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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 06-15-2018, 1:48 AM
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Default Antenna Maintenance

Question for you that live in around a harsh salty environment.

How do you keep your antennas from rusting?

Is there some special spray or lubricant that helps extend the life
of the antenna or is it a losing battle and just prepare to replace
them often?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-15-2018, 2:20 AM
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What kind of antenna are you referring to?

I live within a few miles of the Pacific Ocean and have stuff at work 50 yards from the ocean. Using the correct materials for the job goes a long ways...
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Old 06-15-2018, 8:13 AM
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Agreed, you need to get one made of materials that won't rust (SS perhaps). If you use non corrosion resistant material, there's really nothing that can be done short of possibly "spray" (or any other kind of) painting it - which is usually not resistant to flexing and may cause connectivity issues.

Keep in mind galvanized steel will eventually rust as well, SS is usually required in corrosive environments. Or you got it right, just get cheap antennas and replace them once in a while...
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Old 06-15-2018, 9:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needairtime View Post
Agreed, you need to get one made of materials that won't rust (SS perhaps). If you use non corrosion resistant material, there's really nothing that can be done short of possibly "spray" (or any other kind of) painting it - which is usually not resistant to flexing and may cause connectivity issues.

Keep in mind galvanized steel will eventually rust as well, SS is usually required in corrosive environments. Or you got it right, just get cheap antennas and replace them once in a while...
Not to mention adding weight on a large set of beams or large yagi.
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Old 06-15-2018, 9:42 AM
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I live about a mile from the ocean and the salt air takes its toll very quickly here on bare aluminum and steel. I always paint my antennas and that adds at least 5yrs to their life and also reduces their visibility with the neighbors. I also now use Burndy Pentrox or Jet-Lube SS-30 anti seize compound between the joints of aluminum tubing after seeing how years of corrosion can build up inside the antenna joints.

I always clean and degrease the antennas before painting and I've had excellent results using Rustoleum rattle can paint in a winter grey, which is a great color to disappear against the sky. Without painting a bare aluminum antenna looks pretty bad with deep pitting after 3yrs and with paint it looks dull and the paint is oxidizing but still protecting well after 5yrs.

I have some antennas that have been up over 30yrs being cleaned and painted every 10yrs or so and they are in great shape under the paint. Without paint they would have needed replacement somewhere after 10yrs.
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Old 06-16-2018, 2:50 AM
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Ooops. Should have put more info into my inquiry.

The info is for a friend that has lived in Las Vegas for 40 yrs where antennas, even with our hot weather,
last a long time.

He moved to the Oregon coast about 2 yrs ago and said his aluminum antennas already have black
stuff all over them. A neighbor of his has a fiberglass marine antenna and it too has the black, whatever
the coating is, as well.

I will pass on the info received so far.

Thanks
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:14 AM
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That's often mold, lichen, moss, other types of stuff. I've got it on some of the antennas at work. It can be cleaned off, but likely isn't hurting anything.

The aluminum will corrode and leave black residue.
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