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Author Topic: PAINTING AN ANTENNA  (Read 1362 times)
K4YDN
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Posts: 5




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« on: October 25, 2009, 12:12:00 PM »

After 51 years in the hobby I now live in a restricted community.  I do have permission to put up a vertical antenna but the ARB wants me to paint it a dark non reflecting color.  Does anyone have experience with this?  Of course I will not paint the antenna until I put it together but will the paint affect the performance?  Also what type of paint?  Some paint has metal in it, should that be avoided, etc..
TNX, Mike
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KH6AQ
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Posts: 7718




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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009, 05:19:24 PM »

Spray paint is nonconductive and will be fine. I prefer Krylon brand because it drys quickly and without that tacky surface.

Getting the paint to adhere well to aluminum has defied me. But for your antenna it won't be subject to abrasion and the paint will hold up for a few years.

A couple coats of metal primer followed by a couple coats of a color will be durable enough.

I have to say though that with painting wooden masts and such over the years it is hard to beat bare aluminum for blending in. A light, dull grey color is what I've found to blend best.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2009, 05:42:26 PM »

I'd tape up any insulators if possible, to avoid getting pain across them. Certainly do not use any of the paints with the imbedded metal flakes.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
N5LRZ
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2009, 07:17:03 PM »

Green against a green tree is a good combo...

However before paiting the primary antenna I would test the paint itself.

Get some bare copper wire and make a simple 2 meter dipole.  Check the SWR before painting the antenna and make note of the readings at varios frequencies  you will be using.  You do not have to actually tune the antenna itself.  Then dip the bare coper wire in the paint or spray the antenna to paint the bare copper wire letting the paint completely dry.

NOW go back to those same frequencies you took readings on the first time and take a second batch of readins making not of the readings using the painted wire antenna.

IF the SWR went up significantly then you might want to redo the test using another color and or type of paint.  IF the SWR stayed the same or about the same then go forth and paint.
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CHARLIEBAKER
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Posts: 99




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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2009, 07:31:29 PM »

my buddy jeff say if you paint it red it make skip come in better beacus red have lower frequncy and wont jam your signal as much
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K5END
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Posts: 1316




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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 05:04:14 AM »

True, it is hard to get paint to stick to aluminum.

I've used both paint and "Camo Clad," which is what hunters or wannabes use to cover vehicles, blinds, etc. It is made as permanent or not permanent.

My concern was losses in the paint or camoclad and any dielectric properties.

I did some tests for both paint and the camoclad using a wattmeter and MFJ-259 on 2 meters and 70 cm. The before and after data were identical, for what that is worth.

There is also a leafy product intended for bow hunters that I found at Gander Mountain. It's pretty effective for camouflage, especially on large coils such as used on the Butternut HV6V. However, the camo is held in place by small magnets that "pinch" the wrap-around. I removed the magnets and held it in place with some green cable ties I found at the lawn and garden store.
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K5END
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Posts: 1316




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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 05:06:43 AM »

PS. You can also wrap the antenna with masking tape and simply paint the tape. I've tried that as well with good results.

The upside (or downside) is this is not permanent. The tape will eventually unravel in the weather.
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 357




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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2009, 07:11:27 PM »

I have used black electrical tape on my verticals.  It is a bit of a pain in the rear (hassle) and pain in the wrists (literal) wrapping them, but it works like a charm
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