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Author Topic: Cantenna oil  (Read 1603 times)
W8ATA
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Posts: 321




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« on: August 08, 2008, 03:53:45 PM »

I am refurbishing my old Cantenna. Got a new unlined/uncoated gallon paint can and transferred everything over. Now for the oil. I can't find transformer oil in my town. The local oil supplier said he could order some.  55 gallon drum for starters. No thanks. Mineral oil can be used as a substitute with slightly lower heat disapation. Pints of pharmaceutical grade mineral oil at Wal Mart are $1.50 each or $48.00 to fill the can. Veterinary grade mineral oil for horses and cows (they never appeared to me to get constipated) is $12.00 a gallon. Anybody ever use the horse and cow oil? Any cautions against it? I looking forward to a few serious answers and of course some that bring a good laugh.

73 and thanks,
Russ
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K2DC
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 04:08:48 PM »

Russ,

Straight answer - I would think that the veterinary grade mineral oil would be fine if you can live with the somewhat lower heat disspiation.  Just be careful not to hit it too hard for too long.

Wisea$$ answer - I don't know, I've never changed the oil in my cow.

GL & 73,

Don, K2DC
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K7KBN
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 04:22:52 PM »

Russ -

Try contacting your electrical power utility, whether city, county or whatever.  They may well have a gallon or six in the bottom of one of the 55 gallon drums they regularly buy. It's often easier for them to open a new drum than to get the very last little bit out of an already-open one. Many times I've gotten all I needed for the cost of my taking it away.

73
Pat K7KBN
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
KA1MDA
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008, 05:03:29 PM »

"Got a new unlined/uncoated gallon paint can and transferred everything over... Pints of pharmaceutical grade mineral oil at Wal Mart are $1.50 each or $48.00 to fill the can."

There are 8 pints in a US Gallon. 8 x $1.50 = $12. How did you come up with $48? Sales tax can't be that high!

73, de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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KE7KLY
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 05:06:19 PM »

Well, I do think you are splitting hairs.  Unless you want to do some real serious dummy loading any oil would probably do the trick.
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N2CMD
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 05:25:11 PM »

I have been using regular Mineral oil in my load for years with no problems.

Brian - N2CMD
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AC5UP
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008, 05:51:37 PM »

Next time you're at your local Handy Guy store stroll by the paint department and price out a gallon of mineral oil. Whatever you put in the can, make sure it's reasonably non-flammable.

Not that the risk of fire is significant, but it would be one hell of a surprise. Wink
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2008, 05:57:25 PM »

hi Russ,

tractor supply has gallon bottles
of mineral oil $ 12 in store only.

or at the local vet supply house.

Learned about this tip from one of the guys
at our university club station W4ATC at ncsu.edu.

73 james
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VK1OD
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2008, 06:35:26 PM »


Automatic Transmission Fluid is a reasonable choice for this application.

If you were extreme, refrigeration oil is drier (ie has less water content) but it won't stay that way unless your load is truly sealed.

Owen
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2008, 06:49:58 PM »

Mineral oil works quite well.  However I've always been able to get transformer oil locally by begging the local electric power substation for some.

My last "tap" from them was Shell Diala dielectric oil.  I came with a gallon container, they let me draw a gallon for free and leave.  It was indeed from what are probably 55-gallon drums with a spigot on the side near the bottom.

No matter where you live, if you have electricity there must be a substation fairly nearby.  In my case, it's only a mile away!

WB2WIK/6
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K6AER
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2008, 06:51:41 PM »

I use cheap motor oil. Never had a problem.
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W8ATA
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2008, 07:10:04 PM »

Tom, you are correct on the $12.00. Darn calculator! Garbage in, wrong answer garbage out, huh? Now I've got to let the dog lick the egg off my face. Transformer oil gives about 17-18 minutes tune time at 600W and mineral oil about 12 minutes. 400W and below they are about equal. At least this is what the manual says. Next time I see a transformer/line crew I ask if an oil is available. Guess we can put this one to bed. Thanks guys.

73,
Russ
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2008, 07:18:35 PM »

Best deal of all!

Ditch the cantenna and buy a surplus Bird 1600W load which is not only oil filled but has huge heat sink fins.  I have  one that's rated 2500W for 60 seconds, 1600W for 10 minutes, and 1 kW continuously.  It weighs a lot (maybe 30 lbs) but it has a handle on top to make it easy to carry, and it's a way better load than the cantenna -- it's rated DC to 600 MHz with VSWR <1.1 and to 1200 MHz with VSWR <1.5.  Available with type N, type LC, type C, etc (not UHF) connector.

Retail price for these things is in the $800 range.  I bought mine surplus at the TRW Swap Meet for $75.  The guy had a lot of them...

I still keep a cantenna around for HF work, and it's lighter and smaller than the Bird load, but  when you can get a surplus Bird load for  this price -- and they're out  there, all over the place -- for "shack" use it's a better choice.  Don't look on eBay.

WB2WIK/6

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KB9CRY
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2008, 08:02:06 PM »

I use high temp transmission oil we use in the air compressors at the plant.  I've never changed it, since it shouldn't go bad.  Not that many rpms through it.
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W5DWH
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2008, 03:10:11 PM »

I use hydraulic oil as I buy it in 5 gal pails for my two John Deere tractors
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