Thursday, April 25, 2013

Almost there, but not just yet.

OK - so here's the deal.  I mentioned that I wanted to come up with a drive-on support that will allow me to use my Jackite pole as a support for wire antennas for portable non-hike type ops.  What I used to use, when I had my Buddipole, was a 4 foot plank of oak.  I bought a threaded piece of 2" pipe and a pipe flange.  I secured the pipe flange into the plank with screws.  When I got to a suitable spot, I would drive onto the plank, screw the pipe into the flange and drop the painter's pole that I was using as a mast into the pipe.  Viola' - instant Buddipole support!

The problem is the Jackite pole is a way bigger diameter than the painter's pole - 2 3/4" in diameter compared to less that 2" in diameter for the painter's pole.  The biggest diameter iron pipe that Home Depot had in small, pre-cut, pre-threaded pieces was 2".  Not gonna work.

So I took my 4 foot plank of oak and cut it into two, more or less equal sized pieces.

Then using hinges, I reverted it back into a single 4 foot plank.  Seems silly doesn't it, at first hearing?

Ahhhhh .... but there's a method to my madness, because now I have a vertical section as well as a horizontal section.

I added two "U" bolts to hold the Jackite pole.  And here's what it looks like "in action".

Two things remain to be done. First, I want to replace the hex nuts on the "U" bolts with wing nuts.  This will make it easier to tighten and loosen in the field.  Secondly, I need some sort of "support strut" between the horizontal and vertical components.  I am not sure what to use. A strut like you would find in an old style attache case or an equipment case would be ideal; but I don't know where you'd even go about buying case parts.  The only other thing that I can think of is buying a piece of aluminum stock and fashioning my own custom "strut".  Anchor it on one member with a screw and allow it to swing, and cut or file a "hook" into the other end and let that come to rest on a screw inserted into the other member.

I don't want to take a chance that a gust of wind could catch this and then either blow it back onto the Jeep or even worse, out to the side (taking radios and equipment with it!).

The easy answer is to just screw a shelf bracket in place.  But that would make this thing a permanent "L". Right now it folds down onto itself, forming a nice 2 foot long piece that fits in the back of the Jeep quite nicely, not taking up a lot of space.  I definitely want this to fold for easy storage, but yet be strong and stable enough when deployed so that there will be no worries.

Any ideas?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Larry,
    I used a floor flange and a 1.5 inch threaded steel pipe that fit smoothly in the base of a 31 ft Jackite when you unscrew the end. It works very well and didn't take much to put together. Can send a photo if you'd like.

    Hope to hear you in the QRPTTF this weekend. Can give you FL QSO party contact too if you want!

    Kelly K4UPG
    Contest Point Giver

  2. What I would suggest is a piece of straight 1" wide metal about 8" long. Then bend the 2 ends(about 1 inch from each end) so that you can place the bar at 45 degrees between the 2 wood pieces. Drill holes in the tabs then use wing nuts to attach it to bolts that you pass through holes. Here is a link to a quick drawing of what I mean: