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Old 12-01-2017, 02:56 PM   #21
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Hi

You probably need to take a look at the capacity of the Tarheel Lift & Lay unit. I have a nasty suspicion that the antenna you are looking at is on the high end of what the unit can handle. I would mount it to the front, simply so the wind is not trying to "lift" the antenna as you go down the road. Running at 60 MHP into a 40 MPH headwind will put a bit of force on things .....

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Old 12-01-2017, 03:35 PM   #22
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Hi

You probably need to take a look at the capacity of the Tarheel Lift & Lay unit. I have a nasty suspicion that the antenna you are looking at is on the high end of what the unit can handle. I would mount it to the front, simply so the wind is not trying to "lift" the antenna as you go down the road. Running at 60 MHP into a 40 MPH headwind will put a bit of force on things .....

Bob
Bob, It would be my intent to only raise it when I am parked. While traveling it would be done with the antenna folding back and along the side of the A/C unit.

As to the weight of my antenna it is about the same as the screwdriver antenna that Tarhell uses is almost the same.

So in a down postion would you still be concerned with that up there? I do intend to fashion some sort of "Y" or "U" bracket so the end part of the whip has a place to rest when the antenna is in the down position.


If I bumper mounted it I would be able to operate while the AI was going down the road but I am OK just operating when in camp.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:37 AM   #23
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Bob, It would be my intent to only raise it when I am parked. While traveling it would be done with the antenna folding back and along the side of the A/C unit.

As to the weight of my antenna it is about the same as the screwdriver antenna that Tarhell uses is almost the same.

So in a down postion would you still be concerned with that up there? I do intend to fashion some sort of "Y" or "U" bracket so the end part of the whip has a place to rest when the antenna is in the down position.


If I bumper mounted it I would be able to operate while the AI was going down the road but I am OK just operating when in camp.
Hi

Yes, I am a bit concerned about the antenna when it's "flat" on the roof. On a pickup truck, if you lay the antenna forward, it's behind the cab. That puts it in a "wind shadow".

The question gets into the "sail area" and leverage of the antenna, so it's not a really simple thing to work out. Things like a 4G "wedge" at the end of a long pole would be particularly nasty. Some sort of clamp on the "loose" end would indeed be a big help.

Bob
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:28 AM   #24
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The question gets into the "sail area" and leverage of the antenna, so it's not a really simple thing to work out. Things like a 4G "wedge" at the end of a long pole would be particularly nasty. Some sort of clamp on the "loose" end would indeed be a big help.
A hook like an upside-down "J" at the rear several inches forward of the tip of the antenna, coupled with blocking the mount so that it only goes down to almost but not quite level— so the antenna flexes and provides enough constant upward pressure against the hook to hold itself in place— seems like the easiest solution. A similar J-hook on a telescoping pole (like a boathook) could be used to pull the antenna down into the storage hook without having the climb up to roof level.

A half-hemisphere-shaped fairing in front of the antenna mount would also help when going down the road.
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:37 PM   #25
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The HF amateur radio antenna arrived from the U.A.E. today, they shipped it on Monday.

The pictures show the antenna leaning up against the AI as well as laying on the roof. It is about where it will need to go.

The plan is for it to be on an electric actuator mast such that it can be in the down position whilst traveling and raised when parked.

I really like Protagonist's ideas for the J hooks and the cowl in front of the mount.
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:38 AM   #26
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Any follow up on this thread from the OP? I'd love to see pics of this referenced device actually installed on the Interstate.

As for our separate issue (long-range cellular rather than ham radio), LB_3 ran through some initial calculations which suggested that my best chance of getting LTE reception at my target location might be to launch a Wifi-enabled balloon.

Don't laugh - some people are actually doing it. And not necessarily on the large and megabucks scale documented by Technomadia (here). Hobby radio operators have video-documented balloon trials in competition (albeit with obvious room for improvement on their technical approach).

This is one of those projects where I am not going to die if I don't achieve the desired result (LTE reception). I can work around it. But sometimes I don't feel like capitulating and conceding defeat on the first or the second or the third attempt to achieve a goal. It's not about the necessity of the outcome at that point so much as the challenge of the problem. Healthy minds need healthy personal challenges to stay fresh.
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Old 03-30-2018, 11:46 AM   #27
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LB_3 ran through some initial calculations which suggested that my best chance of getting LTE reception at my target location might be to launch a Wifi-enabled balloon.
Or replace the camera on a quad-rotor drone with a Verizon MiFi, or whatever the latest equivalent isó I haven't used a MiFi in about 3 years and have lost track of what's available.

If you were to park a WiFi router 400 feet up on a drone (wouldn't need a tank of helium to keep a drone in the air), you would have direct line of sight to any cell tower within a range of over 20 miles. Assuming of course that you would have the signal strength to reach that far, what with the inverse-square law and allÖ
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:04 PM   #28
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My Netgear plus a minimum protective cover approaches half a pound. I'm not sure our drone could bear that much.

Plus, it would make it a two-person job. Someone would have to fly the drone while the other accessed the LTE. Thems don't fly themselves.

The main mistake that I see hobbyists making is to use party balloon helium tanks which have the convenience of being widely available, but which are lower-pressure and an unwieldy size.

If I could instead get a small welding tank, say, 40 CF (7" diameter, 20" height), now we're getting closer to viable in a van scenario. A tank like that is about $130. Certainly less than any decent telescoping mast I've looked at to date.

