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Author Topic: Dipole antenna support pole  (Read 7373 times)

Posts: 6

« on: September 06, 2001, 01:04:54 PM »

I am looking for suggestion on masts or poles to support a dipole antenna. The height can be around forty feet. It should be low impact on the enviroment.

Posts: 21764

« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2001, 02:10:50 PM »

Easiest and possibly cheapest solution, and one I typically use myself, are the Radio Shack 40' telescoping tubular masts.  Quick & easy installation with virtually no environmental impact is to sink a five foot long, 2" diameter pipe, into the ground so about 18" extends above earth, and plop the R/S slip-up mast over that pipe to hold it in place while you attach some lightweight guy ropes to the floating guy rings provided on the mast itself.  

To support only a wire dipole and nothing else, the mast does not have to be guyed well at all.  A single set of lightweight rope guys installed at the 20' level (halfway up the pole), which is easy to do before the pole is telescoped, is all that's required.

I generally anchor the 5' long 2" diameter support pipe, which has no actual connection to the slip-up mast, in some redi-mix concrete which I give about one day to cure before the installation.  A 50 lb bag of redi-mix + water is all that's required to fill a hole about 8" in diamter and 3-1/2 feet deep, quickly dug with a post hole digger.

I put these up all over my yard, then rearrange and take them down as needed, and they make virtually no impact on the yard or the environment.  When I go to "move" to a new home, I just pull down the masts, use a tubing cutter to cut the 2" pipes left in the ground (stuck in cement!), and cover the little bit of cement that might show with some loose soil and grass.  Nobody ever notices, or cares.

The masts can be painted in camouflage colors matching the background or surroundings, prior to erection.  I've done that many times, too!  Using varying shades of green and brown, a slip-up mast painted in camouflage colors blends into the background so well, that sometimes even I can't find the darned masts when I need to.  And that's no joke!

Alternatively, sections of 2x4 studs bolted together in such a way as to create a 40' tall structure, also works well.  Unfortunately, this is not any lighter, and is indeed heavier, than the tubular steel sections of tubing used in the Radio Shack slip-up masts -- and the wood will eventually deteriorate, possibly attract termites, etc.  I'd use wood in a pinch, but prefer steel over wood.

There are also telescoping fibreglas masts available which are quite sturdy and not unattractive, commercially available from AES (Amateur Electronic Supply) and elsewhere; and I see quite a number of ads for sectional, extendable aluminum antenna masts which are U.S. Army surplus and commonly sell as a 40 foot "kit," which includes eight 5' masts, guy ropes, guy stakes, and a canvas bag that it all comes in, for about $100 or so.  I've purchased those Army kits in the past from Fair Radio Sales ( and similar surplus houses.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6

Posts: 17477

« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2001, 01:03:46 PM »

Another method of mounting a telescoping mast, which sacrifices
some height but makes it self-supporting and much easier to
push up:  sink a pipe in the ground as Steve described, but make
it large enough to go around the outside of the bottom section.
Probably best to put it down 5' or so.  Then the push-up  mast
slips into the inside of the pipe, and the top of the bottom section
(where you need to do the push-up business) is only 5' off the

I've also used wooden masts set into vent pipes on the roof,
though you need to make sure that the pipe is secure enough to
hold it.  A 12' length of 1x2 served as a push-up mast in college:
the vent pipe was long enough that I could slide it down most of
the way and reach the top to secure the dipole, then push it up
and put a nail through a hole in the board to keep it up.

Another option is plastic pipe masts, such as ABS or PVC.  These
often come in 20' lengths, and the PVC is pretty flexible, even in
the larger sizes.  I don't know if I would want to use more than one
length at a time, as it may not survive the bending forces of being
raised into place.

For portable use I like the military-surplus mast sections in 4'
lengths.  These are the right length to erect vertically by lifting
up the mast and slipping another section on the bottom, while
leaning it against two of the guy ropes.  I've put 40' masts up this
way single-handed in a few minutes. . . . but it is safer to have
helpers, and to guy them every 15 or 20'.

Posts: 34

« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2001, 07:47:51 PM »

HI..i found a tripod from R/S at a ham flea market for $5...went to the home depot in the painting section and found a telescoping painters pole (yellow fiberglass) 3 sections and locking too! extends about 18'..attach to tripod and anchor tripod with cheap metal tent pegs...can also use to paint!!!have fun
de VE3ZXQ James
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