Aluminum or Fiber glass mast

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KK4QYN, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. KK4QYN

    KK4QYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am going to put up an antenna, probably a dipole, up the side of my house. Am I better off with aluminum or Fiber glass for a mast?
    Thanks 7,3
     
  2. 4X1WD

    4X1WD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi,

    I have made some mast from Fiberglas rods.

    This are usually fishing road.

    There are carbon fibre rods and Fiberglas road.

    They extract from 65cm to 6m or from 120 cm to 11m

    They are strong for dipole and even for small light beams

    They can be connected to a hinge on the ground or to a tripod

    Regards,

    Daniel

    M0HWD,

    You can see some of my mast pictures here:

    https://www.rylwy.com/mast
     
  3. KK4QYN

    KK4QYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Dan.
     
  4. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Details?

    Which band(s)

    How tall?

    Feedline type? (OWL, ladder line, twin lead, coax)

    With/without balun at feedpoint? Baluns add weight...

    Either type of mast will need proper guying.

    None of us are mind readers; we can't advise you without more information.
     
  5. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I prefer fiberglass masts because they don't interfere with antenna loss and pattern.

    I use them up to 30 ft. tall, firmly secured to a house wall or a fence with hardware store clamps and screws.
    No need for guying at that height. They can be quite bendy depending on the gauge of your antenna wire and
    where you hang any weighty items like a manufactured feedpoint insulator and/or balun.

    My 200 ft. doublet is made with lightweight (#18) antenna wire. There is a support pole at the feedpoint
    which must deal with the weight of antenna wire plus about 25 ft. of 450 ohm window line. All my poles
    bend somewhat but not excessively. I suggest for a 30 ft. fiberglass pole that you do not use smaller than a 1 in. OD
    top fiberglass section.
     
    N7BDY likes this.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have used both. In the long run you'll be happier with aluminum, structurally. Fiberglass will eventually disintegrate under the UV exposure, even if painted.

    It is possible for you to have some interaction between a dipole and a metal mast, even if the dipole is properly choked at the feed point. That said, the amount of interaction is proportional to the geometric imbalance between the two wires. So if you make sure to pull your wires symmetrically from one side to the other, you should have very minimal mast interaction.

    And that reminds me... make sure to properly choke your dipole at the feed point. :)
     
    WA7ARK, WA7PRC and NH7RO like this.
  7. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Being a smart ass...

    It would be offensive to say "ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer" , right?
    So I won't say it.

    The answer is - "probably".

    73 Shirley
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The real answer is 42.

    I've "snapped" too many fibreglas poles over the years, but the Army surplus stackable 4' aluminum masts are very strong (and still lightweight, and cheap!) and I've used them up to 48' tall with secure guying. And they will handle very secure guying, like 100# tension per guy, which fibreglas will not handle.
     
    NH7RO, K2CAJ and WA7PRC like this.
  9. K2CAJ

    K2CAJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What kind of antenna, and what part of the antenna is the mast holding up? If you're holding up the center of a wire dipole, fiberglass masts like the Spiderpole could work very well.
     
    NH7RO likes this.
  10. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    not all fiberglass poles are the same... some such as helically wound are very easy to snap.

    best for beginners to use aluminum. Or those Army poles as noted.
     
    NH7RO likes this.

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