Almost every amateur radio operator has wondered how to get their antenna’s higher, and depending on your operating location, it’s not always easy. If you’re often operating in the field, trees are the go to resource- yet depending on your antenna, such as an HF horizontal dipole, you may need a second support- a precise distance away. Perhaps you’re in the desert (as I am as I’ve tested and reviewed this product.) For these times, the Spiderbeam twelve meter heavy duty telescoping pole is the perfect tool.
The Spiderbeam pole is light, strong, easy to carry, easy to extent and will stay extended through any conditions. Pro tip: wrap each joint with a round or two of electrical tape. Without the tape, the pole can and will collapse into its self from time to time from the vibration/wiggling of the pole. They do sell a “clamp kit” on the site also, however I do not recommend it as it doesn’t even come assembled. Just a bag with a dozen worm gear hose clamps and eighteen inches of rubber padding – the raw materials for you to make yourself a nice hose clamp kit. I did purchase it, however what a pain to use. The electrical tape is much easier.
Next you’ll want to mount your pole. That is the point of this post. Before I get to the tripod, I’ll mention one tip I used at home to mount my Spiderbeam from my house. From Lowes (in Michigan, the local hardware/lumber store) I purchased an eighteen inch piece of two inch PVC and a six inch lag screw. At home I drilled a large pilot hole through both side of the pipe about two inches from one end. Climbed my ladder, threaded the lag screw through the PVC and screwed it into the corner of my house about eight feet below the eaves.
Once in place the bottom segment of the Spiderbeam (take off the end cap) will slip perfectly over the two inch PVC. From there I extended the pole and rotated it up. Where it meets the eave I screwed in a large garage organizer hook. The pole rested perfectly in the hook and seemed plenty secure by itself- yet a zip tie or two made it better. With my house, this put my pole about twelve feet above the ground and the pole had a bit of an angle too it- yet my house had eaves on all four sides- this could work out better for someone without eaves on one side.
Okay- well, what if you’re in the middle of nowhere and you can’t screw it to your house or paracord lash it to a tree stump. This is when you need a tripod. After looking for several, I found this one perfect for the shaft of the Spiderbeam and plenty secure. Pro tip: use big stakes, ten inch solid steel stakes minimum. The mount can take three stakes in each leg, and each stake would be put in a different direction in each hole for each leg. The tripod comes with a three foot second of ‘mast’ pipe, so you could use this alone to hold up a satellite dish or other type of antenna, yet for the Spiderbeam it’s much more stable if you remove the provided mast, unscrew the three bolts at the bottom and remove the “cup” that holds the bottom of their mast at the middle of the tripod. This allows the Spiderbeam to rest fully on the ground while supported by the tripod.
The test of any mount, mast, and antenna system is wind. Where do you test wind load? In the Eddy plains of New Mexico in March. Check the video- proof positive- this tripod will securely mount your Spiderbeam fiberglass telescoping pole.
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