*EDITORIAL* DXpedition Antenna Transportation

The majority of Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) members would support the view that transporting antennas overseas for the purpose of DXpedition work can be problematic indeed.

Damage to the antenna during aircraft baggage handling, for instance, is a definite possibility; one that’s amplified by ineffective or inferior packaging practice back at the base QTH.

For me personally, over the course of my DXpedition career, I’ve come full circle as far as attention to detail with transporting antennas goes.

Early on in the piece, for example, I utilized very basic techniques which placed not only my equipment at risk, but also the success of my activity.  Sadly, I paid the price on 1 or 2 occasions also for this ‘naivety of youth’.

These days, however, I utilize a very thorough and planned approach to ensure my precious antennas arrive at a DXstination in perfect condition.  That I now use light weight wire antennas utilising fiberglass poles (e.g. Moxon, skypper, etc.) has made this attitude shift all the more necessary.

These actions, furthermore, are now fundamental to my logistics efforts and have become part of my DXpedition planning custom.

Fortunately, a number of outstanding commercial antenna transportation solutions (masquerading as fishing rod cases hihi) now exist for keen dx adventurers.  Some of these I’ve used myself, some are systems employed by other members of the DA-RC, and others I’ve become aware of when either researching this topic or through consultation with other ardent DXpeditioners.

See below…

Option 1:  Pro Tech Camo PVC Rod Tube  (Pictured below right)

  • Sizes Available: 6
  • Colour: Green and brown
  • Length: Different lengths able to fit poles from 6 foot to 9 foot 2 pieces
  • Materials: Constructed from heavy duty PVC, Padded foam ends, Nylon lined for added protection
  • Costs: $19—$23 Nett
  • Available through: Chop Hock Heng Pro-Fishing Pte Ltd, 289, Beach Road, #01-01, 62970066 Singapore
  • Link: http://acfishing.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/pro-tech-camo-pvc-rod-tube.html
  • Cheap
  • Army camouflage
  • Zip lockable
  • Carry strap
  • Provides good protection
  • Availability
  • Smaller diameter than other types

 Option 2: Shimano Fishing Rod Tube

  • Readily available from fishing tackle shops and/or department stores
  • Relatively cheap in price
  • Triangular and rectangular cases available
  • Good protection
  • Carry handle
  • Light weight
  • Smaller diameter than other types

 Option 3: Plano 6508 Jumbo Airline Telescope Rod Case

  • Dramatic styling
  • Superior thick-wall design provides maximum protection
  • Integrated wheels makes travel easy
  • Lockability for extra security
  • Bayonet style cap snaps tightly into place
  • Higher cost

 Option 4: SKB Roto Sunday Golf Travel Case (2SKB-RSC)

  • Sizes Available: 1
  • Colour: Grey, red
  • Materials: Roto-molded of polypropylene plastic with an ergonomically molded-in handle and padded SKB shoulder strap and a non-skid rubber end cap
  • Costs: $160US
  • Length/Diameter: 50.00″ L x 10.00″ W x 7.00″ D (Interior Dimensions)
  • Available through: SKB Cases
  • Link/s: http://www.skbcases.com/sports/sku.php?cat=16&pid=106
  • Black anodized locking twist latches that will accommodate a customer supplied TSA padlock provide added travel protection
  • Computer designed contours create maximum tubular strength.
  • Weighs 6 pounds and eliminates paying for excessive baggage fees
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
  • Smaller length
  • Unusual shape

 Option 5: Bazuka Pro-6095-Rod Case

  • Sizes Available:
  • Colour: Black
  • Costs: Approx. $78.86 US / £39.99
  • Length/Diameter: Telescopes from 73″ to 102″, Size 6″ diameter for extra large capacity
  • Materials: Foam padded at both ends for maximum pole protection, Contoured, blow-molded construction
  • Available through: Flambeau Outdoors US, Gerry Fishing UK
  • Link/s: http://www.flambeauoutdoors.com
  • Airline approved
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Hinged door makes it easy to load and unload
  • Completely lockable for added security
  • Won’t bend, crush or break.
  • Good price


As you can see, there are a number of commercial antenna transportation systems to choose from to ensure your DXpedition antennas survive the journey and arrive intact.

Such products range in price from around $100 US to almost $400 US, however, the old saying “you get what you pay for” certainly rings true so don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars to ensure the antenna transportation solution you go with provides maximum protection.

Of course, there’s always the option of making your own!

73 de Darren