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Reviews For: Penninger Specialized Antenna Hardware and Aluminum Tubing

Category: Towers, masts, accessories, climbing & safety gear

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Review Summary For : Penninger Specialized Antenna Hardware and Aluminum Tubing
Reviews: 14MSRP:
Tripods, Mast clamps, Tipping bases, Roof mounts, Tire mounts, Accessories, Side arm brackets, Mast tubing, Aluminum rounds & flats, Post mount brackets and Long sleeves.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WH6V Rating: 2019-09-10
Well made top quality Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using the Penniger mast clamps for a while now. First time was to extend my aluminum mast on my towe. I also used a ¼ inch bushing from Penniger, because I was using a 1.75 inch tube to extend from a 2 inch tube. The mast clamp was for 2 inch mast. Bushing and mast clamp together provided an extremely strong slice for the two mast sections. Since then I have most recently modified my Cushcraft ASL2010 boom by adding in two 2 inch mast clamps on the 2 inch boom, at the 2 splice points of the boom. This improved the strength and stiffness of the boom. Prior connection methods was a nong #10 screw and hose clamps. Here in Hawaii, the winds are relentless and place massive preasure on all joints on the antennas and tower. The Penniger mast clamps are also highly resistant to salt corrosion. Which is always present in the air here. They are expensive but extremely high in value.
AA6VB Rating: 2018-03-26
Great Product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased three guy rings and clamps for the rotating mast I was installing and am very pleased with the very high quality of the product. Also, I had a few questions and received prompt email responses, even on a Saturday.

Highly recommended high quality products - worth the price!


KG7EXG Rating: 2013-12-20
no answers to emails Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I placed an order that Penninger acknowledged receipt of 2 DEC 13. My card was charged for it on 4 DEC13. Simple order, three items (shippable via UPS). I have asked twice for a tracking number so I can see where the shipment might be but I get no response. I have since ordered and received several items from other companies in 5 days or less so I'm just wanting to track this order down in case it was delivered to the wrong place. It happens, but responding to my requests for shipping data would surely be good business.
K2MK Rating: 2012-11-02
20 Foot 2” Diameter Mast Using Tipper Junior Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Penninger has a wide array of aluminum hardware for antenna mounting. My project was to put up a 3 element 6 meter beam and TV style rotator on a 20 foot mast. The 20 foot limitation was self imposed based on guy anchor distance from the mast and keeping the assembly light enough for an old guy to easily tip it vertical.

Penninger’s website seems daunting at first. There may be a kit of parts available to meet your needs or you may have to pick and choose individual items. I did the latter and chose three six foot lengths of 2” tubing with 1/4” wall thickness. I wanted a really stiff assembly and thought that the 2” thick wall tubing would be best. I also chose the mast clamps instead of the snap tubes because this is a permanent installation so quick assembly/disassembly was not a factor. And with advice from Charles I used two guy clamps for guying. One under the rotator and one at the 10 foot level. There are guy holes in the mast clamps but they did not fall at the height I wanted to guy. (The Tipper base adds a bit over 2 feet to the overall height).

My Tipper was the Junior Heavy Duty. The heavy duty models use 1/4” wall tubing and the non heavy duty use 1/8” wall tubing. The Tipper Junior is designed to fit on a 4x4 or larger post. I used eight 3/8” x 5” bolts completely through my 4x4 post as recommended on the website. I predrilled the post and then cemented it in place. I left it tall to aid in leveling and then cut it down short after the cement hardened.

I can’t say enough about the quality of the Penninger components. All parts have a nice mill finish and all burrs and sharp edges have been removed. The parts are meticulously machined and everything fits together perfectly. The hinge bolt on the Tipper looks to be 5/8” diameter and the fit tolerance is perfect. Tight tolerances mean minimal side to side wobble as you tip up the mast. My load was only 15 pounds at the top but I know some folks are putting heavier loads on their 30 foot masts. The mast clamps are very well designed and transformed my three six foot sections into a single 18 foot long tube.

The parts are well packed for shipment. Stainless steel hardware is provided and the hardware has been pre-attached to the components. (You provide your own hardware to mount the Tipper to your post). I suggest that you take the time to add a dab of anti-seize to each bolt before doing any serious tightening. Overall a very pleasant experience.
KU0Y Rating: 2012-04-12
Quality Products and Service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I started to purchase items from Penninger a few years back - now I finally have a solid antenna and mast.

