Getting Ready for the SAL-30

After coming home Friday to find a box of antenna parts from Array Solutions on my front porch, the heavens opened up, and rained out any antenna construction plans I may have had. The good news is that I’ll be ready to go on Saturday, armed with everything I’ll need to get the new and improved SAL-30 up in the air by sunset.*

500 foot spool of 12 gauge wire: CHECK! The standard kit comes with 24 gauge, but I used 12 gauge when I put it up originally, so I’m sticking with it. unlike the loops on the SAL-20, which were constructed with 65 feet of wire each, the SAL-30 will be using a whopping 95 feet for each loop. That’s a lot of wire!

Replacement mast poles: CHECK! Since the SAL series of antennas requires a fiberglass mast, and will not work with aluminum, I bought replacements for the ones Fido destroyed. I should have an extra section when I’m done.

Guy rope and tensioners: CHECK! The SAL-30 kit came with enough guy rope for two levels of guys for the mast, as well as enough to support the loops itself. they also included eight tensioners, which is handy as well. Let’s hope I don’t screw up with the cuts.

New support stakes: CHECK! I decided to beef up the stakes I was using with more heavy duty supports.

Cable ties: CHECK! Cable ties are the duct tape of amateur radio. They’ll come in handy during the initial construction phase.

Heatshrink tubing, and insulators: CHECK! Heatshrink tubing is a Godsend to HAMs, almost as useful as cable ties for antenna projects. I actually have dogbone insulators for this job, although the makeshift PVC pipe sections I used for the SAL-20 worked just fine.

Soldering gun and solder: CHECK! Actually, I better double check this when I get home. i might need to get another tip for the Weller.

Nice weather: CHECK? If the forecasters are to be believed, we are supposed to be in the seventies this Saturday, with a 40% chance of afternoon thunderstorms. I’m not crazy about the 19 mph wind, but well, welcome to Iowa.

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Dude, you go ahead and get the antenna up. I’ll stay here and guard the couch. could you hand me the TV remote before you go please?

So the stage is set, and I am very anxious to see if this new antenna can hear. If I don’t screw anything up, and the thunderstorms stay away until Saturday night, I should be ready to put this new antenna through its paces early next week.

Now if my helper was as enthused about this project as I am.

*I say this knowing full well that it is not true. As with all of my projects, I am certain there will be at least one trip to the hardware store for things I didn’t anticipate, I just don’t know what those things are yet. It would also be a good idea to mow the lawn before getting this beast up, as it will make my life easier in the long run. Hopefully I can get that done before Saturday.

Author: Timbo

Just another guy exposed to too a lethal dose of bank account draining RF at a tender age.

2 thoughts on “Getting Ready for the SAL-30”

  1. Timbo – good luck with the SAL-30! It should provide improved signal to noise performance below 6 MHz if you are in a quiet area compared to the SAL-20. I expect you will have less directional pattern above 10 MHz using the dimensions provided in the manual.

    As you probably know, the coupler position and delay line length can be adjusted for maximum forward gain (moving couplers further from the mast and longer delay line) or maximum RDF (moving couplers on the mast side of center and using a shorter delay line). The maximum RDF position has less forward gain but does increase the upper directional pattern frequency.

    1. Hi Mark,

      The SAL-30 has been up for a little less than a week now, so I am still in the adjustment phase. So far though, it definitely seems to hear better below 7 MHz than the 20, but falls off sharper and faster on the higher frequencies. In other words, it works as advertised! The SAL-30 has picked up Radio Candip on 5066.4 a couple of times this last week, pulling it up above the noise floor, while it remains mired in the mud on the long wire. It’s always kind of cool to hear something that most people cannot. :)

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