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Amateur Radio Antennas For discussion of all amateur band designed antennas and related accoutrements. This includes base, handheld, mobile and repeater usage. For commercial antennas on the amateur bands please use Commercial Radio Antennas below.

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Old 08-19-2011, 5:08 PM
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Default Installing antenna on utility pole

I found out today my local REC will deliver and install a 45' utility pole. I figure about 38' will be above ground after installtion. The antenna I plan on installing is a Comet CA-712EFC, weights 3 pounds, and stands 10.5' tall. If I were to use 1/16" thick mast, how far could I safety extend the antenna above the pole without using guy wires? I live in Iowa, we get ice, wind, hail, and tornados.

Thanks for any input

Tim K.
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Old 08-19-2011, 6:19 PM
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You better get a thicker wall mast... 1/16" is pretty thin and light. If nothing else get the heavy duty threaded conduit at your local home center, a ten foot length with about two foot of it thru bolted to the top end of the pole is how i have done it.
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Old 08-19-2011, 6:40 PM
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Hope you've got access to a bucket truck...Trying to manhandle a mast, antenna, hardware ,etc. when you're up 35' on a set of climbing spurs, with a belt holding you there is not fun.... My misspent middle age was partially wasted up lots of Rohn 25, and that's bad enough...
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Old 08-19-2011, 6:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timkilbride View Post
I found out today my local REC will deliver and install a 45' utility pole. I figure about 38' will be above ground after installtion. The antenna I plan on installing is a Comet CA-712EFC, weights 3 pounds, and stands 10.5' tall. If I were to use 1/16" thick mast, how far could I safety extend the antenna above the pole without using guy wires? I live in Iowa, we get ice, wind, hail, and tornados.

Thanks for any input

Tim K.
In this general area I would take Scott's suggestion to heart.

I have a similar antenna on top of my house (2 meter /70 cm but similar in size) on a tripod above my TV antenna and have no problem using the rotor when needed.----Not a lot of loading even with ICE
& snow.

I wouldn't go over 10' above that pole.
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Old 08-19-2011, 9:36 PM
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And there is not much advantage (gain) to being another few feet higher.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:59 PM
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38 feet is a great start. If you want to add pipe to the top of that, I would think it would be for the ease of antenna mounting, least concern of getting up just a little higher. EMT conduit is fairly strong and should hold up the antenna another 7 or 8 feet. Rigid is better, but again you'll have to muscle it up. Either way, a single 10 foot chunk is all that I'd do.

If you do use a pole, plan to climb up every couple of years to tighten hardware. They loosen due to shrinkage (Georges problem) and what I call "suck in".

Last edited by ramal121; 08-19-2011 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 08-20-2011, 9:25 AM
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I'm hoping the REC company would give me a couple minutes to install the antenna/coax while the pole was still laying on the ground.

By getting a extra 10' above the pole with an extension pipe, will double my current height.

Tim K.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:12 AM
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I think I would agree with the idea that a mast of around 10 feet would be my limit for additional height. Lots of factors mixed in that. A few feet really isn't going to make a significant difference. (Sure, it could... but is it worth the trouble?)
I hope your REC is more 'relaxed' than the ones here! If the utility companies here have a line on a pole, they won't allow you to put an antenna on it. But then, I don't make a point of telling them either, you know?
A stronger mast/pipe wouldn't be a bad idea...
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:19 AM
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There won't be any lines attached to this pole. This pole is for my own private use.

Tim
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:41 AM
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I had to extend above a wooden utility pole as an anchor point for a 204ft dipole and wanted the most height we could get.

We used a 21ft pipe found on site that was thicker wall than fence post but a little thinner than galvanized water pipe.

We had about 16ft of pipe above the utility pole and mounted the pipe with three lag bolts through the pipe spread across the 5ft that was up against the utility pole. There was a pulley attached to the top of the pipe to raise the dipole.

When finished and the dipole was being raised and pulled taut we could not generate enough side force to cause any problems with the pipe. It bowed slightly but that's with about 150lbs of side pull at the top of the pipe.

I would not hesitate to place a 10ft long or even the 17ft long Comet antenna on top of the installation I described. With enough wind the Comet antenna would be destroyed before the utility pole and pipe would have any problems.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timkilbride View Post
I'm hoping the REC company would give me a couple minutes to install the antenna/coax while the pole was still laying on the ground.

By getting a extra 10' above the pole with an extension pipe, will double my current height.

Tim K.


They probably would let you do that........................as long as you are fast. .....plus you are paying for their time anyway.



In this area don't go any farther than 10 foot..............it is just going to be a hassle for maintenance later.

