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[Towertalk] [OT] weatherproof tape for antennas?

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Subject: [Towertalk] [OT] weatherproof tape for antennas?
From: (
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 11:06:22 -0700
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
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Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 6:55 AM
Subject: Re: [Towertalk] [OT] weatherproof tape for antennas?

> In a message dated 6/17/02 5:06:23 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > 88 tape? you gotta be kidding, the stuff is common electrical tape
> >  brand #88 tape),
>     I'm not sure whether you're endorsing its use or discouraging it.
(SIGH, you try to put out a simple answer, and no one can understand you,
let me try it again) -- Scotch
electrical tapes arn't exactly a product that you must go to a secret back
alley  store, knock 3 times, and tell them "JOE SENT ME" !  -translation:
many, if not most hardware stores carry the scotch probuct line of tapes.

> Actually it's a premium grade electrical tape which is used by
> tower climbers and is THE standard tape for the various telephone

Yes, it is great tape for insulating wire connections, BUT,it doesnt mold
well to uneven surfaces,  self vulcanizing tape does, however, form a
watertight seal, and fills every nook and cranney of a coax splice, and the
insides of coax connectors stay dry, and corrosian free for years if applied
properly, even at 100+ mph winds, and temperature extremes of -40 to +110
degrees and in severe iceing . you see, until about a year ago, was
electronic tech for the old southern pacific(now union pacific) for over 30
years - and know more than a little about towers, myself.
the biggest problem, as stated with the self vulcanizing tape is its
disentegration, after awhile when exposed to ultraviolet light- hence the
need to coat it with 88 tape.
and, as an additional bonus, if you need to re-enter it, after removing the
88 tape, the vulcanizing tape comes off cleanly, not leaveing a mess, like
other products.
any residue that is left can be handled with a small brush, and PRINT KOTE
SOLVENT (keep it out of your eyes, as it dont feel good!) the solvent also
will remove lead oxide (the white powdery substance, in a connector that has
gotten wet). . but, the idea is to keep water out in the first place .  from
experience, on various mountain tops, in the middle of winter, cleaning, and
repairing these connectors in 70-90 mph winds, 100 foot off the ground isn't
my idea of a fun time.
one other 3-m product that has been used is a form of shrink tubeing (glue
filled), that has a spiral insert . as you remove the spiral insert, the
tubeing shrinks to seal the surface you are sealing. part i dont like,
however is the mess you have when you try to remove it to repair , or
replace the (antenna, connector, ect)..

and, as an aside, if one needs to splice wires (such as rotor cables, or
even automotive power feeds, 3-m also, makes butt connecters, eyelets, ect,
that are self sealing, glue impregnated- use like a regular splice on a
wire, and then simply heat, to release the sealant. these may take a little
looking for, but again , electrical supply houses should have them, and
GREYBAR (a commercial jobber) definately has all of the 3-m (scotch product
hope this clarifies everything--73, jim nn7k

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