[TowerTalk] element taping

Mark Spencer mspencer12345 at yahoo.ca
Sun Sep 28 11:19:27 EDT 2008

When I built a home brew vertical using aluminum tubing and stainless steel hose clamps it seemed like a good idea to put joint compound (penetrox, sorry I'm on the road right now and don't recall the exact product I used) on the connections and I then covered them with several layers of electrical tape.   
I'm sure some will argue this was overkill, but IMHO it looked a bit more visually appealing this way and it seemed reasonable to me joints between disimilar metals should be protected especially in an application such as an antenna where they are hard to inspect and where an imperfect connection might cause retification, RFI issues etc..

--- On Sun, 9/28/08, john at kk9a.com <john at kk9a.com> wrote:

From: john at kk9a.com <john at kk9a.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] element taping
To: TOWERTALK at contesting.com
Cc: n5ar at air-pipe.com
Received: Sunday, September 28, 2008, 10:33 AM

I have seen this done in the Caribbean where corrosion is a huge problem. 
Aluminum corrodes rapidly when in contact with stainless steel, such as 
under an element hose clamp and taping the joint may reduce the problem.

John KK9A / P40A

To: towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: [TowerTalk] element taping
From: "Dan Hearn"
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2008 16:57:13 -0700

A year or so ago I attended an estate sale for the station of W7BUD. I came
home with several yagis, some home built and some commercial. Each element
joint on these antennas was covered with a smooth covering of tape. I
assumed that this was to keep out moisture.
  Yesterday I lowered a Mosley 2l 40 which was mounted above a 6l 20m ?Big
Stick? KLM. The 6l uses 3 truss wires on the 57 ft boom. I had considerable
trouble with the small bolts on the 40m snagging on the 20m truss wires.
When I got the 40 down, I sawed off the end of the bolts thru the joints to
help prevent this happening again. I suddenly realized that the taped joints
on BUD?s antennas were probably a solution to my snagging problem. Thinking
a bit more about this problem it seems that it would be wise to position
hose clamps so the screws are on top of the element and then tape them to
make a gradual bump at that point.
  Maybe this is well known and used but in my 50 years as a ham I have never
encountered the technique before. Thanks Bud for a good idea.

73, Dan, N5AR 


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