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Semi-permanent 10m sotabeams pole

Hi all,

I’m using a 10m sotabeams pole for my main HF dipole at home. It’s the easiest way I could get a reasonable antenna up.

It’s holding the lightest antenna wire I could find, a 1/2 wave on 80.

Has anyone on here used one in a ‘semi-permanent’ (I.e up until it falls down) installation before?

I’ve taped RG mini 8 to the pole, I’m wondering if it’s too heavy, as it moves around a bit in the wind!

The dipole wire is slightly slack at the moment, so it’s not really acting as a guy wire… perhaps it should be pulled taught?

The pole is lashed to a 5’ fence post and then supported again at approx 10’. I’ve taped the joints with pvc tape.

Any comments / ideas for me please?

Cheers!

73
2E0ZWH

Hallo

What about a clamp

grafik

… with a piece of an old bike tube under it…?

73 Armin

2 Likes

Armin,
That is the trick! I do same on my permanent telescopic poles…after having lost one doing it ‘another way’ that need not be printed so others do not try it. Also same as what Spiderbeam sells for their masts, though using flat strips of rubber.

73 Howard

Brilliant, thanks both.

Does that make the joints stronger?

Like I said, they’re just taped at the moment (but seem to be holding up so far)

Not sure about a clamp damaging the fiber glass pole - lots of rope and a lashing may well be more robust. I am trying the Kevlar antenna wire - really light and strong but will wait until it survives the winter to give feedback. Mine is attached to a 160m antenna between trees so even longer.

Good luck

Paul

Thanks Paul.

Does your pole wobble about a lot in the wind? Wow reading that back didn’t sound right :smiley:

Mines lashed at 10’, I guess I could guy it again further up. Or pull the dipole legs taught to try stablise it? Or maybe the flexing won’t destroy it. Time will let I guess!

73
2E0ZWH

Yes, I had a lightweight (only 468g) half-wave 80m dipole on a 10-m telescopic pole for almost a year in my back garden whilst selling my previous house. I took it down when prospective house buyers came to view the property and put it back up after they left - which is a testament to its robustness. I always got excellent reports using it even though the garden was surrounded by other houses.

You can see its basic construction in the photo from this other thread …

73 Andy

I agree. You can easily crush the glass fibre (I damaged two sections by accidentally standing on them).

I use four guy ropes attached to two plastic O rings (glued together) that sit on the 10m pole below the half-way point. The arrangement has withstood vicious winds on some Scottish summits.

Hallo

I have no concerns about fixing it with clamps, if you fix it with sense… But I have no experience in using the pole for a longer time, then two weeks at the campground.

The clamps are only for not collapsing, and of course: it is usefull to fix the pole with ropes. You can fix them with a velcro at the pole.

My favorite antenna is a vertical. If i use dipoles, I do not fix it at the top. It is not strong enough.

73 Armin

Hi Robert,
I use 4 telescopic fishing poles to hold up my 40m full wavelength skyloop at home as a semi-permanent installation.

The fact that the poles bend in high winds is a positive thing as they bend rather than break. By not fastening them at the junctions, if the winds get really bad, the poles collapse into themselves, so lowering the antenna and reducing the effect of the wind. So that is also a safety feature. If you dont want that simply tape the junctions as you put the mast up.

I also looked at clamps and even got some with plastic finger screws rather than screwdriver ones but the worry with those is that if you overtighten them (even with rubber under them), there is a chance that you could damage the mast and as I said I find the feature that the mast can collapse into itself is a good safety feature in storms.

73 Ed.

1 Like

Yes, indeed. I also have a 10-m SOTAbeams pole and I have removed the top three sections and plugged the new top one with blu-tack (to keep the rain out). If you attach your 80m dipole to any of them, they will either bend alarmingly or snap in a high wind.

Thanks everyone for their input.

Ed - that’s a very good point, it has once before collapsed in high winds. I’d forgotten about that - I think I will untape the poles later!

Hopefully with the support at 4m it will be ok.

The wire dipole starts at the top of the second from last section, where the sotabeams insulator sits.

It’s such a light wire (also from sotabeams) and has a very narrow bandwith as it’s so small I guess!

73
Robert

Hi Robert,
Good to see you had already caught the point raised by others not to use the top two sections of any height of fishing pole, as they are too “springy”. I had meant to mention that. I have 10m poles that only raise the antenna between 7.5 & 8 metres off the ground. As the feedpoint mast I used a 12.5m mast with sections removed to make it only 10m high. I have a mix of masts from DX-wire here in Germany and masts that I brought with me from Australia. The Australian ones are far better quality and less than half the price of the masts I can get here in Europe! Their top sections are also thicker. Effectively heavy duty masts at half the price of light usage masts! If it didn’t cost so much to ship stuff from Australia, I’d be ordering the masts from there!

73 Ed.

Hi Robert,

The bandwidth shouldn’t be very narrow. My 80m dipole is also made of thin wire supplied from SOTAbeams (see photo via the link at my first reply on this thread) and the VSWR is good enough to cover most of 80m. I shortened the length of mine to be better for the CW sub-band [You don’t say whether you intend to do SSB or CW or both].

See my 80m VSWR plot at …

Mind you, I have a brilliant internal ATU in my KX2 which will load up a wet string if necessary.

73 Andy

1 Like

I’ve only just noticed this remark. It may be a bit quicker to use the dipole as guy wires but I never do (any more) as I think it weakens the antenna / balun connections (I’ve had the plastic lugs on the balun break off with that arrangement).

Better to have four independent guy strings (which are cheap compared to your antenna), at or a bit below mid-pole height, to take the main forces and provide more stability. Using any guying at or near the top of the glass-fibre pole will cause the pole to bend in the middle in high winds.

That all makes perfect sense - thanks Andy. I will take a look at those links.

73