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Thread: Safety question about mounting metal hamstick dipole mount directly to house wood

  1. #1

    Default Safety question about mounting metal hamstick dipole mount directly to house wood

    I just moved into a HOA with antenna restrictions and was trying to figure out something simple/low profile.

    I had two hamsticks and thought I'd try to make a hamstick dipole. I used a U shaped piece of metal decking bracing with an antenna coming out each side and when I tested it out worked surprisingly well.

    During testing I mounted the metal bracket directly to the house/roof wood (one of the outside pieces) running up to the peak.

    It's super hidden, works well, but I'm worried about fire risk if I run more wattage.

    I've built dipoles before with wire but I never had them mounted directly to wood. This is the first time I've made an antenna like this.

    I used wood screws through the metal bracket to mount it to the house and my concern is that some stray current will travel into the mount and into the screws/wood and there's a fire risk if I run more wattage (200W).

    I know I'm probably being paranoid but I have some OCD issues so I sometimes have to check the stove twice before I can leave the house.

    Would I be better off mounting the metal bracket to a PVC pipe and then mounting that to the house so there's an insulator inbetween? Is there any risk with my current install.

    Thank you so much, I'm a bit of a worrier when it comes to safety. I'm really excited about my simple little antenna but just want to be safe.

  2. #2

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    I can’t give you any electrical details but you don’t need to worry about starting a fire even at the legal limit of 1,500 watts. I would think you would have to run megawatts.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AC5PS View Post
    I canít give you any electrical details but you donít need to worry about starting a fire even at the legal limit of 1,500 watts. I would think you would have to run megawatts.
    ok - I had read some posts during my research where people said they had wire dipoles in attics and the ends of the antennas had arced and also a post where I guy had set a tree on fire. This made me worry that if my metal mounting plate is directly on the house wood and screws are going through into the wood that it could be a potential risk.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    You wouldn't attach the wire directly to the plate or the plate would become part of the antenna. A foot (or more) of fishing line or some other insulating material should be between the antenna wire and support.

    If this is going up outside, avoid string or braided line, as it can collect moisture which will make your SWR vary when it rains...

  5. #5

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    The potential for damage/injury comes at the ends of a dipole because that's where the voltage potential is highest. That's one facet of why an insulator of some sort is necessary at the ends of the wire. The center mount is of minimal hazard from the e/m field and can be mounted directly to the wood with little chance of problem. It is always best to mount antennas as far away from things as practical, but that's where the HOA issue makes that difficult.

    I feel you may be over thinking slightly, but imagine your surprise when you delve into grounding your antennas and station in a proper, code abiding manner.

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