Spray painting an antenna effect performance?

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conve36

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I bought a Radio Shack 20-176, again... I have purchased about 7 over the past couple years. My question is, if I spray painted this antenna (covering the connector with tape of course) with a clear spray paint, will it effect it's performance at all? I know not to use a paint with metal in it, and I would assume that the Rustoleum "Crystal-clear enamel" spray paint does not contain metal...

I wanted to spray this antenna with the clear-coat just as an extra guard against the weather.

Does color of the paint make a difference?

I have spray painted antennas before and did not seem to make a difference, but wanted to get other peoples advice. Thanks!
 

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zz0468

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Years ago, I sprayed a Ringo Ranger with clear lacquer in the hopes of corrosion control. The jury is out on whether or not it helped with that, but the antenna performed fine. I even sprayed the matching device at the base (after it was tuned) and it didn't bother it.

In time, though, I learned that it's far better to start with a decent antenna that can handle the weather. You've gone through SEVEN of these things? At what cost?

Maybe if you had bought one antenna that cost 7 times as much, you could have at least saved the effort of reinstalling a new one periodically.

Something to consider...
 

SCPD

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I bought a Radio Shack 20-176, again... I have purchased about 7 over the past couple years. My question is, if I spray painted this antenna (covering the connector with tape of course) with a clear spray paint, will it effect it's performance at all? I know not to use a paint with metal in it, and I would assume that the Rustoleum "Crystal-clear enamel" spray paint does not contain metal...

I wanted to spray this antenna with the clear-coat just as an extra guard against the weather.

Does color of the paint make a difference?

I have spray painted antennas before and did not seem to make a difference, but wanted to get other peoples advice. Thanks!
Paint will not seal metal unless it is designed to do that. I know people that spray paint their antennas green to make them less noticeable among the trees and in the neighborhood, but not as a protector of metal.
 

Josh

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Rustoleum paints were made for metal.

I have an old antenna on the house made of aluminum and copper, it's probably from the 60's, but it works well (still). A few years ago, I used some sand paper and remove the corrosion from the elements and make it look nice, then sprayed it top to bottom with clearcoat enamel as you are describing. This was probably 2004 or 5. It worked for a while, no doubt. A recent reexamination of the antenna shows that its corroding again, just not as bad. The "corrosion" on this antenna acts as somewhat of a protector anyhow.

Your antenna is stainless steel, so it may only pay to spray paint on the non-stainless steel parts, the nuts and other hardware that does rust. Unless they make the antenna differently and cheaper (yet for more money, cuz these only cost about $20 when I last bought one), these areas should be the only ones becoming rusty.
 

KC2CQD

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Engine enamel paint should do the job. Scuff it up nice so the paint has something to bite into though.
Also I've found that some good-ole petroleum jelly on the nuts and bolts will keep it protected from moisture(main cause of corrosion of course) as well as improve electrical contact. Don't use it on coax couplers though, as even a small glob in the wrong spot will short out your stinger to the shield...not cool.
If you're transmitting on this antenna, ixnay on the asolinevey, it could throw off your SWR. If you're just receiving, it wont hurt anything
 

iMONITOR

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Isn't the Radio Shack 20-176 made of stainless steel? What exactly is happening to them over the years?

I would think just about any paint would flake off due to the antenna flexing in the wind. If you do paint it, make sure the paint does not contain any metallic substances.
 

prcguy

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I paint all my antennas for corrosion protection and to dull them down so the neighbors don't revolt against me. Paint can slightly alter the resonant frequency of an antenna because it will have a dialectic coating but I have not noticed any significant changes. Some black paints contain a lot of carbon black and I would hesitate to use that on fiberglass radomes or around feed points running very high power.

I used to varnish antennas about 30yrs ago but they looked messy and the varnish eventually flakes off and its difficult to prep and varnish again if you want it to look nice.

Now I prime with a good self etching primer after thoroughly cleaning and decreasing the antenna, then paint with several coats of a semi gloss or semi flat winter gray Epoxy paint. This makes the antennas blend in with the sky and the Epoxy weathers nicely. Instead of flaking it gradually turns to a powder and I'm getting about 10yrs between paint jobs in a semi marine environment.

Cool overcast days seem best for most spray can painting because you can put on much thicker coats without the paint running.
prcguy
 
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