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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | Max-Gain Systems Fiberglass Push-Up Mast Help


Reviews Summary for Max-Gain Systems Fiberglass Push-Up Mast
Max-Gain Systems Fiberglass Push-Up Mast Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $139 + Shipping
Description: Forty-two foot fiberglass push-up mast kit.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mgs4u.com
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You can write your own review of the Max-Gain Systems Fiberglass Push-Up Mast.

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AC0DS Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2010 08:34 Send this review to a friend
Versitile solution for temporary antennas  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased two of the Max-Gain model "MK-6 Extend". This is a mast composed of 6 ft sections of stiff thick-walled fiberglass starting with 2.5 in at the base and ending with 3/4 inch at the top. Fully extended it has a height of 43 ft 4 in.

The supplied quick release clamps that come with these masts are a delight to use. Fast, easy, no tools and easily adjustable for tension. I also purchased a set of the optional guy rings which are nicely made and very heavy duty.

My application is to erect temporary antennas on my antenna restricted property. I need to do this without assistance. This model is ideal, as I can easily reach the top of the nested masts using only a small step stool. Max-Gain also offers a longer model using 8 ft sections of tubing. I think this would be too much of a handful for a single person, both in terms of access for erection and for the length of unguyed mast during the erection process.

Due to their size, these masts will incur oversize shipping penalties. This could be a detriment when ordering only a single mast. I ordered two masts and also quite a nice assortment of other fiberglass tubing, square tubing and rods for other projects. The total shipping cost for everything was about $45, which I felt was quite reasonable. The service from Max-Gain was quite good in terms of explaining the shipping process and in delivering promptly.

I've used these masts in three applications so far. They make a very nice vertical by just securing a wire element to them. I use this in conjunction with my radial field and a remote tuner at the base. The mast by itself easily allows for a 43 ft vertical. I purchased 8 ft sections of 1/2 in and 1/4 in tubing. These can be used to extend the height of the mast to around 58 ft, making the vertical even better for 40 and 80 meters. Note that this extension will be too weak to support anything more than a single vertical wire - not for supporting the center or end of a doublet.

I use the mast also as a center support for doublet antennas. It is quite stiff in this application and will get the center up to 43 ft without any problems. It would be equally effective as end supports, although I normally use Jackite 30 ft poles for the ends.

I have also used the mast to support my 10 meter Moxon at heights up to 35 ft. The Moxon weighs about 5 pounds and is clamped to the 1 inch section of the mast. The guy rings allow for easy manual rotation of the mast to turn the antenna.

In all of the above applications, I normally guy the mast at two levels in 3 directions. I support the base with a 5 ft U-shaped steel fence post driven a few inches into the ground.

I also own several Jackite poles and a Spiderbeam 40 ft mast. The Max-Gain is significantly stiffer than any of the others, and the only one suitable for use as a center support at full extension. The others, however, are fine products and quite useful as end supports and verticals.

I delayed getting these mast for a couple years, partly because of the shipping situation. But I'm sorry I waited. They are a delight to use and allow me to erect very effective antennas without any assistance.

Craig AC0DS
 
K2UNI Rating: 2/5 Nov 26, 2010 14:26 Send this review to a friend
Very disappointed  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought three 50-foot masts to hold up a Carolina Windom 80 antenna - one for each end, and one for the center to hold up the insulators. The antenna run is near some trees in my back yard.

These masts may work in the desert, or on the moon, but if you have trees, bushes, or tall grass, forget it. The problem is that they bend - A LOT. I don't know how many hours I've wasted because one of the masts flopped around and brushed up against a tree, or one of the lines got caught in a bush. If the mast or a line gets snagged on even the tiniest twig - one you could snap with two fingers - the mast will bend like spaghetti while the twig stands strong. The mast should provide at least a little resistance!

Once I finally got the Windom up - and I still haven't been able to go above 40 feet - the end masts look like parentheses and the center mast looks like a question mark. And yes, I did guy them. There's not enough guy line in the world to make these wet noodles stand up straight if you actually try to hang an antenna on them. I have 8 lines on the center mast, but the weight of those two insulators is still enough to contort the thing.

One other comment - the screws in the collars are made of some kind of soft plastic. Raise and lower the mast a couple of times and you WILL strip them. When you do, you can BUY the metal screws they should have provided in the first place.

Maybe the shorter masts are better, but I have to say that the 50 foot masts are not strong enough for practical use.
 
