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Rope in elements??

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Rope in elements??

Post by KP68 » Tuesday, 07 August 2018, 9:35 AM

Hi all. So I remember seeing this a while ago in the Maco beam antenna assembly instructions and it came to mind again as I'm about ready to install my M105C. Taken from the assembly instructions for the M105C, page 2, first paragraph, "It is highly recommended that rope be put in the elements to prolong their life". Could this be anymore vague lol? Does anyone know for sure what the reasoning behind this is? I guess I'm stupid cause I don't see where they are going with this ha.




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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by MDYoungblood » Tuesday, 07 August 2018, 15:53 PM

Hmm, interesting, looked and this is written on most of their single polarity beams. Maybe a email to Maco will clear up the question.

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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by sonoma » Tuesday, 07 August 2018, 16:20 PM

the rope has been around for years. it is suppose to help keep the aluminum from getting brittle. do not know if it works or not but have done some antennas that way and some I did not.



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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by jessejamesdallas » Tuesday, 07 August 2018, 18:28 PM

It does several things...It helps stop the elements from "singing" in wind storms, and adds strength to them...But you don't use just any rope, use nylon rope witch is light weight and will not absorb water...

I used it in my MaCo shooting star when I put it together...Now for the bad news...If you stick it in the vertical elements, MaCo supply's you with these little plastic caps that go on the ends of the elements that keeps water out, and keeps bugs from building nest inside...Problem is, when you stick that rope inside, after a while it ends up pushing the bottom cap off, and the rope falls out...I even put a little glue inside to help hold the rope in-place, and it still pushed the bottom caps off, and the rope started wiggling out...took about a week or two before they all finally fell out...

Not sure what would be the best glue to use, I used Gorilla glue, but apparently it didn't stick to the aluminum...No problem with horizontal elements tho, they still have the rope inside, gravity just got the better of the vertical elements.

I don't remember right off hand what diameter rope I used, but it's what I call "ski-rope". Just a yellow nylon rope I got at Home Depot.... Next time I bring the antenna down for maintenance I'm going to put it back in, just need to figure out a better way to keep it "inside".


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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by MDYoungblood » Wednesday, 08 August 2018, 6:23 AM

jessejamesdallas wrote:
Tuesday, 07 August 2018, 18:28 PM
It does several things...It helps stop the elements from "singing" in wind storms, and adds strength to them...But you don't use just any rope, use nylon rope witch is light weight and will not absorb water...

I used it in my MaCo shooting star when I put it together...Now for the bad news...If you stick it in the vertical elements, MaCo supply's you with these little plastic caps that go on the ends of the elements that keeps water out, and keeps bugs from building nest inside...Problem is, when you stick that rope inside, after a while it ends up pushing the bottom cap off, and the rope falls out...I even put a little glue inside to help hold the rope in-place, and it still pushed the bottom caps off, and the rope started wiggling out...took about a week or two before they all finally fell out...

Not sure what would be the best glue to use, I used Gorilla glue, but apparently it didn't stick to the aluminum...No problem with horizontal elements tho, they still have the rope inside, gravity just got the better of the vertical elements.

I don't remember right off hand what diameter rope I used, but it's what I call "ski-rope". Just a yellow nylon rope I got at Home Depot.... Next time I bring the antenna down for maintenance I'm going to put it back in, just need to figure out a better way to keep it "inside".
I've used 2 things in the past, GE makes a non corrosive silicone sealer that works well and the spray foam (comes in several brand names) used to seal holes in foundation walls, windows, etc., it is lightweight, got to watch it though, it expands as it cures. Both can be removed by using a drill bit to take it out.

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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by jessejamesdallas » Wednesday, 08 August 2018, 7:15 AM

Yep, I've used that spray foam stuff before for sealing up cracks around the house to keep critters out of the attic, it would probably work inside elements too, but would be messy.


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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by MDYoungblood » Wednesday, 08 August 2018, 9:07 AM

jessejamesdallas wrote:
Wednesday, 08 August 2018, 7:15 AM
Yep, I've used that spray foam stuff before for sealing up cracks around the house to keep critters out of the attic, it would probably work inside elements too, but would be messy.
Yep, messy for sure, I used just a dab on the ends. I built a wire J-pole antenna and put it inside some 1 1/2" PVC then filled it with the foam, made it pretty stiff.

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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by KP68 » Wednesday, 08 August 2018, 22:40 PM

Cool, thanks fella's. I found one of the pamphlets that came with the antenna. On the trouble shooting tips sheet, under the sub category, Tip For Increasing Antenna Life it states word for word, "Vibrations in your antenna due to light winds will cause the elements to sign and harden. If the elements over-harden, they will become brittle and then prone to cracking. For a longer antenna life we highly recommend the use of 1/4" or 5/16" plastic rope through the entire length of the elements". Then it shows a cut away drawing of an element stating, "Epoxy glue rope inside element at both ends".



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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by Wildrat » Friday, 10 August 2018, 13:30 PM

KP68 wrote:
Wednesday, 08 August 2018, 22:40 PM
Cool, thanks fella's. I found one of the pamphlets that came with the antenna. On the trouble shooting tips sheet, under the sub category, Tip For Increasing Antenna Life it states word for word, "Vibrations in your antenna due to light winds will cause the elements to sign and harden. If the elements over-harden, they will become brittle and then prone to cracking. For a longer antenna life we highly recommend the use of 1/4" or 5/16" plastic rope through the entire length of the elements". Then it shows a cut away drawing of an element stating, "Epoxy glue rope inside element at both ends".
I think I would use the spray foam rather than epoxy. The foam will be easier to remove if it has to be removed for some reason. Spray the foam i, let it cure, trim the excess off and put the caps on.


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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by jessejamesdallas » Friday, 10 August 2018, 16:24 PM

I'm thinking, if you try to fill the element all the way up with that foam stuff, it would add allot more weight to the antenna, than what the plastic rope would.


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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by Wildrat » Sunday, 19 August 2018, 10:54 AM

jessejamesdallas wrote:
Friday, 10 August 2018, 16:24 PM
I'm thinking, if you try to fill the element all the way up with that foam stuff, it would add allot more weight to the antenna, than what the plastic rope would.
Yep, don't fill the tubing just enough at the ends to hold the rope, and it won't take much, of course by now the antenna should be in the air, so this is just wasted typing. LOL


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Re: Rope in elements??

Post by MDYoungblood » Sunday, 19 August 2018, 11:29 AM

You could probably get away with using a small stainless sheet metal screw at the tips to keep it in.

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