43 Foot Antenna Installation – The Rising

09_looking_up_43_foot_antenna-290x300One Ham’s struggle to get it up.  

This blog post is reposted with link back to the original post at hamhelpdesk.com. 

Here are some details regarding the next, and probably last, phase of my 43 Foot DX Engineering vertical installation.   This post is very late. The actual date of the events within it are just before March 2009 in preparation for the Virginia QSO Party.

In the many posts within this site, it is no secret my examination of various vertical antenna solutions with comparison between BigIR and the 43 Foot products a big part of this.

Check out all the 43 Foot posts on HamHelpDesl here…  43 Foot Antenna Topic

43 Foot Antenna Selected

I choose the DX Engineering 43 Foot quick taper model during the price war between DXE and Zero Five. Compromises understood and simulations complete, I carefully considered the Big IR, but liked the idea of no moving parts or switches at the antenna location.

01_paint_poles_black-300x225Back in Black

A bare aluminum antenna would stand out too much in my neighborhood so I decided to paint the antenna black. Priming aluminum is a topic I researched very carefully to be sure I applied a lasting finish.

As shown below, I applied regular flat black paint over the primed aluminum pieces except where the pieces slide into each other; If you are going to paint your antenna, you need to mask the mating four or five inches of the lower end of each tube.

Conductive Compound

I used the recommended aluminum conductive anti-oxidant compound suggested by DXE on all physically and electrically mating aluminum surfaces. This results is a gooey mess the first few times you apply, but you get the hang of the proper amount soon.

Antenna Tilt Base – Cumbersome

05_dxe_43_foot_antenna_ready-300x117The “kit” from DX Engineering included an Antenna Tilt Base which I gladly installed. It works great. However, you need to really watch what you are doing when lowering the antenna. If you do not seat the lower pivot bolt properly, you will bind it and/or the top sliding bolt and may simply cut it off.

04_dxe_43_foot_antenna_up-225x300You are well advised to pay very close attention to what is happening to your tilt base while moving it. If you cannot handle the antenna yourself, enlist the aid of a friend who takes direction well. The good news is you will get the hang of raising and lowering your antenna as you realize you will need to apply some downward pressure during transition.

Basically, you will need to hold the antenna nowhere near its center of gravity and manipulate it just as if it was not attached to anything; You and your two widely spaced hands are the antenna support, not the tilt base pivot point. This ensures you are able to “encourage” the tilt base bolts into the correct slots and keep them there during lowering.

The 43 foot antenna is not too heavy, but, in my opinion is very cumbersome due to its length and floppy nature.

See rest of the article here…. with lots of photos and explanations about how well the antenna worked for him during a recent QSO contest.


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