K6DIL Rating: 5/5 Nov 26, 2010 07:18 Send this review to a friend
Great product, great service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It turns out that putting a vertical antenna on the roof reduces the number of radials needed by about 90% compared to the same stick on the ground. The 43' (13m) vertical has always appealed to me on an instinctive level, especially when tuned at the feedpoint with an automatic ATU.

I have a 44' telescoping steel mast on the pile of long skinny stuff I don't use at the moment, but that thing is scary in the wind. It makes noise! Plus it is just plain overkill.

The Max-Gain 43' mast is guyed once at +16' above the roof line. The base of the Max-Gain is attached to the side of a partially collapsed 30' steel mast, even with the roof line, at about 9' 5" above ground. There is a #12 insulated (green plastic) copper wire threaded up the middle of the mast. This connects to an MFJ-928 under an eave and then to the LMR-400UF transmission line (Sorry Steve-surplus from work!) There are 5 radials from 21' to 44' in length from the ground side of the antenna tuner on the same plane as the base of the antenna (flat roof). I have a 10 turn choke outside my shack, about 50' away.

Ignoring the safety instructions I put the thing up by myself. In a stiff wind. You don't have to tilt it; you run up the top section, clamp it, run that and the next section goes up, clamp, repeat and so on.

I am thrilled with the performance, especially on 20m and 40m. The DX performance is quite good. It's appearance is very sleek. As the guys are low it sways a lot in the wind but it doesn't make any noise. It always rights itself straight up when winds are calm. I think it improves the appearance of the house.
 
K4UUK Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2010 16:57 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful mast and service!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having seen a number of reviews on the Max-Gain masts, I decided to purchase the MK-6. The mast arrived promptly and was very easy to assemble. I was so pleased that I ordered another MK-6 mast almost immediately. Not only is this mast excellent quality, but the service that Allen provides is very friendly and professional. I would not hesitate to recommend the Max-Gain masts.
 
KG4FJH Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2010 13:01 Send this review to a friend
Great mast - great service!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the MK-6 32-foot standard duty mast recently and just used it for the first time in the VHF contest this weekend. My elmer, KE4R and I set up the mast with a Buddipole configured as a 6-meter yagi on the top and an Elk 2/440 mounted about 6 feet below the top. The mast worked very, very well. It is easy to raise and once guyed, very stable. The Quik-Clamps are very easy to attach to the poles initially and work very well in use. One word of caution I would give to anyone considering using the MK-6. When we first raised the mast, the top section (3/4" OD) flexed A LOT. We did have 2 antennas on it, so perhaps with something lighter duty it would work fine. We ended up taking it down and not extending that top section (so we were at about 27 feet instead of 32). I plan to buy an extra larger tube to add to the bottom to get the same height and not extend the top again. His custom guy rings fit the mast sections perfectly, are very solid and very easy to use. They are drilled so it can be guyed with either 3 or 4 ropes. The holes in the guy ring are pretty small, so make sure the diameter rope you're going to use fits before taking it in the field. He also sells guy rope that works great with his guys rings. One final note - when you are extending the sections of the mast, do it SLOWLY. The instructions recommend leaving 8" in each section when extended (for the MK-6, I think it's longer for taller masts). As we found out, it's very easy to pull a section all the way out if you're pulling too fast and not watching for the marks near the bottom of the tube (you have to add these marks yourself - I just used a red permanent marker to indicate where to stop.)

Max-Gain Systems customer service and support are excellent. I'm local to Atlanta, and he took the time to answer my questions when I picked the mast components up (as well as numerous questions before I purchased it).

The big advantage of using fiberglass over aluminum is that the antenna doesn't interact with the mast.

You can also customize any kind of mast you want by buying the components separately.

If using it as a temporary setup in the field, you also want to make sure you secure where the mast meets the ground so it doesn't move. We simply tapped a long screwdriver partway intp the ground and slipped the mast on top of it - it worked perfectly.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the mast and plan to use it for a long time.
 
N6HPO Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2010 19:05 Send this review to a friend
Great Mast For The Price!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I cannot add much to the glowing posts prior to mine. The customer support is just as good as the mast is! What I would like to mention here are the steps I took to set my mast up.

First, I dug a 4' deep hole about 30" in diameter. In the bottom of the hole I placed several bags of marble chips to about 6" deep +/-, this will assist in soil drainage when it rains.