The 10' extension you can manhandle on the pole if you need to do some repair or replacement.....anything longer is going to be a problem later.
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Old 08-20-2011, 4:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
I had to extend above a wooden utility pole as an anchor point for a 204ft dipole and wanted the most height we could get.

We used a 21ft pipe found on site that was thicker wall than fence post but a little thinner than galvanized water pipe.

We had about 16ft of pipe above the utility pole and mounted the pipe with three lag bolts through the pipe spread across the 5ft that was up against the utility pole. There was a pulley attached to the top of the pipe to raise the dipole.

When finished and the dipole was being raised and pulled taut we could not generate enough side force to cause any problems with the pipe. It bowed slightly but that's with about 150lbs of side pull at the top of the pipe.
That's more or less what I'm working on. I'm trying to work it out so I'll have a pulley at the top with stainless steel wire rope (no corrosion) attached to a winch. The mast itself will be connected to a pivot point at the ground so that by using the winch, I can raise and lower the entire mast assembly, antenna and all to ground level to do whatever needs to be done.
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Old 08-21-2011, 2:58 PM
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What's a REC? Pardon my ignorance.
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Old 08-21-2011, 4:08 PM
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What's a REC? Pardon my ignorance.
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Old 08-21-2011, 4:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_CJDC_ops View Post
Hope you've got access to a bucket truck...Trying to manhandle a mast, antenna, hardware ,etc. when you're up 35' on a set of climbing spurs, with a belt holding you there is not fun.... My misspent middle age was partially wasted up lots of Rohn 25, and that's bad enough...
That's no fun. Ham radio is about suffering for your hobby! :^]

Read the book about W6AM and the antenna farm made of power poles. He built most of that himself and certainly wasn't adverse to running up a pole or two in the dark. :^)
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Old 08-21-2011, 5:50 PM
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Nothing like adjusting a gamma match at 23:30 with snow flurries, a 20 mph wind and a HT to the wife in the basement. Those were the days..
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confuzzled View Post
That's more or less what I'm working on. I'm trying to work it out so I'll have a pulley at the top with stainless steel wire rope (no corrosion) attached to a winch. The mast itself will be connected to a pivot point at the ground so that by using the winch, I can raise and lower the entire mast assembly, antenna and all to ground level to do whatever needs to be done.
The setup i had here for years was similar. I took a 35ft pole and sunk it in five feet, then i made up 30ft of pipe with couplers and a large heavy hinge, barn door type, that i welded to the pipe on one side and a plate for bolting through the pole on the other side about five foot off the ground, gave me a total height of 35ft to the top of the mast, i ran bolts through the hinge and pole and put a winch on them on the other side, the winch cable went up the side of the pole to a pulley mounted on a plate and a hole drilled through the pole, i notched the hole on the mast side to allow the cable to go down at an angle. Above the cable hole i took a piece of flat metal and bent it into a V and bolted in the center, this was like a guide for the mast to settle into and kept it from moving side to side when it was tightened in the upward position by the winch.

This install served me well for years until i put my first tower up. Wonder if i still have any pictures of that install around...
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_CJDC_ops View Post
Nothing like adjusting a gamma match at 23:30 with snow flurries, a 20 mph wind and a HT to the wife in the basement. Those were the days..
Been there done that... LOL
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Old 08-22-2011, 6:25 AM
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The setup i had here for years was similar.
That's all part of what I'm trying to work out. I may use something called a sheave block at the pole top, but I have to work out a cable guide so it won't slip off track for some reason. I was planning on through drilling the pole with pulleys and guides on both sides with pvc pipe as a sleeve through the pole.

Some kind of angle iron V brackets at 5' or 10' intervals up the pole for the mast to seat into should eliminate the need for guy wires.

Biggest concern is controlling sway while raising or lowering, so I'm working on a way to stiffen the base and possibly use guide wires of some sort.

I should be able to get a 45' pole, but the ground here is primarily gravel, so I hope to be able to get one of the utility contractors to drill the ground and set the pole once I get the hardware attached. I have some possibilities for raising the pole, but digging 5' deep in this ground would be a problem if I can't get them to do it.

That would give me 40' AGL for the pole and mast assembly plus another 5' or so in a typical anodized mast for the antenna mounting to get me around 45' AGL.
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Old 08-22-2011, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timkilbride View Post
...how far could I safety extend the antenna above the pole without using guy wires? I live in Iowa, we get ice, wind, hail, and tornados.

Thanks for any input
My input: Hot dipped galvanized chrome moly pipe. It's what's used on commercial towers. The pole will break before the pipe does. And you can go up as high as you want.
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