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I'm considering buying a vertical HF antenna (Such as the Cushcraft R8), and a tripod antenna stand, such as the MFJ-1918, and setting it up on my back porch when I'm operating (Which won't be all of the time. Is this a feasible idea, and if not, can you suggest an alternative? Also, what should I be aware of with such a set up (Weather related, for instance)?

My plan is to set this up during contests and other periods where I'm wanting to make a lot of contacts, and take it down during the rest of the time. I'm planning on running the wires underneath the porch, but I'd like no visibility above the porch when I'm not operating ideally, and fairly minimal work to set up the mounting point. Odds are pretty good that I'll occasionally have it up overnight, but not for extended periods.

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    $\begingroup$ I haven't the experience to give a comprehensive answer, but from having researched (and bought) a Buddipole (which is much shorter and offers a much wider tripod), you're absolutely going to need guying — 28 feet high by 24 inches wide is a pretty unstable object. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Apr 1 '14 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... It comes with guide wires, so I'll just set it up so the guide wires mount points aren't easily visible, and that should work. $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Apr 2 '14 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ What Kevin said. That tripod will not be enough to that antenna to be stable in anything other than absolute calm wind. Looking at the manual, it's 28.5' tall, that's a big lever. You could use the tripod as a base and put 3 guy lines about 1/2 way up the mast. Mount Screw eyes on the deck or deck railing and put snap rings or dog clips on the ends of the guys so you can attach them and unattach them quickly and easily. Three or 4 eyes around the deck shouldn't be much of an eye sore. $\endgroup$ – WPrecht Apr 2 '14 at 12:44
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My thoughts have improved, thanks to the ideas largely in the comments, to this.

  1. The tripod should work for the start of a base, but it alone will not be good enough. Guide wires attached to the corner of the deck should be sufficient to keep the antenna vertical.
  2. A grounding wire placed under the deck should be kept in such a way that it can be attached to the mast of the antenna when it is in use.
  3. The antenna comes in 3 sections. I'm going to set up a storage location such that I can easily and safely store the antenna, without complete disassembling.

I still have a few details to work out, but I'm convinced this should work. Thanks for the input!

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  • $\begingroup$ If you do put a grounding wire in, it would be for lightning protection only. Beware of the pitfalls in How can I protect equipment against a lightning strike? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Apr 2 '14 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Some multiband vertical antennas have a fairly finicky process to adjust the tuning of the antenna during assembly. I am worried that if you are going to be putting up and taking down the antenna repeatedly, particularly if you are partially disassembling it each time, that you will have to re-do the tuning steps of the assembly process regularly. $\endgroup$ – Malcolm VE2DDZ Apr 27 '14 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm only planning on dividing it in 3 sections, which hopefully will work... $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Apr 27 '14 at 14:29

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