Hex A Beam Spreader Plate

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Well I finally got back to work on the antenna!  A spring of house fix up and the hot summer stopped the project until the weather cooled off this fall.  I made up the spreader cords  and then put it all together.


I decided that some protection and reinforcement of the fiberglass tubes was in order, so I added metal to the mix.  I slit 4" pieces of 1" hard copper tubing lengthwise and used them to protect the fiberglass from the u-bolts.  Before assembly I added the aluminum tubes inside the fiberglass securing them with some Gorilla glue.  You can now wrench down the u-bolts pretty tight and no damage will occur.  I plan to pin the spreader tubes with 10-32 bolts.


Here's another closeup shot of the spreader to hub connection.  Also a shot of the whole center hub assembly.


Here's where I am now, the framework is set up.  Now to add the wires!




Progress so far, parts are all in (except the tube flanges) and I have made the center plate.  Once the flanges arrive I will finish drilling the center plate and start assembling the antenna.  While I had about 30 sqft of 1/4" aluminum I had virtually nothing in 3/16, so I went to the local Metal Supermarket branch where Doug cut two pieces to shape for $23 and the drops are in my scrap box for other projects.

Spreaders have been measured and prepped.  I deviated a little from the instructions  a little by drilling a hole at the end of the slot where the securing clamp is located to prevent running splits.

I also cut some 0.500 OD aluminum tubing 4" long to use inside the fiberglass to prevent crushing from the U-bolts.  These will be glued in with Gorilla Glue.  I am also going to split some 6" pieces of 1" copper tubing to place above the fiberglass to prevent the U Bolts from crushing the spreader tubes.


I plan to use the 1.250" fiberglass mast as the conduit for the cabling.  I have practiced on a piece of scrap and think I can thread the assembly without cutting holes in the back side to work through.  We will see...


Center post construction has commenced...


I elected to make a split bushing from brass stock to make up the difference in the flange and the fiberglass tube.  If I had known the play was as much as it was, I would have elected to cast my own flanges.  I am going to turn an aluminum center piece to fit up into the fiberglass tube and project from the bottom to attach to the mast on the tower.