*EDITORIAL* Pre-existing Structures – the Perfect Ham Towers

DX adventurists don’t always have access to portable masts or towers to elevate their antenna; an altitude enabling them to escape low level obstacles, even one capable of taking advantage of an awesome yagi take off.  There’s a way of getting around that though — without losing out on performance either…

Since making/buying these structures is generally an expensive mission, and getting them to a remote location frequently burdensome, a great solution is to have a pre-existing structure at your DXstination; one that’s ALREADY tall.  All you need to do then is simply fit your antenna to it!

An ever better solution is putting a 5—10m pole on top of a lofty pre-existing structure and getting the yagi, wires or vertical up even higher still!

On this note, some DA-RC members will confess to actually choosing a DXstination, primarily because it offers a pre-existing structure to house their arrays.  Man-made constructions such as fire observation towers, church steeples, water towers, bridges, lighthouses, tall buildings, billboards, even old communications towers, as well as natural ones like towering pine or eucalyptus trees and ridges, are the perfect foil for a DX Adventure team lacking a sizable mast or struggling with baggage limitations on overseas travel to exotic DX locations.

Once the structure has been identified, all you need to do is ensure the antenna is mounted about one wavelength from any other object.  This will help reduce possible interference and/or loss of signal, etc. etc.

With different shapes, materials and mast circumferences on these pre-existing structures, it’s always helpful to carry a variety of u-bolts, clamps, tape and straps to help fasten your antenna or mounting pole.

Reconnaissance efforts focusing on such structures as possible alternatives to taking a standard mast or tower is always recommended.  You can then decide what tools and equipment you need, to take advantage of one!