Problems with the telescopic mini mast from DX Wire (hopefully solved)

OK - it has now been through over 600 activations… and sometimes it has jammed and sometimes it has collapsed on its own. Every now and then small pieces of fibre material would fall out. But there was never really any reason to complain.

During my last activation of DM/BW-009, the mast could no longer be pushed together at the end. It got stuck in a middle element. I was then able to push it together to maybe a good metre and put it in the car.

At home, I put it in the corner and took a fresh mast. Call me neurotic - but I always have a spare mast that I take with me when I travel to do SOTA holiday.

Today I took a closer look at my old mast. The problem was the frayed ends of the tubes. Here the laminate comes loose from the inside and then gets stuck and jammed. In some places I could see how it had already come off as a layer, but was still sticking.

Especially in winter, when these transitions get wet and freeze during activation, the layers separate.

The transition area where the sticking takes place is quite large… so now I just sawed off the sections where the laminate had already come loose.

gluing was not necessary at all, because there are no more loose spots.

Take a look at your masts… and if there is also fraying at the transitions, then you could perhaps counteract the tearing of the layers in this way.

73 Armin


Hi Armin,

You inspired me to count: my Mini DX wire has at least 1300 activations and 10 lower elements are still original ones without any action from my side.
Upper ones I changed a few years ago to new ones after 12th element was broken - similar defect as you described but not on “stick” part but higher that.

73, Jarek


Hi Armin,
I have also seen this problem while on a SOTA summit. It was also with a DX-Wire mast - the portable 10m one (the same as SOTABeams on-sold for several years before changing to their new ranges).
What I had to do was unscrew the bottom off the mast and slip out just the two jamming sections. Once out I could rock them back and forth until they came apart. I dropped out the broken fibreglass into a rubbish bag and then put the whole mast back together. Once I got it home, I took all of the sections apart and cleaned them and where there was a crack taped around it with good quality PVC electrician’s tape. I’ve had to do this probably three times in 10 years but it’s still in use (albeit it wont pull out to the full height anymore because of the taped up sections). Your idea of trimming off the cracked sections would probably be a better solution overall.

73 Ed.

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