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Portable Mast

Perfect for the Antron users amongst us I would say.


Unfortunately - 5 months ago this guy posted - Sorry this tower has been sold. I also sold another one just like it. There were probably only two ever made under a government contract. My guess is these were a one-off prototype.

So a neat idea, probably more for a portable contest station than SOTA but it seems, not available. Unless you are thinking of adding them to your range at SotaBeams Richard?

73 Ed.

Ooooh I want one. Can I pre-order Richard.

Imagine trying to take one up a big hill long walk etc.

Thinks stick with me pole

BUT wicked idea for sure and certainly great for feild day operations or that weekend way with he radio and certainly great idea for emergency situations on where ham radio is relied on for only communications left behind.

Shame he spent to long on video getting it set up, should cut that bit short and them demo how to up right it with small antenna on and op of it.

Still neat concept thou.


Hideous in every aspect.


I am not sure that my sherpa will be happy about me buying one of those. I think the portable barbecue will have to go if I am to add one to his pack. :wink:


The BBQ would be ok but the 9kg gas bottle and the al fresco dining furniture might have to take it in turns.

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Hideous? Really? Please explain.


Its a very elegant mechanical toy, but I wouldn’t want to be near it when under load - unless it was built to aircraft spec and inspected meticulously before each use.

30 sections, as far as I can see, each is held rigid by 6 tension wires. Each wire has two end fixings, except the locking wires which have an additional 2 fixings onto the cam lock bar.

If any one of those end fixings broke, the tower is likely to crumple. By my calculation that is 420 single points of failure. That’s without considering the very many hinge pins.

I’m not surprised that only two were made - but I’d still like one, just to smile at!


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It is too big (even in compressed state).
It is too heavy.
It is too tall - unfair on the public / other walkers to erect something that size.
It looks ugly and horrible (thinking again from the public point of view compared to a fishing rod)
It takes too long to set up (I got bored 2 minutes into the video thinking ‘I would be QRV by now’).
It is/was (presumably) too expensive.

That’s a 6/6 on the EYP Hideous Index.

Really? I think I know of a few people who’d consider it appropriate for use in sensitive areas!

No that’s just Youtube numptiness. There are people who don’t understand why it takes a long time to make films/videos. They don’t know they need to practice their lines, practice their activities BEFORE filming. Or consider EDITING the material later. Hence you get um-ing and ah-ing and general cluelessness committed to the intertubes so that people can observe and mock for years to come!

You could cut it down to something snappy. Show collapsed unit, show unpacking a few sections, show fully unpacked unit, show locking cams on a few sections, show all cams locked, show tower erect. 2 mins tops.


Oooh! Sounds painful!


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I have been working on a video showing how paint dries. It’s 18 hours long at present.

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I think Andy Warhol was the specialist in motionless videos…

Hi Tom,

Everyone is entitled to his opinion and I’m comfortable with that. My take on your critique is:

Too big? Seems a pretty arbitrary criticism. Half the activators in SOTA could have this tag applied. It’s a collapsible tower designed for military operations and size reduction would only come at the expense of decreased strength.

Too Heavy. If you are thinking of carrying this on your back to the top of the Cloud, yes. If you are taking it out of your jeep to set up a VHF repeater, no. It all depends.

Too tall. Your mast or tower is not too tall until the Civil Aviation Authorities say so. Height is gain.

Ugly. See my comment about SOTA activators. I see beautiful symmetry in the geometry of the wires and frame repeated in a linear fashion. I thought that might have had some appeal to you given your maths background.

Too long to set up. The set up time would be fine for such an elegant and useful mast if there was less fapping about and playing to the camera. It took all afternoon to erect my 12 m mast.

Costly. Yup I think the original cost would have been hideous. That’s normal for prototypes. What were the two actually sold for - ie market price?

I think it’s a nice bit of kit, 3 metres too short perhaps, eminently suited for field days and drive to the top SOTA peaks.

Each to his own.


Interesting that it wasnt actually put up. Where was the bag of guys? With the 3rd Sherpa perhaps??


Needs a hinge plate and a 3 m pole to help push it up. The bag of guys? Hanging around the lass with the camera I suspect.

3 sherpas would make it an easy activation. Where do you get yours from?


If the tower, and all the other equipment needed to set it up can’t be carried in a pack by one person, alongside all their other radio and trekking equipment, then it’s not really suitable for SOTA. Yes I know you can, within the rules, set up pretty close to your vehicle on some summit, but if you don’t at least try to get a bit of distance away and transport all the gear in one trip, then that’s not really in the spirit of SOTA.

I can be fully set up with the capability to work VK (for instance) with 5 watts and a bit of wire on a fishing rod, in less than 3 minutes. It would take far longer than that to put up this hideous monstrosity and such a thing would be most inconsiderate to other walkers / hill users. I think we push our luck with fishing poles and wire, but at least it can be argued it is lightweight, very temporary and we can say “I can have it all packed away inside 2 minutes if you like” - safe in the knowledge that we could actually then prove that if challenged further.

I agree it might be useful for field days. But this reflector concerns SOTA, not field days. And even “drive to the top” SOTA activations should be conducted in the spirit of SOTA.

Hi Tom,

One of the good aspects of AR is the diversity of interests and dare I say opinions.

BTW I can’t find anything in the Rules for SOTA that places a limit on the number of trips from the vehicle/base camp to activation position when setting up.