*Portable Antenna Mast*
At work a while back, I came across a need to put a 2.4ghz Yagi about 15 ft in the air for cheap. Normally this wouldn't be much of a design problem, except that it needed to be in the middle of a parking lot with no way to secure the mast or guy wires. After a while wandering around Home Depot and surfing the web, I came up with a mast that can be broken down fairly compact, could support a few lbs (I really wouldn't push that... The antenna I was using weighed about 1.5 lbs, and though it never caused me any trouble, it sure did sway a lot in the wind), and required no guy wires or digging.
I started off by bolting the floor flange to the very end of the board as pictured:
Next, I cut the PVC piping into 5' sections, and attached one coupler with male threads, and one coupler with female threads to each end of the sections, except for the female coupler on the last section, as it would become the top of the mast. Three of the mast sections looked as pictured:
And the top mast section had just a male coupler on the bottom, and the antenna mounted to the top:
Setting up the completed mast was fairly simple for me, as I'm tall, but may take two people depending on circumstances. I began by threading one of the sections into the floor flange:
Next, I took the whole mess outside, threaded the remaining sections together, parked my car on the base to add enough weight to keep the whole thing upright, then threaded the top sections into the base as shown:
The whole project cost about $30.00, and took under an hour to build. I have used it extensively in all kinds of weather, and had no problems with strength. The antenna does tend to sway a bit in the wind due to the lack of guy wires, but for an emergency portable setup, or something to throw in the trunk and take camping, it works quite well. My only complaint is that without two people, the threads tend to stick, and become a bit hard to get back apart again.
If one wanted to use this mast for a wire antenna, I would recommend purchasing an extra male coupler, and an extra floor flange, and attaching them to the top of the antenna, giving an anchor point for the wires. This would also allow for guy wires if one wanted them.
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