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[TowerTalk] Vertical? - Butternut

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Vertical? - Butternut
From: (Lee Buller)
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 09:03:40 -0500
At 08:24 PM 6/11/98 -0700, you wrote:
>I also think the Butternuts are great antennas but I have heard they
>require guying or they're history. Comment, Lee?
>73, Bob AA0CY

Well, I've done it both ways and I still have my Butternut.  I think that it
depends on how sheltered it is from the wind.  I had mine up in Oklahoma and
in Kansas.  I use plastic bailing twine (putred orange, but it was free) at
the first coil and staked it down with tent stakes when I was in OK.  The
verticle was in the open since the house we were living was very near to the
edge of town.

When I camed to Kansas...I put it up in the backyard and did not feel I
needed to guy it because it was sheltered from the wind.  We have some
pretty stiff winds here on the plains.

I've used in many times on FD where I have had to stake it down because the
wind was blowing at 30 mph.  It was bending pretty badly, but it has never

I think that it would be fine if you pay attention to the mounting of the
Butternut.  A lot of people just goober something together for the mount.
I've done it three ways.

1.  I used a small auger bit in a 1/2 horse drill motor and made a hole
about three foot deep.  I then placed a PVC pipe in the hole and packed sand
around the PVC pipe.  Sand doesn't compress and gives a very solid mount.  I
then place the Butternut in the PVC pipe and put sand around that as well.
I used "mortar" sand which is pretty fine.  Once it is in, it is very hard
to pull out.  What y ou have to do is take a garden hose and flood the mount
and then it will pull out.  The sand makes for a pretty good "cement" which
isn't permanent.

2.  I've used a metal fence post you get at the lumber yard or a farm supply
store.  I cut the thing to about 4.5 feet and pound that into the ground to
about three feet or so with a sledge.  Mount the antenna.  It doesn't move
either.  The fence post is made out of heavy steel and works great for big
stakes.  I've used these to stake down 30 foot of 25G during FD.  You need a
car jack to get the out.

These two ways give the Butternut a solid footing and I've let it blow in
the wind without trouble....depending on how sheltered it is.

3.  The best installation of this antenna I've had is this.  I mounted it on
a six foot tripod and elevated the radials.  Did this for FD last year.
Guyed the heck out of it.  Radiated like crazy.  Worked KH6 and KL7 on 40
meters with 100 watts.  80 is OK, know.  I would rather
have a 1/4 wave on 80.

The wind will wear on them.  Make sure all the bolts holding the thing
together are tight on the holes.  A little slop with cause you trouble.
Make sure all the hardware is tight too.

The bad thing about the Butternut is the crazy feed connection.  The
connection always broke on me and I would have to go out and repair it at
night.  So, I installed a SO239 connector on the ground side of the antenna
and used a small bit of wire to go to the screw feed.  Then, I cut a new 1/4
wave transmission transformer and put PL239 on both ends.  Worked like a

The only other mod I have done is to make an aluminum ring with brass
connectors to place 16 radials around the antenna.  I thin have a big copper
clamp that attaches to the ground side of the coax.  Works well.

Well, I've bored you all enough with this conversation


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