View Full Version : Satellit ant cross-boom
05-03-2011, 02:57 PM
Our club has a Hy-Gain satellite antenna system, but it's exposed to the elements (including salt water environment, as well as HIGH winds at times) and the fiberglass cross-boom failed (cracked, leading to the antennas being highly askew.)
Does anyone have recommendations of methods to prevent (or at least delay) the environmental damage to fiberglass material so that we don't have to replace antenna parts frequently? (Realizing, it IS a severe environment.)
05-03-2011, 05:33 PM
Paint it. Marine paint probably best, household latex otherwise. Same recommendations as for refurbishing vertical antenna fiberglass radomes.
I'd try Minwax spar varnish, as it offers UV protection needed by the fiberglass.
05-04-2011, 02:26 AM
I use regular carnuba automobile wax.
Its UV resistance is good enough protection for fiberglass boats used in marine enviroments, RV's and automobiles, so I figure it's good enough for my fiberglass and even my aluminum antennas too for that matter.
Another nice thing about automobile wax is that it helps to reduce wind drag and this is especially helpful if you are using a large Yagi array. (You said you have high winds.)
It also waterproofs and this helps to prevent corrosion on surfaces.
Automobile wax bonds to the surface and fills in voids and imperfections on sufaces so dirt doesnt accumate. Unlike paint coatings, wax doesn't chip, crack or peel and yet it preserves the surface and unlike paint, wax can even heal itself if the surface is damaged. The properties of wax are superior to coatings in terms of thermal expansion during freeze thaw cycles.
Another benefit is that wax prevents ice buildup on antenna's because it naturally repells water before it freezes and accumaltes when compared to unprotected antenna surfaces.
Automobiles are probobly exposed to some of the worst and harshest enviroments around. Besides the idea of wax used for the purpose of preserving the vehicles surface coating in all sorts of frequent inclement weather conditions, including the idea of a single wax coating being capable of surviving dozens of carwashes, carnuba wax continues to protect the finish on your car even during harsh winter conditions beyond anything any radio antenna would ever be exposed to. Canuba wax continues to protect even after sloshing your automobile around for hours directly in all the salt/sand and chemicals they spread all over the roads.
So carnuba wax is my choice for the purpose of added protection and preservation of antennas.