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Author Topic: Help needed with a RV antenna mast idea  (Read 18085 times)
N1EGT
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Posts: 3




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« on: November 13, 2013, 12:14:24 PM »

I have been trying to come up with an idea for an "easy up, easy down" mast, I'm a full time RVer. My rig is a 28 Travel trailer, IC 7000, and a Shakespeare 23 ft vertical feeding just over the roof top. Now for the question,I want to use a COMET CHV-5X (that I have) on the nose of the trailer. After a long search for a "light weight" sturdy mast that would shrink to under 8 ft. for transport, not finding anything I could do myself easily.   The idea I have is to use the 25 ft. telescoping flagpole for $ 80 delivered. With that they also sell a base plate ($40)  that would go under the wheel of the vehicle to use portable flag, tailgating. I would use that base plate under the nose jack and fabricate another mount secured to the frame for stability. I think the pole could handle the wind load and be able to lower in minutes if needed. Please respond with any and all suggestions, experiences etc.

                              Thanks and 73's
                                 Bill
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M6GOM
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Posts: 914




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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 05:38:07 PM »

Plenty of manual or pneumatic telescopic military masts about.
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KI9M
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 05:44:13 PM »

I'm also a fulltime RVer. I'm using a Elecratft K1 QRP transceiver operating on 40, 30, 20 and 15 meters. Rig is a 36' fifth wheel.

I don't know how "easy up, easy down" it will be, but I'm experimenting with a 31' fiberglass "Jackite Windsock Flying Pole" purchased online from Best Nest for $59.95. I plan to use one strand of 16/2 speaker wire purchased from Home Depot. My first attempt will be a random wire from the top of the front cap of the fifth wheel (about 10' high), to the top of the 31' mast (at 34' high) at the other end of the RV, down the mast and into a window. The mast is attached to the ladder using 2 X 2" conduit clamps and two trucker CB antenna mounts.

Using the Pythagoream theorem, I figure I'll have about 66' of wire. I'll have to experiment with the length of counterpoise needed. The mast is very light and collapses to 4'. We just arrived at our current location and I haven't tried this setup yet. I'll report back when I have results, hopefully in a day or two.

Questions, comments, suggestions?

Thanks - 73,
Jim
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M6GOM
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Posts: 914




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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 03:52:26 AM »

It'll be a bit directional Jim. The direction it'll favour will be in the direction of the downward slope so if your rig is parked facing north with the trailer to the south, it'll be directional favouring north. This could be a bit beneficial depending on where in the world you want to work and assuming you've enough room to park pointing where you wanted.
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K1KP
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 01:18:41 PM »

I've had a Class C RV for many years. I tried a screwdriver but it didn't work well. Here is my final solution for an antenna on an RV. Note that this is only for camping, not driving. I can't drive and chew gum at the same time, let alone talk on the radio!

I use a 30' telescoping kite pole from Jackite. There are many types around, but this one works well and is relatively inexpensive. I bought some plastic holders from a vendor in Dayton that clamp on the ladder and hold the pole nicely. If you can't find them you could probably make something easily from PVC pipe fittings.

The top of the mast supports one end of a 20m dipole. The other end gets tied with string to a front mirror on the 29' RV - just fits perfectly.

I roll the dipole up on an empty water bottle when not in use. I can deploy or stow the antenna in under 10 minutes.

The sloping dipole works really well on 20m and up; OK on the lower bands. Of course you need a tuner with it - I use an LDG Z100.

73 and happy QSOs from your RV,

-Tony, K1KP

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W9CMG
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 02:52:44 PM »

I've got three sections of PVC nested together attached to the back of the MH. A nylon cord is laced over some pulleys so that when it is pulled, two sections extend up. A wire is attached to the end cap of the top section and comes out the bottom. I connect a choke made of coax wound around a PVC form. The vertical wire connects through a stud and wing nut to the center conductor of the coax and I have about 8 radials I lay down connected to a stud and wing nut for the coax shield. Up or down in a few minutes. The wires are very flexible because I got them by buying a 100' extension cord bought for cheap at a big box hardware store and the outer insulation stripped off for 300' of wire.
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KI9M
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 04:18:10 PM »

See my previous post of November 17 --

I ended up with 83' of wire, 42' of which was sloping. I had one 30' ground radial. The SWR was great on all bands. The weight of the wire bent the end of the pole quite a bit.

I'm now using the mast as a vertical with a few radials. The top is 34' high. Works great on 40, 30 and 20 meters. The SWR is high on 15 meters.

I haven't taken it down yet, but I'm sure I can dismantle and reassemble it in less than 10 minutes.

Here's a link to the brackets I used: http://tinyurl.com/mehj2wq

Jim
KI9M
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K6CPO
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Posts: 152




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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 09:36:07 AM »

If your trailer has a ladder on it, a good solution might be the flag pole buddy and a Comet CP-45 telescoping mast.  The installation is shown here:

http://www.dxstore.com/rv_ladder_antenna_mount.html

They also list a complete package using the antenna you already have, so it should be adequate for your use.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 09:38:27 AM by K6CPO » Logged
W4FID
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Posts: 133




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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 04:06:18 AM »

The ladder mount works really well. Can accommodate either fiberglass or aluminum poles. They are readily available in 4 ft sections that slip together. I use 32 ft on my set of aluminum ones and 24 ft on my set of fiberglass ones. That supports either the center of an inverted Vee or the "far end" of a long wire. The mounts attach to the ladder and the top one has a 45* slot so one person can slip 2 sections into it them turn it vertical then add a section at a time to the bottom till you have the sections/height you like. I am limited mobility and can get the mast up myself in 2 or 3 minutes starting with the sections in a canvas bag. The mounts stay attached to the RV's ladder. The mount is well made and durable and costs about $40 or $50.

Tower in Green Bay has them and is real good about phone/web orders and ships pretty quickly. Sales@PL-259.com or Google Tower Electronics Green Bay, WI.
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KC7YE
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 06:50:08 AM »

I use the same basic set up as KI9M for portable ops, most ops are portable as live in condo. Have 2x6 with pipe flange bolted to it, 2 ft length of pipe that the mast sits on, park car on 2x6 or use wire ties to strap mast to handy fence. Fast deployment but radials take much more time. Radials are now on kite string winders, cut time in half. Only had one park ranger talk to me about this, when he left he was cool with it.
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N8EMR
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Posts: 235




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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 03:24:33 AM »

check out http://www.w8afx.com/
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KC0UKR
Member

Posts: 38




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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 04:24:25 PM »

I use either a swimming pool cleaning pole which can telescope to about 20' or a fiberglass painters pole and the good ones are plenty strong and light and simple to deploy and attach too.

Shakespere makes a bumper mount fold over base that either sit in nicely and then you can just lower the sections if the main section is bottom supported with at least 1 more support higher up or lay the thing down for travel and strap it tight.

I use this setup whenever I camp for both Radio and TV antennas and they work great.

I can also slide either mast into a pro pa speaker stand and let it be freestanding and it is easy to guy them down too.
This is often how I get the metal in the air when working an event or relief effort.
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