My current effort is a vertical dipole that has been constructed with a Shakespeare Military 120 antenna mounted on top of the mast, an SGC-230 mounted on top of the mast, with the mast comprised of 1/4 inch mast that is 2 inch in diameter. Penninger modified one of their components to my specifications for a custom bracket to mount the antenna ontop of the mast.

Great service, excellent products!
K5UJ Rating: 2011-01-02
Rugged mast for rough WX Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Penninger Radio
915 Atlantic Drive
West Chicago, Illinois 60185
630-336-7641 phone, 9 AM to 8 PM
630-231-3545 fax, any time
E-mail to

This is a review of a custom built tilt-over 50 foot tall aluminum mast that Charlie Penninger designed for me. This mast has been up in the Chicago area weather for almost 18 months at the time of this writing with no problems.

In spring 2009 I went to Charlie Penninger with an antenna support requirement. I wanted to erect a wire antenna support that would be almost free-standing, but not a lattice tower, that would be 50 feet tall or close to that height, and capable of holding up an inverted L wire and one end of a dipole as close to a property boundary as possible with little sway in the wind. Some flexing would be okay but I didn't want a mast that would bend over horizontal like a wet noodle. I was prepared to pay up to $1000.

Previously I had experimented with a horizontal loop antenna (near one wavelength at 4 MHz) but after a few years of use I had concluded that it really needed to be much higher than 30 feet to work well, and I simply could not afford the number of tall supports needed to get it high enough to perform satisfactorily.

A basic rule of horizontal wire antenna performance is that height trumps size, i.e. a half-wave dipole high up beats a big low 1 wave loop every time due to substantially reduced ground loss that is realized at heights approaching 1/4 wave length. So I decided to give up on the loop and use what little money I had on one good tall support where I needed it most, and use a tree in a lucky location for the other end of a half-wave center fed 80 meter dipole that I hoped would be 45 to 50 feet high. (I eventually learned that I gained about 10 dB over the loop by moving to the dipole 20 feet higher up.)

There were a few complications standing in the way of some obvious (and cheaper) solutions. Inexpensive cheap steel push up poles were out because their guying requirements prevented them from being placed anywhere close to a property line. A free standing lattice tower was out because of local ordinances regulating "towers." I was willing to do some guying, but it had to be done in a way that would be helpful but allow the base of the mast to be no farther away from a property line than 10 feet (I reside on a 50 x 100 foot lot). A bit of geometry calculating led me to believe that I could three-way guy a 50 foot mast 3/5 of the way up and have a minimally effective guying angle, get the base of the mast close enough to the property line to have some room for a hanging ends dipole, with two of the anchors inside the property boundary. The top 20 feet would have to be free standing, but I figured the wind load of wires would not be all that great.

Once I got this far I started wondering if an aluminum mast would get the job done and I went to Charlie Penninger with what I had to see if he could come up with anything.

With the information I gave him, he came back to me after about two weeks with a construction plan for a 50 foot tall aluminum mast that would be made with 3 inch o.d. 1/8 inch wall tubing, guyed at one level 31 feet up, and would hinge over at the base and be mounted to a 10 foot tall pressure treated 6" x 6" post in the ground 3 or 4 feet. The mast was made with three lengths of tubing, 8 feet at the base, 24 feet to the guy point, and 18 feet above that free standing. A removable wench at the top of the post would be employed to pull up the mast using a 3 inch wide nylon strap. The total cost of the mast including the mounting hardware, section unions, wench, and other hardware came in at a bit over $900. I only had to get the post and get it in the ground level and positioned where I wanted the mast to go and facing a direction from which I could crank it up.

With the help of Jeff KB9YSJ (who I must admit did all of the work) the post made it to my QTH and got put in the ground, along with three earth screw guy anchors from Glen Martin. This was the last week of July 2009. The following Thursday, I came home from work to find that Charlie Penninger had built the mast and it was mounted and laying over on the ground ready to crank up. What service! Now, I'm not going to say that he'll do that for everyone--I just happen to reside a few miles away from his store--but I am confident he will do everything he can reasonably be expected to do to make a customer happy, regardless of where the customer is located.

