Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast

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I picked up a Rocketdish RocketM2 radio for WiFi reception and tried to
mount it on an old Dish-TV antenna arm.
 


The problem is it's about six inches too short (see picture above).

I had planned on bolting this to the wood boards framing the edge of a
tile roof (without going on the roof itself).

Advice sought:
a) Would you just extend the mast with a pipe?
b) Would you buy a new mast (from where)?
c) Is there another trick I can't think of?

I'm hoping a clever idea will pop out of this.

Otherwise, I'll just buy a new antenna arm and make sure it's longer
somehow!



Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:53:38 +0000 (UTC), "J.G."

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Yes, but it has to be a solid fit or welded to withstand wind.

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast


see a muffler shop where they bend pipe custom making the pipes for
each vehicle

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On 8/24/12 1:53 AM, J.G. wrote:
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     Someone mentioned a muffler shop and a pipe.  Would a standard
plumbing pipe fit snugly in the existing bracket pipe?  If so,
you could slide the plumbing pipe into the existing bracket pipe.
Cut some grooves in the existing pipe.  Use a muffler clamp to squeeze
the two pipes together.

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
Looks like the existing pipe is about an inch diameter. There has to be a
way to extend that, some how. Either with a pre formed piece that slips
over, or perhaps some kind of rod that slips into the existing tubing.

Got to be a way, but I've not really got any good ideas for this moment.

Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  www.lds.org
.

On 8/24/12 1:53 AM, J.G. wrote:
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     Someone mentioned a muffler shop and a pipe.  Would a standard
plumbing pipe fit snugly in the existing bracket pipe?  If so,
you could slide the plumbing pipe into the existing bracket pipe.
Cut some grooves in the existing pipe.  Use a muffler clamp to squeeze
the two pipes together.



Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:25:37 -0500, Dean Hoffman

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This may be too small of a pipe for common muffler clamps.  If plumbing
pipe fits inside, either get it welded, or drill a hole thru both pipes
and put a bolt thru it.  Around my area getting it welded if you supply
the extension pipe, would cost $10 or less at a professional welding
shop.  Even if they charge $80 an hour, you're looking at a 5 minute job
and a buck or two for the welding wire.  You cant buy a bracket for
that.  Be sure to paint the weld to avoid rust stains on the house.


Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 03:17:40 -0500, fred.flintstone wrote:

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I went to Midas today. They have pipe that is EXACTLY the same size, but,
it MUST be welded (as you noted).

Just dropping the EMT pipe inside seems easier than welding. And stronger
if I bolt it in (as you also noted).

Today I picked up a 10-foot length of 1" EMT which fits loosely inside
the DirectTV J arm bracket. They don't sell smaller lengths! :(

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On 8/24/2012 2:53 AM, J.G. wrote:
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On my own kit, I actually used a short piece of schedule 40 PVC, slipped
over the end and bolted through both pipes with washers. So far it has
served me well for 8yrs and held up through two hurricanes, but I have
no idea what your own localized weather situation is. Can't remember
anymore what size I used, believe it was 1 1/4", but you should be able
to figure it out.

Eventually, exposure to sun and elements will take a toll on exposed
PVC, but may work until you can come up with something better.

EMT would work just as well, last forever, but if ice and snow is an
issue, you should probably cap the end: you would not believe what
freezing can do to to metal pipe of any sort.

Worst case, purchase a length of similar sized EMT from almost any big
box or hardware store and either fashion a temporary pipe bending jig,
very simple, or find someone with an EMT bender and cut to length.

--
Digger
Bob O'Dell



Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On 8/24/12 2:53 AM, J.G. wrote:
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Use a mounting made for eaves/trim like this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062039

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:53:38 +0000 (UTC), "J.G."

