THE POLE POSITION:
One of my pet peeves is seeing hams spend thousands of dollars on their radio, skimp on their antenna and spend only pennies on their antenna pole/mast.
Because I am only using wire antennas, I prefer fiberglass (fg) poles over aluminum masts. Fg poles offer the lowest price per foot (or meter) for elevating wire antenna.
Normally I recommend not using a pulley and rope at the top of fg poles because the poles go up and down so easily; ropes and pulleys only add unnecessary weight.
Well this only applies to the Spiderbeam 12m and 18m poles. The Spiderbeam 22m and 26m fg poles require standing on a ladder to raise them (see photo the right), and when working alone, I can only raise them about 18m. I do not have the strength to raise any higher.
In this picture, you see my shortened 26m fg pole raised to a height of 11 meters. When fully extended, it will be about 17.5 meters (about 57 ft.) high. The top 6 segments of the pole were removed, leaving a very hefty 18m pole when fully extended. I didn't have the strength to raise it any higher.
The pole is not currently guyed, but a guy belt is mounted about 4m down from the top. Since my QTH is well protected from wind by mountains and forest in all directions, I will only use one level of guying.
Hopefully I can get a helper soon to help me push it the rest of the way up.
The pole is strapped to a very hefty piece of gavanized steel "angle-iron."
Several short strips of rubber garden hose are slit in their length, then slid over the two sides of the angle iron to protect the surface of the fg pole.
18m Fiberglass Pole
The pole consists of the lower 9 segments of Spiderbeam's 26m fiberglass pole.
The angle iron's dimensions are:
It is driven 60cm (2 ft.) into the ground, with the lower 50cm being of cement. See drawing in the photo gallery below.
The fiberglass pole will be strapped to a very strong piece of galvanized-steel angle-iron. It is cemented into the ground for additional support.
PHOTO GALLERY OF FULLY EXTENDED POLE: