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3210Re: [ScoutRadio] antenna mounted on sand

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  • Michael Crownover
    Jan 1, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      I use dog screws in the sand, they usually hold a vertical with no problem, even with moderate wind.

      73 and HNY

      Mike AB5EB

      On Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 9:25 PM, Stephen M. Shearer <wb3lgc@...> wrote:

      On sand, the challenge is to keep the "tent" pegs from pulling out. May I
      suggest a "dead man" similar to what one would also want for snow...

      I also use a mount for my vertical antenna made out of 1/2" x 4" steel
      welded into three flat legs about 15" long. It weighs 15-20 pounds and has
      a vertical angle iron 12" high welded to the base that I hose clamp my 32'
      fiberglass mast. As long as there is no wind, it will self support.

      A steel wheel (truck) would work, too.

      73, Steve KB3NCC

      -----Original Message-----
      From: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of n5gui
      Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 10:04 PM
      To: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ScoutRadio] antenna mounted on sand

      The recent discussion about setting up an antenna, particularly the
      leave no trace angle, reminds me of a thought experiement that I did
      a few years ago.

      To set the background, I have been a tinkerer on portable antennas
      and mounting structure for a few years. My first success was three
      monoband verticals, 20M, 15M, 10M, used by the Wichita Amateur Radio
      Club (WARC) for Field Day 2000. Each was a "ground plane", that is,
      quarter wave vertical with four quarter wave radials, using seven
      strand antenna wire for the electrical elements and PVC pipe for the
      supports. The radial wires were included as part of the guy lines.
      The particular design was chosen for omni-directionality and 50 ohm
      feedpoint (adjustable by changing the droop angle of the radials).

      The 10M and 15M antennas were fed at 30 feet, making them about 39
      and 42 feet tall respectively. The limitations of my skill and of
      the PVC pipe in the Kansas Summer Sun required that I feed the 20M
      antenna at 26 feet resulting in an overall height of 43 feet. I got
      lots of practice at launching the antenna, so it took me about ten
      minutes to set each up. However, I had a conflict on Field Day, so
      I invited some of the club members over to teach them enough to
      launch on their own. Which also confirmed that it is easier to do
      with a crew of three to five.

      As I said, these were successes in that the club could set them up
      without my help and they performed about as well as the dipoles that
      were strung in the available trees. Success was followed by
      additional opportunity. However, opportunity often comes with new
      challenges. I needed to provide antenna support for a commercially
      made multiband ( 160M - 10M ) dipole. I soon found that I had to
      abandon the PVC pipe for steel poles, later replaced with aluminum.
      Now I routinely provide a 38 foot mast for a 2M colinear vertical or
      three 30 foot masts for a multiband dipole.

      There are still challenges to meet: Kansas provides lots of open
      grassland where I can drive the necessary stakes, leaving little or
      no trace after after a rainstorm and lawnmower. However, I still
      haven't solved the problem of safely setting up my antenna masts on
      a sea of concrete typical of an airport taxiway. In a parking lot I
      could just park cars in the places I needed them for a few hours.
      Airports, at least the military ones, don't want a lot of casual
      automobile traffic mixing with the airplanes. I did come close with
      plywood and bricks..... If I only had more bricks........

      The concrete problem got me to thinking about a "universal
      solution", which would serve on grassland, concrete, or sand. The
      sand problem was particularly interesting to me. As I boy I had
      been to Padre Island along the Texas shore. I thought that would be
      an interesting place to camp for a week or so. Miles and miles of
      sand. No trees. Hardly any grass.

      Maybe some Scouts would find it an interesting challenge to set up a
      HAM station on a beach. I am focusing on the antenna supports, so
      here is what I suggest: Three 30 foot poles to support a dipole at
      least 100 feet long. If you want a little more challenge, use
      schedule 40 PVC pipe as the primary material. It should be less
      expensive to work with, and a little more forgiving of bends or
      drops. The skill and equipment needed to build the antenna supports
      should be within the capabilities of most Scouts.

      Best Wishes.



      Check out the UK Radio-Scouting page here at Yahoo!Groups.

      Now that you've got new licensees in your unit, why not have them subscibe
      to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ScoutRadioYouth

      Visit "Operation On Target BSA" Mountain Top Signaling:

      Great list of Scouting/Amateur Radio web sites:


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