[VHFcontesting] 12 foot rover mast too high?

Jim Froemke jim.k0mhc at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 22 11:43:07 EST 2014

Here's a link to my rover blog: http://k0mhc.blogspot.com/

I try to telescope down to a traveling height below 12' primarily due to low
hanging branches on some of the off highway roads that get me to the good
spots. Depending on the contest configuration, my traveling height varies
from 10.5' to just under 12'. The top antenna takes a beating during the VHF
contests when I have the 6 meter PAR stressed moxon on top (for best results
on 6 meters). 

My biggest challenge is to telescope-up and then telescope-down within a
short period of time as it distracts from my run rate. I can usually do each
of these within 5-7 minutes.

73, Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: VHFcontesting [mailto:vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf
Of Pete K0BAK via VHFcontesting
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2014 9:47 AM
To: vhfcontesting at contesting.com
Subject: [VHFcontesting] 12 foot rover mast too high?

To the rovers:

I have a walk-up mast system (Penninger Radio) for my minivan rover beams
that I previously had to construct on-site at each stop. I've been working
toward getting a real ham rotor on the bottom of the mast, and to travel
with the beams up to increase my operating time by not having construct at
each site.

I just put the system together yesterday. The combination of the pivot
device, the rotor, and mast sections I'm using altogether put the top of the
mast slightly over 12 feet from the ground. It looks dangerously tall to me
for driving.

Before I spend more time on getting the mast more stable with some metal
between a ring bearing and the roof rack, do you guys have an opinion about
driving with a mast that high? On interstates and state roads, it shouldn't
be a problem, but I'm wondering if you have a mast that tall with antennas
(I will have 4 ~10' beams) while driving to good sites on heavily-wooded
roads with antenna-snagging low branches.

What would you consider the maximum reasonably-safe height for travel in the
Northeast with it's narrow back roads, tree canopies, and old railroad
bridges (I'm from Pennsylvania)?

Thanks, Pete K0BAK

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