Radio W4KAZ

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N4A Antenna Support Hardware

I added more N4A photos to the N4A website. The last few frames at the bottom of the N4A photos page show some close ups of the gear we used on the beach for the Iota expedition.

I was a bit surprised at just how well the 21 inch stakes worked as guy anchors. They really held firm. These stakes were cut from 42 inch”deck balusters” I got from the local big box for about 75 cents each. They are just pressure treated 2×2 material. I cut each baluster in half, so two vampire killers are obtained per baluster. I expected to need to back these up with additional stakes, but they held the 36 foot mast with just dipoles very well. It took only one stake to hold each guy. The second surprise was how easily they came out when pulled straight up rather than at the 120 degree guy angle.

The mast sections we used were those I had obtained from K4TMC a couple of years back. These are 48 inches long, 1.78 inch diameter aluminum military surplus mast. We managed to get 36 feet up very easily, once we attached the guy/pull rope in the correct section. After we were done we had a bit of trouble taking one section apart, but we brought that trouble on ourselves by not being careful to keep the sand out of the mast joints on set-up. The sections have four inches of overlap, so account for that when determining the height and counting out the mast sections.

The hinge and hinge plate I obtained from Fair Radio, the only one they had at the time. It is surplus also. The other aluminum hinge pin was found at a local ham fest this year. It was home made, but should be fine for less than 50 feet of mast. In the photos, you can see that the hinge pins are u-bolted to a length of aluminum rod. The extra length of the rod was needed for the sand, and because we didn’t guy the base plate. You can just see at the bottom of the photo that the rod bent. I think next time I’ll use a length of steel pipe or re-bar. The aluminum was handy at the time–but now its bent!

We also used these pole anchors to support the verticals for the mult radio. The anchors were easy to sink into and remove from the sand, and held either vertical antenna easily. One section of mast was put into the anchors and the verticals were bolted to the top of the mast sections.

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