We are expecting some high winds and lots of rain starting late afternoon and all evening and for this reason, I took my Hustler 4BTV antenna down. The maximum gusts are to be in around 70-80 km and the antenna specs say the antenna is suitable for 90 km winds. I would rather not go with the see what happens theory as I have made the antenna very easy to take down. I decided not to purchase the tilt base for the antenna as there is nowhere I can tilt the antenna fully down too. I can store the antenna in the shed and it only takes about 10 minutes for the whole ordeal of taking it down and storing it. While the antenna was down today I noticed a few of the blade spiders were loose. There are 6 of these what is called in the manual "spider blades". It's for the 40m portion of the antenna. They are pieces of round hollow aluminum tubing held in place by nuts and bolts. Two of the 6 blades were very loose. I don't think the nuts loosened off I think the aluminum tubing being a soft material compressed a bit and the connection came loose. I tightened the nut and bolts on all the spider blades and will check it each time the antenna comes down. I don't feel double nutting each connection would solve the issue as was said it's my humble opinion the nuts did not loosen off.
Top view of securing screw.
My theory is at one point the aluminum blades will stop compressing and the connection will remain tight. I would have thought an SWR issue would have been apparent with this but nothing was out of sorts with the SWR.
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Hi Mike. I assume these are hollow tubes which will deform pretty easily. Consider finding something hard that will just barely slip inside, something like a dowel. Drill this for the bolt. Then when you tighten down you’ll be compressing this hard material too, not just the Al tube. Just a thought. Hope your storm causes no damage. 73, Elwood
Elwood as always it’s very nice to hear from you, the storm came and went and the antenna was safe in the shed. I never thought of putting dowelling in the tubing great idea. DX Engineering does sell a reinforced lower section of tubing. The issue is the shipping is more than the tubing and I am not going to spend double the money to get the product. For now, I will just check the weather forecast and take it down when needed.
Good morning again Elwood, just realized part of the reply was removed by me by mistake, as for the Dowling as said it’s a great idea and I am going to check with Home Depot to see what sizes they have. That sure would help stop the hollow rod from becoming loose.
Hi Mike, when I read your concern & looked at the pics my thoughts were the same as Elwoods. easy fix & I bet that’s all that DX Engineering does, except with new arms.
Good morning George very nice to hear from you, now that the winter is here I am not going to get too excited about modifying the legs of the cap hat. I will keep an eye on the antenna and if and when I have to take it down due to possible high winds I will give it a look over.
73 and have a great week George,