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Re: [ScoutRadio] antenna mounted on sand

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  • Michael Crownover
    I use dog screws in the sand, they usually hold a vertical with no problem, even with moderate wind. 73 and HNY Mike AB5EB
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 1, 2009
      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.

      James
      n5gui

      ------------------------------------

      Check out the UK Radio-Scouting page here at Yahoo!Groups.
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radio-scouting-uk

      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:
      http://www.ontargetbsa.org/

      Great list of Scouting/Amateur Radio web sites:
      http://www.k1dwu.net/ham-links/clubs.-.scouting.phtml

      SCOUTING and AMATEUR RADIO - FUN FOR ALL AGESYahoo! Groups Links


    • rahwayflynn
      For sand camping, I use AA15 anchors for the tent and fly. The vendor is http://www.creativeshelters.com. They also make a version with a higher pullout
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 1, 2009
        For sand camping, I use AA15 anchors for the tent and fly. The vendor
        is http://www.creativeshelters.com They also make a version with a
        higher pullout rating, the AA30.

        Seems a bipod at each end with an end guy should be easy to rig, with
        PVC pipe or wooden staves. Place an end guy in line with the antenna
        to a screw in anchor as above.

        Give the scouts the above stuff and let them figure it out.

        --- In ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com, "n5gui" <n5gui@...> wrote:
        > 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.
      • Mike Lukas
        at the airports try using sandbags made out of old innertubes. just zip tie the ends closed or use the aircraft tie down points there in bedded in the concrete
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 3, 2009
          at the airports try using sandbags made out of old innertubes. just zip tie the ends closed or use the aircraft tie down points there in bedded in the concrete they should be all over the ramp. I work at an airport and 25 years air force/ air guard... 73 . mike ke7ytm  former kd7sgy


          To: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com
          From: wb3lgc@...
          Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 22:25:55 -0500
          Subject: RE: [ScoutRadio] antenna mounted on sand

          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@yahoogro ups.com [mailto:ScoutRadio@yahoogro ups.com] On
          Behalf Of n5gui
          Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 10:04 PM
          To: ScoutRadio@yahoogro ups.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.

          James
          n5gui

          ------------ --------- --------- ------

          Check out the UK Radio-Scouting page here at Yahoo!Groups.
          http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/radio- scouting- uk

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

          Visit "Operation On Target BSA" Mountain Top Signaling:
          http://www.ontarget bsa.org/

          Great list of Scouting/Amateur Radio web sites:
          http://www.k1dwu. net/ham-links/ clubs.-.scouting .phtml

          SCOUTING and AMATEUR RADIO - FUN FOR ALL AGESYahoo! Groups Links




          It’s the same Hotmail®. If by “same” you mean up to 70% faster. Get your account now.
        • n5gui
          Happy New Year. And special thanks to those that responded to this item, or even pondered it for a while. Mike, AB5EB, seems to have caught my original intent
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 4, 2009
            Happy New Year.

            And special thanks to those that responded to this item, or even
            pondered it for a while.

            Mike, AB5EB, seems to have caught my original intent when he
            said, "Give the scouts the ... stuff and let them figure it out."

            To me the world of Scouting should be more of a laboratory where the
            Scouts do things than a lecture where they are told things and
            demonstrations are done for them. Talking on the radio is good.
            Having them build a radio is probably too ambitious for most. But
            why should they miss out on the fun of setting up the antenna at
            a "field" event. I thought it would be an interesting activity for
            Scouts to set up a dipole where there were no trees and even driving
            a stake would be a challenge.

            This was a thought experiment, if based on some practical
            experience. As a result, I imagined a dead man, or 12 inch square
            of plywood with a center hole to tie a rope for the guylines. There
            is an opportunity to evaluate various size, shape, and burial depth
            for applicability to antenna mast heights ( 20, 30, 40 feet? ). I
            also thought that canvas would work, but I could not think of a good
            configuration. That is another area to experiment and test for
            performance. If I was going to hike in with all the equipment,
            canvas might really be the better plan. On the other hand, if I was
            going to hike in, I am not sure that I would opt for a 100 foot
            dipole at 30 feet. Sure it would help out a battery powered radio
            to have that much antenna, but would you want to carry all that
            stuff?

