large telescoping antenna
Thursday, May 21 2020
Gretchen and Powerful went for a socially-distanced walk with one Gretchen's old friends from college at the new rail trail (with a trailhead across Route 28 from the West Hurley parking area). They also went into Kingston, bringing home half an Impossible Burger and two Korean tacos from Yum Yum. Apparently I didn't get the memo that I was to eat only one of those tacos, so I would not be needing dinner tonight.
Later I took the dogs on an electrically-powered drive out to Home Depot to get a few other things, mostly for the new antenna mast I am installing on the solar deck. I also wanted another one of those powerstrips I'd recently bought for Powerful for use in the laboratory. It had two USB ports for charging things, which is a continual need near my desk.
Back at the house, I climbed up on the laboratory deck and installed my vision of a new antenna mast. It consisted of three concentric steel conduit pipes, with the othermost being 1.5 inches in diameter surrounding a 1.25 inch pipe surrounding a one inch pipe. In this configuration, the pipes could be made to telescope. To keep them in place once extended, I'd have to use antenna pipe clamps. To hold the largest pipe to the solar deck, I used some 1.5 inch pipe brackets, which I attached to the deck using small galvanized lag bolts, hoping they would survive longer in the treated wood than the screws I'd used 14 years before. I then extended the antenna about 70% of its possible length and went up to the Farm Road to see how high it reached above the house. It got to within about 20 feet of the top of the tall pines just north and east of the house, which was impressive. But then I began to worry about the leverage the wind could apply with such a long lever against even a small antenna. If I wanted an antenna that tall, I'd probably have to install guy wires somehow (while still being able to retract the pole for antenna maintenance).
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