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Some ideas:
1.  Muffler shop as others have suggested.  You will need to paint it
properly if you expect the pipe to last.
2.  Remove the bent pipe and drill holes in the short end to match the
pivot and locking bolts.
3.  Purchase a proper "eave mount" satellite dish mounting kit:
<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882250051>
<https://www.google.com/search?q=satellite+dish+eave+mount&tbm=isch
4.  Consider an "under eave mount" kit which is less likely to break.
<http://www.eavemounts.com
<http://www.asia.ru/en/ProductInfo/1134891.html
<http://www.summitsource.com/images/products/MTPEV2.jpg
5.  Non-penetrating roof mount if you want to move the dish around for
optimum positioning:
<https://www.google.com/search?q=satellite+dish+non+penetrating+mount&tbm=isch
6.  Consider another location or mounting method:
<http://rapidmount.com/roofmounts.html

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The eaves are usually rather thin but will work if you don't have a
rain gutter and add some reinforcing behind the eave.  Another board
will work, but I prefer painted Unistrut.

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You could if you have another piece of similar diameter pipe and a
welder.  I've done this for one weird installation by taking two DBS
dish mounts and butt welding the ends together.  Welding was easy.
Painting was not.

Someone suggested using PVC pipe.  That will work for wi-fi because
antenna aiming is far less critical than Ku band.  Pound or glue a
piece of schedule 40 pipe into the end of the existing mount.  You may
need to build up the PVC to the same diameter as the steel pipe or
antenna aiming might be a bit clumsy.  

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Not just a new mast, but also a new mount.  I'm partial to the "under
eave mount" method.

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Clever tricks have a habit of backfiring.  Search Google Images for
photos of "tile roof antenna mount" or "eave antenna mount" and look
for something similar to your situation.  

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--
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:06:56 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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This seems the easiest. The angles will all change, and the Rocket is
heavy so it has to be strong enough. I probably have to screw it into one
of the cross-cut edges of the beams.

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
For the record, quite a few solutions were proposed which should work.

The first approach I will is drilling & reversing the J.
However that greatly changes the geometry, and may need side braces.
 (DTV-AT9-SB Standard Short Brace for DIRECTV Slim Line Dish DTV-AT9-SB)
 http://tinyurl.com/9cmr8l6

So the second approach is to find a SECOND Dish-TV J-arm and mount them
both on the wall, one ABOVE the dish and one BELOW (in opposite
directions) with the "tops" of the mounts almost touching each other.

The third approach will be to shove 1 1/4" EMT electrical conduit into
the short end of the j-arm and then weld it on or bolt it on.





Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On 8/24/2012 10:26 PM, J.G. wrote:
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Why not get a piece of pipe that will fit the Rocket mount, clamp it,
then use two more U-bolts to mount that pipe to the direct TV mast.

I got two of those Starband and Hughes satellite internet dishes for
free on Craigs. They have a very strong mount. What happens is in the
Santa Cruz mountains, as soon as a wired internet service shows up, they
junk the satellite internet gear. You can convert them to FTA, though in
your case, just use the tripod.

The tripods that come with sat internet are really strong. The LNB and
BUC combo is mighty heavy. Often the satellite internet dishes are still
on the homes but not being used.

Satellite internet is terrible. You can't get around the latency problem
unless you can cut a deal with Einstein.


Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast

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Yech.  The spacing between the two U-bolts will be fairly small due to
the inadequate length of the short end of the satellite dish pipe. All
you've done is transfer the problem from the dish mount to the
U-bolts.  

Also, U-bolts won't work.  You need something like these to keep the
pipes parallel:
<http://www.wpsantennas.com/ProductImages/antenex/fm3.jpg
<http://www.deltaclub.org/mount_closeup.jpg
<http://www.wpsantennas.com/fm2-antenna-pole-mount.aspx
The Radio Shack (Channel Master) vent pipe mount are junk.

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Reminder:  Tile roof.  Most of those mounts won't work unless you
drill the tile.  It really does need to be something designed for eave
mounting.

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If you don't do anything in realtime, it's tolerable.  Exede (Wild
Blue), which uses Ka band and spot beams seems to be less disgusting
than the others.
<http://www.wildblue.com
Einstein is not a stockholder.  However, note the spot map at:
<http://www.mybluedish.com/spot-beams
Note the south end of beam 21, which cuts through Monterey Bay.  I
know of systems that work in the Aptos and Prunedale areas, but the
signal levels are lower than a few miles north in Santa Cruz. Grrrr...


