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Author Topic: How do you attach coax to the mast?  (Read 618 times)
NORTHCOUNTRY
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Posts: 358




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« on: September 25, 2006, 06:51:12 AM »

How do you attach coax to the mast?

tie wraps?
electrical tape?

Are they UV resistant, good for cold weather?

Thanks.
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W3JJH
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 07:07:55 AM »

UV resistant tiewraps or hose clamps.
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 07:50:30 AM »

i disagree with that method. you risk  a few things  1. cutting the outer jacket 2. deforming the coax
3. if you make it loose enought to not do either of the above it will most likely not hold good.

i use scotch brand splicing tape. over wrapped with scotch brand 88 tape that  method has never failed me and seem's to work fine.   Jeff N3JBH
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 08:05:16 AM »

I'd only use hose clamps and such on hardline.  They're too severe for soft cables.

Vinyl electrical tape works fine and lasts through any kind of weather.  Don't pull the tape hard as you wrap it and don't keep overlapping the tape in layers in the same place on the coax, or even tape will damage soft coax.  The recommended approach is to use overlapping layers, pulled gently, and occupying 3-4-5" of coax/mast area per holding place (not overlapping all the tape in the same spot).  That holds the cable very securely and doesn't stress the cable.

WB2WIK/6
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KC8VWM
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2006, 08:07:12 AM »


Well, I use heavy duty nylon wire ties. The thicker they are, the longer they seem to last. Smaller wire ties can break easily. Don't use plasic tire, use Nylon wire ties.

Also since we are on the top of "how to", it's usually recommended for example to make a "drip loop" in the feedline before attaching it to the antenna on the mast. This does two things. 1) It prevents your feedline from becoming a conduit for water that would otherwise follow the path of the cable and into your shack. 2) It provides a certain level of strain relief for the feepoint connection if the mast should ever flex during windy conditions.

This also provides a little extra cable (a foot or so) near the antenna connection if you should ever need to cut off the PL-259 connector for some reason. Here on epossible reason, You want to change antennas and the coax connector rusts to the antenna feedpoint and it won't unscrew scenerio. You will probobly have to cut the cable and place a new PL-259 connector on it. So, basically leaving a bit of extra cable at the feedpoint leaves your options open.

For maximum protection of your antenna feedpoint (to prevent corrosion and water from "wicking" inside the cable) yo䁵䀠will need to seal it somehow so water doesn't go inside. If this happens you may observe issues with your SWR and antenna performance. If that should happen you will most likely need to replace the entire feedline.

You can make your own rubber boot to protect the antenna connection and feedline by placing a 5 inch piece of shrink tubing over the cable before soldering the PL-259 connector on the feedline.

Well you asked "how to" and those answers are related to attaching coax to the mast.

73
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K0RFD
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2006, 09:20:23 AM »

Electrical tape works for me.
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KC8VWM
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 09:40:31 AM »

Hmmmm. I wonder if electrical tape can fix my spelling errors too?

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W3JJH
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2006, 12:13:38 PM »

To clarify:  Yes, hose clamps are only for hard line.

Back before tiewraps were common, I used to lash cables to tower legs.  West Country lashing works quite well and will last for years if UV-resistant black poly twine is used.  There's an excellent explanation of lashing in the Boy Scout Pioneering Merit Badge manual.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2006, 12:13:56 PM »

Electrical tape, with 3 or 4 overlapping wraps.

Wireties are too likely to cut into the coax or deform it, and they end up getting brittle.

73, bill
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K9VQ
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2006, 12:31:18 PM »

I use a product called an Adel clamp. They are designed to hold cables and conduit. They are used in professional communications and aerospace. I first discovered them whem I was in the Air Force, we used them holding hardline and coax. The make a very neat and secure installation. I have seen them available at home depot in the electrical hardware section.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2006, 01:40:34 PM »

How do you attach an Adel Clamp to the mast? I suppose you could use two, a large size around the mast and a smaller size around the coax and fasten them together with a bolt.

Be careful that the ones you get from places like Home Depot are rust proof.
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K9VQ
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2006, 02:05:24 PM »

AA4PB, yes I use two Adel clamps with a stainless screw and lock nut. I'm lucky to have a life time supply of assorted Adel's that I bought surplus years ago.

I'm not sure of the type and brand I saw at Home Depot, but I'm sure if they have them corrosion resistent, they should work fine and do a neat job.
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W5ONV
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2006, 07:59:35 PM »

 I lightly wrap 5 or 6 turns of good quality Scotch 33 electrical tape around the coax at about 6 foot spacings,holds up for years. 73, Jim
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AI4JD
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2006, 07:55:12 PM »

i use either electrical tape or glass tape the glass tape seems to hold up much longer and anything black in color will live alot longer in the sun
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