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[TowerTalk] Re: Penetrox vs WD40/graphite thread

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Penetrox vs WD40/graphite thread
From: gdaught6@leland.Stanford.EDU (George T. Daughters)
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:06:03 +0008
hi steve et al.,

let's remember what aluminum does when it oxidizes.  bare aluminum in 
moist air will form a grayish, NON-CONDUCTIVE oxide.  if we want two 
pieces of aluminum which are mechanically coupled to be have a good, 
solid, reliable electrical coupling as well, then the interface 
between the two should be kept from oxidizing.  this is not news.

> >       On the same page, the manual says "..... and we recommend the use of a
> >       mixture of WD40 and graphite powder, or similar material, to lubricate
> >       each and every tubing joint surface and screw hole during assembly as 
> >       well as the end of the element being placed into the boom."
> >       
> >       Therefore, if I follow the advice of what 99.99% of all hams are 
> >       telling me (i.e. use Pentrox or similar antioxidant) and what common 
> >       sense and the laws of physics dictate, I will be in direct violation 
> >       of the K7LXC Prime Directive! Decisions, decisions.......
>       Apparently the manufacturer had a problem once with some material that
> may have been an antioxidant. Too liberal use may cause problems but I don't
> know what the specifics of their blanket statement are.
>       The mixture of WD-40 and graphite is approximately the same recipe as
> other antioxidants - a non-conducting vehicle and small (metal) particles (is
> graphite a conductor?). While I have NEVER seen this approach before and am a
> little suspect of it's effectiveness, if the manufacturer says to do - I won't
> discourage you. OTOH use of a more conventional antioxidant (NoAlOx, Penetrox,
> is ALWAYS encouraged and will help the longterm reliability of your
> aluminum joint and do little or nothing to create problems. 

it sounds like we're really talking about what is the best 
antioxidant/conductor goo to use.  i put up a hygain 20m monobander 
almost 30 years ago, using, if i recall the name correctly, NOALOX.  
it worked faithfully for all that time until the coax shield broke 
from flexing a zillion times with the wind.  when i took the antenna 
down and refurbished it, the joints (after i drilled out the 
dimples under the little pointy squeeze clamps) were easy to 
pull apart.  when i wiped off the thin (somewhat dry) noalox, the 
aluminum tubing was still clean and pretty shiny.

i'm not recommending one antioxidant/assembly lube/conductive goo 
over another... but i sure wouldn't put up an aluminum antenna 
without using one!  (butternut's "butter it's not" is a different 
color, but it's obviously meant to accomplish the same thing.)

establish, and preserve the electrical connection between your 
aluminum tubes!

(i *just* got a force-12 c4sxl up yesterday!)

George T. Daughters, K6GT

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