The aptly named Activator glass fibre fishing pole is back on sale at Aldi from Sunday for £17.99.
This is a pull apart 8m pole so has the advantage of not being susceptable to collapsing in on itself like a conventional telescopic pole.
Only disadvantages are that it is slightly heavier and takes a bit longer to put up.
In reply to GW4EVX:
Thanks for the notice Ron. I went to the Wednesfield branch and paid for two poles. Beyond the checkout was an angler dismantling a pole set with the store manager. I asked him about what was going on. He said he’d found his purchase was cracked when opened at home and returned for a replacement. Two replacements were examined and sections in both pushed through. I set about examining my purchases. One had a crack in a slender end. The second pole had a faulty joint where the poles pushed through. I tried two further poles and both had push-through joints. I had a full refund and went home empty-handed.
It looks like a “Quality Escape” and anyone who also bought from today’s batch should examine them for similar faults. My long wire horizontal loop antenna experiment is postponed. Telford Hamfest on 5 September should be a good place to find some telescopic poles. Duct tape around the joints stops them collapsing.
In reply to 2E0DAI:
I’ve been to the Shrewsbury branch for mine. When I assembled it this evening, I too found there were two sections with push-through joints. Just as well I still have the receipt. My wife (an expert returner) will be taking them back for a refund.
Regards, Dave, G6DTN/M0DFA
In reply to M0DFA:
Geoff 2E0BTR (with Mrs. 'BTR) and myslf just went into the Kidderminster store to see how exactly our mileage would vary. I set about removing poles from their packaging (which is designed such that the process is non-destructive) and threading them together. The first two pushed through at an unsuitable joint - third or fourth down (I didn’t pay particular attention other than it was definitely within the “useful zone”). The third attempt yielded more useful results - it was the top joint that pushed through. As we intended to discard the top two sections, this suited us fine.
The deputy manager was stocktaking but a few feet away, as well as a store assistant - neither seemed to notice our antics. I took the two duffers (poles not parents) to the D.M and explained that we had read on here of the bad batch and that those two were faulty and liely to be returned if sold. We also explained the condition of the one we took, as well as the faulty units purchased by others at Shrewsbury and Wednesbury. She seemed politely grateful and interested and said she would inform the store manager.
I would say that overall this batch looks to have a poorer quality finish that the one I have from a previous batch, and the one I had from an even more previous batch, though we have managed to find a useful one it does not look quite as polished as mine. YMMV.
Dave M0MYA (for the next few days)
In reply to all (inc MT): Poor quality control leads to dis-satisfied customers who may shun other products. Is it technically possible to send this thread to the MD at ALDI? What would MT’s view be on this?
Regards, Dave, G6DTN/M0DFA
After reading this thread, I looked at the 3 remaining ones in the Ipswich store and struck lucky. What I did notice was that if you unpacked it from the ‘wrong’ end, it behaved just like a telescopic pole. However, I agree that the push in state is preferable and will use it as such for a 15m vertical for the CDXC HF Challenge starting 1st September.
I bought one from my local Aylesbury store. Luckily I tried assembling it in the car park. The top and next down sections would not grip. I then tried another in the store, the 3rd down from the top failed to grip. There were more there to try, but I decided to take a refund. The overall quality was way down on a 10M pole I bought at the South Gloucestershire rally earlier this year, now I wish I’d bought 2.
73 Steve 2E0SGB
In reply to 2E0SGB:
I bought an 8.5 meter telescopic one from an importer here in South Africa. I have no idea who the manufacturer is (all the importer would reveal is that it is made in Germany), and it is a metallic silver colour, and is an extremely well engineered product - all sections twist and lock with precision.
I have been so happy with my purchase that I did some searching for bigger ones, and found that Spiderbeam in Germany make a 14 meter, 18 meter and 26 meter telescopic fibre-glass pole (for the really intrepid ham). I ordered the 14 meter one with all the accessories. Will be fantastic for SOTA.
In reply to GW4EVX:
I have an “Activator” pole that I bought a while back. I haven’t used it much, but one joint (2nd top) has split allready. I’ve fixed it by using “fishing rod whipping nylon”…basically the stuff you use for holding rings onto conventional fishing rods…I’ve run about an inch of whipping along the lower (female) joints on each section, and given them 3 coats of Humbrol varnish…the end result adds virtually nothing to the weight, and is much stronger…looks good as well