How to repair High Sierra mobile antennas

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by K0BG, Sep 22, 2018.

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  1. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    High Sierra Antennas is kaput. The basic parts are 'almost" identical to Tarheel's 200A series. The main difference, is the contact assembly, gear motor, and the quick disconnect at the bottom. The actual tube is identical, save for where the holes are drilled for the various sub-assemblies.

    High Sierra used a mickey mouse, brass cone assembly as a quick disconnect, which always corrodes due to poor maintenance, and can vibrate loose causing all sorts of maladies. With a little due diligence, the Tarheel QD can be used.

    The Tarheel coil, coil cover, the end pieces, are all usable. It isn't a slam-dunk, but at least you can fix (resurrect) an old, inoperative High Sierra if you just have to!

    If you need technical help, Robert Young is Tarheel's resident guru. Yes, he will try to talk you into purchasing a new Tarheel, but the truth is, he's usually correct! Mobile operators have to remember, that the antenna is a part that wears out over time. Like a pair of shoes that you can resole, sooner or later, the uppers give out, and you have no choice but to replace the whole shebang.

    One more item. Over time, the main tube becomes stressed, particularly at the top of the U-shaped mounting bracket. The usual result is the main tube (mast if you will), fails. If yours shows signs of failure, bite the bullet, and buy a new Tarheel 200A.
     
    WA8FOZ likes this.
  2. WA8FOZ

    WA8FOZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the information, Alan.

    I remain happy with my bugcatcher. It too requires periodic maintenance, but much less than screwdrivers. And with Breedlove quick-disconnects, it’s easy to take down and put away. I don’t mind getting out of the car to change bands. To each his own.
     
    WD5IKX likes this.
  3. WQ6N

    WQ6N XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Alan, I am going to have to disagree with your statement "High Sierra used a mickey mouse, brass cone assembly as a quick disconnect, which always corrodes due to poor maintenance, and can vibrate loose causing all sorts of maladies." I have been using my HS mount for many years and never had a problem. Of course, I use a conductive anti-seize on all the metal mating surfaces. I find mounting and dismounting the HS extremely easy and a efficient design especially if one is up on a ladder. If you visit areas where you need to remove the antenna when parked, a 5/16 nut-driver for the hose clamp is all that is needed.
    As with any antenna in the elements, all things require maintenance. I live in a coastal region and that requires a little more oversight. Especially the compression collar for the top stainless hose clamp. Water will get under the collar and eventually under the paint. Wax on..wax off...
     
    K8AI likes this.
  4. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The key word here is maintenance!

    What generally happens (High Sierra's QD), is a build up of corrosion on the brass plug and its socket. I've seen cases where the connection was frozen solid, and a few where there was no contact at all. It just isn't robust. Even the system Tarheel uses can cause issues if it isn't maintained.

    I suspect what should be taken from this thread, is the need for routine maintenance on all amateur installation, mobile or otherwise. A quick walk through any hamfest parking lot will prove the point. It is a wonder that some installations work at all.
     
    WA8FOZ likes this.
  5. WQ6N

    WQ6N XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, continued maintenance is key. I have seen your HOS pic collection. Interesting....
     
  6. KP4UFO

    KP4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    any one use the coil cover from 200 serie tarhell to a 1800 high sierra?? works ???
     
  7. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes!
     
  8. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    IMHO a lot of screwdriver-style antenna failures are due to poor maintenance. After all, it is not only an antenna; it is also a mechanical machine that experiences weather, repeated movement, and just plain age. With proper care, a screwdriver can last for many years. I have several that I built, one of which is 20+ years old. I replaced the finger stock, oiled it when it squeaked, and it is still going strong. I even have one of the Don Johnson DK-3's, and it still works well. My version(s) were different in that I replaced the PVC loading coils with nylon and also replaced the other PVC parts as well. I've never had an aluminum mast to fail; never thought about the possibility. These are pretty strong. I guess you could wham into something with one, but I have learned to be particularly aware of my surroundings where it comes to antennas. When it comes to mobile performance, you can't beat the screwdriver!;)

    I wholeheartedly recommend the Breedlove disconnect as I have several of them made by the original inventor!;)
     
  9. WQ6N

    WQ6N XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was successful in getting the ding out of the screwdriver tube. I used an exhaust tail pipe expansion tool that are common on eBay.
    Dent-Removal-tool_s.jpg
    Another person holding the tail end of the pipe while cranking down would be a good idea.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another suggestion if you have trouble finding a coil cover. Get some thin-wall PVC + end caps (Lowes). Drill a centered hold in one end cap. Viola. Use a fly cutter to cut a hole for the mast. You've got a neat cover that will last and last. I know................for some reason some of us insist on seeing the coil. That's unnecessary. Merely observe the BOTTOM of the coil cover! One can also put some marks on the mast that are revealed as the coil rises to the band of choice! I painted my antenna and coil cover to match the truck. With the PVC coil cover, it presents a streamlined appearance that is neater (IMHO) than having a tacky-looking coil sticking out!:) For some reason, with the PVC cover, people don't ask "what is that " as much as opposed to the clear cover.
     

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