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Author Topic: Where to buy aluminum for antenna elements?  (Read 2369 times)
NU9J
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Posts: 109




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« on: October 25, 2012, 06:04:53 AM »

On most commercial Yagi-Udas, some kind of rigid aluminum is used for the elements. Where can I buy this stuff? DX engineering only has aluminum tubing > 0.375" OD.
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~Philip
WX7G
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 06:12:52 AM »

Large cities have metal supply shops that can get you any tubing you need. In the Evanston, Il yellow pages Speedy Metals is listed. Here is their webpage:

http://www.speedymetals.com/

I have used local shops like this and the prices were good. But I prefer DX Engineering because they have slotted tubing (I can't seem to cut a straight slot with a hack saw) and it's delivered right to my door.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 06:20:00 AM by WX7G » Logged
N3OX
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 06:49:41 AM »

Last time I bought rod for small yagis I got it from Texas Towers. 

That was back in 2008 though, and I bought a lot of it so that I'd just have it when I needed it, so I haven't had to order recently.  I don't see it on their site.

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
W9GB
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 08:23:00 AM »

P -

There are a large number of industrial wholesalers for aluminum tubing and rod.
When you desire sizes at 3/8" (0.375 inch) or smaller --- THEN two consumer sources are available:

Aluminum window and screen door parts -- Your well stocked Ace hardware store, or Home Depot / Lowe's have sections of their stores for contractors and weekend homeowner repairs.

==
Based in Chicago :

K & S Precision Metals
6911 West 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60638
773-586-8503

K&S Engineering Hobby & Craft metal assortments (retail) --
http://www.ksmetals.com/retail.html
Hobby Lobby AND Model railroad/RC model car/airplane stores.
http://www.ksmetals.com/RetailLocations.html

For larger aluminum tubing (and masts) > 1/2 inch for antenna construction, in Chicago area, you have:
Zero-Five Antennas in SW Chicago
http://www.zerofive-antennas.com/

and Penninger Radio in West Chicago.
http://www.penningerradio.com/
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 08:32:32 AM by W9GB » Logged
WB6BYU
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Posts: 13039




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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 08:59:23 AM »

And don't forget your local scrap metal dealer:  I have some great square boom material
for UHF/VHF yagis that were originally the upright bars from a porch railing.
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LA1BRA
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 11:25:00 AM »

I seem to remember buying some 1/4 inch aluminum rod at a welding supply store, they were in 3 foot lengths. They also had some stainless stuff there too, for tig welding, but resourceful as we are, I think I used some for a UHF antenna.
Worth a look anyway
73 de KB5VWZ / XE3
tom
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NJ3U
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 11:46:07 AM »

I useD Fazios in New Casle Delaware for the metal I needed for my last antenna project.  They are a regional supplier and had anything you could imagine in various forms and sizes.   Check your yellow pages for metal suppliers and give them a call.  If Not try Onlinemetals.com as they where my choice untill I found Fazios.  http://www.shopjfi.com/
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W5DXP
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 05:03:28 PM »

DX engineering only has aluminum tubing > 0.375" OD.

There's a reason for that. Self-supporting horizontal elements with an OD less than 0.375" are not self-supporting for long.Smiley
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
WX7G
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Posts: 5920




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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 05:16:09 PM »

The strength (bending) of a rod is proportional to the 4th power of the diameter. The wind loading is proportional to the diameter. Wind quickly catches up with thin rods and tubes.
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 06:01:16 PM »

I use a lot of #8 aluminum wire for yagis - that is 1/8" diameter.  Radio Shack used to sell
it as "ground wire", and there is a type sold for clotheslines that is stiffer.  This works for
UHF antennas and temporary or portable 2m antennas, but even on 2m it won't survive
too long in a permanent installation with strong gusty winds.

Brass brazing rod is another option for UHF antennas.
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SWMAN
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Posts: 548




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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 08:04:57 AM »

 Texas Towers has tons of that stuff. I was over there yesterday and saw it in several different sizes. Look in the back of QST last page and it is all listed there in their add.  Good luck  73  Jim W5JJG
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AD4U
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Posts: 2153




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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 09:08:09 AM »

No matter where you decide to buy it, 0.058 wall aluminum tubing (6061 and 6063 alloys) will just slide into the next size with just a few thousandths clearance.

Dick  AD4U
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NU9J
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2012, 10:37:07 AM »

Sweet. Thanks guys.
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~Philip
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