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Author Topic: Telescoping Pole  (Read 2159 times)


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Telescoping Pole
« on: September 22, 2013, 11:53:02 AM »
As you all know I have been learning what works in my location very slowly.  Folks have advised me to get the antennas on the roof, but I've been avoiding putting antennas on the roof as they would be impossible to service once up there.  Meanwhile anything I have tried indoors, including the attic has worked, but not worked well.  I finally found a solution that works to my satisfaction.

I acquired a 65' telescoping pole from MFJ.  The poles are a nice balance of light weight vs. strength but the plastic connecting pieces are somewhat fragile.  I promptly broke one, but MFJ was very good about replacing the broken part when I contacted them.  I erected the pole outside and mounted a 2m antenna on top, an antenna for my HSMM-MESH network below that, and a sprinkler box for the router just below that using Power over Ethernet (POE).  I also hung the end of an end fed SWL antenna to round out the various things I wanted to experiment with.

I've been running the height up slowly and keeping some overlap between the sections as there is quite a lot of flex in the pole, so I have it about 45' up right now.  The feeds are all running to a second story window.  I expect to top out at 50-55' keeping some overlap between sections.  The result waves around in the breeze a bit, but otherwise seems to be doing what I expect.  My 2m reception is much better.  The pole can be brought down in minutes, or raised back up in minutes.  I haven't done much with HF yet and the HSMM-MESH needs more folks in the area, but at least once someone else puts in a router they should be able to find me.

For someone who wants to avoid going on the roof, and doesn't want the expense of a real tower, this looks like an alternative worthy of consideration.


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Re: Telescoping Pole
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 02:10:11 PM »
A 65' pole for only $200.  Not bad!  It's probably as limp as a fly rod fully extended, but that's what guy lines are for.

I'll be remembering that one.  I've got a 2 story house with windows at the ends of the attic.  I could easily mount that to the side of the building and have a 20' jump on height. 


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Re: Telescoping Pole
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 04:14:45 PM »
It is flexible when extended, but my intention is to lower it whenever bad weather is anticipated and run it back up when the weather has passed.  If I had mounted the antennas on the roof, I would not have been able to bring them down, and if they got damaged in the weather I would be dependent on others to get them remounted.  That was not a situation I wanted to be in because of the weather we have had the past few years.


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Re: Telescoping Pole
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 06:48:02 PM »
It's neat to see folks find solutions that work for THEIR specific circumstances (not the ARRL's, not the Internet, not other radio fora, etc.). Congrats Geek on the workaround, especially something that gives you the flexibility (no pun) to deploy/recover at will.  If I hadn't practically stolen a tripod & some sections for the latest backyard antenna I'd give a hard look at using one of those as a high-point.  They're easily guyed, and simple wire antennas have hardly anything for wind loading.  Cool beans!


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Re: Telescoping Pole
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 08:53:26 PM »
The pole is flexible once extended, so this is definitely inferior to a real tower, but I just wasn't willing to go for something that permanent.  Maybe someday.  In the short term this thing is a kludge, but it is working and most importantly (to me) I can put it up and take it down within minutes.  If you want one with less flex, I saw some made from aluminum rather than fiberglass, but only to 50'.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 03:17:21 PM by Geek »