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I'm using a camera tripod to mount my antenna to, any problems with doing that? Also a tuning question. Photo attached


WRFH675
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I have an RT-97 repeater setup in my house for now. Just using a camera tripod to hold it up. It may be a dumb question, but any issues with the way it's setup right now? And while I'm asking questions, as far as tuning goes, I extended each pole of the antenna just a hair above the 460 mark. Is that correct? The next mark is 470.

IMG_1307.JPG

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I can't really answer the tuning question. I'm not familiar with that antenna... though the adjustment sounds like it would be okay. 

 

I can tell you that there is nothing to be concerned about with the camera tripod mount.  I used to do it all the time and performance was not impacted. If you take it outside, just make sure you hang a sandbag from it so the wind doesn't blow it over.

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9 minutes ago, WRFH675 said:

Thanks for the reply

 

Now that I have looked at the picture on my PC instead of my phone, I will say you should move the mount all the way up and remove the camera mount and adjustment handle.  That will impact your SWR and antenna performance. Make sure there is nothing next to the antenna. 

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13 hours ago, marcspaz said:

 

Now that I have looked at the picture on my PC instead of my phone, I will say you should move the mount all the way up and remove the camera mount and adjustment handle.  That will impact your SWR and antenna performance. Make sure there is nothing next to the antenna. 

This. I think I even have the same tripod, but since I'd lost the camera mount plate I just removed all of the mount parts and just left the shaft. It's been holding a comet dual band for my ham setup for a year and a half or so now.

Testing will tell for sure, but you may be able to get away with tilting the camera mount so the handle is all the way down next to the shaft on the side opposite the antenna, and move the antenna all the way to the top of that shaft (lower the tripod and/or shaft if you need to for ceiling clearance ).

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I use a strobe tripod with good results, have a radio in the garage and fine tune antennas that way before I put them on the Jeep and yes I check the SWR after the install. As stated above you should be fine!

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1 hour ago, BoxCar said:

You also want to look at light or speaker stands.

Those would definitely be more robust/stable (at least without some assistance). I don't know that I'd have kept mine as is as long as I have if i didn't have an out of the way spot to park it that it wont get bumped

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I'd concur with the others...

You do not want the tripod shaft extending parallel to the radiating (whip) of the antenna -- that's going to do some weird RF coupling and affect SWR. If possible, the shaft should end just below the ground plane radials. If you can, remove the tilt/pan head and handle, clamp the antenna at the top of the shaft (and if you need ceiling clearance, lower the shaft).

Since the repeater transmits in 462MHz, closer to the 460MHz marks than the 470MHz marks should be preferred. A UHF-capable SWR meter, testing at lowest frequency (.550), middle (.625 or .650), and highest (.725) would give an idea of which way to adjust for detailed tuning (SWR increase as you go up in frequency indicates antenna may need to be shortened, vice versa...)

 

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That looks good. Myself I've used an old speaker stand with a portable mast from MFJ. I found the stand cheap at a local flea market. The mast I had purchased new.

https://mfjenterprises.com/products/mfj-1919?_pos=7&_sid=9c49c76d4&_ss=r

https://mfjenterprises.com/products/mfj-1911?_pos=50&_sid=9c49c76d4&_ss=r

The top section was way too flexible so i removed it. The antenna on the top is a  telescoping dual band design type.

https://www.amazon.com/AL-800-HighGain-Extendable-Antenna-SMA-Female/dp/B015ILL6ZS

Between the two the antenna is up about 20 feet. Using some aluminum tent stakes and nylon rope I can guy it for light to moderate wind gusts.

Portable Mast System - 3.JPG

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22 hours ago, WRFH675 said:

Thanks everyone for commenting. I tried to remove the parts but couldn't do it, so I took my oscillating tool and chopped the whole thing off. Looks a lot better now, and hopefully it improves everything. I have an SWR meter on the way to test it in the next few days.

IMG_1319.jpg

IMG_1320.jpg

 

That looks great!  I'm sure it's going to work a lot better.  

 

When using it (and testing) try to keep the antenna and tripod about 24 to 28 inches away from other objects for best performance. 

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4 hours ago, marcspaz said:

 

That looks great!  I'm sure it's going to work a lot better. 

I will second Marc. My initial setup had the comet clamped onto the side post of a wire storage rack, around halfway up. Swr was around 5:1, IIRC. Moved to the tripod and rechecked...1.2:1. Coupling with the rack was making a mess of an otherwise well tuned antenna

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18 hours ago, WRFH675 said:

Thanks everyone for commenting. I tried to remove the parts but couldn't do it, so I took my oscillating tool and chopped the whole thing off.

😱 OUCH!

I can't recall the last time I bought a camera tripod that did not have a removable head (the high end tripods don't come with heads, you buy that separately). I'd replaced a cheap pan/tilt head with a slightly better "fluid" pan/tilt for video work on my cheaper tripod (<$100). You don't want to see my big video tripod (I've never extended that one all the way up -- I'd have to punch holes in the ceiling; with the legs fully extended, and extending the central column, it tops out around 10 feet).

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1 hour ago, KAF6045 said:

😱 OUCH!

I can't recall the last time I bought a camera tripod that did not have a removable head (the high end tripods don't come with heads, you buy that separately). I'd replaced a cheap pan/tilt head with a slightly better "fluid" pan/tilt for video work on my cheaper tripod (<$100). You don't want to see my big video tripod (I've never extended that one all the way up -- I'd have to punch holes in the ceiling; with the legs fully extended, and extending the central column, it tops out around 10 feet).

If  OP has the same one I do, they aren't too expensive...I think mine was around $20 when I bought it some time ago.

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