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.