Not High enough!

My antenna towers came with some existing commercial antennas pre-installed. They weren’t close enough to the ham bands to use (~3:1 SWR on 2M) which was a darn shame. They were well built commercial antennas. Sometimes the best replacement for an antenna is not an antenna at all. If you need just a little more elevation, you can substitute a 10 foot bar for the antenna, then fold the mast back to the rear again with the “real” antenna.

The product that seems like it will work well for this is actually normally used for marine applications:

This gives you the fold-over angle you need to attach the antenna facing to the rear; and it provides a nice solid steel locking pin to keep it from folding over when it’s trying to be set up and straight. My suggestion is not to trust the set screw – once your poles are there, remove the set screw and drill a hole into the pipe. Either add a screw or Rivet to make sure it’s not going anywhere (or if you’re real ambitious, drill a hole all the way through for a clovis pin). It’s going to be way up in the air, and then bounced down the freeway. We don’t want to take any chances with it. Support your antenna so that it doesn’t land on the freeway and you should be good to go. Consider fastening the pin to the mast or pole so that it doesn’t get lost.

This is not a “Tim the tool man moment” – take care with how much weight you put on such an arrangement – 10 extra feet plus the antenna may add a lot of leverage. If in doubt, cut some out.

Pictures will be added once this is installed and tested. …

9/27/2020 update:

And here they are. It looks like a million bucks, but I have to say I wasn’t happy with the results.

First of all, the only tube structure that would fit in the stainless steel fitting in my hardware store was an aluminum tube, and a fairly thin one at that. This might work if you have an extremely light antenna (maybe a tv line J-pole), but it wasn’t enough to hold up a modern dual-band antenna.

Further, this was exacerbated by the fact that the boom on this trailer has a hole and pin that holds it up; but not at a perfectly flat 180 degree angle. This is seen both from the down position when the pole climbs up, and from the upper position where everything is a few degrees off. This difference adds up a little bit when you directly attach the antenna; but after 5-8 feet of extension plus and antenna on that; it looks crooked as heck, and can’t be trusted. This idea is on the cutting room floor for now; materials possibly used for more terrestrial use cases unless we find a better way to do it (or better materials).

Can’t win them all. Let me know if you found something that works better.

I’m also considering re-drilling a new hole to line it up better, though something tells me that may not be as easy as it sounds.

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