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Sep 18, 2019, 10:51 AM
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smoothvirus's Avatar
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40' - 50' high antenna masts for FPV ground station?

A buddy of mine and I fly FPV from his private property, and it's a great place to fly but unfortunately it's also surrounded by trees. So when we fly distance we wind up hitting the "green wall" and can't go much further past that.

So now we're looking at solutions to this issue. What we've been told is to get our antennas up high. So I'm looking for a portable antenna mast that we can setup for the day, run some flights, then take back down and store in his garage.

What we will do is run two towers, put a 1.2ghz yagi with a repeater on one tower and a 433mhz yagi with a repeater on the other. We have a "command center" with big screen displays that we fly from inside. We're thinking I'll buy one tower and he'll get the other one.

I looked at this 40' one from Home Depot:

and then there's this 50' Rohn tower that's somewhat cheaper:

these look like they would work since they're designed for big TV antennas and the antennas we will use are smaller. But they also look like kind of a pain to setup. These are on the cheap end of what I've found but still kind of expensive so I don't want to drop $200-$250 on one just to find out it isn't really suited for what we want to do. It looks like we'll need to use guy wires to stabilze it, which would be a bit of a pain but I guess we could do it. I thought I saw a tripod for the Channel Master one?


This one is shorter but looks easier to setup:

not sure if losing 10'-20' will hurt us, those trees are pretty tall.

Anyhow looking for suggestions from anyone who's set something like this up before.
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Sep 18, 2019, 12:21 PM
Registered User
The long pole is exactly what you want. The hard part is mounting it. A 50 foot tree is actually small in the grand scheme of sure that's a big enough pole? I would look and see about securing it against the house, garage, fence post, tree, etc using something like this: You can undo four bolts and take the pole down while leaving the mounting hardware attached to whatever you're mounting to.

Those tripods seem weak and I wouldn't mess around with those. A tall pole needs a seriously stable mounting solution or it's going to be a huge headache blowing around in the wind.
Sep 19, 2019, 09:38 AM
400' + is where fun starts.
Martin Y's Avatar
You can get a TV antenna roof tripod and bolt the legs to weights then do the 25 +' pole,
Sep 19, 2019, 09:52 AM
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kuiperJ's Avatar
Uhaul will put a trailer hitch on you car for about $400. You could always do a good old hitch mast.

Alternately you could bolt a massive tripod to one of those flat bed trailers like some of the hams do. See here's a picture of one!

Sep 19, 2019, 10:58 AM
400' + is where fun starts.
Martin Y's Avatar
Or one for sale.
Sep 19, 2019, 11:04 AM
We are not men, we are DEVO 7e
xanuser's Avatar
sounds like something you'd find the best deal on locally on craigslist. just set up an RSS search and sit back for a week or 3.
Sep 24, 2019, 02:27 AM
'Extreme Fabricator'
I made a portable mast from a pneumatic EWP cylinder. I went thirds in buying an out of date platform (they have 3 cylinders in a triangle) It's ideal for a portable solution as it's entirely aluminium, fairly light, collapsed its about 2.6m tall, extended (6 sections) it reaches about 14m. I run a small 12v diaphragm pump to extend and retract it and I bolt it to my trailer with a custom adaptor for easy removal. It allows me to fly from forested areas, and it gets well above many regular tree lines. I had considered a custom tower mount for the trailer giving it another 2.5m height, but so far, haven't needed it.
Sep 24, 2019, 10:10 AM
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smoothvirus's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for all the input everyone.

My friend did a long range flight flying south from his property last weekend while I was in NY for Feat Meet. Up to now we had always hit terrible interference flying south but he managed to cut through it by putting his ground station pretty far away from his house and then using a 5.8ghz repeater to go back to the command center in the garage. He had a Frsky-DragonLink repeater setup on a tripod in the back of his pickup truck.

So that's really, really good news, we won't need a big tower to fly south. I'm still thinking about that portable one off of Ebay though. it's not as tall as the other two but it's designed to be portable. There are some spots on the property where it's no so bad shooting west so a 29' mast would probably help.

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