            I rather expected a challenge to the idea of PVC pipe supporting a
            100 foot plus dipole, even as high as 30 feet. It is not trivial,
            especially on a hot day. The suggestion was for lower cost and
            survival of the enevitable abuse, not best performance.

            I have one follow on suggestion about using pipe as an antenna mast,
            be it PVC or any metal tubing. It comes from a common routine at
            the local field day. Up goes an antenna, and the guylines are
            snugged down. A few hours later, someone observes the guylines with
            slack. Out goes the crew to snug down the guylines. A few hours
            later the process repeats. Next morning, again the guyline get
            tightened. Then field day is over and the crew starts to take the
            antenna down. What they find is that the mast has sunk down about
            two feet ( or as much as four on a particularly soggy year ) into
            the soil. The crew has to heave the mast out of the hole. Seldom
            do they bother to get the mud and grass out of the bottom. I have
            tried to supply a wooden block to prevent the problem, but it just
            gets "lost" and they do it over each year. For the sand mount, I
            suggest one of the dead men be set under each mast, but I suppose
            most people never figure out why.

            I had to scratch my head on the idea of a dog screw in sand. I have
            used the oversized corkscrews in grass ( to anchor dogs, horses, and
            yes, even antennas ). It was not until I thought of beach sand -
            wet and fairly compact, that it occured to me that a dog screw would
            have moderate holding power, as suggested to guy a ground mounted
            vertical.

            I still have and use a couple of the dog screws for use in
            grassland, but for their cost and storage volume, I prefer 12 inch
            spikes. These spikes look like oversized common nails. I slip a
            short chain ( one to five links ) so that I have an easy place to
            clip the guylines. It also helps to find them again if you include
            a streamer or strip of "Caution" tape. In spite of the inhanced
            visibility, they still get tripped on.

            I like the auger type anchors for use in a plowed field where there
            is no grass structure to grip the spikes. What I don't like is
            their cost, especially when there are more than ten masts to install
            and each needs three or four guylines. In sand... Well, I am still
            used to working on blown sand, not beach sand, so I would test
            before depending on them.

            The old innertube sandbag idea is worth filing away. I had not
            thought of sandbags: first because on the concrete taxi-way they
            would be every bit as heavy as the bricks I had tried, and less
            dense. Later when thinking of a sandy location, I thought of canvas
            or poly material buried under sand as a dead man, but I suppose it
            could be a "bag". No need to transport the sand to such a location,
            just use a shovel to gather, then spread the sand before leaving to
            leave no trace.


            James
            n5gui
          • Scott Johnson (kd5mhm)
            Lord Baden Powell once said (loosely) that we (adults) should never do something that a boy could do... That is really a very impressive concept. Using modern
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 5, 2009
              Lord Baden Powell once said (loosely) that we (adults) should never do something that a boy could do...  That is really a very impressive concept.
               
              Using modern lingo, I tell other adults and leaders, that when we (adults) do something ourself instead of letting a Scout do it, that we're "ripping them off" of a learning experience, a sense of accomplishment and confidence gained from a "job well done".
               
              I feel that we (adults) don't have the right to "rip off" a Scout by denying them any possible experience we can provide for them.
               
              A proof-of-concept of this that we tried was to have an emergency camporee with various stations.  One of the most popular was the one where a ham radio operator had been in a fire, had his hands burned and bandaged and had smoke inhalation so he could not speak.  He had a dozen or so standard Radiograms that had to be transmitted.  His complete portable station was in a box, but he couldn't assemble it, and couldn't talk to send the radiograms.  The Scouts were given the box, a brief description of the required task, and a hand-sketched diagram of all the connections needed.  With virtually no written instructions, other than a frequency, they had to set up the entire station, connect it to the battery, assemble the antenna and connect it, and, given only the frequency, transmit the radiograms to the simulate EOC.
               
              I was genuinely concerned that this would be too difficult for the Scouts, ranging in age from 11 to 16.  BOY!  Was I ever surprised.  The groups had things set up fast!  The slowest group took only 18 minutes before starting to transmit, while the winning group was transmitting in 9.5 minutes.  And all this without the ham being allowed to coach or speak at all.
               
              Give them a task, a chicken-scratched-out sketch, a bunch of stuff in a box, three sentences of info and get out of their way.  They will amaze you!
               
              Scott
              kd5mhm
               
               
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