--
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On 8/25/2012 8:20 AM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
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I didn't know those "double" mounts existed in real life. I have hacked
them together buying long bolts at OSH and COTS antenna mounts. But that
double clamp looks much better.

In my rounds today, I noticed a large sat dish on the roof at a strip
mall. No LNBF on it. I guess when a tenant leaves crap on the roof, the
owner pulls the cable out when cleaning up, but odd they pulled the
LNBF. Maybe the F-connectors had rusted and it was less work to pull the
LNBF.

It would be interesting to know the percentage of sat dishes mounted but
not hooked up. Anyway, it was one of those heavy duty mounts and a 36x24
oval dish.

I've run into sat internet gear hooked up to instrumentation in the
boonies. There are only so many "slots" on those GOES birds to send
data. For $50 a month, it is chump change for some outfit that is doing
seismic studies in East Bumfuck.


Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast

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Look on any decent vertical antenna mounting and you'll find them:
<http://awapps.commscope.com/catalog/andrew/doc/Pipe_Mount_Kits.aspx?id=0000002%2Ft009_r02125_v0.pdf
About $60/set.  

Antenna Spec used to make a really fancy machined aluminum version
that I can't seem to find.  That's what's needed to pipe mount a 21ft
Stationmaster or solid dish with a high wind loading.

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What you really want is the thick zinc galvanizing.  It's the dull
gray stuff you see on all the telephone pole hardware.  It lasts.  The
thin galvanizing on the commodity hardware doesn't last and often
rusts in place.  I have a large pile of old Metricom hardware that is
similar to the APSR-616 but thinner and with 1/4-20 hardware.  It's
functional for very small antennas, but nothing big and heavy.

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That's standard procedure.  If it's a tenant occupied structure, such
as a gas station, or a rental, it's likely that the new tenants will
need to use the dish again.  However, the LNB can be re-used
immediately at other customers, so it's removed and re-installed
elsewhere.  If it's transmit/receive assembly, it's the most expensive
part and is usually removed immediately.

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We have 3 in the neighborhood.  One more (me) as I'm pulling the plug
on DirecTV.  I'm paying $75/month, 30% of which goes for paying to
watch commercials.

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Ku band is packed full.  All the new stuff is on Ka band.  At
30-40GHz, dish alignment and stability is rather critical.



--
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Sat, 25 Aug 2012 22:16:13 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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That's interesting!

I noticed most of the bolts that came with the Rocketdish were stainless
steel, except one set of bolts which was a dull gray for just the bottom
brace.
 


BTW, WHAT is the purpose of the bottom brace anyway?

It is just to stop the antenna from sliding DOWN the mounting pole?


Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:44:40 +0000 (UTC), "J.G."

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Are you sure they're stainless and not electroplated steel?  Use a
magnet.  I've been fooled a few times.  If it sticks, it's
electroplated steel.  If it doesn't, it's probably stainless.  (Note:
There are magnetic stainless compositions, but they're not commonly
used for hardware).

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Some of the larger J mounts have additional support arms like this:
<http://sadoun.com/Sat/Products/Winegard/superDmount-6.jpg
Looks like you have the mount, but not the arms.

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No.  The typical DBS dish has a stopper at the top of the mounting
clamps.

--
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:21:45 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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Interesting.

I put a neodymium button magnet on the shiny bolts and it was slightly
sticky. Strangely enough, the magnet would stick slightly to some bolts,
enough to stay on, but in others it would just slide off.

It stuck like glue to the painted steel but didn't have any attraction at
all for the stainless steel hose clamp that came with the assembly ... so
there's something very different about the bolts and nuts.

Re: Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast
On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:21:45 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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Oh. That makes sense.

There's NOTHING about that in the instructions!
They just say to mount that bracket below the antenna. That's it.


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