Antenna Mounting Suggestions

The materials we choose and the techniques we use to build things, are influenced by our experiences, tools and materials available. Plumbers naturally think of what they can do with different types of pipe, carpenters think about how to solve problems using wood and welders look to various metals when they want to make something.

The following is a list of ideas that have been applied and why they were used. The plan is to get some pictures soon, to go with the descriptions.

Plumbing Pipe

The plumbing department is a great place to look for antenna supplies. There is copper pipe for a J-pole, PVC to make a cover for a ribbon J-pole and ABS or large PVC for making storage cases. Some ideas that have been used are:

Cable Ties

The more prepared you are for emergency communications, the more cables that need to be kept organized. One source of twist ties is garbage bags. If you tie the bag and save the ties, they make great removable tie wraps for cables. However in the effort to save money, the quality of twist ties has gone down and they barely survive a single use today.

One alternative is to make a trip to the hardware gardening section. There you will find a small roll of green plastic covered wire, designed for tying up plants. The wire typically comes in a plastic holder with a metal cutter attached. Simply pull out as long a piece as required and cut it off. The quality is quite good, allowing re-use of the twist tie.

Antenna Mount For Glass

From specific problems, comes unusual solutions. Most modern buildings have a lot of glass and no windows that open. Whether you are operating from the inside or the outside of the building, it would be nice to attach an antenna to the window, to get it out of the way and above the crowd.

The solution is a suction cup, such as those used for carrying glass or removing data room floor tiles. If you can find one that is broken (i.e. a double unit that broke in the middle) then the costs are much lower. If not, they are available (Lee Valley sells a single unit for about $25). Depending on the unit that you have, make an adapter that will allow a light weight antenna to be attached. This is another opportunity to use the 3/4" outside thread pipe fitting. Using PVC pipe, you can build a short mast that would allow a simple dipole or inverted SO239 antenna to be attached.