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[TowerTalk] to lube or not to lube??---that is the question...

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Subject: [TowerTalk] to lube or not to lube??---that is the question...
From: (K7LXC)
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 11:26:11 EDT
In a message dated 98-04-24 10:01:57 EDT, writes:

> Been following all the postings on lubricating antenna joints, and I am
>  getting confused.  I am getting ready to re-activate my TH5DX (HG) which
>  has been sitting in storage in my garage (disassembled) for abt 10 yrs
>  since I took it down in WV. (now in NW FL)  I would have cleaned the
>  joints with a very fine emory cloth, put 'em together and that would
>  have been it!  I did not put anything on the joints in WV and after 10
>  yrs of operating es wx there, the antenna came apart just fine when I
>  was ready to move it.  Now...reading the postings on towertalk, I'm
>  getting confused as to the best way to go with my project.  Hy-Gain does
>  not have a recommendation as I recall in the manual...I will re-check
>  this am.  This is not a very corrosive atmosphere and neither was my WV
>  qth.  I am abt 35 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and rust is not a
>  problem in this area as it is on the east coast of FL.  So I'm assuming
>  (there's that word agn) that there will be no additive corrosion.  I
>  will be just dealing with what has accumulated on the joints over the
>  past 20 yrs or so.  

      There are obviously locations that are more hostile to antenna service
life than others. WV might be pretty benign while FL may be worse. These
environmental factors are heat, UV, humidity, moisture, chemicals in the air,
etc. The purpose of an antioxidant is to keep oxygen away from the joint while
providing metal-to-metal contact through the top oxidized layer under

     If your antenna came apart easily, then the oxidation wasn't very
advanced. Many (most?) of us have encountered antennas that were permanently
oxidized together. I don't think that aluminum oxide is a conductor so you can
imagine the increased resistance to the joint and the degraded performance of
your antenna.

      About 3 years ago (with prompting by TowerTalk), Hy-Gain started
supplying an antioxidant with each antenna. Moseley, KLM and Butternut are
manufacturers that supply some with their antennas. Cushcraft doesn't as far
as I've seen (maybe their new generation of antennas will have some) but they

      I would encourage you to use an antioxidant on your antenna. It won't
hurt anything and will add to its reliability and service life.  Penetrox,
NoAlOx and others are available from electrical supply houses, some hardware
stores and TOWER TECH. Read the label - most are good for aluminum-to-aluminum
and aluminum-to-copper joints. 

Cheers,  Steve  K7LXC

     TOWER TECH -- professional tower supplies and services for amateurs   

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