Finding the Tower
Early in November of 1978, Bill Miller/WB3JWX learned (and reported it to the Club) of a tower on Jumpers Hole Road which was free to anyone who would take it down and haul it away. The tower was the property of the Chesapeake Distributing Co., distributors of Millers Beer. A group of members was hastily assembled to take down the tower.Russ/WA3IBE transported it to the clubhouse. On the last Saturday in November a crew, headed by Derek/AA3A gave the tower a shiny new coat of aluminum paint. Bill Miller/WB3JWX drove to Lexington Park, MD and
picked up 2000 feet of guy wire for the tower.
Putting Up the Tower
A crew, headed by Russ/WA3IBE installed concrete anchors at three points for the guy wires. Things were moving rapidly.The Club wanted the tower and antenna up before cold weather set in. On Saturday December 3, 1978, Bill/WB3JWX and group put up 60 feet of the tower, with guy wires every 30 feet. The following Saturday was a cold, breezy, sunny day with a temperature of 30 degrees. The Club assembled a large crew at the clubhouse to complete the other 60 feet of the tower.
Installation of the Antenna
Then the antenna was installed. Incidentally, the previous Saturday Bill/K3CN spotted in the clubhouse the old Station Master Antenna which had been left behind by the government. It was taken outside and tested by hooking it into a TR-7400 mobile rig. The results were startling. Stations as far away as Silver Spring and Rockville were heard and worked on simplex. Frederick repeaters were keyed up. The antenna worked so well that it was decided by the technical committee to mount it atop the tower instead of the Ringo At 3:30 PM on Saturday December 10th the Station Master Antenna was placed atop the tower and the hard-line coax was connected. A long section of RG-213 was borrowed from Jim/W3SCD and run from the top of the platform across to the 70-foot pole and connected to the repeater in the kitchen. Better signal reports came in immediately, along with greater coverage.
The Repeater House
On December 23, 1978, the repeater house took shape up on the platform at the base of the tower. Cement blocks were hauled up to the radar platform by pulley and Bill Miller/WB3JWX built the little house. By January 1979 it was completed, and the repeater was moved from the kitchen and installed in its new home.