[AMRadio] Antenna slip up mast

John Lawson jpl15 at panix.com
Sat Jul 30 13:57:40 EDT 2005

An installation using a Lowe's telescoping mast:

   I'm using one for my VHF/UHF stick (Diamond) - I dug a 4' deep 30" round 
hole (the hardest part of the Job) for the base. I got a 5' piece of 
pre-threaded 1 3/4"(IIRC - it has to just fit into the bottom section of 
the mast) pipe and a couple of bags of "quickcrete" - the fast-setting 
cement meant for fence posts and the like. I cut a foot off one end of the 
pipe, and put the remaining 4' in the hole, threaded end up, with 6" or so 
above grade, tacked it to a 2x4 to keep it vertical and plumb (used a 
plumb-bob: real hi-tech here). Dumped in the concrete mix, poured in the 
required amount of water (abt 3 gallons) and went off to find lunch. 
Returning from lunch, I got busy mounting the Antennae (and weather 
station senders, and a DishTV dish) to the mast. I also used some 
stainless steel hose clamps to 'assist' the rather cheap set-screw type 
mast section clamps.

   After a couple of hours, the concrete had set up completly. I threaded a 
standard 'pipe union' (female, or large portion) onto the top of the pipe. 
(Note to self: next time use lots of Loctite or similar - I had to drill 
and pin the threads later, to keep it from turning).

   I cut a slit across the bottom of the mast, forced the previously cut 
off end of the threaded pipe into the mast (threads down), then drilled 
and pinned the whole thing with a stainless 10-24 bolt and nut assembly, 
and finished it with a pair of large stainless hose clamps.

   Now, the 'female' side of the pipe union goes on the base-pipe, and the 
'male' section gets threaded onto the mast. (Note to self: next time, 
Loctite, dammit!)  The mast goes up in the air, in my case gets clamped to 
the second-story eaves with electrician's pipe clamps - et voila, c'est 

    When it comes time to take it down, for additions, repairs, etc - just 
loosen the top clamps and un-do the pipe union at the base - couldn't be 

   It has been up there going on three years now, through the worst that 
northwestern Nevada has to throw at it (80 mph + winds, t-storms, snow, 
rain, summer 110 degrees) and so far, no signs of needing any TLC.

   Whole cost (not counting antennas, etc) was about $75 and four or so 
hours.  Like I said, the worst part for me was digging the damn hole - 
Your Milage May Vary.


John  KB6SCO

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