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Re: [TowerTalk] Weatherproof Sealant

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Weatherproof Sealant
From: Tom Anderson <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 16:46:02 -0600
List-post: <>
In Texas fire ants can probably get into anything waterproof or anything proof.

This isn't about an antenna relay box but its related. Years ago on my father's farm south Whitesboro TX, just south of the Red River, he had two remote controlled gates at the entrance. For both motors he had control boxes and I helped him and an electrician weather seal these two boxes tighter than a Federal Reserve bank vault. But somehow the fire ants would build their mounds underneath the boxes (the boxes were elevated slightly off the ground at first) find a way in and make a real mess of the motor relays, circuit breakers etc. We tried everything to keep them out but even though we put out all kinds of insecticide around these boxes and the fire ant mounds, they'd come back and do a number on the insides of the boxes. An entomologist with the County Agent's office said they were somehow attracted to the hum the relays would make at times.

My father would even mount the boxes higher and higher off the ground and the fire ants would still somehow find a way into these relay boxes. Dad had to replace the entire box and relay system a couple times in addition to the cleanout we'd do periodically on the fire ants. The problem for us anyway ended when my father sold his farm. Don't know what the new owners did.

Tom, WW5L

Pete Smith wrote:
I've been using Rubbermaid "Rough Totes" as weather covers for relay switchboxes and my 160M shunt feed caps, U-bolted through the bottom to the rungs of my tower. In the first one of these I did, I just cut a nice big rectangular hole in the side that faces down, for all the coax lines to emerge. A few months later, I opened the cover and surprised a field mouse who had built a nest on the terminal strip of the antenna relay box. Subsequent editions use much smaller slits that can be pulled closed to provide minimum cable clearance. I expect to need to replace these every few years due to UV, unless I get really ambitious and paint them with plastic paint. In any case, $3-4 per enclosure is pretty reasonable.

I also used one of the NEMA plastic boxes with the O-ring cover seal for an antenna array relay box, and found it stayed nice and dry so long as all of the holes for coax connectors and control lines were in the downward-facing side. This box has been out in the weather for 7 years, and except for some discoloration from UV, presumably, it remains tight and dry.


See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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