Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K5QBF, Mar 5, 2021.
Patterns of VDA on the ocean are outstanding!
I know a guy at sunset his 40 meter vertical goes up and sunrise back down, he has never been caught by his HOA in the states. He put it on his patio deck with a hinge plate, it takes less then a minute to deploy his covert antenna.
My 33 foot 40/80 1" tent tube vertical scared a new neighbor in the winds. I told them the way its guy ropes are it is a like a Dancing pipe. It if was solid it would fail; like the wings you see dance on an airliner you are flying on. They got it.
I've had their 33-foot heavy duty aluminum mast in a semi-permanent installation for years. Not cheap, but you get quality.
Hi Shane. Great video. I'm a big fan of Spiderbeam. Relatively new Ham. At my QTH I have three (2@40' and 1@60'). I purchased a plastic planter, filled it with two bags of quickset with a 3' PVC pipe in the middle. My 60' pole slips right in and it sits on my patio. Great counter-balance and I can move it around the yard. The other two pole hold the ends of my OCF. I drive a section of rebar in the ground and slip the 40 footers over that. I guy it all with 25lb mono and the whole set up works just great. I also use hose clamps for the bigger sections and electrical tape for the smaller ones. For portable I use the tire mount as do you. Good luck to you and looking forward to future videos. 73 John N6NRO
Shane, can you do a couple close-up pictures of your guying setup and describe it? I'm looking at some of the commercial rings but there has to be a homebrew guying system for SOTA that's easy to make.
I've owned several Spiderbeam masts since 2016. The 40 ft. mast is light enough that it can be used as a "lay-up stick." I fashioned a coat hanger at the top into a "V" shape. With that, the wire ends of a dipole can be laid up into my backyard pine trees.
A 60 ft . Spiderbeam mast is used as a center support so that the antenna can be raised/lowered just by changing the tension of the Aeroseal clamps. I removed the last section to keep ample strength at the dipole center, so the height above ground is now about 55 ft.
Scott, W4PA distributes these masts in the U.S. He has always been responsive to my questions and orders.
It won't let me upload a photo for some reason. I f you pause the video at the 58 second mark you should be able to see it. I have a hose clamp on both ends and a pieces of rubber tubing around the metal clamp. I have 3 loops of rope that has a carabiner on it that is held in place by the hose clamp. Each leg is about 10ft of rope with loops on each end. One end connects to pole the other connects to a tent stake.
To set the pole up all you do is lay the pole down and attach 2 of the guy ropes that are staked down. Stand the pole up and use the third rope to keep everything tight as you walk it back and stake the last rope. I hope that makes sense.
Spiderbeam sells a soution for this. It is just some 2" seatbelt webbing sewn so there is a tight fitting center section you insert the pole into and slide it down till it will go no farther and therre are four sewn loops extending like spokes (you can use three of them if you don't want four guys). You can easily make your own too if you can sew. I like these now though I was doubtful at the time of purchase. They are very light, strong, reliable, and will lie flat for pack down. For guys I use paracord. Bright orange for when I want the guys to be very visible in public and black for a more stealth deployment. For tensioning I've used different approaches. On my 10m Jackite poles I loop the paracord through a snaplink which allows easy connection to a stake. The paracord doubles back on itself and I use a small prusik sling made from 1mm lace cord on the standing part of the guy for a tensioner. Works very well and is very low cost for anyone on a tight budget. On the 12m Spiderbeam poles (which are excellent) since I was spending more money on them anyways, I elected to go with a more expensive approach using Camjam biners by Nite Eyze which are very convenient although the price is a little objectionable. I'm not sure I would go that route again because the loose end has to be dealt with and if it ever got pulled inadvertantly say by someone walking by the guy could be released, whereas with the prusik sling, the end of the guy is taken care of. The tradeoff is that the cam jam allows the option of more loose end allowing more lattitude for guy placement and length. Mast clamps I consider a necessity but again if you are on a budget you can easily make your own with some hose clamps, some tire tube rubber cut into strips and some heatshrink tubing which is all spiderbeam provides anyways if you buy theirs. Doing it yourself gives the option though to use hose clamps with the wingnut style which I think is important because using a tool like a nut driver you need a good feel as it is very easy to overighten and crack the pole. Finger tight with wingnuts tends to automatically prevent this which might be important if you have someone else helping with the setup who might not have as good a sense of feel.
My own antenna success story: Two 12m Spiderbeam poles has been a good support for a 1/4 wave (Eddington G0CWT) loop for 160m and has been a surprisingly effective portable antenna for 160m for me. A person with better contesting skills (of which I have none) could have done better than me with that antenna but I made a respectable number of contacts on the Big Stew this winter running QRP which if anyone has tried, knows that QRP on 160m can be a form of self mutilation due to the poor efficiency of the antennas that most people can manage, never mind something which is portable. I never imagined I could have an effective 160m antenna that needs no ground system and I can erect by myself in well under 1 hour. I attached a photo of the antenna deployed off the back of my truck. These poles are really good. I am tempted to get one of the larger poles for a doublet fed with open wire but I have doubts I could handle anything much bigger than 15m by myself especially if there is any breeze.
Here is the photo.