the kind we have over here.

        Now, I did a first inspection of the parts, missing or broken, and well, I
        am now wondering if it worth it or not to restore it.

        I just created a photo album, so you can see some pictures of it. It is in
        the photo album : VE2VAE - Challenger Restoration project.

        It is very sad to see the kind of damaged that an ice storm can do on an
        antenna, particularly when it had no protection, no guying cables.

        So, if I am going thru the restoration project, I plan to put it on an
        homemade tiltable base. So, at anytime, it could be lowered in a minute.

        So, here is what I have discovered.

        1- The Base section is broken (and missing) and a part of it is still inside
        the lower section : Not a big thing to fix.

        2- Wires, Coax and Capacitor unit need to be replaced : Alrigth. Here is the
        big part : here goes a hundred dollars.

        3- Bended lower section : hum... feasible but... lets take time to think
        about the best way to do it.
        There is also other tuning rods that are not so straigth anymore.

        4- Needs a good clean-up : not a problem : a Scotch-Brite pad and soapy
        water should do the job.

        5- The Top tuning rod is missing about a feet in length. It broke rigth at
        the retaining screw hole. So, it takes a new one.

        Well... this is it.

        Now, it would probably cost me approximately $150 to $200 to restore it. But
        it migth then works as a new one ($350).

        It is more for the pleasure of bringning something back to life again.
        Imagine the proudness I will have looking at it, standing in the sun, or
        under a starry nigth, and on all the QSO's I will made whit that re-borned
        Challenger. :-)

        So, what do you think ? Does it worth the restoration ? Any suggestions to
        fix that bended lower section ?

        I am thinking that, aluminium is aluminium. Give it a nice clean-up, and it
        will shine.
        After probably 20 years, it surely deserves a new coax and wiring, anyway.
        So, what are your experiences about a project like that ?

        Thanks.

        Chris, VE2VAE





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • ClarenceC
        Chris I ve heard of several hams who have done this same thing. A call to GAP will help you understand the cost (they are always happy to send parts/supplies)
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 22, 2013
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          Chris

          I've heard of several hams who have done this same thing. A call to GAP will help you understand the cost (they are always happy to send parts/supplies) and they can offer great advise about how to do it. Once you rebuild the antenna it really should work as good as new.

          While you are at it, make sure to check the capacitor at the top of the antenna. It determines your 80 meter frequency and if you need one in another part of the band GAP has them.

          As an aside, if these antennas are properly guyed, they should survive anything. A F4 tornado passed just north of the small town I live in and 150 feet away from my antenna my next door neighbor had an ash tree uproot and land on her garage. The antenna survived unharmed.

          Good luck, 73 de WB0FDJ, DOC

          --- In GapAntennas@yahoogroups.com, "crivil64" <christianvillemaire@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi everyone,
          >
          > I am Chris, VE2VAE, from Montreal area in Quebec, Canada.
          > I joined this group a few weeks ago, and this is my first message.
          >
          > Well, I just acquired an old Challenger Dx, that was knock down, many years ago, by a severe ice storm : the kind we have over here.
          >
          > Now, I did a first inspection of the parts, missing or broken, and well, I am now wondering if it worth it or not to restore it.
          >
          > I just created a photo album, so you can see some pictures of it. It is in the photo album : VE2VAE - Challenger Restoration project.
          >
          > It is very sad to see the kind of damaged that an ice storm can do on an antenna, particularly when it had no protection, no guying cables.
          >
          > So, if I am going thru the restoration project, I plan to put it on an homemade tiltable base. So, at anytime, it could be lowered in a minute.
          >
          >
          > So, here is what I have discovered.
          >
          > 1- The Base section is broken (and missing) and a part of it is still inside the lower section : Not a big thing to fix.
          >
          > 2- Wires, Coax and Capacitor unit need to be replaced : Alrigth. Here is the big part : here goes a hundred dollars.
          >
          > 3- Bended lower section : hum... feasible but... lets take time to think about the best way to do it.
          > There is also other tuning rods that are not so straigth anymore.
          >
          > 4- Needs a good clean-up : not a problem : a Scotch-Brite pad and soapy water should do the job.
          >
          > 5- The Top tuning rod is missing about a feet in length. It broke rigth at the retaining screw hole. So, it takes a new one.
          >
          >
          > Well... this is it.
          >
          >
          > Now, it would probably cost me approximately $150 to $200 to restore it. But it migth then works as a new one ($350).
          >
          > It is more for the pleasure of bringning something back to life again. Imagine the proudness I will have looking at it, standing in the sun, or under a starry nigth, and on all the QSO's I will made whit that re-borned Challenger. :-)
          >
          > So, what do you think ? Does it worth the restoration ? Any suggestions to fix that bended lower section ?
          >
          > I am thinking that, aluminium is aluminium. Give it a nice clean-up, and it will shine.
          > After probably 20 years, it surely deserves a new coax and wiring, anyway.
          > So, what are your experiences about a project like that ?
          >
          >
          > Thanks.
          >
          > Chris, VE2VAE
          >
        • Leon Robinson
          When I got my Challenger it was missing the short tuning rod, checked around found it is about 2 feet long, went to the local hardware store got a piece of
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 22, 2013
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            When I got my Challenger it was missing the short tuning rod, checked around
            found it is about 2 feet long, went to the local hardware store got a piece of
            copper tubing about 4 inches longer, to allow for adjustment.

