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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 02-06-2018, 10:37 AM
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Default Lubricate fold-over

I have a tri-band UHF-mount antenna on my car. Occasionally, I park in a parking garage that requires that I fold the antenna down. Over time, it has become more difficult to lift and fold the antenna over. There doesn't appear to be any degradation in the components of the fold-over. It's simply a tight fit. Would it hurt the antenna or its performance to put a very small amount of light machine oil on the fold-over mechanism to make it the fold-over easier?
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Old 02-06-2018, 2:16 PM
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There’s probably dirt and debris in that joint. It’s just from years of use. I don’t see why you couldn’t.

I think I would probably try something like WD-40 first, before going after it with machine oil. Get the grit out from that joint.

Or if you’re ready for an “upgrade” diamond makes a motorized mount that goes up and down with the push of a button. I have one for low clearances and it works great.
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Old 02-06-2018, 2:42 PM
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There doesn't seem to be any dirt or debris. The WD-40 is a good idea to clean it up before the oil.

As far as the motorized mount, well, mounting it is one thing but the electrical part of the installation would be a pain in the keister.
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Old 02-06-2018, 6:08 PM
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Just a forewarning, while WD-40 is a decent lubricant is also, as the name implies, a water dispersion agent of which dirt is highly attracted to.

Might is suggest graphite instead?


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Old 02-06-2018, 7:55 PM
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Thanks
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:44 PM
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Default as a warning

WD-40 ...a friend of mine had been told it contained salt, no i doesn't.
he had proof as he used it to "oil" one of his guns, and it rusted.
that was his proof.
i told him most gun owners and sellers caution you to NOT use WD-40.
but for a different reason.
it is a light weight oil that strips grease and oils off and then evaporates leaving no protection.
that is why his guns rusted.
and yes it is a Water Displacement, number 40 in fact.
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Old 02-07-2018, 7:23 AM
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I'm familiar with WD40. Even though it lubricates, it's somewhat less than oil. It probably would be at least a starting point in that it will also help clean the joint. If that's not sufficient, a very little bit of a light machine oil might be necessary.

The "how" process wasn't as much of a concern as the effect any lubricant might have on the effectiveness of the antenna. I've decided that a very small amount of lubricant will have virtually no effect on the signal, in or out.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:44 AM
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a possible loss of signal is better than loss of antenna, that really cuts down on reception.
years ago with telescoping TV antennas i was told to use a light lubricant on them.
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Old 02-08-2018, 9:52 PM
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If you can find a marine supply, look for McLube "Sailkote" in a spray can. This is a mixture of Krytox (damned good expensive lubricant, Teflon's grandson) and white wax, similar to canning wax. The wax is used as a carrier because it is way cheaper and the combination of the two means it is non-staining, and eventually wears away without trapping more dirt.

Bicycle shops also usually have a similar product for bike chains. Pure Krytox is great, but a bit of overkill for this. Plain lithium grease, the off-white stuff that's a little like shaving cream, cheap, used on all sorts of car hinges and fittings because it also doesn't stain and is cheap enough to apply every year, would also probably work well. Not the slickest lube, but I don't think that's critical here.
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Old 02-09-2018, 7:12 AM
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I really appreciate all the suggestions but all I need is about 2 drops of whatever I use (and even that may be too much). I have some WD40, 3-in-One, light machine oil, lithium grease and, I think, some sort of spray Teflon in the workshop. Among those, I'll come up with something. It wasn't so much "what" as much as "what happens if" that concerned me.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:48 AM
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There's a product on the market called Sil-Glyde. It's a light silicon grease that's available in a 4 ounce tube. If you have NAPA stores in your area, they probably have it. It won't run off or evaporate like WD40 or a light oil will. But, it might attract dust and dirt which wouldn't be good.
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Old 02-09-2018, 5:19 PM
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The teflon spray, especially "dry" teflon spray, is least likely to attract dirt, so I'd go with that.
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Old 02-10-2018, 8:38 AM
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As Rred posted about the "dry" teflon, it does a great job and I use it a lot. Dirt doesn't stick to it like the other sprays.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:07 PM
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I would use silicone spray. Doesn’t attract dirt like oils.


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