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Squid Pole Mounting for Field Days

 

Squid Pole Mounting for Field Days

 

See also my Trap-style Inverted-V for 10 to 80 metres which uses the squid pole as the centre support but utilises a concrete 'bucket' base arrangement.

 

So you finally succumbed and went and bought a squid pole (abbreviated to SP for most of the rest of this page) to support the vertical wire antenna, HF inverted-V or dipole on Field Day outings... that is what I did.. and when it arrived I then began to wonder - what have I let myself in for ????

The squid pole is basically a series of concentric tapered thin-wall fibreglass tubes that will extend and more-or-less lock into place through friction. The version I bought was found through eBay, listed at 7 metres long when extended and was $38 plus $14 P&P.

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The eBay listing included the following details :

For auction is a 7m Telecopic Pole: (squid pole)

Initially imported as telescopic fishing poles, these have been recently used extensively by HAM radio enthusiasts. They are a top quality product and are offered here at a bargain price compared to other alternatives.

•Fibreglass construction (approx 1.1mm thick material)
•Black colour
•7 Parts extend to7m in length
•Lightweight and portable
•Base diameter approx 45mm
•Collpases to approx 1.3m length
This is a HEAVY DUTY MODEL, with a stronger last section right to the tip (See Photo)

 

STOCKS ARE LIMITED SO DON"T DELAY. Our last shipment lasted under a month.

Buying direct off the importer ensures you can enjoy these savings.

100% feedback seller in Sydney. We always ship immediately upon payment - check our positive feedback!

{ original advert spelling left as it will make it easier for others to do a web search. Aternatively use "ebay squid pole" on Google Australia. }

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Ok, buying it was the easy part. It turned up about 4 working days later by AusPost courier.


How do I mount it ????


{ roll your mouse over the image to see a larger view }


This is how the SP looks while packed up. It is about 1.16 metres long as is and has a push-in top rubber cap and a screw-on plastic moulding at the bottom.

These may be available in other lengths but this one was clearly marked with the 7M length

This is the bottom plastic moulding - note the extreme RHS end is actually a screw-on cap.

 


From the above description, the fibreglass is only 1.1mm thick so would be easy to crush using any normal clamping method. Drilling holes in it will weaken it so how do you mount it for either field day or permanent use ???By the way, the 45mm base diameter in the description is an overstatement, it is probably closer to 38mm.

I mulled it over for a few days and then found that I had some white 40mm thick wall PVC tube (plumbing style from Bunnings Hardware, 1 metre lengths) that would slip over the fibreglass section and was a reasonable fit over the upper lip of the bottom retainer moulding. The rest of the mounting methodology just flowed on from that 'find'.

 


The PVC tube is clearly marked as 40mm and was cut to to a 300mm length

One side was slotted just using a normal wood saw to give a slot about 6mm wide and just under 150mm long.

The slotted PVC tube slips over the SP and just fits over upper part of the bottom plastic moulding.

The actual mounting bracket was made by welding 2 V-blocks to a piece of 35mm square steel tube with a centre-centre spacing of 240mm. The use of the extra bolt welded on at the RHS will become evident shortly.

The extra bolt welded to the square mounting tube acts as a positioning 'stop' to prevent the SP assembly from slipping down if the U-bolts are too loose.

With the 2 U-bolts fitted to the V-blocks, the SP complete with PVC sleeve is inserted and the U-bolt nuts tightened such that the PVC tube will not move.

DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN !!!


How do you attach the centre of your inverted-V or dipole to the SP ?? I drilled a small hole through the rubber cap (it comes off) and used some wire from a wire coat hanger to form the double-V shape shown here. That gives two entry ways to get the supporting loop attached to the SP top.

The addition of this "hook" point also means that the innermost section is easy to find when extending the SP.


If you want to add a little bit of rope guying to gain some mechanical stability, these TV accessory guy plates will fit over the innermost sections and thus allow it to be guyed at about 3 metres above the bottom.

This galvanised version allows either 3 or 4 guys to be used and has a 32mm diameter main hole size.

If the antenna assembly weight is too high, the telescoping sections may collapse. While I haven't tried it, you could possibly utilise some suitably-tightened nylon zip-ties on the inner section just above at each friction joint when extending the SP to help the "friction" hold it up. Simply cut the nylon ties off when dis-assembling.

 

If you have a better suggestion, let me know.....

 


Where does the 35mm square steel mounting tube go ? In my field day mode, it is bolted to a 'hinged' mounting base that allows me to tilt the whole assembly easily and thus make it easier to fine-tune the antenna..

How you use the primary "mounting idea" is up to you. Of course you could use a different size mounting tube, round or square, provided it suits the V-blocks and the 40mm PVC tube - and you could use bolts and nuts instead of welding. Needless to say, this mount could be used at home too as a permanent fixture.

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Just a couple of tips -

(1) if you dont extend the innermost sections so that the total length is less than the 7 metre mark, it will be stronger and have less 'wobble' in the wind.

(2) when you are starting to extend the SP, start with the innermost section. Draw it out until it friction-locks to the next section. Continue to draw out the sections until each is friction-locked then re-check the overall assembly.

(3) if you pull out the vertical wire, inverted-v / dipole wires or down on the centre-feed coax too hard, it will collapse !!!!! (i.e. de-telescope)

 

Incoming email :

"Hi Doug

I also have one of these SP obtained at Gippstech last year, I find that Insulation Tape used to prevent the pole de-telescoping quite effective and easier to remove than tie wraps.

Ian VK3XID

"

For HF, see details of my homebrew TRAP INVERTED-V FOR 10 TO 80 METRES using the squid pole as the centre support.