            Leon Robinson    K5JLR

            Political Correctness is a Political Disease.

            --- On Wed, 3/20/13, crivil64 <christianvillemaire@...> wrote:

            From: crivil64 <christianvillemaire@...>
            Subject: [GapAntennas] Challenger Restoration Project
            To: GapAntennas@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 11:05 PM
















             









            Hi everyone,



            I am Chris, VE2VAE, from Montreal area in Quebec, Canada.

            I joined this group a few weeks ago, and this is my first message.



            Well, I just acquired an old Challenger Dx, that was knock down, many years ago, by a severe ice storm : the kind we have over here.



            Now, I did a first inspection of the parts, missing or broken, and well, I am now wondering if it worth it or not to restore it.



            I just created a photo album, so you can see some pictures of it. It is in the photo album : VE2VAE - Challenger Restoration project.



            It is very sad to see the kind of damaged that an ice storm can do on an antenna, particularly when it had no protection, no guying cables.



            So, if I am going thru the restoration project, I plan to put it on an homemade tiltable base. So, at anytime, it could be lowered in a minute.



            So, here is what I have discovered.



            1- The Base section is broken (and missing) and a part of it is still inside the lower section : Not a big thing to fix.



            2- Wires, Coax and Capacitor unit need to be replaced : Alrigth. Here is the big part : here goes a hundred dollars.



            3- Bended lower section : hum... feasible but... lets take time to think about the best way to do it.

            There is also other tuning rods that are not so straigth anymore.



            4- Needs a good clean-up : not a problem : a Scotch-Brite pad and soapy water should do the job.



            5- The Top tuning rod is missing about a feet in length. It broke rigth at the retaining screw hole. So, it takes a new one.



            Well... this is it.



            Now, it would probably cost me approximately $150 to $200 to restore it. But it migth then works as a new one ($350).



            It is more for the pleasure of bringning something back to life again. Imagine the proudness I will have looking at it, standing in the sun, or under a starry nigth, and on all the QSO's I will made whit that re-borned Challenger. :-)



            So, what do you think ? Does it worth the restoration ? Any suggestions to fix that bended lower section ?



            I am thinking that, aluminium is aluminium. Give it a nice clean-up, and it will shine.

            After probably 20 years, it surely deserves a new coax and wiring, anyway.

            So, what are your experiences about a project like that ?



            Thanks.



            Chris, VE2VAE



























            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ronald Schiszler
            Chris. I have rebuilt mine about 4 times from wind damage. It was still cheaper to rebuild than buying new. Check with Gap to see if it is worth it with the
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 22, 2013
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              Chris. I have rebuilt mine about 4 times from wind damage. It was still cheaper to rebuild than buying new. Check with Gap to see if it is worth it with the damage you have and replacement costs. I now have it guide in 3 locations with 4 guys at each.
              Ron KD6QCT




              ________________________________
              From: crivil64 <christianvillemaire@...>
              To: GapAntennas@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 9:05 PM
              Subject: [GapAntennas] Challenger Restoration Project


               
              Hi everyone,

              I am Chris, VE2VAE, from Montreal area in Quebec, Canada.
              I joined this group a few weeks ago, and this is my first message.

              Well, I just acquired an old Challenger Dx, that was knock down, many years ago, by a severe ice storm : the kind we have over here.

              Now, I did a first inspection of the parts, missing or broken, and well, I am now wondering if it worth it or not to restore it.

              I just created a photo album, so you can see some pictures of it. It is in the photo album : VE2VAE - Challenger Restoration project.

              It is very sad to see the kind of damaged that an ice storm can do on an antenna, particularly when it had no protection, no guying cables.

              So, if I am going thru the restoration project, I plan to put it on an homemade tiltable base. So, at anytime, it could be lowered in a minute.

