34’ Telescoping Mast Recommendation

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K9BAY, Aug 2, 2020.

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  1. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    My experience with a pushup mast I had is that they get real hard to push up after a certain point. To get some of the lower sections pushed up and then hold them up with one had and tightening the lock with the other hand can be difficult to do. It may depend on just how you are positioned in relation to pull or pushing it up. Always a good idea to have another person around when working on raising or taking down a big antenna.
    The top section of of a pushup mast is not that large a diameter. I used to buy one that is longer than I want and take the top section off. Much stronger that way. Of course that depends on how high up you want to go.

    That's the way it should be done. That is what a push up mast is for. It's not a lengthen it out mount a heavy antenna on it and push it up from the ground thing. It is for pushing up each section and then locking them in place.
    You could probably tilt up a shorter extended push up mast that just holds a very small antenna fairly easily. Not that much leverage working against you.
    With a 50ft extended pushup that has a 28ft antenna on it, you my tilt it up and have the bottom section almost vertical and the top of the antenna hasn't barely left the ground!
    KA0USE and WZ7U like this.
  2. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a 46 foot fiberglass push up with locking clamps as you mention. It just supports a simple wire and it not easy to push up if you don't have some arm/shoulder into it. I can't even imagine an aluminum push up!! Picture and review is on DXE.
  3. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I do--want pictures?
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've owned and installed a lot of the Rohn H series telescoping masts, and if you do everything correctly, they can be repeatedly telescoped and retracted single-handedly.

    Doing everything right is a bit involved and surely means attaching all sets of guys before you do anything, and have them approximately measured out with guy anchors in place and secured before you do anything else.

    You can't expect to tilt one over when it's extended, especially not alone. Thinking that it can be easily retracted and then tilted over with an R8 on it in case of an approaching storm seems ridiculous to me -- way too much work, easy to get hurt, if the mast bends even the tiniest bit anywhere you'll never get to retract or extend it again; guys laying on the ground can get tangled in stuff, etc. With 2-3 helpers each time, I think it's possible; but single-handedly, that would definitely be a no-go for me.

    The R8 is tall and flexes and will put a lot of stress on the upper H mast section, which is small diameter and not terribly strong. For a long load like that, I'd eliminate the upper mast section entirely and use only the lower three, which will reduce height by 8-9 feet but is way safer.

    In lieu of a telescoping mast for an R8, I'd install it on the house roof using a sturdy tripod or quadpod (quadpod = 4-legged roof tower), and use lighteight guying ropes to guy the vertical itself midway up -- and just leave it there, through storms and anything Mother Nature can throw at it. Once guyed with ropes, it should be able to withstand as much wind as your roofing can...and if your roofing starts blowing off, there's a lot more to worry about than antennas.
    WA8FOZ, W2AI, K3EY and 1 other person like this.
  6. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Have you ever attempted to raise a 30 lb dead weight antenna up 30 ft in the air using your two hands on a telescopic mast?? Me thinks you're better off mounting the vertical (and mast) on a tilt-over base.
    K3EY likes this.
  7. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Excellent suggestion, Steve!
  8. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    And you'll end up tacoing the mast and/or antenna.
    W2AI likes this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, with a balanced load, I've lifted a whole lot more than that using H30-H40-H50 masts.

    At my last house, I had an H50 (telescopes to about 45', five sections) with a G800SA rotator and a 5 element 6m beam on it and raised that completely alone.

    It requires:
    • A very calm day, with no wind
    • Anchoring the base very well and very vertically with the tower fully retracted
    • Having all the guys pre-attached and hanging loosely but aiming in the right directions, and cut to approximately the lengths they'll need to be (I just use geometry for this, knowing what angles will be presented based on the guy anchor locations and mast extension heights -- can come within "inches" of the right length before doing any work); that includes having turnbuckles already installed at the anchors, so all that needs to be done is to clamp each guy after wrapping it through the open loop of the buckle
    • Securely guying the first section in 3-4 directions using good anchors and turnbuckles
    • Leaning a ladder against that first guyed section and securing the ladder to the mast, so it can't slip
    • Extending the upper mast just far enough to attach the antenna or rotator/antenna, and installing and securing that
    • Then fully extend that upper mast and lock it
    • Then fully extend the next section down and lock it
    • Then fully extend the next section down and lock it
    • Then run around securing the guys on section #2, then once they're secured and the mast is vertical and balanced, doing the same on each section progressively upwards
    I've done this so many times I can pretty much do it in my sleep, and have indeed extended masts like this with 60 lbs on them, plus the mast weight. Use good gloves to avoid skin burns and pinches.

    But the only way this actually works is when the base is very secure, very vertical, very well guyed, and on a very calm day with no wind. Any kind of wind makes it difficult to impossible.:p

    That's why I think "I'll lower it when a storm is approaching" type thinking won't work well. For a short extendable mast like an H30 (3-sections, 27' extended) with house brackets securing the lower 10' so only 17' extends above a house bracket, and especially if you can stand on the house roof to do the work, this is possible. But a 40 or 50 footer that's not attached to the house and not reachable from the roof? I wouldn't do it, and I'm pretty gutsy.:)
    NK8I, K5ABB and W2AI like this.
  10. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes excellent indeed. I owned that exact antenna and even at 10 feet with no help it was a bear to get up and down!! I could do it when I was younger when I got older I needed my son to help me, gee I wonder why:D
    W2AI likes this.

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