View Full Version : Homemade fold over mast

01-15-2008, 04:26 AM
I have been wanting to make some type of a fold over tower or mast and I keep going back to these two sites


They are almost the very same one ..... The design looks sound but would love to hear fom someone who has made one......
Around here I can get about all of the tubular tower I want and I keep thinking about a foldover bracket but I keep going back to the mast I have linked here.



01-15-2008, 04:55 AM
I have a friend who has one very similar to these and he loves it,, it seems to be very solid, it had been up about 7 or 8 years..

I think his are about 3 inch pipe for the bottom part, and the lower portion of the mast.. He has a boat trailer winch mounted on it to raise and lower it..

01-15-2008, 05:06 AM

Do you know how tall his is?

01-15-2008, 05:06 AM
Many years ago I scrounged a 50-foot flagpole from a school that was being demolished. We has to get a guy with a flatbed truck to deliver it. Mounted it between 2 i-beams(also scrounged) set in cement to form a fork mount. Big carriage bolts - one at the bottom as a fulcrum, another to pin the thing. Used a boat winch to raise and lower it. Very strong! I moved away 30 years ago, and I think the thing is still there!

01-15-2008, 05:09 AM
Quote[/b] (n1kon @ Jan. 15 2008,00:06)]WA4TM,

# #Do you know how tall his is?
Seems like I remember it being somewhere around 32 to 35 ft.. I am not 100% on that,, sorry

01-15-2008, 02:30 PM
Quote[/b] ]They are almost the very same one ..... The design looks sound but would love to hear fom someone who has made one......

Jerry -

The reason that these 2 designs look identical is that they are based on the same ARRL books (ARRL Antenna Handbook and ARRL Handbook) from the 1960s and 1970s -- pick almost any year in that period.

The ARRL featured 2 designs using 2x3 or 2x4 dimensional lumber. #One was similar to the metal tube (pipe) photos you referenced. #The other was an "A frame" base.

Charles Penniger, Penniger Radio fabricates an aluminum verison that has the advantage of being lightweight and very sturdy. #That is an advantage for portable and fixed station usage. #He uses a heavy wall high strength aluminum alloy.

Mast tubing

You may have a local aluminum supplier/distributor -- if you wish to fabricate your own. #Charles has worked in that industry for a number of years -- so he knows the supplier network and can fabricate or machine to specific requirements.


01-15-2008, 03:27 PM
I will take a look at the site later today


01-15-2008, 06:38 PM
Here is a Crank-up Tilt-over Tower:


01-15-2008, 06:59 PM
I've been admiring a number of these recently. It looks like at one time somebody was building these as TV antenna masts in the St. Cloud, MN area. I have noticed several of them in various parts of town. They're actually rather attractive, and should make a nice 'flagpole' for those who need to disguise antennas.

01-15-2008, 07:52 PM
I have a foldover mast that I made out of 1" black iron pipe. It folds over nicely but the first thing I learned was the the ultimate height you could get with screw-together sections of pipe is about 30". Anything longer will break at the threaded part when you fold it over. I had to put a 10" piece of aluminum on top to get enough height. I welded the bottom and top sections to "C" channel pieces which are bolted together. The design in the first post would be easier to lift than mine is.

01-15-2008, 10:36 PM
A lot depends on what you intend to put on the top. I have a smaller vertical mast support which is not concreted into the ground, the base is made of timber and weighted with chunks of steel and will support a Cushcraft R7. The antenna and mast can be lowered and dismantled and the support base removed in five minutes.


01-15-2008, 10:56 PM
I have a homemade tiltover mast. It is 4" square iron tubing that is 12' high. Attached to this is 2 1/2" iron pipe that tilts from the square mast a 1 foot below the top. The iron pipe is 22' long giving me a height above ground 30'. It has been in operation for 20 some years. It uses a boat winch for lowering and raising.

01-16-2008, 12:52 AM
The ARRL antenna book from the early 60's had the same basic design as that shown.

01-16-2008, 04:13 AM
What I plan to put on it might change but I have stacked 6m and 2m loops I plan to put on it and at the top I would like to use it to test antennas #and first one would be a 432 quagi with a small TV antenna rotor.....Really depends on what I end up making or buying..... I have been in contact with Amercian Tower and they have a fold over tower and at 40' when all said and done would be around 500 .. but it has to be guyed or attached and I want a free standing #but to make the one I linked would run me around 300 plus asking for help and my time plus someone elses time...

01-16-2008, 07:05 PM
One of the original two links (in the first post for this thread) gets you to a fold-over mast built by Ron Bertato, who owns & operates a business in Canada called Scanner Stand Man.

Ron is not a ham, but was tipped to this thread by a ham (guilty, yer honor). He was happy to learn that hams are interested in his fold-over mast, but surprised that it resembles a design published long ago in the ARRL Handbook. A flag pole at an old fire hall "sparked" his design.

If you explored Ron's web site, then you may have found a link to even more detailed pictures of his mast, along with a concept to completion narrative. If not, then it is worth clicking on this link to examine the details and quality workmanship of Ron's fold-over mast. (http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Tilt-Over_Mast) It is anything but "amateur". Finally, here are pics of where the mast was built, just as neat & professional as the mast. (http://www.scannerstandman.com/aboutus.html)

01-16-2008, 07:27 PM
As the person that started this thread you can tell Ron I have viewed his plans for some months now and really like his design......... Still not sure where I am going with it since the cost of the pipe is only 200 less than the cost for a premade tubluar tv folder tower at 40'. I do like only the idea of only having a mast sticking up vs the size ( looks wise) of anohter tower.. Anyway tell him not to remove the site as I am sure many hams enjoy it .........
73s #

01-31-2009, 01:41 PM
Here is mine http://www.geocities.com/me_n_my_xv/a1.jpg
The mast length is 35 ft. Don't thread the pipes together. Buy pipe without threads, it's cheaper. I have a 1.5" sch. 40 inserted 4' into a 2" sch 40 and cross pinned with 3/8" bolts. I used foil tape to fill the gap during construction but once you get it drilled and pinned, you won't need it. Do not make this thing longer than 35'. There is significant bowing on initial raising even under the pipe weight alone. I do not raise and lower this often as it takes minimum two people, one to crank and one to stabilize the pole. Near vertical is obviously the most hair raising point as the wench is not really doing much at that time. I would not put anything more on this than what you see I have. Basically a G450, Low wind load HF. I also have a VHF and UHF antennas up there. I was able to get 3 runs of LMR-400 and 8 cond. rotator cable through the center and then Insert the cross pins. I don't think I could get much more.

I'll say I love this thing. It's relatively inconspicuous for the neighborhood, does not have to guyed but if isn't will sway around a foot or more in the wind, and I had a lot of fun making this. Finally, if you build this, please, please, please be consious of the wench and cable as there is SIGNIFICANT amounts tension in it when in use and if it gives, it will not be pretty for anyone it its path (Actually this goes for all wenched systems).

Hope this helps, email Scannerstandman if needed. He was very helpful. Or messg me and I can tell you more.


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