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A New Tarheel screwdriver antenna install on a RV Fifth Wheel

Discussion in 'RV Operating and Camping' started by KB3WFV, Jul 23, 2017.

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  1. K7JOE

    K7JOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    looks good.

    why didn't you use copper mesh ? availability? cost ?
    is there a metal plate under the plywood (inside the camper) to hold that monster? Or is it simply held by the plywood?
    Other than a friction connection between the mesh and mount, is mesh electrically bonded/connected to the stainless mount?

    You should properly weather-seal that PL259 connector at the base of the antenna - when laid over, you'll get water in there and have issues in no time. A bit of coax-seal should do the trick.
  2. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Joe K7JOE
    The primary reason for not using cooper mesh is the size of the openings in the mesh were too small. The rubber EPDM roof is glued down to the plywood roof. There needed to be large openings in the wire mesh to allow for the rubber to come in contact with the glue and the plywood. I used poultry fence which had about a 1-1/2 inch diameter opening. I could of used the much better conductor, cooper mesh. However, that would have required changing the roofing material and the adhesive to a product designed to be installed on what would basically be a metal roof. Since I already had a cut to size EPDM rubber roof sheet, we went the poultry fence route. The roof surface looks like a giant golf ball as the rubber has settled down into the pockets of the wire mesh.

    The antenna mount has mounting holes that are 16" on center. The trailer has aluminum roof rafters that are 16" on center. Luckily every thing lined up so that all of the mounting holes have solid mechanical and electrical contact with the structure. The mount is sitting on top on the mesh and is bonded to the mesh by relying on the 6 (might be 8) fasteners holding the mount to the aluminum roof rafters. Essentially sandwiching the mesh between the mount and plywood. The wire at the mount, the mount itself and it's fasteners were coated with a dielectric grease prior to assembly. The roof laps over the edges and is covered with lap sealant including the heads of fasteners to keep every thing water tight.

    Thanks for noting the UHF connector I am pretty sure I covered it with coax seal after I shot the video, but I will double check it. By the way a neat trick I learned for sealing connectors is to first wrap electrical tape sticky side out around the connector, then wrap the coax seal. When the need arises to remove the connector a use a box cutter to cut along one side and peel the whole thing off. The end result is a nice clean connector with out a bunch of sticky tape or coax seal all over it.

    - Brian
    K7JOE likes this.

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