              So, here is what I have discovered.

              1- The Base section is broken (and missing) and a part of it is still inside the lower section : Not a big thing to fix.

              2- Wires, Coax and Capacitor unit need to be replaced : Alrigth. Here is the big part : here goes a hundred dollars.

              3- Bended lower section : hum... feasible but... lets take time to think about the best way to do it.
              There is also other tuning rods that are not so straigth anymore.

              4- Needs a good clean-up : not a problem : a Scotch-Brite pad and soapy water should do the job.

              5- The Top tuning rod is missing about a feet in length. It broke rigth at the retaining screw hole. So, it takes a new one.

              Well... this is it.

              Now, it would probably cost me approximately $150 to $200 to restore it. But it migth then works as a new one ($350).

              It is more for the pleasure of bringning something back to life again. Imagine the proudness I will have looking at it, standing in the sun, or under a starry nigth, and on all the QSO's I will made whit that re-borned Challenger. :-)

              So, what do you think ? Does it worth the restoration ? Any suggestions to fix that bended lower section ?

              I am thinking that, aluminium is aluminium. Give it a nice clean-up, and it will shine.
              After probably 20 years, it surely deserves a new coax and wiring, anyway.
              So, what are your experiences about a project like that ?

              Thanks.

              Chris, VE2VAE




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • toyota mdt tech
              ... I have my own home made yilt over mast which is superior to design than the one they offer. I also have mine guy d with 3 guys, tied in right above the
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 22, 2013
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                On 3/22/2013 5:04 PM, Ronald Schiszler wrote:
                > Chris. I have rebuilt mine about 4 times from wind damage. It was still
                > cheaper to rebuild than buying new. Check with Gap to see if it is worth
                > it with the damage you have and replacement costs. I now have it guide
                > in 3 locations with 4 guys at each.
                > Ron KD6QCT


                I have my own home made yilt over mast which is superior to design than
                the one they offer. I also have mine guy'd with 3 guys, tied in right
                above the "GAP" or insulator section on the aluminum mast section. The
                antenna is real rigid. It should do fine on ice build up also. Except
                the 40 meter loop. But that is low enough, I can keep ice to a minimum.

                Where are you guys tying your guy's at on the antenna? I speak of the
                Titan DX88

                Thanks.

                PS, love my GAP Titan.

                73
              • crivil64
                Thanks everyone for your kind words and support. ;-) Yes, I already got an answer form Rich (Gap). Geee, you are rigth about customer support and service. See,
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 23, 2013
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                  Thanks everyone for your kind words and support. ;-)

                  Yes, I already got an answer form Rich (Gap). Geee, you are rigth about customer support and service.

                  See, I am looking at the pile of twisted tubes that i brough home, and I have to admit, it doesn't look too much like a top antenna for now.
                  And for a while, I was wondering if I had make the good move to bougth that thing.

                  But I just tried to clean a piece of it, to see what does it look like underneat the grey-white oxydation. And... yes... the aluminium is still shinining like a miror. Very glad to see that.

                  So a good cleaning will already help to give that thing a better look. Rich recommend that I use a metal cleaner product: there is a nice one called "NEVR-DULL" that we can buy almost anywhere. It is supposed to make wonders. And it is much smoother, on the aluminium finish, than what an iron wool can be.

                  My second step, will be to straighten up those tubes. I already got some ideas on how to do that. I will build a kind of simple tool : I just need 4 planks, 8 foot long, screwed togheter, and I will leave a small empty space at the center : to form a tunnel approximately 1 inch and half wide and 1 inch and half high, and 8 foot long.

                  So, my aluminium tube will go inside that little tunel, and any slight bent will show up when the tube will refuse to go more deep.
                  Well... I will have to show a picture of what I mean. But I am confident that I will be able to straight them up with this method.
                  By rotating the tube, and prying it the way it needs, it will be easy to make small corections until it becomes perfectly straigth. At the end of the process, the tube will go freely inside all the tunel, and will be able to rotate inside, as a proof that it is now perfectly straigth.

                  For the biggest bent, the one tube that as almost a 45 degres bent, a friend told me that it helps to fill the tube with sand, with a cap on each end, before you try to straight it up. The sand inside helps the tube to take its initial cylindrical form as you straighting it.

                  Anyway. All this to say, that when all the tubes will be straight and shiny, almost like new ones, it will be more encouraging, and all that will be needed then, will be new coax, and wiring.

                  I'll keep you posted, and should meet you on the air during the summer. ;-)

                  Chris, VE2VAE
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