Placed an 8' galvanized pipe in the hole's center and held it in place with rope. I then began pouring in concrete...took about 8, 66 pound bags to get it filled. Took my level to the pipe and leveled things out before the concrete began to set. I let that sit for about a week or so. During that week, I made my own guy rings, cut and measured my guy rope.

The material I used for the guy rings was some 4" electrical conduit UV caps which I found at Home Depot. I used two for each ring, sandwiched together. The caps come shrink wrapped with a water tight gasket and several S.S. machine screws. Discard the gasket and keep the screws to fasten the rings together.

Once the two halves of the ring are together, you can now drill holes in the plastic for the center post and the guy rope. I chose 4 holes for the guys. I drilled 5/8" holes every 90 degrees with a "speed-bore" bit and a 3/8" drill.

I used metal "thimbles" to loop into the holes to tie the rope through. You have to spread the thimbles some to get them to slide into the hole. I placed my guy rings at the 1 1/2", 1 1/4" and 1" masts points, which guys the mast from 13', 23' and 31'.

Having cut my antenna rope to length, I tied it off on the thimbles before taking the mast to the hill to keep it from getting stepped on and tangled while getting the mast in the air.

I lifted the whole mast up on a ladder and slowly let it descend into the galvanized pipe. BTW, it's a good idea to put some marble chips in the pipe also just to hedge your bet on water dispersal. You might also want to "shim up" the space between the bottom mast and the galvanized pipe. I just used several turns of good electrical tape to act like a gasket. Works fine.

Using 3/16" double braided polyester antenna rope to cinch the mast securely, it has just recently withstood gusts of 60+ MPH.

The mast is being used for a feed point support for a 204' long G5RV. The mast is currently at 30'; got another 8' to go.

I hope that my method might be of some help to anyone who is contemplating this type of semi-permanent set up.

Feel free to email me at N6HPO@arrl.net if I can help you along.

This is truly a great mast and a wonderful hobby. One last thought...

If you plan on buying one of these masts, try to find another ham buddy close to your QTH to split the costs. The freight co$t is really a bugger!

73 and much success!

Alan...N6HPO

 
K3JB Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2010 05:47 Send this review to a friend
Great product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have been using the MK-8HD for eight months with a G5rv. Spoke with Allen concerning my requirements, the shipping was on time, the mast was exactly as discribed and was installed per the instructions with no problems. I live by the Chesapeake Bay and experiense wind gusts in excess of 45 MPH, the Maxi-Gain has bent a bit but has survived with no problems. I plan on ordering their 50 version next.
 
KD0EPA Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2010 14:49 Send this review to a friend
Product satisfaction  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been using my Max-Gain MK-4-HD mast for several months now with no complaints. Assembly and installation are a snap, and it goes together very fast. Raising and lowering of the mast for antenna tinkering or storms is hastle free. I currently have an Arrow Antenna 6 meter drooping ground plain on the 3/4" tube, and a Davis Pro 2 weather station mounted on the 1 1/4" tube, for a combined weight of about 6 1/2 pounds. The mast is guyed at the 1 1/4" guy ring level. 60 mph wind...no problem. I just ordered another (the MK-6-HD extended) for the lake house!
 
KE5ZVC Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2009 08:37 Send this review to a friend
Great expandable product  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I ordered 4 sections starting from the 2.5 in section. Now, I am ordering another two to add on, along with two of the NEW guy rings made just for this unit. I'll use the guy rings to not only guy the pole, but the guy wires will actually be a 20 dipole at one height, and a 40 meter dipole at a higher point!

I took the weight off the clamps by adding a stainless steel screw through each section 13 inches from the top, and the inside section rests on it.

Very reasonable price for the performance and convenience.
 
KE2TR Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2009 11:27 Send this review to a friend
Great LL 80mtr Vertical  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I ordered 2 MK8's a few months back, but only put up one at this qth, used the 42ft with #12 wire and used 12' of 300ohm twinleed for LL at the center with 3 elevated radials, guyed once at 30'. Man this vertical worked great but had to take it down cause were moving qth's. The next qth I'm going to put up 2 of them and phase them with 4 elevated radials each, after the one worked out so well the two verticals should play excellent for E/W paths for DX. These masts are strong, I had them supported at around 12' at the base and guyed once at 30' with outstanding results, I will do the same at the new qth but maybe guy them 4 ways/every 90 degrees. Great HD push up mast.
 
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