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Thread: Diamond x-50 question

  1. #1

    Default Diamond x-50 question

    Hi,

    I am new here and to the hobby as well (i will go for my foundation exam on 8th Nov).

    Just a question to the UK guys please. I want to buy Diamond x-50 as my first base antenna.
    I did some research on the net, checked pictures etc. It seems i will need a large pole to
    mount on the side of the house (chimney is no go, mine and neighbor freeveiw antenna is
    there). So i was wondering to do that, do i just go to Wikes/B&Q and buy some long pipe ?
    Or i have to buy special mast ? What about the t-shaped brackets that hold the mast to
    the bricks ? Are those standard or custom made ? Maybe sold as accessory for TV ariel
    mounting ?

    Thank you.

    BR, Chris

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Hi Chris

    You don't need a special mast, but one that's strong enough for the windage. For an X50, that'll be pretty light, so almost anything will do.

    Aluminium tube is the mast of choice, strong, light and flexible, although steel will work just as well provided it's not too long (more than about ten feet). Aluminium scaffold tube is the king in my book but it's hard to find now, being illegal. Steel scaffold will do, but needs to be very securely mounted.

    Heavy "T & K" brackets can be found at most TV/HiFi shops, or, as you say B&Q etc (maybe). Expect to pay around 20 quid for the brackets, another 10 for some nice big self expanding bolts.

    You can expect a local firm to fit everything up for about 150 Pounds if you don't want to shimmy up there yourself.

    Good luck with the test next month!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator G6NHU's Avatar
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    Slightly off topic, when did aluminium scaffold become illegal? I've not needed any poles for a while but heavy duty ali scaffold poles were always my choice and I'd just head to any nearby building site and have a word with the gaffer.

  4. #4

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the wishes and detailed info! I will definitely want to do it myself. Just never really heard of aluminum pipes, but it makes sense to use one as steel would be
    quite heavy i guess for 3 m structure. The self expanding bolts i know, i used those before to fit my plasma. Just need to hunt for a pipe and brackets.

    BR, Chris

  5. #5
    2E0FVL's Avatar
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    I don't use a pole with mine it's in to a stand off bracket which brings it out from the wall 9 -12 inches (not sure) with a good size screw in each corner, it's the right size to clear the overhang on the apex but not the guttering!
    At my last house it was up there for many years, only problem was getting the screws out as they were the slot headed ones, little bolt type fixings would have been better as in more to get hold of when they are worn!
    Pete - 2EFVL
    The QRM Formally Known As M6PAP!!
    www.wadarc.org.uk
    www.southsussexraynet.org.uk

  6. #6

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    I got most of the stuff bought. Got the 16ft aluminium pipe (4.87m x 50mm x 1.6mm). Do you guys think will be safe to have 1.5 m left for the house mount and the rest of the length up in the air ? Or maybe i should cut a bit ?

    BTW i didn't get the original Diamond, but Sharman copy instead. I guess the weight of the antenna is similar.

    BR, Chris

  7. #7

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    Hi,

    Finally had all done. The antenna is up in the air, all connected and working. Thanks
    again to everyone for the input. Really helped me to do it quickly.

    I even managed to do the ultimate test of this X-50. I was messing around on 2m
    when accidentally tuned to ISS packet downlink and got signal. Checked online and
    by a chance, the ISS was passing over the UK the exact same moment. The closest
    to me was a trajectory over Bristol. So i got steady S3-S4 all until ISS left Italy and
    moved over Serbia. Not sure if this is a good result, but seems the antenna is working.

    BR, Chris

  8. #8
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    Seems to be O.K. the higher you get it, the further out you'll hear the I.S.S.

    When the spacecraft passes directly overhead, the signal will drop dramatically, this is normal, don't panic!
    Try to listen for passes that occur at about 30-75 - lower angles usually mean the thing is too far away, higher angles are generally better, but you have about 30 seconds of no signal at maximum elevation (as it passes overhead, a dead spot on most verticals).

    I hope you didn't cut that pole, it wouldn't hurt to have it dangling down from the mount - you might need that length later

    @G6NHU - I think ali-scaff became illegal because of Euro-regulations not being strong enough in the 90's

  9. #9

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    No, i used all of it. Doesn't seem that long when mounted on the side of the house though.

    BR

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