A balloon and mono-filament line and I might be off to the races. Except for a potential static electricity issue which I haven't researched yet (but I've seen warnings online).
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Old 03-31-2018, 05:18 AM   #29
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Any follow up on this thread from the OP? I'd love to see pics of this referenced device actually installed on the Interstate.
Your timing is perfect for an update. I only received the lift and lay mechanism this past week. I had them customize the plate, a little longer and slightly wider. This was done so I could take advantage of the structural design of the AI roof's ridges and supporting ribs.

I have tested the antenna (on a tripod) to make certain it works properly and it performed perfectly. I now need to finish fabricating the mounting bracket between antenna and the mast of the lift and lay. Once that is accomplished I will test the lift and lay with the antenna on a bench to ensure everything works and observe the force exerted on the surface of the bench when the antenna is being raised and lowered. Assuming everything performs as designed it will be time to get it mounted on the roof.

So pictures are a few weeks away.

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Old 07-14-2018, 08:56 PM   #30
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Smile

So here are a couple of pictures of my HF (amateur radio) antenna mounted on a Tarheel Lift and Lay mast on the roof of my AI. More work to be done on the roof to fasten down cables. It will only be in the up position when parked. I'd like to find an air dam/deflector to protect the device from bugs etc. as well as streamlining the wind over the roof.

Next are getting the cables inside all neatly arranged and attached to the radio. Then I can finally fire up the radio and see how this antenna works siting on top of the AI.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:34 AM   #31
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Next are getting the cables inside all neatly arranged and attached to the radio. Then I can finally fire up the radio and see how this antenna works siting on top of the AI.
SHEAKEV, that a nicely supported antennae. It makes the AI almost 30 ft tall. I wonder for those of us who are not HAM folks, if such a contraption could work to deploy a tent type shade for AI, kinda like it's own tee-pee. For those days when AI is plugged into shore power, so don't need solar charge but hot day and need shade for AI.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:41 AM   #32
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Looks nice. IRRC, you might have originally been thinking about mounting it on the side.

How does it raise and lower? Is there an actuation mechanism on the inside of the van? It doesn't appear to be manual, from the look of it.

Myself, after having done extensive additional research, I still haven't figured out a solution for my own connectivity challenges (which probably requires an antenna of some sort), partly because I am unable to determine what I'm designing FOR.

The responsibility for that rests with the cellular companies which are quickly sunsetting 3G without telling us what they plan to put on their remotest towers in place of it.

That is not a question of consequence in a signal-rich urban environment, but it's pivotal in off-grid areas. This permalink #51 through #54 explains more, for anyone who might be interested.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:59 AM   #33
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SHEAKEV, that a nicely supported antennae. It makes the AI almost 30 ft tall. I wonder for those of us who are not HAM folks, if such a contraption could work to deploy a tent type shade for AI, kinda like it's own tee-pee. For those days when AI is plugged into shore power, so don't need solar charge but hot day and need shade for AI.
Or a flag pole

The antenna and its mount is a little less than 10' high so its more like 20' which is still a ways up there.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:13 AM   #34
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Looks nice. IRRC, you might have originally been thinking about mounting it on the side.

How does it raise and lower? Is there an actuation mechanism on the inside of the van? It doesn't appear to be manual, from the look of it.
It uses a 12V electric actuator which is on the roof. It's hard to see in pictures due to the lighting and the cables not being neatly routed at the moment but the wire cable for actuator along with two antenna cables and the control cable for tuning the antenna all go thru holes I had to drill into the roof. Thus, the switch to raise or lower and store the antenna is inside next to where the radio will be mounted.

For amateur radio operators there is software and a network which allows sending and receiving personal (non-business) email and files using the amateur HF (shortwave) bands on my end and just the internet on the other end. That should work anywhere in the world.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:06 AM   #35
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I....
For amateur radio operators there is software and a network which allows sending and receiving personal (non-business) email and files using the amateur HF (shortwave) bands on my end and just the internet on the other end. That should work anywhere in the world.
I'd like to learn more about that - and also if there is a business version.

Rather than me stumbling blindly through unvetted sources, do you have any links?
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:03 AM   #36
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I'd like to learn more about that - and also if there is a business version.

Rather than me stumbling blindly through unvetted sources, do you have any links?
I guess the commercial version would be a satellite phone, rather pricey, we have one at work for our folks who travel to areas of the world where it might be essential, e.g., Middle East.

As to ham radio check out: https://www.winlink.org/
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #37
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Amateur radio frequencies and communication cannot be used for business purposes at all. FCC and most amateurs will get grumps about commercial use. The FCC can and has imposed some nasty fines for ham radio use outside the regulations.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:20 PM   #38
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Amateur radio frequencies and communication cannot be used for business purposes at all. FCC and most amateurs will get grumps about commercial use. The FCC can and has imposed some nasty fines for ham radio use outside the regulations.


Which is fine, but where does it leave the people who need to engage in commerce in areas where connectivity is not available any other way? I keep feeling like Iím missing something....
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:36 PM   #39
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Which is fine, but where does it leave the people who need to engage in commerce in areas where connectivity is not available any other way? I keep feeling like Iím missing something....

Unfortunately - your answer is in post #36 above. Satellite phone or other satellite based service.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:38 PM   #40
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Which is fine, but where does it leave the people who need to engage in commerce in areas where connectivity is not available any other way? I keep feeling like Iím missing something....
INTERBLOG - blunt answer - amateur radio frequency band is reserved strictly for personal & non-commerce use. It was conceived with this in mind. So from FCC & amateur radio point of view, it does not matter & they don't care. People who need to engage in commerce have choices from available frequencies that can be used for commercial purposes, i.e. 2-way, cell, wireless/repeaters, CB, satellite, etc. Not the answer you want to hear, but just the way it is.
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