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Vertical Antenna Install Questions

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dkscism

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Hi all, I'm installing a Solarcon A99 for a CB and have some questions about how to do this properly. It will be beside my house, so I want to get it high enough so that the majority of it will be above my roof. This will make the base pretty high up there (~30ft). The house has synthetic shingle siding.
I'm wondering if It is possible to mount the mast to the side of the house, or will it need to rest on the ground?
 

12dbsinad

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Hi all, I'm installing a Solarcon A99 for a CB and have some questions about how to do this properly. It will be beside my house, so I want to get it high enough so that the majority of it will be above my roof. This will make the base pretty high up there (~30ft). The house has synthetic shingle siding.
I'm wondering if It is possible to mount the mast to the side of the house, or will it need to rest on the ground?
30' self supported above the roof line? What are you using for a mast?
 

jonwienke

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I'm wondering if It is possible to mount the mast to the side of the house, or will it need to rest on the ground?
If you're going up 30', you'll need to have the mast anchored into the ground and attached securely to the eaves.
 

dkscism

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I am considering my options and have included some pictures and dimensions to help illustrate my situation. As you can see in my pictures, I over estimated the peak height of my roof. It is 25 feet from the ground. I am now considering using the 6x6 post on my deck as the anchor/support for my mast. The post I am referring to is the dimensioned one right against the house. Would using some sort of mount with lag bolts into the post be sufficient for attaching a mast?
Basically I am trying to avoid planting a tall pole in the ground. The roof overhang over the deck portion is 2 feet. The main house portion has a roof overhang of 9 inches. The other peak in the roof over the deck portion is 3.5 feet higher than the top of the 6x6. I am considering all of my options, so any input is appreciated.
 

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12dbsinad

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How about a roof tripod on that 25' roof? At the peak near the eves. It would be at the highest elevation without a mast.
 

cmdrwill

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I would use the "25" location, Why? because the bottom of the mast IS near the electrical entrance and main grounding point. A short ground wire from the bottom of the mast to the ground rod, and that meets most electrical codes.
 

lucky43113

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i had my antron99 up for over 20years on a mast pipe that was just clamped to a very heavy steel clothes line post from the ground to the top of the antenna was 30ft never had an issue never ran a ground wire either
 

dkscism

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How about a roof tripod on that 25' roof? At the peak near the eves. It would be at the highest elevation without a mast.
I also want to avoid mounting directly on the roof, as my roof is very visibile from the lake shore below.
Do you have a chimney or a vent pipe on the roof?
Again, I'm trying to stay away from mounting on the roof as well.
I would use the "25" location, Why? because the bottom of the mast IS near the electrical entrance and main grounding point. A short ground wire from the bottom of the mast to the ground rod, and that meets most electrical codes.
How would you go about doing this? What type of mount.

Also, is using a mount to the 6x6 inadvisable?
 

jonwienke

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From an engineering perspective, a metal mast anchored in the ground (preferably with a solid concrete foundation) and bolted to structural wood near the roofline will be the strongest and least likely to damage the house. It also facilitates proper grounding, since you can put a ground rod in right next to the base of the mast and connect it to the mast with a short #4 ground wire. You'll want to connect the mast to the house main electrical ground as well, but it should also have its own ground rod so that you're minimizing the amount of lightning going through the house wiring in the event of a strike.

I concur with the "25" location as a good choice, with running the mast along one of the 6x6s as a good alternate option. I would recommend getting 30' of the triangular truss-style masts to get from ground level to the roofline. Anchor the base of the mast in concrete, or alternatively anchor some steel rods or water pipe in the concrete that the bottom mast section will slip over and attach to. The top of the mast should be fastened to structural wood in the eaves with brackets. Use 2 brackets so that 2 of the 3 verticals in the truss are attached to the house.

I'd also use 10' of something like 1-1/4" steel electrical conduit to get the base of the antenna well clear of the roof. (conduit is galvanized, but sturdier than the typical antenna mast pipes sold at Lowes.) Then attach the CB antenna to the top of the conduit. That will get you a total height of about 55', which is just below the 60' FCC limit, and should handle pretty much anything short of a tornado if you do it right.
 

lucky43113

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From an engineering perspective, a metal mast anchored in the ground (preferably with a solid concrete foundation) and bolted to structural wood near the roofline will be the strongest and least likely to damage the house. It also facilitates proper grounding, since you can put a ground rod in right next to the base of the mast and connect it to the mast with a short #4 ground wire. You'll want to connect the mast to the house main electrical ground as well, but it should also have its own ground rod so that you're minimizing the amount of lightning going through the house wiring in the event of a strike.

