It would be after the event
I invariably use a 7m pole now - ideal balance between height and weight! I use guying as a last resort - bungeeing to a fence or other handy structure takes only seconds and is available on many summits. In winter snow drifts make an excellent support - 600mm penetration is generally enough. But whatever way you do it, remember to pull out the first section of pole before fixing to avoid cursing followed by rapid dismantling
One tip that I’ve not seen elsewhere - I cut the thin top section off to leave a stub about 25mm long protruding from the next section down which I fix with a spot of glue. This leaves a handy ridge that stops the cable tie I use to attach the dipole centre to the top of the pole slipping down
Have fun on the hills
73 de Paul G4MD
nothing worse than getting the squidy nicely fixed to the fence post then the top section falls down inside and you can’t reach it. I put some grey tape around the top inch or so then a small zip tie around that and it can’t fall all the way back in, you can reach it plus put the top cap back on when you pack up. My pole was 9m long but I don’t use the top section it was too thin so it is now a 8m pole and a grey plastic wall plug fits nicely in the top with a short string down the middle of the plug where you would normally place a screw or nail if it was used as intended. Of course the string with wall plug on the end is fixed to all my antennas I use with that pole, never had it let go yet in at least 60 summits.
keep the bright ideas flowing
ian vk5cz …
Some nice experience based tips emerging, thanks. Keep em coming
Agreed on that one
And thanks to Mike 2E0YYY for the fibre glass telescopic pole link
I ordered my 8m pole today.
Good price and no postage
Plus have to add, ordered me yellow wire from Sota beam today Then noticed the order was for green one, so quickly messaged them via there messenger thingy on there web page. Quickly resolved to yellow wire i wanted in first place, hows that for service
Thanks Richard of Sota beams
I’ve also ordered an 8m pole from that link to get going on.
For anyone trying to source the 3m/4m/5m poles that are ideal for travelling (they’re only 60cm long when collapsed) I ordered one a couple of days ago and it came yesterday. Was well packaged and will be great for anybody who is due to travel abroad etc!
I also picked up one of these. Its about 50cm long and made from aluminium, if you head to a peat based SOTA summit like the Brecon Beacons or some in Mid Wales, they’re dead easy to use! These are pretty light weight (but tough) and get rid of the need for guys. All you do is auger it into the soil, take off the end cap of your fishing pole and simply slip the whole pole over.
I have this smaller 50cm version now and I have one that is 1m long for the 7m/9m poles. The 1m one came from a radio rally, from the Pro Whip seller, so I am not sure of their availability now.
The auger should be good in most soils, having used my 1m one on over 220 activations across G, GW and GD.
Hope that is some help to some people, ditch the guys! They’re such a nuisance!!
Having said that I did put an inverted V for HF with the two legs acting as two guys and a back guy taking the relief, this was a doddle. For VHF though, these are so quick, especially when used with a simple J-Pole antenna
Nice one Matt, looks useful, thanks.
8m Fibre glass poles
he he turn it into a 1/4 wave 40m vert in progress
The poles that pack down small like these travel poles are a godsend. Mine came from an eBay seller recommended by Carolyn G6WRW 3 or 4 years back and it’s been to CT3, F, ON, LX, PA & OE now. It’s good to see another source recommended Matt as the original one has long since gone.
How much does the small ground spike weigh, I didn’t see anything in the ad?
I will weigh it at some point today or tomorrow! So busy at the moment that activating with this new equipment seems so difficult! 37 points from Goat and I can’t seem to find the time to knock it off!!!
Leave it 'til January then you can do it inside two days
And the 8m telescopic portable pole vertical is in action on 1/4w 40m
Worked F/AM-499 on 20m and DM/BW-284 on 40m and it tunes down on 10m.
Tested and it works now to finish off the build of its support and anchor lines and bingo, me Portable light weight antenna is born and get hold of some light weight coax now
I quickly weighed the auger yesterday evening on the YL’s kitchen scales.
Attached is a photo!
221g in total.
I think that in the grand scale of things, it’s not too bad. As far as I know, it is the fastest way to erect VHF antennas, and more importantly on cold hills it can be taken down very quickly with gloves on!
Hope that helps
Thanks Matt. 221g doesn’t sound unreasonable and as you say for the right ground it gives very fast setup and take down times.
Not bad at all on the weight.
What does the T bar act upon? the ebay pics don’t show much.
Only thing that would concern me is the point of stress as the stake is reasonably smaller diameter than the ID of the pole, also the exaggerated lean with the length of pole. I would be looking to maybe make a rubber bung for top and bottom of stake just to pad it out.
Eventually they break. You buy another one at that point or use the spare you bought at a rally a few years back.
I agree that they do break!
However 220+ activations and I have not had a problem with mine. The fishing poles are pretty durable, however clearly the longer the ground spike the less strain on the pole.
Also on the standard (1m when collapsed) poles the outer and bottom section of the fishing poles are strengthened so the chances of snapping are less likely.
It’s a risk I am willing to take!
The T bar - That is simply a tough bit of Steel Rod at about 6m Diametre and about 150mm long. There is an 7mm hole at the top of the ground spike going all the way through, you put the steel rod through that and twist!
Steve, you’re in Hereford so the vast majority of hills that you’re likely to be on will be Welsh Border and Mid/SouthWales! There is so much peat and top soil that getting these ground spikes in to the ground, will be a case of leaning on it!!!
Guys are OK, but this system has served Geoff 2E0BTR, David M0YHD, Dave M0MYA and I very well for many years.
I am only in Ludlow, so if you fancy a joint activation one day. Let me know.
On some summits if you lean on it you would lose it!
Its a familiar piece of kit in geotechnics, you get them with snap on or screw on extensions and can bore down several metres in soft ground (such as the London basin) and pull it out to get a soil sample from the auger. It might be possible to get a bit of ali tube to fit in the top to reduce the problem that G1YBB mentions.
OK cool, good to know you are local-ish. I’m still gathering my parts, checking in with goods in to see what has come. Pole came yesterday.
Yes I was specifically thinking about Waun Fach which is incredibly peaty and boggy. Most of the other summits I can think of compared to Waun Fach are nice and dry, but mostly earthy. Thanks for the extra spike info.