I have long admired the height of the tall floodlights at the grounds of my local sporting oval and wished that I could have some tall towers like those to hang my HF wire antennas from. And I am sure that most amateur radio operators with HF privileges and rigs often have similar daydreams.
Well, last week as I walked to the oval I was surprised to see a large truck with a big cherry-picker parked under one of the light stands, and the operator at the back of the truck was busy at the hydraulic controls as he guided the cage platform up underneath the lights so his workmate could do some maintenance on the gigantic floodlights.
I had always wondered exactly how tall those floodlights were, and the guy at the controls was kind enough to tell me that they are 30 meters high, which is 100 feet in anyone’s language.
The operator had been amused to see me taking photos with my smart phone, and I explained to him that I am a ham radio enthusiast and that we often string up wire antennas for the shortwave bands.
Then I pointed up at the cherry picker and, jokingly, told him “I want one of those!”
Which do you want, he asked, laughing, the tall floodlights or the cherry picker?
I told him it was the cherry-picker that I yearned for, as it would help me get my wire antennas high over the trees that surround my home.
The cherry-picker operator told me that this crane is not the largest one available. Apparently there are two sizes that are even larger. Just think of the possibilities there for getting your antennas way, way up in the sky … where NVIS coverage is changed to DX coverage, even on the lower bands.
Yes. I definitely want one of these for Christmas.
Where were these guys when I was trying to throw my wires up and over the trees?
Now, all I have to do is “borrow four” of those 100-foot poles that support the lights, and I can have a whale of a time hunting all the rare DX I seem to miss out on!
I wonder if the local council would mind too much?