Doug, N0NAS who has been a long time mostly remote collaborator on the tower trailer project gave up trying to convince me to not buy any more of them in March, 2021. The argument was “we don’t use them”- however they get used all the time. They have been to Hams in The Park (+ variants) at least eight times. And we deployed them at three days of public service events in 2021- the Pre-Loppet and Loppet Winter Festival, they were invited to five days of Super-Regional ski races also. And three or four went to Field Day 2020. We will be supporting around four field day sites in 2021.
Doug did give one piece of advice- if you are buying more at auction, at least don’t watch the bids. Decide on your price, make your bids and walk away. Well I followed him this time and bid on several lovely ex-Sunbelt units at a recent Ritchie Brothers auction in Fargo. I wanted a matching 2012 ish Terex RL4 to match JGG, which has a galvanized mast and racking setup for adding eight feet of 1.5 inch square tubing as a mast extension. These are adorable and the idea is you can deploy them in a pair, 6kw each. There was a recent report of a Florida weather exercise- the communications center diesel broke down- not us thank you.
There were some battered ones and even a parts-only one- I was sure to get that one at the opening $700-800 prices. At the last minute I remembered the US Coast Guard Auxiliary wanted one to potentially support a repeater, which needed interior space. They had some Magnum 3060Ks- one said “no response when key was turned” This was 92% a dead battery.
I went to the auto parts store to get a Group 24 deep cycle battery for trailer #12, and my in box beeped with lost bids. I got home and logged into my account- the RL4s went for a lot. I did get the broken 4060 at minimum bid. Up at Sunbelt there was a row of them- it felt like a sub-lease return possibly. Back home, the fit and finish was nice on the Magnum. Stainless hinges were a nice touch. The battery showed 4 volts. I dropped in the new battery, checked the oil and turned the key- it started right up, 120 volts AC on both generator windings.