This weekend I worked up the courage and installed my Diamond X510 on my roof. It wasn’t easy due to the pitch of my roof and lack of any safety gear and also making sure the ladder was secured to the house. I don’t picture myself climbing up onto that roof again.
In the above picture I designed and fabricated my own mounting straps to mount the antenna to the cast iron vent pipe.
The support pipe is galvanized dipped and then powder coated white to survive the elements
Here are roof brackets just after being cut with the 4kw laser. Brackets are made of 14ga (0.074) Staintless
All the hardware used in the installation was made out of stainless. I didn’t want a nice trail of rust running down my roof.
Other than the anxiety of climbing onto my roof , It was fun. I couldn’t wait to get back into the house, run the RG213 through the wall and start transmitting.
Using Diamonds radiation pattern on the antenna I calculated the coverage of my antenna.
I think it calculated a little too much but it’s pretty close. From moving my antenna from 5ft off the ground to the top of my house using low loss cable and Type-N connectors, I see a major difference and wondered why I never bought a commercially built antenna. I notice that I can now hit stations further north from my QTH. before I couldn’t get past 10mi north. Now I can hit the W1UWS repeater on top of Mt. Ascutney in Ascutney VT (100mi north of my QTH) and I could now hit Mt. Graylock in N. Adams MA (60mi Northwest of my QTH) and many repeaters in the Berkshires. In the south direction I can now get repeaters in Litchfield and Hartford Counties in CT. Compared to the J-Poles I can now contact 40 additional 2m repeaters. So overall I am extremely pleased of the results.
Now to get the Butternut Installed.
Last week I managed to get a Diamond X510NA antenna for free! The only issue was that I had to go and retrieve the antenna off the roof and also remove another antenna which I also got to keep. Not sure what the other antenna is but my focus is on the Diamond X510NA. This is my first “Commercial” VHF/UHF antenna. All my previous antennas were home brews which performed just great.
When I got the antenna down, nature has taken it’s course and there was corrosion of the visible metal parts and the white lacquer coating is gone exposing the fiberglass tube. However the tubes were still intact and the copper inside looked great for the most part
In this closeup you can see the minor issues that nature caused.
I was determined to get this antenna looking and performing like it was new. So I went to the hardware store to look for plastic spray paint and rubber foam strips for sealing joints around doors to keep drafts at bay.
Here is a photo with the Rubber foam stripping rolled around where the old foam was. I am doing this to prevent the actual antenna from rattling around inside the tubing.
I designed a bracket to use for the roof installation. The straps will be made out of 14ga (.074″) stainless and I already acquired a 1.25″ I.D. galvanized pipe and had it powder coated white to match the rest of the antenna. I don’t want any rust up there.
Here is the finished antenna. I mounted it to the deck with zip-ties to make sure the antenna works before going onto the roof.
Here is another angle of the antenna. The joints and feedline were taped with “X-Treme Tape” which is a silicone based
tape that will make a watertight seal. I also used “Undercoat” rubberized spray where the radials are mounted to prevent any more corrosion to the base.
There is a night and day difference compared to my home made antennas. Even though it’s 5ft off the ground and the huge aluminum siding wall right next to it, I am hitting repeaters that I never could hit before. Can’t wait to get this up on the roof.