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"Thank you so much for visiting our class on Friday! The kids loved it...they thought it was pretty cool to meet a "real" Astronomer! Thanks again, Janine"

Here are some antenna mount designs for Yagi antennas.

Roof Platform

Car Wheel

An example of an antenna mount, designed and built by Sky Scan volunteer Kevin McCurdy (pictured) and his Construction & Design teacher, Mr. R. Jeske of Westminster Junior High School. The antenna itself was purchased commercially from RadioShack, however it could also be built by students of schools equipped with construction labs or by using simple tools from home.

An old car wheel, either with a tire on it or without, can be used as a base for attaching an antenna mast. The wheel in turn is fastened to the pallet or plywood platform used for protecting the roof of the school. See the photo for an example of how this can be done. The platform should be weighted down with at least 50 kg (100 lbs) of sandbags that can be purchased at hardware stores or auto service centres. An alternative is to use cement blocks or sidewalk blocks.

Mast

The mast need only be high enough to allow people working around it to have the antenna clear the heads of people. Since the antenna needs to be angled up into the sky to take into consideration the angle of reflection of radio signals bounced off meteor trails, additional height for the mast needs to be allowed.

There are several options for making the mast. The simplest is to find a steel pipe of some kind, such as the top rail of a chain link fence. It need only be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter provided it is steel as opposed to aluminum. Using galvanized steel will prevent the metal from rusting in the weather.

A hole may be drilled near the top of the mast to allow the boom of the antenna to be fastened to the mast. A simpler method that does not involve drilling the round metal (a sometimes difficult task without the right equipment) is the use of clamps designed for use on antennas. These can be found prepackaged at Radio Shack and some other specialty stores. The pieces can also be acquired at hardware stores with an imaginative person to sort out what is required for the job.

 

Copyright 1999-2015 by Sky Scan, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the 

Edmonton Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Department of Physics (University of Alberta)

and the

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

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