Author Topic: mast mount for easy cleaning?  (Read 843 times)

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Offline jbeale

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mast mount for easy cleaning?
« on: November 04, 2018, 10:07:38 PM »
I just got the 2902A station. It seems like a nice instrument, and it gives the readings I expect compared with some other sensors I already have.  For the wind speed and direction to make any sense, I think my best option is a roof mount on a decent length pole, given the large trees all around the house. I have a conveniently accessible place to mount near the peak of the roof, and it's there now on little 5' pole but I'm thinking it should be significantly higher. The straightforward way I've seen of mounting masts using standoffs with U-bolts seems intended for permanent install of TV antennas, etc.  If I have to clean this thing every three months, I'd prefer something that is easier to take down and put back up. Any ideas out there?  Is there such a thing as a tilt-over mounting that goes on a roof?

Offline jbeale

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 10:17:39 PM »
I guess I should have tried Google first. Not necessarily cheap (Cushcraft R-8TB is $75, for that hardware?) but I see there are options.
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Offline galfert

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 10:25:47 PM »
Even ground based poles that are 30 feet tall like the one Davis VP2 owners put up use bolts and then a swivel bolt on the bottom. You'd probably have to rig it yourself by getting the right parts at a hardware store. It is basically a bracket on the bottom with a bolt going through the pole so that it can swivel down. Then up higher is a U-bolt. I've not seen a quicker method that swivels.

Now another method that is quicker and easier is a telescoping flag pole. But that won't work for a roof install. There are a few companies that sell telescoping flag poles. I've got one of the most reputable brands because of the guage thickness and grade of the aluminum. The company is Tele-Pole. So if you can do a ground install the 16 Foot Tele-Pole Classic is perfect for an all-in-one weather station. Not too tall not too short. Best compromise height when installing an all-in-one. Now if I could just get around to installing mine. I'm just undecided on 1 of 2 locations.
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Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline Jumpin Joe

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 08:25:16 AM »
I also have a Tele-Pole... the 30' one.  I am using for my OTA Yagi, it is a fantastic pole. Pricey, but well worth the cost.
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Offline miraculon

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 08:44:20 AM »
I used the DX Engineering "Omni-Tilt" base. There is a mounting clamp kit needed (if I recall correctly) too. Quite a bit more expensive than the Cushcraft, but it is all stainless and well made. I also got the wing-nut knobs.



You can ignore the ground radial plate with all the wires, it is not needed for your purposes.

This was for a vertical antenna, not my weather mast.

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
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Offline galfert

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 08:56:43 AM »
Looks like the DX Engineering is a quick tilt design compared to the Cushcraft. Notice that the DX Engineering is a lift and tilt mechanism due to the slots on the top and bottom bolts. It is quick tool-less design. Neat! The only problem I see is how much would it rattle?

On a side note, if you were installing an antenna and were worried about grounding, isn't all those ground connections a bit excessive? I don't know about that kind of stuff but it just seems odd.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 08:59:53 AM by galfert »
WS-2902A | ObserverIP | WeatherBridge (Meteobridge)
WU: KFLWINTE111  |  PWSweather: KFLWINTE111
CWOP: FW3708  |  AWEKAS: 14814
Tele-Pole flag pole is here (not installed yet)

Offline miraculon

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 09:30:56 AM »
Looks like the DX Engineering is a quick tilt design compared to the Cushcraft. Notice that the DX Engineering is a lift and tilt mechanism due to the slots on the top and bottom bolts. It is quick tool-less design. Neat! The only problem I see is how much would it rattle?

On a side note, if you were installing an antenna and were worried about grounding, isn't all those ground connections a bit excessive? I don't know about that kind of stuff but it just seems odd.

The pivot bolts are nylon locknuts and are quite tight, just loose enough to be able to tilt the mast. The "wingnuts" are also tight. I do like the slots which hold things in place before you tighten the nuts. There is no rattle, everything is quite solid.

