SteppIR's in cold and bad weather conditions.
Most of these comments have been gleaned from the USA, where weather tends to be more extreme than in much of Europe (but see the comments from GD3RFK).
Hello Mike, Please find enclosed pictures that I think you might like to see ! I'm sure you are aware of the ferocious storm force winds the British Isles have suffered over the last week ? Living on the Isle of Man we really got a battering. One thousand trees down, people still without power now a week later. Plus all sorts of other problems. We had officially recorded wind speeds of 112mph on the south of the island, and 98mph just four miles away from this QTH. In the early hours of Saturday morning the wind was gusting over 80mph from the South West, I had positioned my 3el SteppIR with the element tips into the wind. All was going well when the power went off due to tree damage.To make matters worse the wind direction changed to North West and increased to over 100mph. I couldn't then reposition the antenna to a safer direction. By now I was in such a state of nerves I couldn't watch any more as the elements appeared to be almost parallel with the boom. I retired to bed about 03.30hrs convinced I would never see the antenna again.When I arose sometime Sunday morning, I couldn't believe my eyes the SteppIR was still airborne. The only damage being that the boom had slipped 45 degrees. Since then I have added two more bolts , one through the boom and through the mast plate. and one through the rotator tube and through the mast plate. If you look carefully on the enclosed pictures you will see what I have done. The antenna is now back in service none the worse for wear. I will send Ron a copy of this E Mail at Vine so he will be kept up to date. I must congratulate you on a superb product. What other antenna would stand a hammering like this? Mike may I wish you and all at SteppIR, A very happy and peaceful 2005. 73, Doug. GD3RFK. (Taken from an email to Mike Mertel at the SteppIR factory)
Over the past couple of years, there have been severa lmessages asking how the SteppIR yagis fare in severe weather. Well, my 3-element SteppIR weathered a half-inch of ice just fine.Freezing rain began falling on December 22. In all, it accumulated about a half-inch on everything. My SteppIR yagi really drooped on the ends but no more than conventional aluminum yagis I've had in the past under similar circumstances. The ice finally melted on December 28 when the temps hit the mid-40s. The antenna still performs perfectly. I will send a couple of digital photos to the SteppIR folks in Washington.73, Dave, N4KZ, Frankfort, KY
I had at least 1/2 inch of ice on the SteppIR here in central Ohio. I have never seen so much ice and damaged trees everywhere! I did notice the swr was a little higher than normal but I could tune to a slightly higher frequency and the swr would be fine. Sending the pictures to Fluidmotion is a great idea.Today the ice is finally melting! Cheers, Joe, WB8HWF, Newark, Ohio
This is my first winter with the 4 el. steppir and we had unusual strong icing sofar. The resonance, measured as SWR, shifts down with ca. 100-150KHz on 20 meters and goes back to normal when temperatures are a few degrees over the freezing point. I did some modelling on a standard 4 el yagi assuming a dielectric constant of e=3.5 on a mixture of snow/ice at ca. -2C and with a thickness of a few mm equal distributed over all 4 elements. As a consequence, a shift of ca. 100-150KHz in resonance is observed using the EZNEC+4 software. Hence, this all makes perfectly sense. So, this is another feature that makes the steppir more favourable under icing conditions as a 'normal' monobander can't be retuned with icing conditions.73/Bram SM0FLY
.................here in this part of Colorado, we've been experiencing -20 F (-29C) temperatures lately, along with 3 feet of snow and some icing, and my SteppIR 4 element has had no problems coping. Works as designed, and I'm very pleased with it. The features are excellent, and it's a great addition to my shack! 73, Joe WD0M