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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 08-28-2013, 6:33 PM
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Default Plasti-dipping an antenna?

Has anyone ever had any experience with using Plasti-dip on a stainless steel whip antenna? I've got a CB and 2m/440 antenna on my car and both are stainless. I think painting them black would make them stand out a little less and also match the factory AM/FM antenna(it's already black).

I know I can just use some sort of non-metallic spray paint but I kind of wanted something that would be easy to remove if I change my mind and plasti-dip can be removed with a little elbow grease.

Will using plasti-dip noticeably affect the performance of the antennas? I don't want to do it if I'm going to have to retune everything.
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Old 08-28-2013, 6:47 PM
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I haven't actually used it but I've 'heard' of it being used. I've also just painted antennas which is easier IMO. A little acetone or 'MEK' will remove paint with only a little 'elbow grease' applied. Also tried that 'liquid electrical tape' stuff. Not bad, but it leaves things a bit 'lumpy'.
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Old 08-28-2013, 7:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob-the-scanner-man View Post
Has anyone ever had any experience with using Plasti-dip on a stainless steel whip antenna? I've got a CB and 2m/440 antenna on my car and both are stainless. I think painting them black would make them stand out a little less and also match the factory AM/FM antenna(it's already black).

I know I can just use some sort of non-metallic spray paint but I kind of wanted something that would be easy to remove if I change my mind and plasti-dip can be removed with a little elbow grease.

Will using plasti-dip noticeably affect the performance of the antennas? I don't want to do it if I'm going to have to retune everything.
i like that idea! if you decide use the plasti dip let use know if your reception changes.
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Old 08-28-2013, 7:07 PM
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Heat shrink works wonders.
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Old 08-28-2013, 7:12 PM
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Thanks for the responses.

I might just go ahead and give it a shot this weekend. Plasti-dip is fairly inexpensive. If it doesn't work right I can always just peel it off and use non-metallic spray paint instead.
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Old 08-28-2013, 7:16 PM
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your welcome and thanks for the ideas fellows.
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Old 08-28-2013, 8:34 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_1_4 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10B350 Safari/8536.25)

There's a thread here somewhere on RR with pics from someone who did the plasti-dip. I don't know what to tell you to search for. I think user dmg1969 may have posted in the plasti-dip thread.
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Old 08-28-2013, 9:36 PM
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Plasti-dip and shrink wrap will add weight and the whip will have considerable "lay over". Get some black Krylon spray paint. I'm using it on base and mobile antennas. No RF issues.
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Old 08-28-2013, 9:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profiledescent View Post
Plasti-dip and shrink wrap will add weight and the whip will have considerable "lay over". Get some black Krylon spray paint. I'm using it on base and mobile antennas. No RF issues.
That's something I've thought about but I'm going to give the plasti-dip a shot first. I'll go out and test it at different speeds. If it works I'll keep it, but if it doesn't then I'll peel it off and go the Krylon route.

I always hear about how you have to be careful that the spray paint you use doesn't have metallic chips or contain metal. Assuming I have to use regular spray paint instead, how can I be certain what I buy doesn't have metal in it? Does it say it on the can somewhere or is all Krylon paint metal-free?
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:02 AM
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Have you looked into `Powder Coating' the whip? You can get a very thin and durable layer that way that shouldn't affect the tuning noticably even *if* there may be some slight metallic content.
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Old 08-29-2013, 4:06 AM
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I've used polyolefin heat-shrink tube on the outer section of pull-out scanner/walkie-talkie and boombox aerials. Makes for a "polished" look and didn't seem to affect the tuning any, although you may want to watch out if you use open flame to shrink the tube and the antenna contains any (meltable) plastic parts, like a scanner aerial screwed into a male BNC base.
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Old 08-29-2013, 7:38 AM
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Hey all,
I posted a few months back about PlastiDippin my Por106.Heres a lnk to the thread..
OOPS!..I Plasti-Dipped My Pro 106

the product works very well.Period.
I did my front bumper to my durango the same day I did the radio.

The DIngo bumper is Steel.Adhesion was good,first coat looked thin,but 2nd
and 3rd,,subsequently 4-5 and 6 came out great...several months later and ALOT
of highway trravel and the bumper looks great,no fade,from the sun either.

Antennas.
Use the SPRAY.,as youll never get a vat big enough to dip the whole thing.
Consider the liquid can as a 1 shot deal.Open it,Use it..But dont count on it
keeping viscosity.It will begin to cure right away.

Put cardboard/ plywood behind the antenna,back /overspray will waste alot.the
backing will reflect a lil back to the surface.

MULTIPLE COATS.!!!

As far as signal loss from the compound..its just rubber...cant be any more
detrimental than PVC piping..

Any questions/tips..Post here so all can get the info..THanks!
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Old 08-29-2013, 7:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob-the-scanner-man View Post
, but if it doesn't then I'll peel it off and go the Krylon route.

Advise..
Rustoleum will hold up Way better.
Oil based,a few coats are needed but
it cures rock hard and will last for years.

Krylon,just dose not measure up..

Been working with aerosols for almost 25 yrs.
Rusto has showed over time to protect better.

Just a tip sr!
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Old 08-29-2013, 8:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfpint View Post
Have you looked into `Powder Coating' the whip? You can get a very thin and durable layer that way that shouldn't affect the tuning noticably even *if* there may be some slight metallic content.
For Whip antennas, I would rather have them anodized than Powder coated. If you go the power coating route, I would tell the coater that it's going to flex a lot and to use the appropriate coating
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Old 08-29-2013, 9:07 AM
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I've used the heat shrink method for years and never had an issue with "layover" at highway speeds. 1/4 wave VHF and UHF antennas won't be an issue. Put a coat of armor-all on it now and then to keep it looking new.
Comes off easily, too.
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Old 08-29-2013, 9:29 AM
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'Metal' paint can be used with no problem, just don't spray something that shouldn't conduct, like insulators.
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Old 08-29-2013, 6:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NT1K View Post
If you go the powder coating route, I would tell the coater that it's going to flex a lot and to use the appropriate coating
Thanks for bringing that up! I forgot that he'd have to speak to the coater, *and* make certain that he has the antenna element/whip to show the coater so they fully understands the *whole* `situation'. I was lucky when I had a couple `auto' antennas done in that the coater was a friend and he'd already done some other people so there were no problems with the antennas. (And both are still currently in excellent condition even with all the wierd weather conditions and sandstorms they have been through.)
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:27 PM
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Got both antennas plasti-dipped. After the initial coat dried I rechecked my SWR on both antennas and they did not change any from the initial reading before applying the plastidip. I took them back off and did a second coat on the base and touched up a few areas on the whip of both.

I did a pretty heavy coat on the base of each but I tried to just lightly apply it on the whip so it wouldn't add too much weight. Tomorrow I'll drive around some to see if the wind resistance of the antennas is any different. I'll also post a few pics of the process.
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Old 09-01-2013, 8:17 AM
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Pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 09-01-2013, 8:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob-the-scanner-man View Post
Got both antennas plasti-dipped. After the initial coat dried I rechecked my SWR on both antennas and they did not change any from the initial reading before applying the plastidip. I took them back off and did a second coat on the base and touched up a few areas on the whip of both.

I did a pretty heavy coat on the base of each but I tried to just lightly apply it on the whip so it wouldn't add too much weight. Tomorrow I'll drive around some to see if the wind resistance of the antennas is any different. I'll also post a few pics of the process.
Good to hear regarding the loss issue..didnt think it would be a huge factor..,the coating,even where its -Heavy- still only amounts to maybe 1mm-1.5mm thick.

Pics would be cool if you get the time.
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