The ground wires are called "radials" and form a ground plane for a vertical antenna. They fan out into the yard either laying on the grass, or slightly buried. I have an antenna that doesn't require the radials, so I don't use them. There is somewhat of a "more the merrier" viewpoint about them, but I am not sure that you don't get into a "diminishing returns" thing before having as many like shown in the photo.

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
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Offline howiewowie

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 08:34:27 AM »
I checked the Tele-Pole website it shows a picture of pole holding a flag  seems to be bending a little from wind. Was wondering if during a rainstorm that had high winds would it be reading rainfall correctly if level bubble was not centered?

Just a thought



Offline Buford T. Justice

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 09:23:38 PM »
Sounds like a tripod roof mount is what you are looking for.  There is a bolt and nut on one of the legs which you remove to lay the rest of the mount down for maintenance.  Here is a picture of mine in action...

Offline miraculon

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2018, 08:29:17 AM »
Sounds like a tripod roof mount is what you are looking for.  There is a bolt and nut on one of the legs which you remove to lay the rest of the mount down for maintenance.  Here is a picture of mine in action...

I did this in my former location in Livonia, MI as well as my current station. The Livonia station did have a bolt/nut attachment for the "third leg" (non-pivots). My current setup has all three legs riveted. When we changed the anemometer at the local Marina, they just drilled out the one rivet in order to swing the mast down. When the new anemometer was in place, it was swung back up and a bolt/nut fixed the remaining tripod leg. If anything goes wrong with my setup at my house, I will have to do the same thing.

Just remember to have a box or small ladder (what the Marina guys did) to support the mast and hold the instruments off of the roof surface when lowering the mast.

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2018, 06:02:26 PM »
A work in progress...

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Offline WXman

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 07:41:44 AM »
My big concern (and the reason I don't use one) with the relatively cheap 30' poles is that they bend and sway in the wind like a drunk college girl.  There is no way you're going to get accurate wind or rainfall readings with your station moving around that much.

A far better option is to find a few sections of the old Rohn TV antenna tower that somebody is selling on craigslist and set that in cement wherever you decide to locate your station.  It's super sturdy, won't shake, wobble, or sway, gives you a perfect 2" top to mount anemometers and sensor suites onto, and you've also got 3 sections of "mast" running from top to bottom to which you can mount any equipment you want.  And you can climb it to access your equipment if you need to.  I put mine less than 20' tall so it's safer to climb.  But you can go as high as you want with these.

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Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2018, 08:34:23 AM »
Excellent idea!

Not sure why two photos, but neither of them show your PWS?

Offline WXman

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2018, 11:30:39 AM »
Excellent idea!

Not sure why two photos, but neither of them show your PWS?

I'm not sure why it posted two photos either.  I only uploaded one.   :?

In any case, I shot that pic the day I installed it.  I was giving the cement a full 24 hours to cure.  Now, there is a VP2 mounted about 6 ft. AGL facing where I was standing, and the anemometer is mounted to the top where it turns into a single pole.  This weekend I'm going to mount my AcuRite 5-n-1 to the corner just left of where my VP2 is, about half way up the tower.  In the photo, I'm looking from due south toward due north.  What you can't see in the picture is the 8' copper ground rod that I have driven at least 4' into the ground behind the tower.  I am still working on getting that connected with copper fittings and lines to the tower before spring t-storm season rolls around again.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 11:35:56 AM by WXman »
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Offline WXman

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2018, 01:40:20 PM »
Here it is with the instruments mounted.  You can also see my copper ground rod behind it, which I'm still looking for hardware to connect to the tower.  If anybody has a link for the hardware I need to connect that rod to the tower, let me know.  Thanks. [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

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Offline miraculon

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2018, 01:58:01 PM »
I would get a grounding clamp for pipes sized to match one of the tower legs. The other end would be the appropriate clamp for your ground rod. Both of these should be commonly available at the local hardware store or Home Depot, etc.

