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Author Topic: Post hole for vertical antenna  (Read 2674 times)
N8EUI
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Posts: 199




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« on: September 15, 2009, 09:34:47 AM »

I'm on vacation this week and I'm going to install my Butternut vertical, complete with the DX Engineering tilt-over mount and radial plate.  I have a five foot long, two inch diameter galvanized pipe to fasten the tilt-over mount.  My question is how deep should I dig the post hole?  Is four feet overkill?  Will three and a half feet suffice?

Tom, N8EUI
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21836




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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 10:29:23 AM »

For this kind of stuff I usually dig 4 feet or so, insert, level and secure the pipe and fill the hole with gravel and Quickrete or similar (usually 2 bags mixed will do it), let it set up 24 hours or so.

I don't think the depth dimension is at all critical, it just needs to be mechanically secure.  

WB2WIK/6
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K0KZO
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2009, 10:56:27 AM »

I have a 3ft x 1.25" pipe in around 1.5ft with the quick setting concrete.  It supports a 30ft vertical and doesn't budge.  I'd saw off the pipe so you don't have to go so deep unless you have sandy soil.

73, Doug
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3746




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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 04:19:09 PM »

hi,

should the hole be deeper then the level of
the frost line ?

73 james
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N8EUI
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 03:12:06 PM »

Thanks everyone for your advice.  I think I'll go the 1-1/2"x60" route and cement it about 40" deep.  This will give me 20" of exposed pipe for assembling the tilt mount to it.  Also, I'll fill the hole with cement up to six inches from grade and fill the remainder of the hole with the left over dirt and seed it.  This way if I ever move, I can dig six inches down, whack off the pipe and fill it in with dirt and no one will be the wiser.  Well, I'm off to Home Depot.

Tom, N8EUI
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KR2D
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 03:43:13 PM »

When I installed my Butternut HF2V, I just pounded the pipe into the ground.  I screwed a sacrificial pipe cap onto the end so I didn't mushroom the pipe.  I used a 3lb hammer to drive 4 feet of the pipe into the soil then removed the cap.  It's been up for a year now, and it's very sturdy.
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KB1NXE
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Posts: 382




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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2009, 01:21:14 PM »

Been using verticals for years.  Pound the pipe in as deep as it will go (I start with an 8' galvanized water pipe, 1 1/2" in diameter).  The goal has been to get 4' to 5' in the ground.  After it's in as far as it'll go, pull it vertical then I cut it off to fit the vertical mount.  No digging, no concrete.

I've never had a vertical come down until I took it down.  Ohio, New England or Germany.  Same story.
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K0OD
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Posts: 3029




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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2009, 06:28:48 AM »

Better question is, what DOESN'T work?

I suppose one inch diameter pipe pounded a few inches into a swamp might not be good Smiley But I've always used very tall verticals set in thin pipes pounded about 3 feet into the soil. No concrete. I'm still using one such mounting pipe that's 18 years old.

I think manufacturers tend to be way too conservative about mounting requirements in order to protect their butts.

Has anyone had a vertical base fail due to rain or wind?
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N6RK
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2009, 04:20:02 PM »

This all depends on your soil.
At my QTH, we have all clay, zero rocks.
During the rainy season, the clay has the
consistency of peanut butter.  I put up 6
40 meter verticals (33 feet high) using
4 foot deep and 12 inch diameter holes.
All of them leaned over during high winds
due to the base shifting in the wet clay.
I gave up and put guys on them.  Way less
work than trying to make them self
supporting.  OTOH, as they say YMMV,
and your verticals may stay upright.
There is no universal answer as to the
size of base you need.

Rick N6RK
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W7KKK
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Posts: 382




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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 01:49:45 PM »

I had an HF9V in SE AZ at one time.
I used a PVC pipe in the ground to slide the mast into that left it at ground level.
The hole was just over 24" in diameter and about 36" deep before I hit that shale level on the property I had. I leveled it off with 'crete of course.
Never had a problem and we had winds over 60 MPH recorded on my Davis WX station several times a year.
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