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Mobile Wilson 5k Water in Coil

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by ShadeTreeMechanic, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Today I happened to pull into a parking garage and unscrewed the coil / whip assembly. I immediately noticed that the coax connector on the magnet base was filled with water. I had heard of this happening on a 1k so I was on the look out for it.



    IMG_20180124_085443426.jpg

    I noticed that there were three large cracks in the top as if I had hit something with the antenna. I don't remember hitting anything at speed but maybe I did.

    IMG_20180124_092932534.jpg



    I am thinking that I can drill a hole in the bottom to let the water out and seal up the top. Has anyone had to do this on a 5k and if so is there anything to look out for?
     
    #1 ShadeTreeMechanic, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018

  2. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Could be stress cracks from age, solar degradation or over tightened.
     
    ShadeTreeMechanic likes this.
  3. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Unfortunately I have only had it on the truck for a little over a month. If I can't get this going then I will probably replace it with a bumper mount 102" whip.
     
  4. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    How long have you had the antenna? Or did it come with the truck?
     
  5. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    I just bought it for myself for Christmas. I don't know what the warranty covers, but I'm sure the shipping charges would be too high to make it worth it.
     
  6. Blackcat630

    Blackcat630 Sr. Member

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    Bummer. Unfortunately I've heard of this happening on the Barjan made Wilsons. I have 20+ yr old Wilson coils..never had a problem. Since yours is only a month old I would look into a warranty claim...might be able to just send back the coil for a replacement. If that doesn't work out I don't discount the use of a 1/4 wave whip but if you want to stick with a loaded antenna I recommend a sirio p5000.. good luck..73
     
    Jeff L, ShadeTreeMechanic and binrat like this.
  7. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    I used a pin vice to make a 0.030 inch hole at the end of each crack to keep them from growing. This is a trick I was taught by an old timer who was a helicopter mechanic.

    IMG_20180124_094759649.jpg

    Tiny hole made turning pin vice by hand. Didn't hit anything inside as I believe the coil is very near the outside circumference.
    IMG_20180124_094813286_TOP.jpg

    Drilled holes in the bottom with a #23 drill bit. ( My son had already gotten a hold of my 1/8" bit and now it is unusable. lol) Again not much to hit in this location. Maybe I just got lucky?

    IMG_20180124_094827615.jpg
     
    #7 ShadeTreeMechanic, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    undertaker likes this.
  8. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    I was looking for my tube of black RTV but all I could find was blue. Then I remembered this stuff. I have used this stuff to seal up transmission pans and it is super sticky like tar. I only covered the cracks so I can see if more develop. I left the bottom holes open just in case more water got in, it wouldn't fill up.
    IMG_20180124_095736468.jpg

    I gooped it up real good and took it inside to dry. I set it by the crock pot with a pork roast inside. It was able to get warm for a few hours to dry and dry out.
    IMG_20180124_100253015.jpg

    I dried the magnet base connection out with a heat gun. Then I gooped it up with some clear silicone dielectric grease. Normally I would just put it on the threads as I am unsure what it would do at high frequency. This time I put it directly in the hole for the center pin as well as the threads. I put it all back together and checked the VSWR. It checked normal so it seems everything is ok for now.
     
    #8 ShadeTreeMechanic, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    rabbiporkchop likes this.
  9. hairball-NWPA

    hairball-NWPA Member

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    I had this happen on a
    5k, took a small drill bit and drilled a hole, and used permatex to seal the cracks, its from rain or snow building up and it usually comes in where the stinger mount is threaded on, the water gets in coil, the freezes and cracks is what I found out. I was able to find a coil from a local but I still have it. because every once in awhile I would flip my grant xl over to calibrate then swr while driving and it would be over a 3 wavering. Locals said I would be breaking up...just a heads up, hope it works good still
     
    hotrod and ShadeTreeMechanic like this.
  10. hairball-NWPA

    hairball-NWPA Member

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    so I bought a stryker 5k (same thing) and put some permatex around the stinger and stinger mount and set screw holes, If you neet to retune just dig it out w a small awl
     
    ShadeTreeMechanic likes this.
  11. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Thanks for the tip. I will check the SWR while driving for sure.
     
    hairball-NWPA likes this.
  12. jessejamesdallas

    jessejamesdallas Sr. Member

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    Sealing up the coil is liable to make things worse! There's water already inside the coil which now has no way of evaporating out...Expect total failure within a few more months... Here's a pic of the inside after water had been inside for a while...Last Wilson 5000 I had only lasted about 6 months...would never buy another one.

    This one actually shorted-out from water.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    ShadeTreeMechanic likes this.
  13. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    I left the bottom holes open just in case. I will give an update if or when I run into more problems. Thanks for posting the pictures of yours. I am going to install my SWR meter so I can keep an eye on it. I might just get the sirio and quit playing with junk. Lol
     
    jessejamesdallas likes this.
  14. StrangeBrew

    StrangeBrew Well-Known Member

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    A couple small open holes at the bottom is what I would try, let us know how it works out.

    Not antenna related but on an 89 F150 I had one of the headlight housings would get water trapped inside, fog everything up and blow the halogen bulbs. I couldn't find where the water was getting in and any attempt I made at sealing everything up would fail, I finally decided to drill a couple 1/8" drain holes near the bottom and never had another problem with it.
     
    ShadeTreeMechanic likes this.
  15. ShadeTreeMechanic

    ShadeTreeMechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    My sons 97 F150 had the same headlight problem. We tried to seal it up too and ended up drilling two small holes in the bottom corners of the housing. lol
     

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