2 Meter and 70 CM Antenna Tripod Project

K9DWB

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Yes thanks for the tips.

I have my gain at 9. I did hear feedback on not covering the mic hole. I think someone said lefties like me are at an advantage on this issue. But I try to stay aware of it regardless. Haven't gotten out on it much yet so I haven't gained a feel for it yet, things like how close to talk into the built-in mic, where the gain would do well, etc. Now that I can get out, that'll change soon enough though.

FWIW if the Tram has a short life span, I won't cry over it too much. I think this 1480 is a lower on the food chain clone of the Diamond X200; specs match and all that. At least I now know the tripod thing can make a huge difference even with a HT. So if/when the 1480 dies somehow, I'll just get the Diamond. I'm not implying the Tram choice was wrong or regrettable. I was of the mind to cheap out on the antenna itself and go good on the tripod and coax. The $70 or so I saved went into other radio accessories that were wanted now. And the items suggested by others helped a lot on the project, so it's a successful attempt.
 

vagrant

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I felt the same way about purchasing the 1480. It has been up in the air for over six years now without trouble. Last month I purchased another and it's on a mast now handling stuff. I was going to keep it as a spare, but....there's work to be done. I have spare Diamond X50's if something goes wonky.

For temporary/car portable, I also use a speaker tripod, LMR-400UF, but use the Diamond X50A. The gain is slightly less on the marketing sheets and in my testing between it and the 1480. For my purposes, the X50A can easily fit into my vehicle and I typically use it when at 7800' on the side of a mountain so....

I made it easy to install/remove with wing nuts and adjusted the bracket as well. Hmm...I could use a thumb screw for that locking bolt.
IMG_1657.jpg
 
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K9DWB

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Great info and thanks. The wing nut setup looks good there.

BTW did you paint the antenna in the image? I think heard it may be a good idea with the Tram to paint it. Flat black maybe. :coffee:
 

danesgs

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Here is another alternative. Ed Fong sells a very light-weight 2/440 roll-up antenna called the DBJ-1. Its made of 300 ohm coax and RG-174 cut to center of both bands with a BNC connector on one end and your choice of adapter (SMA-F or M). I don't even think it weighs more than an ounce. You could make some non-conductive stand-offs near the top of the tripod or let it hand from a small PVC "T" adapter. I have been using this as a base antenna for two years now hanging from a tree at 25 feet. See attached ARRL review.
 

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vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
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I recently started painting my antennas as the white and nickel colors really stand out. I use Rust-oleum gloss "Winter Gray" and satin "Granite" which is the darker of the two. If they made a satin Winter Gray it would be perfect. I use a light spray of the Granite after the Gray to reduce the gloss. Still, even if just one or the other color it is an improvement over the white.

I thought about flat black as well, but I figured the contrast would not improve things against the sky. With this color combo my antennas are pretty subdued along with the masts if they aren't gray already. We're all different of course, but this color suits me. I think I was out of the Winter Gray, so the bottom of the one got the Granite. The brackets on the right will get a shot or two of Granite as well once I add wing nuts and add the back bracket.

IMG_1659.jpg
 

K9DWB

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Thanks for the suggestion on J-Pole there danesgs. I may try one later on, but for now I'll run with this vertical Tram unit until it gives up. I'm debating on whether or not painting it will be helpful in added to the stealth factor.

Below is the antenna tripod sticking its head over the shrub at the house. I just did the mount adjustment to fix the skewed attitude.
These 2 images are next to the street, second one is zoomed 4x from same position. The combo is not quite tall enough to go higher than the roof peak but still hearing and talking is improved to the extreme better. Had to crop image 1 to lower upload size.Antenna from street 1 (2).jpgAntenna from street 2.jpg
 

K9DWB

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@vagrant I like those colors. I can visualize them blending in well in a variety of settings. Thanks for the sharing of info. As seen above my white stick stands out a bit, especially with the big tree in the background. At this location, I'm not too worried about it being seen, as Mom owns the house. Her development doesn't have the HOA antenna mafia either.
 

vagrant

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Yeah, I don't live in an HOA either. Painting them suits my preference. I was looking at a photo prcguy posted with an antenna he painted and realized it would suit my needs as well. My neighbors have never said a word, but the antennas were up before all but one of them moved in and they were white then.
 

K9DWB

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I'll shop Lowe's and Home Depot and see what they have available in Rust-oleum satin or flat but not gloss. I want blend not flash.
 
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prcguy

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I've had to camo a lot of antennas and here are some painted to match trees. The ground mounted vertical was painted with grey, brown and black to hide it in the winter when the foliage is all gone. Other times of the year its completely hidden behind leaves. The orange Home Depot bucket over the auto tuner could be seen a block away before painting. Now you can't find it 100ft away.

One roof top pic shows a stock white fiberglass antenna poking above the roof line and another after a base coat of grey then some spritzes of mostly green then some brown and black. Its nearly impossible to notice when driving down the street. I find its best to do a dull base coat then spritz some blotches on at varying angles, which breaks up the pure straight lines of the antenna.

At my regular house in the big city I paint all antennas a semi gloss winter grey to knock down the shine as there are no trees to hide them in.

1.JPG2.JPG3.JPG
 

AK9R

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One roof top pic shows a stock white fiberglass antenna poking above the roof line and another after a base coat of grey then some spritzes of mostly green then some brown and black. Its nearly impossible to notice when driving down the street. I find its best to do a dull base coat then spritz some blotches on at varying angles, which breaks up the pure straight lines of the antenna.

At my regular house in the big city I paint all antennas a semi gloss winter grey to knock down the shine as there are no trees to hide them in.
Do you remember what paint (brand/type) you used?
 

prcguy

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Lately its been Rustoleum in semi-gloss, the kind that advertises primer and paint in one. Its been lasting more than 5yrs and starts to get a little dull after a few months then after a few years the oxidized paint dust comes off when you touch it, but its just doing its job. I use at least 2 coats and around couplings, threaded parts or fiberglass to metal junctions I give it several more coats to fill in gaps and seal things up.

Many years ago I used Epoxy paint but the Rustoleum lasts about the same amount of time and dries a lot faster.

Do you remember what paint (brand/type) you used?
 

dazey77

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A long thread and I just have two bits to add, apologies if someone already suggested
-consider lighting stands as well as tripods, smaller tripod section and long extending parts
-for sand bags I like to use ortlieb [or equivalent) water sacks. When you are done you can tip all the water out. Trick I learnt from lighting
 

vagrant

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A friend of mine, Wicked Witch of the West, was never a fan of water and the problems it can cause. She was adamant about using sand. We were dating at the time, so sand was the answer. I found a set of four canvas bags with zippers on Amazon that each hold about 25-30 pounds. They each have two pockets for the sand/rocks. I doubled up small trash bags into each pocket and then filled them with sand. No leaks and things stay where they are put with the weight.
 

prcguy

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I bought a set similar to this and filled it with small beach rocks from Home Depot. Neewer 6 Pack Black Sand Bag for Photo Video Film Light Stand Boom Arms Tripod | eBay

A friend of mine, Wicked Witch of the West, was never a fan of water and the problems it can cause. She was adamant about using sand. We were dating at the time, so sand was the answer. I found a set of four canvas bags with zippers on Amazon that each hold about 25-30 pounds. They each have two pockets for the sand/rocks. I doubled up small trash bags into each pocket and then filled them with sand. No leaks and things stay where they are put with the weight.
 
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