One of our users has made an excellent YouTube video, illustrating components and partial assembly of one of our mast systems. Check out this video for good ideas and illustrations of the ease of preparation!
Even the MK-8 mast is light enough to be supported by one man, if it is resting against something (like the tree limb in this photo).
Here we see a partially-extended MK-8 being used to dislodge a tangled antenna wire in the top of a pine tree at field day. For scale, both men pictured are over 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with a reach of 8 feet.
As always, we recommend extending the mast while it is in a vertical position. For a use such as this, leaning it against tree limbs while extending makes control much easier. (Have adequate help on hand in case it is needed.) The weight of the mast may be then supported by one man (as in photo, where a man is lifting it with one hand), as long as it is kept from falling away from vertical position by a support near the top. If it is allowed to lean away from a vertical position, the leverage of a structure that long will make it impossible for one man to hold without the mast falling to the ground.
In antenna support use, a structure as tall as our MK-8 MUST be adequately guyed. Click here to view the Assembly and Use Guide and Limited Warranty .
Our larger diameter fiberglass tubes with our quick clamps make EXCELLENT push poles to aid in erecting temporary antennas, such as for field day use. We show the 1.5 OD tube at the bottom, and our 1.25 OD tube used with one of our MC-1.5 quick clamps. A man on the ground with a push pole can easily reach up to the top of an antenna / rotor / mast assembly and take advantage of leverage (since he makes contact near the TOP of the assembly) to make the job of raising and lowering such an assembly an easy task! (Of course, ALWAYS have plenty of help available to assist with the guys and with the base of the mast to maintain positive control at all times.) The antenna and rotor shown were assembled with the mast ( NOTE: The mast shown is a STEEL mast, not one of our fiberglass masts. Our masts are NOT designed to support HF beams or rotors!) supported by the step ladder shown, keeping the antenna boom off the ground. The push pole makes getting the assembly up to vertical (and back DOWN from vertical to lie back down on the ladder for disassembly after use) a much easier and safer job. We simply used some very heavy copper wire, and stuck the two ends down inside the end of the 1/25 OD tube, and bent / shaped the remaining length into a V shape in order to make easy, non-slip contact with the mast. We taped the wire in place with electrical tape for easy removal later. Be certain that the wire V is stiff enough and large enough so that it does not slip off the point of contact while pushing. Going up a size on the tubes and clamp (to 1.75 OD and 1.5 OD tubes plus a MC-1.75 clamp) will greatly strengthen the assembly for an additional safety factor.
This user has two of our MK-8-HD masts, used to support a delta loop antenna. The fiberglass masts with rope guys have a big advantage in the support of wire antennas, in that the support structure is non-conductive (as are the rope guys) and will not affect the resonance or pattern of the supported antenna.
The photos show the masts in use (with pulleys at top for easy raising / lowering of the loop) and his method of supporting the base of the mast, using steel angle, sunk in concrete. Note how he has the base end of the mast open, so that moisture can drain through. Also how he has many stainless screw clamps, spread over several feet of the lower mast section, which allows firm grip on the lower mast section, while distributing the compressive force on the fiberglass tube.
This customer's email, sent with these photos, said:
These are pix from a proud owner of your MK- 8 (HD) 50' ft masts. They are carrying a 20M delta loop that is currently ripping up the airwaves with a very respectable signal.
Below are some nice VHF contest antenna photos submitted by David, AG4F, and his friend Barrett, KE4R.
The two photos below show an apartment balcony installation, using what appears to be a model MK-4-HD-EXTEND version mast. This customer sent the following note along with the photos:
Attached (below) is photo of your 38 foot mast with my portable rotatable full size 20 meter dipole made from telescoping 6 foot aluminum tubes with diameters from 0.625 to 0.375. I chose this design so that I can reduce to full size 15 or 10 meter dipoles if the conditions are favorable. The guy lines are made from neon green parachute cord so that they are highly visible to people walking in the yard. The guy anchors are spiral tie out stakes for dogs. The location is at my mother-in-law's house in Tannersville, VA during the Christmas 2012 holiday.
The base of the mast is lashed to a flag pole.