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Old 07-13-2018, 5:16 PM
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Default Telescoping masts.

Looking at installing a telescoping mast to put my scanner antenna on. Are these suitable for what I'm wanting to use it for? I don't want to put a tower up so I'm looking at this. Any info you can pass on is great.

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Old 07-13-2018, 8:11 PM
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Rohn, the tower manufacturer, makes several models, from 20 to 50 feet tall. They are designed for small antennas. Not a good choice for large amateur radio type beam antennas, or even large CB antennas.

If you only need 10 - 20 feet, you can easily make your own if you are up to it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 8:38 PM
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Default Telescoping mast

I have a 20 foot telescoping mast I purchased from Harbor Freight several years ago. It has held my dual band ham antenna through several Michigan winters and wind gusts over 60 MPH. I got it on sale for around $30. The price is higher now, but with a coupon it is an inexpensive way to solve your problem.
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Old 07-13-2018, 8:38 PM
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Any reasons person couldn't take 2 pieces of black pipe threaded together a make a mast?
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Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
Rohn, the tower manufacturer, makes several models, from 20 to 50 feet tall. They are designed for small antennas. Not a good choice for large amateur radio type beam antennas, or even large CB antennas.

If you only need 10 - 20 feet, you can easily make your own if you are up to it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 9:14 PM
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Black pipe is probably not as strong as the steel tubing that Rohn uses. The real issue with black pipe is the threaded connection as it is weak in bending. The Rohn telescoping tubing overlaps thus creating a fairly strong connection.

That said, a scanner antenna may not present much load on the mast. It depends on the antenna and the prevailing winds where the OP lives.
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Old 07-13-2018, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspence View Post
I have a 20 foot telescoping mast I purchased from Harbor Freight several years ago. It has held my dual band ham antenna through several Michigan winters and wind gusts over 60 MPH. I got it on sale for around $30. The price is higher now, but with a coupon it is an inexpensive way to solve your problem.


I got the same deal with an Antron-99 up there. Sits about 40 feet tall. I take it down in storms because if it blows over the wrong way itís into power lines. Still holding strong. Accidentally left it up during a wind storm. 60 mph gust and still up.
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Old 07-13-2018, 9:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspence View Post
I have a 20 foot telescoping mast I purchased from Harbor Freight several years ago. It has held my dual band ham antenna through several Michigan winters and wind gusts over 60 MPH. I got it on sale for around $30. The price is higher now, but with a coupon it is an inexpensive way to solve your problem.
And on this note, they often sell flag poles, including an American flag (no doubt made in China) for reasonably cheap.

I had a co-worker that lived in a very restrictive trailer park. He wanted to work HF, so he bought one, fabricated an insulated base and mounted a tuner in a flower planter next to it.

He got to work HF, and no one complained.

Get a flag pole, put your antenna on the top. If anyone complains, hoist up the ensign and carry on.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:24 PM
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I've been using Max Gain Systems telescopic fiberglass masts for the past ten years. I have two of them. There weren't cheap when I bought them, and they are even more expensive now. But it so damned easy to put them up / take them down if you have access to about the first ten feet. I install mine off the back deck (with the deck being the floor of the second story). I can stand on the deck and raise and lower them with ease.

I have an MK-8-HD and an MK-6 Heavy Duty Extend. I've only got scanner antennas up now (dual band verticals, 450 yagi, 700/800 yagi, etc). You obviously cannot extend them all the way without guying them, and it should be clear that if you use it all you end up connecting to a piece of fiberglass tubing that is 3/4" to 1" at the top. My MK-8 was used to put an inverted Vee up with the apex at 50 feet. I did no guying whatsoever. It was up for years. The inverted-vee itself acted as a guy at the 50 foot level in two directions. In high winds I would just collapse it.

I use the MK-6 predominantly now, and it's secured to the side of the house at about the 8' and 16' levels with clamps. I usually have a dual-band vertical (2m/440) and a 450 or 700/800 yagi on it, but right now it just has a single 700/800 yagi on it. I did that because I wanted to extend it farther (without guying it) and so I'm keeping the antenna weight down. I usually leave the top sections off and max out at about 35'.

If you are all about doing the proper guying, I'm sure one of the Rohn's is a better choice. But for quick and dirty stuff, or if you simply like to swap out antennas every other week (I used to swap out 6m Maxons, 2m / 440 yagis, 700/800 yagis all the time) then the fiberglass masts are nice.

https://mgs4u.com/fiberglass-push-up-masts/

These are not for everyone - they are not the end-all be-all. The absolutely should be guyed (simple nylon rope is more than sufficient). If you don't need to extend them all the way, even better -- since you can leave off the smaller diameter sections or collapse them.

Because I can't / don't climb on roofs, this is my preferred option. Good luck with whatever you get.

Mike
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