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6BTV Yearly Maintenance

Posted by on September 15, 2023



I do a yearly maintenance on my 6BTV, just before Winter starts each year.  Why?  It rains in Oregon, and it rains, and it rains…  It rains all winter.  Not hard, just a constant drizzle…  I dislike working in the rain, so once a year in August, or early September, I bring down the 6BTV, and look things over…  I thought I might share what I do for the next person…

  1. Check SWR on all bands, and write resonant frequency and SWR down for each band, see supplied chart.
  2. Take a photograph of the antenna from a distance, showing the entire antenna.
  3. Lay over antenna.
  4. Mark position of all traps, and joints with sharpie. Relabel traps if existing labels are faded.
  5. Photograph all traps, (top and bottom), loading coils, (top and bottom), , and coax connection, (front and rear) for next year.
  6. Compare last year’s photos, to the current state of the loading coil. Has the shrink tubing used by Nu-Tronics pulled away from the top and/or bottom of the RM80 coil? If so, treat the top and bottom for water intrusion, or replace RM-80.
  7. If you have 17 or 12 meter addons see section below.
  8. Look at the trap caps for each trap. Looking for cracks, or damage. If damaged, replace.
  9. Check each trap cap to be sure it is full seated against the top of each trap.
  10. Grasp each trap and gently try and rotate it. If it rotates, tighten connections.
  11. Check all connections for tightness. If loose, tighten, do not over tighten.
  12. Take photograph of the feedpoint coax connection for next year.
  13. Compare the photograph of the feedpoint from last year with the current state of the feedpoint. Does it need to be re-weatherproofed? If so, re-weatherproof it, after checking tightness of coax fitting.
  14. Inspect coax leaving antenna for issues.
  15. Stand antenna back up, and check to be sure all connections on the mount are tight.
  16. Check grounding, and lightening protection, to insure sure your installation meets code.
  17. Recheck SWR on all bands, and write down for next year.

If you have 17 and/or 12 meter add on kits:

  1. Photograph both the 17 and 12 meter top sections for next year.
  2. Photograph both the 17 and 12 meter bottom sections for next year.
  3. Compare the photographs of last year, with the current state of the top, and bottom sections, looking for issues.
  4. Check tightness of all screw connections, of top and bottom sections, do not over tighten.
  5. Check mast mountings of stand off holders, for tightness.
  6. Were the wires still tight when the antenna was standing up?
  7. Return to step 8 above.

Date of test: ____________

Band Test Frequency SWR

80 ______________ _____

40 ______________ _____

30 ______________ _____

20 ______________ _____

17 ______________ _____

12 ______________ _____

10 ______________ _____


Download this checklist as a PDF here.

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