This article is written from the perspective of a ham radio operator. It can be applied to any form of antenna installation. In fact, it can be applied to just about any project. Follow along. Read the entire article. You will get the idea by the end of the article!
I recently started on a ham radio antenna installation project. After selecting the make and model of antenna I wanted I realized I needed to dig a large hole for the antenna mounting platform. My wife suggested that I rent a tool – a very large motorized auger in this instance – to speed the hole digging process. We went to the local rental store and got personal instructions on how to use the tool. When we got it home we soon realized that something was wrong. We could not properly set-up the tool because of the way it was attached to the trailer. After a quick inspection I decided that the user manual would be a great thing to have. That user manual was not supplied to us by the rental company. Since it was a Sunday afternoon the rental company was now closed. What to do? What to do?
One of us decided that I should look for the manual on the internet. Enter resource number one. I did a quick Google search using the exact make and model of auger and quickly found several pages of resources. One was the electronic copy of the user manual from the manufacturer’s website. Unfortunately the user manual did not solve the problem I had with the trailer. Enter resource number two. In the Google search results there were several YouTube videos involving the use of the specific auger I had rented. One of the videos was from ANOTHER rental company and showed me what I needed to know. It showed me that I needed to remove part of the trailer and how to do it. With that advice I was quickly able to get the auger working on digging the hole we needed.
For this ham radio antenna installation project I also did a quick Google search for ham radio equipment forums. I was able to find several such as www.eHam.net and www.QRZ.com. On these forums I was able to post questions that I had about my project. Through the power of the internet I quickly received a good number of informative posts with tips and cautions for my ham radio installation project. These tips and cautions were from people who had done the same project and had time to evaluate the results of their actions. The advice was very nice to have.
I believe that any project can use this same methodology to find tips, advice and reference material for their use. Use the power of the internet to research your project before you start and during you project. I am confident that doing so will provide many of the same benefits that it provided for my ham radio antenna project!