Some Radio Work for the Ranch

by on Jun.17, 2009, under Communications

We have found that there is a weak cell signal (at least on Verizon and our Nextel phone) at the LittleHouse.  If we go down to Markham Pass at the end of our lane, we can get a pretty good signal (2 – 4 bars) and make calls with ease.  Then if we leave the cellphone on, and hurry back to the LittleHouse site, we don’t have any bars, but can still make calls with acceptable quality.

The problem is, if we turn on the cellphone at the LittleHouse, the signal is so weak, that the cellphone never acknowledges that it is there.  I’m thinking that installing an antenna up in the clear near the house has a good chance of providing reliable service there.  So the first step of that project was to build an antenna mast near the house.  And just to complicate things, I decided that it needed to support a rudimentary Ham Radio antena, as well.  Here is what we came up with.  You can visit my ham radio site for details on the installation.

Two of the antenna masts

Two of the antenna masts

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2 comments for this entry:
  1. Frank Bautista

    I was wondering if your design can handle a min beam antenna like Cushcraft, 25 lbs, minibeam 5 bander antenna. Can I add a Aluminium pipe like 20 feet. Any feedback will be highly appreciated.


  2. rdpecken

    Hi Frank.
    I would not use this mast for an antenna that large/heavy. The top15 feet or so of the mast is only a 2×4, and has quite a bit of flex. It is guyed near the top, but I still would not trust it forr anything more than a vertical or wire antenna of a few pounds. You could probably modify the design to use a 4×4 at the top, nut it would be much heavier and hard to raise.
    Food luck in your endeavor… Randy wb0smx

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