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!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “Almost there, but not just yet.”

  • Joel kb6qvi:

    Larry, I’m faced with same dilemma with my Jackite pole. Right now I’m just bungee cording it to wooded pillars at the lake where I have been operating portable, but some of the places I want to go don’t have the pillars. I will watch to see what others come up with.


  • Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK:

    I’ve been doing portable ops for years and one thing I can count on is to have the unexpected happen. I’d worry about the wind coming from a direction perpendicular to the car orientation. That could rip those little screws out of the wood and send the pole crashing down.

    Perhaps, larger hinges, with through bolts? Or one large hinge with through bolts?

    de AA1IK

    Ernest Gregoire


  • Don WD8A:

    Larry, check out the web site for Rockler woodworking, they may very well have a brace that you could use. They have just a zillion hardware items.

  • Ian VK3LA:

    I suggest that you stay the pole off your luggage bars on the roof of the Jeep, far more secure in windy conditions and leaving you the easy option of tilting the mast whenever you need to change bands or whatever. Much less strain on the hinges too.

  • Ian VK3LA:

    Look at the 3 photos at the end of this article –
    73 Ian

  • Steve WI2W:

    Hi Larry,

    You could use a removable “L” bracket on the inside surfaces. Drill holes through the oak boards and fasten using bolts and wingnuts at deployment time. Disassemble for storage and transport. What do think?


  • Larry W2LJ:

    Thanks Dan, I am going to check Rockler out. In the meantime, I am taking up Steve’s suggestion. I bought an 8″ L-bracket and I drilled a hole to bolt it to the vertical member. It extends long enough onto the horizontal member so that I can

  • Larry W2LJ:

    Drive onto it and rest the tire on it to hold it down.

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