I did the same thing as Arne to a KLM 5 element Big Stik and a KT34-XA.
In addition because at the time I lived close to the beach, I used Rustolium
acid etch, then their primer, then their flat black. Don't eliminate the
etch.....that really works well and allows the paint to get a good chemical
grip on the aluminum to avoid flaking. In later years....about 20 years into
their use, I noticed some fading of the black paint and could begin to see
the primer color in some places but it didn't flake off.
When I took it all down 27 years later, I was amazed that there was
virtually no corrosion on any of the elements. If course all the steel parts
were badly rusted.
If you do this, use the scotch brite first, then assemble the elements only,
then spray paint.
I painted the boom too.
Mask off any conductive element joiners etc.
The antennas worked as advertised with no adjustments when assembled to the
manual measurements. Man, that Big Stik owns 20mtrs!
I have a small compressor and trim gun that worked good or you can use their
They have a lot of colors that will work and perhaps a clear but the zinc
chromate color of the primer will show through....anyway, it worked well and
I still have all those dissembled antennas in the shop right now.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of N7KA@comcast.net
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2008 12:02 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] cleaning aluminum beam elements
SCOTCH BRITE or similar nylon scouring pads and water. Pads usually found
at home improvement stores. Why mess with WD40, kerosene, etc that create a
mess and then must be cleaned off. Use wet scouring pads. I keep a bucket
of water to soak he pads. Rinse with water and wipe dry with paper towels
A nice clean dull non-reflective surfce. The antenna just became a bit more
invisaible by not reflecting light.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT on all my antennas.
Another aid in the process; keep a beer handy, though do not wase it on the
aluminum. And for the UK folks a substitute pint of bitters. Ah, yes, fond
memories of plowman's lunches while traveling in UK.
DO NOT do this process on the concrete patio or drive way.
-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Artmouton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I am putting up a used Cushcraft A3S (with 4- meter kit) that was up for a
> few years (local conditions in S. Louisiana with salt air and usual crud)
> that it has the usual tarnish, dirt, etc on the elements.
> Local suggested cleaning it with steel wool and soap and water.
> I intend to break each section down, clean it, open the traps, replace any
> bad end caps, remeasure and re-construct.
> Just wondering if there were any other suggestion from the group?
> Art K5FNQ
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