I concur with the "25" location as a good choice, with running the mast along one of the 6x6s as a good alternate option. I would recommend getting 30' of the triangular truss-style masts to get from ground level to the roofline. Anchor the base of the mast in concrete, or alternatively anchor some steel rods or water pipe in the concrete that the bottom mast section will slip over and attach to. The top of the mast should be fastened to structural wood in the eaves with brackets. Use 2 brackets so that 2 of the 3 verticals in the truss are attached to the house.

I'd also use 10' of something like 1-1/4" steel electrical conduit to get the base of the antenna well clear of the roof. (conduit is galvanized, but sturdier than the typical antenna mast pipes sold at Lowes.) Then attach the CB antenna to the top of the conduit. That will get you a total height of about 55', which is just below the 60' FCC limit, and should handle pretty much anything short of a tornado if you do it right.
mine was set up like your 1st paragraph but i never grounded it it was maybe 5ft from the house no issues though
 

jonwienke

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mine was set up like your 1st paragraph but i never grounded it it was maybe 5ft from the house no issues though
You got lucky. A lot of other people ended up with major electrical damage or house fires from lightning strikes to masts that were not properly grounded. Failure to ground to code guarantees homeowner's insurance won't cover any lightning damages. Do not skimp on grounding.
 

12dbsinad

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I'd also use 10' of something like 1-1/4" steel electrical conduit to get the base of the antenna well clear of the roof. (conduit is galvanized, but sturdier than the typical antenna mast pipes sold at Lowes.) Then attach the CB antenna to the top of the conduit. That will get you a total height of about 55', which is just below the 60' FCC limit, and should handle pretty much anything short of a tornado if you do it right.
Mine as well do a small 4' tripod at the eave, both would have equal aesthetics.
 

jonwienke

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But it would require making and sealing holes in the shingles, and be more likely to cause roof leaks than a mast alongside the wall.
 

12dbsinad

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3 small feet anchored to the roof with lags. If done properly, it isn't a big deal and very minimal repair it it's removed. And it shouldn't leak, if done with basic sealing skills.

It just gives the OP another option if he is going to have the view of antenna on his roof, essentially, without pouring concrete and attaching brackets to the house.
 

lucky43113

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You got lucky. A lot of other people ended up with major electrical damage or house fires from lightning strikes to masts that were not properly grounded. Failure to ground to code guarantees homeowner's insurance won't cover any lightning damages. Do not skimp on grounding.
I just never thought about it i cant remember the last time we had lightning or even thunder. I know lightning doesn't have to be close to hit though
 

jonwienke

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3 small feet anchored to the roof with lags. If done properly, it isn't a big deal and very minimal repair it it's removed. And it shouldn't leak, if done with basic sealing skills.
It's still a bad idea. If he goes 10' above the roofline as I suggested to get his antenna as high as possible, the leverage on the tripod legs is going to be enormous during high wind conditions because the feet are fairly close together. You're going to have about a 10:1 ratio between the force exerted on the feet and the force exerted at the top of the antenna, due to the leverage involved.

In contrast, if mounting the mast as I suggest, the force ratio will be about 2:1 between the top of the antenna and the brackets attaching the mast to the side of the house. So there will be far less stress on the house where the mast attaches to it, and if the sealant around the attachment bolts fails, it's on the side of the house rather than the roof, and is only going to get wet when the wind blows the rain sideways.

Then you have the grounding issue. A tripod on the roof is going to have its ground wire either lying on the roof, or inside the house. A direct hit is going to vaporize the ground wire and start a fire inside the house or on the roof. If you have a metal mast to the side of the house, the mast will direct the energy away from the house and the vaporized wire will be on the ground next to the house where it will cause significantly less damage.
 

jonwienke

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I just never thought about it i cant remember the last time we had lightning or even thunder. I know lightning doesn't have to be close to hit though
In a lot of places, thunderstorms are a weekly occurrence during the summer. So good grounding isn't something to take lightly.
 
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