At this point I got the bright idea that with a 50 foot mast insulated from the ground by the wood post, all I had to do was add a 15 foot aluminum stinger to the top and I'd have a quarter wave vertical on 80 m. After I got over the size of the thing (it looked huge on the ground) I came up with enough scrap small diameter tubing and self tapping screws to put together a stinger and spent a day bolting it to the top of the mast, along with a PVC side arm for holding the top of an inverted L wire for 160 m. Then I attached a pulley to hold the rope for one end of a low band dipole (the original purpose of the mast), and dacron guy ropes for three way guying. At the last minute I bolted on a second PVC standoff at 30 feet to hold another wire for 40 meters. I was getting as much antenna mileage out of this mast as I could!

When we cranked it up it bowed over as if it were about to launch a giant arrow, but we were quickly able to crank it up past the critical angle and suddenly it was up. It was a two man operation, partly because I wanted to be under the mast with a ladder to push it, just in case it needed help. That turned out to be completely unnecessary, but it did give me confidence in the mast once the wind blew later in the fall.

I purposely waited to write this review to give the mast some time in the weather. I am delighted to report that it has come through with flying colors, especially with the 2 1/2 day cyclone we had here at the end of October this year, during which we were battered with high winds during a record inland low pressure that produced gradients causing sustained 50 mph winds gusting to over 70 mph. Does it move in the wind? Certainly-it's aluminum. Does it move too much? Not at all--I'd describe it as a gentle swaying.

This mast was not inexpensive, and if you have not purchased steel, aluminum or copper in 20 years, you may be in for sticker shock, but I think it will last a long time. Antennas are still the best ham radio investment most of us can make since a good antenna will still be in service long after that new rig has become out of date. If you want both top quality material and a reliable design or professional advice on your antenna hardware needs and this includes relatively small orders such as a single 10 foot tube, I would go to Penninger Radio every time.


NI2S Rating: 2010-07-02
Rock solid products Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased the 35ft mast with clamps and the tipping base. The tipper base is really well built. The extra thick walled mast tubing and the heavy duty clamps made for a totally solid mast that handled my FD antenna array with ease. Before purchasing this mast system, I spent a lot of time scouring the internet for an affordable portable mast system that could handle a decent antenna load. I could find nothing on the market at this price point anywhere near as good. Highly recommended.

N9CHA Rating: 2010-06-30
FD2010 Success Using Penninger Radio Mast Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
FD2010 is now in the log! Our 3A station was a breeze to set up using Penninger Radio mast equipment. We used 6 five foot snap tubes, a tripod, mast clamp and a five foot fiberglass tube. The mast was easy to haul, light weight, and very easy to assemble. This 35' structure held our 2/440 vertical, 6 meter beam and used the Penninger Radio pulley system to hoist up a center-fed 40 meter folded dipole. A special slip ring and tube joiner, both available from Penninger Radio, allowed us to easily rotate the mast and beam combination using our arm-strong rotor.
Next year we hope to have the "Tipper" on site. Not sure if we'll use the four-legged version or the drive-on, but for sure we'll keep investing in his equipment.
If you're looking for a professional product that delivers, you will be happy you bought products from Penninger Radio. I know I am! Greg N9CHA
KJ4SLP Rating: 2010-02-24
In a class by itself Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Penninger gear is in a class by itself. I recently ordered mast tubing, clamps, and a tipper. The goods arrived very promptly, well packed and in perfect condition. Compared to competing products that I have seen, these look like they will outlast the pyramids. The build quality is exceptional, from the machining of the clamps to the silky-smooth deburring of the tubing. Charles Penninger is a little more expensive than his competitors but there is no doubt at all that his work is worth every penny.
NQ5T Rating: 2009-03-13
First rate products Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
In looking for guy rings that can support mast guys for a rotatable fiberglass mast I found Penninger through a link on the Max-Gain website.

The 2" diameter slip-ring guy rings and associated hardware and bushings (to fit mast section diameters under 2") are beautifully machined. The slip ring itself rotates against a large (nylon or teflon??) bearing surface that also extends through the center hole, so there is no rotating metal directly in contact with the mast.

These are not your local hardware store's variety of guy rings. The ring itself is machined from a 3/16" aluminum plate. Just what the doctor ordered for a rotating guyed mast with no risk of gouging the fiberglass, and virtually no added rotational resistance.