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[TowerTalk] Heliax and crankup towers

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Heliax and crankup towers
From: "Gary Mitchelson - N3JPU" <>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2004 11:54:25 -0400
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I looked through the archives but did not find conclusive info on this

I am going to upgrade my 50 and 144Mhz antennas and will also put new coax
in place. Currently I am using 9096 Extraflex which is a air dielectric
(similar to 9913F7, with 2 shields) and has a loss of .9dB/100'@50Mhz and
1.5dB/100'@144Mhz. The runs from radio to antennas is about 75' on each

My tower is a 2 section crank-up 38' with a fold over base. Probably fully
fold it over once or twice a year, and crank it down about 4 times a year.

I was considering LMR-600UF coax as 1) it has lower loss (but on 50Mhz I
would only save about .2dB and on 144Mhz about .3dB) BUT the power handling
goes up to a more comfortable area (LMR-400UF has a bit more loss than the
9096 I am currently using).

The cost of LMR-600UF is a bit high, so another alternative is some
attractive pricing on Andrews LDF4-50A Heliax (less than 1/2 the price of
600UF at a few sources). There are also some good prices on the FSJ4-50B
superflex Heliax which almost is as good as the 600UF loss, but way down
from LDF4-50A.

However with either I would need to put rotor loops in where the 600UF would
not need any. So that means 4 extra N connectors inserted in each run. So
that adds to the loss a little bit and to the cost bringing the Heliax
solution up close to the LMR-600UF solution.

How would either version of the Heliax stand up to the occasional action of
cranking the tower down? I know that the spec on bending either heliax is 50
but not sure how that compares to looping 20' or so as the tower nests. My
concern is the life expectancy of the Heliax vs LMR-600UF.

Also, anyone using LMR-600UF? And how is it holding up? The jacket is not as
good as the regular LMR-600 from what I see.

Gary Mitchelson
N3JPU Montgomery Co. MD  FM19

MD/DC MARS homepage


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