Hex Beam Mounted

Last Tuesday was a wash, literally as a quick moving storm hit Northern California and left me inside waiting for the rain and wind to pass in order to put up my newly acquired Rohn H50. Wednesday was a beautiful morning and I made an early trip to Lowe’s in search of some type of hardware to use as a wall mount for the telescoping mast.

I was in luck, bought two mounts that were adjustable up to 3 inches (the mast is 2.25 inches in diameter). This hardware is actually used for mounting EMT conduit for electrically wiring and while not being able to use these mounts 4 inches off the wall I quickly added a few pieces of wood to give me the clearance needed to raise the mast.

Not long after I got the Rohn in the air, I did go and order a pair of heavy duty wall mount brackets from 3 Star Incorporated. At $19.95 a pair it was a better deal than the $20+ I spent at Lowe’s. The temporary brackets I am using will allow me to use the antenna at about 30′ until I get the Rohn brackets installed. With any luck I should have the mounts by Friday and if I have the time I can replace my makeshift brackets in time to operate in the RAC Canada Day Contest this weekend.

I mounted the rotor/hex beam assembly on the top section of the telescoping mast (1.25″ diameter). The difficulty came in trying to push the entire assembly up. If I had a second body I probably could have run it up to 40′ and using a guy wire pulled the antenna mast up into position. As it stands now 35′ isn’t bad, but I want to get it to 40′ which seems to be an optimal height based on research by Steve, G3TXQ. Once the new mounts are in place I should be able to add about 5-10′. With any luck I will be able to leave it in the up position when not in use, even though that was not my original intentions.

This antenna never went through the HOA to gain “exemption” I just took it upon myself to raise this antenna, piggybacking off the HOA’s approval to allow a 24′ Hustler 6-BTV back in 2007, followed by an upgrade to a SteppIR BigIR in 2009. Since raising it in October, 2009 I have not received any complaints from neighbors about how it looks or any interference it has caused.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Steve,

    Glad to hear you purchased the new mast and am looking forward to its installation. As you noted, the net gain on your added height will be well worth the expense.

    Ironically, I have been doing some major antenna work over the past two weeks as well. I intstalled a Mosely TA-33Jr Triband beam w/ rotor on the top of my 30 foot Rohn 25G tower. First off, I can tell you that the end results are nothing short of amazing. However, I experienced some local issues during the installation.

    Last Monday (June 20th) Oakley Code Compliance came by as Tom (KE6LVP) and I were installing the gin pole. They never came to the door, but took many photographs from different angles and also from the neighboring court. We had no idea that was happening as we were in the backyard or possibly out buying additional parts. It wasnt until about an hour later when one of the neighborhood kids told me that the “Police” were taking pictures of my house. This was upsetting. So professionally, I am very familiar with the Code Compliance process. I knew it was best that I cease all work until I could get to the bottom of this. We drove down to city hall and tried to find out what was going on but was told that the inspector was out to lunch. Awhile later, his supervisor called me and said that someone in the neighborhood called to complain. However, he stated that Oakley has no restrictions on Ham antennas and that I could install whatever I wanted. Their only concern was the tower height and if it needed guy wires (not the case with a 30 foot tower bolted to the house and a concrete base). So the installation continued and was completed the following morning.

    A week later we had to go back up on the tower and adjust the feedline slack to cure a binding issue during rotation. Once again, the “Police” were called and took more pictures. And, as before we didnt find out about that until hours later . This time I didnt even bother calling, but still irratating nonetheless.

    Regarding my immediate neighbors, everything has been pretty much OK. One person has suddenly become somewhat quiet now but Im not expecting any major issues. Other than that, just the usual comments we all experience as hams. No big deal.

    So from our previous discussions, I recall you said you had HOA issues. Hopefully everything goes smooth for you. At least it seems like (for now) Code Compliance is on our side. Keep me posted on your progress or if you have any issues.

    Mark Rowley
    W7KVA

    • Yeah Mark, somewhat unfortunately that the opinion of one can ruin something as “innocent” as putting up a small beam on a small tower. I think education on our part as amateurs goes a long way, but sometimes it’s still not enough to persuade them to our view.

      I will continue to consider myself very lucky as it relates to neighbors. Since originally raising my vertical, upgrading it and adding the hex beam, we have seen 3 hours foreclosed on, two across the street and one next door. Being vacant made it easier, but still I feel the HOA has bigger problems to address than a homeowner (like myself) who adheres to the CC&Rs, pays dues on time and has a well manicured yard. Basically I stay out of trouble and on their good side.

      All of this could change if ONE person complains. Hopefully I don’t see that day as long as we continue to live in our current home. If it does, then I would need to look at an alternative solution in order to get on the air or look at guest operating at some of the other location stations around town.

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