It's crazy. I bought my daughter a "magic wand" for Christmas. It was expensive, for a piece of plastic shaped like a stick, but it was something she has begged for since she became obsessed with Harry Potter nearly three years ago. Today was the first day I really wished that the wand actually worked. It would have been nice to have shaken a wand, twitched a nose, or said a few words that weren't explicatives and the new multi-band dipole would have been stretched safely between two trees with no effort nor obstructions.
Unfortunately, that's not the way the world works, even though we'd all prefer it that way. Of course, without our sweat and hardships, we probably wouldn't appreciate a "job well done". Well, this job is, at the moment, a Job Half Done. *Although if I were a more "glass half full" type person, then it'd probably be three quarters of the way done* (If you came here for optimism, turn around and leave. Please visit my XOM's blog, which is much nicer in that category :D)
I guess we did learn a few things today. The Murphy's Laws of Putting up a Dipole:
1. No matter how much you plan, hope and pray, the wind will always top 20mph on 'Put-Up-Your-Antenna' Day.
2. Always have a backup plan. You will be defeated by something. In our case, the pine tree kicked our rears... Royally.
3. If you have a wooded area, the "straight shot" will always be through the saw briars. I was the lucky candidate to walk through it today. My arms, legs, and torso brandish the evidence to prove this.
4. Cutting down a tree that is in the way is not a great idea. You may successfully cut it down, but it will fall on your antenna, no matter how hard you try to get it to fall otherwise.
5. There is never an existing hole big enough for a PL-259. Solder it on AFTER you run the coax through an existing hole.
I'm sure there are more things that we learned today, but at this point (2:30am), I'm exhausted and tired of thinking about it. I'm just glad it works as well as it does, and I'm even more happy that it is up and this excursion is over.......... at least for today.
Until next time... Happy DX'ing!