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Non conductive masts. What do you use?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Antennas' started by Mudfoot, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    Frequently, you hear Elmer's always recommending the use of a non conductive mast with vertical antennas. Also, don't run the coax forward and down the mast.

    I agree with both statements and my analizer agrees. Just about every manufacturer of antennas, though don't mention this. Their instructions just mention the "mast" and usually depict the coax running forward and down the mast.

    I think I read one manufacturer mention using a non conductive mast. I've read a few that said, if using a "conductive" mast, don't let it stick up past the boom.

    Well, why doesn't anyone make and sell these "non conductive" masts. I think it has something to do with lawyers. I'm just looking for other options beside my fiberglass shovel handle. I've been looking for a Douglas Fir Closet rod. Most common, are 1-7/8", but I can't find any around here. Found one online, but shipping is prohibitive. I've also thought about using a 4' section of surplus military antenna mast. They also use them to erect cammo nets over equipment and positions. I believe they are 2" and stout.

    I thought about carbon fiber pipe. The specimens I found online were sweet, but $$$$. My intended purposes for such a mast are only for 6, 2 and 440.

    If anyone has something better, or an idea, I'd sure like to compile a list of things that would work.


     
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  2. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Max Gain Systems has fibreglass tubing of various sizes. You could get a couple pieces that telescope inside each other and epoxy them to increase the wall thickness. Not real cheap however.

    https://mgs4u.com/telescoping-fiberglass-tube-and-rod-price-list-2/

    Another possibility is old vaulting poles.
     
  3. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    Like a pole vaulting pole? I like the gluing idea.
     
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  4. midnight special

    midnight special Well-Known Member

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    i used the bottom section from a realistic crossbow fiberglass antenna for my mast on 2 meter and 70 cm verticle beams,, works fine for me,,, maybe look for old a99 imax 2000 for the bottom sections,,,,,
     
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  5. 6meter

    6meter Well-Known Member

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    Of the options mentioned the military surplus sections are probably the most practical considering price and availability.

    All of my yagi's are mounted horizontal so haven't had a project like your dual polarity 2 meter antenna.
     
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  6. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker Sr. Member

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    You are not going to notice any measurable difference between a conductive and a non conductive mast.

    Something to think about......

    is this antenna DC grounded?
    most vhf/uhf antennas are.
     
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  7. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Makes sense,

    If the coax was choked off at the feed point, it shouldn't make a difference after that.
     
  8. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    My analyzer disagrees. Which mast will yield the most effective pattern, the conductive or non conductive mast? I can bond my shield at shack entrance. I run my coax out the back of the yagi.
     
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  9. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
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    My analyzer would agree as well. I tried various configurations with my portable vhf yagi. Coax out the back produced the lowest results.
    On a side note. Never use a carbon fibre collapsible fish pole for a mast for a vhf EDZ. SWR sky rocketed to over 5:1 on analyzer.
     
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  10. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    This antenna definitely does not like the coax anywhere in front of the DE's. My other end mounted dual band yagi didn't like it either. My fiberglass mast certainly calmed things down and made tuning easier.
     
  11. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    I use a 43 ft fiberglass telescoping mast by MGS for my ZS3BKW wire antenna.

    They're not cheap but are well constructed and have heavy duty thumb locking levers for each section. MFJ sells a similar one. I wouldn't waste your time with the cheaper ones that use hose clamps.

    They so have shorter lengths available.

    https://mgs4u.com/product/mk-6-series-43-3ft-masts/
     
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  12. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    I've been eyeballing something like that for camping. I was wondering about the MFJ ones.
     
  13. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    I like Captain Kilowatts idea of the vaulting poles. Those things have to be strong.
     
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  14. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
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    I'm a portable op for a few years now. SOTA or camping, field day type of thing. I use a SOTA beams 10 mr mast shortened some for most days. But on accassion, a 9' avalanche probe as a mast with a inverted 20 mr dipole yields good results. If I'm using the avi probe you know there is very high winds, and no soil at the summit.
     
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  15. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot Sr. Member

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    What's the highest elevation you been? I don't have any true summits in Ohio. I've wanted to go to the highest elevation in Ohio one of these days, be best I can do. Uncle Sam sent me to a one week conference in Colorado Springs. I even scored a rental van. I'd skip out a few times and drive up on Pikes Peak. All I had with me was an old HT. I was able to make some nice contacts. Always thought it'd be cool to live up there. Put me a big beam up and "get down".
     
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