Between these two clamps, run a stout stranded copper wire probably 8AWG or larger.

If you want to get fancier, here are some other options: https://www.cableandwireshop.com/rohn-tower-grounding.html. I haven't dealt with this outfit, so I don't know if they are good, bad or indifferent.

Greg H.


Blitzortung Stations #706 and #1682
CoCoRaHS: MI-PI-1
CWOP: CW4114 and KE8DAF-13
WU: KMIROGER7
Amateur Radio Callsign: KE8DAF

Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2018, 02:11:55 PM »

Lowes has clamps

Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2018, 02:14:14 PM »
I think this store is close to your location:

Frankfort Lowe's
350 Leonardwood Dr
Frankfort, KY 40601, Store #0492
Store Phone: (502) 223-7500
Fax: (502) 223-7590
ProServices Desk: (502) 223-6048

Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 03:20:45 PM »
I was giving the cement a full 24 hours to cure.

FYI, concrete doesn't "cure" in 24 hours. There's a lot written on the subject, but this graph illustrates the gist of it without getting into temperatures and humidity levels:




Offline WXman

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 06:40:14 PM »
Thanks guys.  Before I saw your responses I actually had stopped by Lowe's and that clamp and 8 ga. copper wire are exactly what I bought.  So I should be in good shape now.  Hopefully I'll never take another strike.  Last time I did was about 8 years ago and I found pieces of my VP2 all over my yard.   :shock:
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Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2018, 07:03:18 PM »
Oh my gosh! What was the mount? How high was it above grade? Was it at the same location as you're at now?

And the big question, if you had it grounded, like what you are doing now, what difference would that make in terms of another lightning strike?

Offline dsscheibe

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2018, 08:59:30 AM »
This is an issue I will need to face soon, my anemometer wind cups seem to be sticking. Not a current photo. I will have to remove the bloomsky mounts (sky and storm about ready to pitch both) , pull the conduit and wiring out of the pole and slide down though the loosened clamps. I used conduit for two reasons. 1 Bull terrier likes to tear up pvc pipes.. 2 grounding

Chimney mount was from Ambient, had to get the extended straps as my chimney is twice as wide as usual.. Think I also got the poles from Ambient, two 15' if I recall which are rivited together, could be 10 or 12'.  Getting to an age where I CRS.. :sad:
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Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2018, 09:46:27 AM »
Getting to an age where I CRS.. :sad:

@dsscheibe - Whatever CRS is, I think I'm too old to be climbing onto the roof, Rohn masts, or even a ladder every 3 months to check/ clean the rain gauge tipping bucket; moreover, clearing off the snow and ice from the rest of it during our Maine winters.

Offline kbellis

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2018, 09:54:50 AM »
Oh wait, I remember now  :oops:

Offline WXman

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Re: mast mount for easy cleaning?
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2018, 04:05:15 PM »
Oh my gosh! What was the mount? How high was it above grade? Was it at the same location as you're at now?

And the big question, if you had it grounded, like what you are doing now, what difference would that make in terms of another lightning strike?

When I took the strike in 2010, the VP2 was at that time mounted to a 4x4 post out in the yard about 6 feet high.  The anemometer was mounted to the chimney of my house and was hardwired through conduit under the ground to the ISS out in the yard on the post.  The lighting apparently hit the anemometer and the wiring for the anemometer carried the strike out through the yard and wiped out the VP2....BUT....I firmly believe that is was prevented my house from catching fire.

That was during a summer when we had a lot of thunderstorms and there were several house fires due to lighting strikes.  I lost a weather station, but saved my house.  The weather station basically acted as a lighting rod.

So....  fast forward to 2018 and I now have ALL my equipment mounted to this tower I've pictured above, which is 150 feet from my house and grounded properly too.  Hopefully no more lightning strikes! 
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