The Travel Mast: a compact lightweight telescopic mast
***IMPORTANT NOTE: IF USING THIS MAST WITH A BAND HOPPER ANTENNA WE RECOMMEND ATTACHING THE ANTENNA NO HIGHER THAN 6 METRES (20FT) UP THE MAST (top of section 11 - counted from base/outer section)***
This is our 10m (33ft) Travel Mast. With a transport-length of only 67cm ( 26.5 inches ) fits also in a suitcase making it perfect for vacation DXing. The base diameter is 48 mm and the tip diameter is 4 mm. The wall thickness of these masts is 1.5 mm (cheaper masts often have a wall thickness of 0.75 mm). The mast consists of 17 sections and weighs just 1300g (2.9 lbs) The color is grey and we also supply a cloth bag.
The 10m Travel Mast is the great choice for a vacation DX-pedition.
We have a range of accessories that make using your mast really easy!
- Top insulator for wires. Sits 1.2m (3ft 11inches) down at point where pole is strong enough for horizontal wires.
- Guying collars
- Guying kit
- Replacement mast sections.
The base diameter is 46.5 mm for the GRP tube, 60 mm for the plastic end cap (dimensions approx.).
Replacement sections are available. Click here.
The mast is made of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) = Fiberglass. This is an insulator with excellent RF properties (very low loss).
Friction lock: pull each section firmly with a twisting motion for best lock. When erecting always start with the smallest section. When taking down always start with the largest section.
Top sections may be removed by unscrewing the endcap at the bottom of the mast.
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After comparing many options for similar masts this one had the optimal tradeoffs of price and quality, with an added bonus of support from SOTABEAMS as they offer individual replacement elements if (when) needed for broken sections. Where else can you find that level of customer support?
I bought one of these lightweight 10M masts to take over from the cheap fishing rod mast that I had been using for my mini caribbean DXpeditions that I go on every year.
The mast is certainly compact and fit well into my suitcase and on its first use worked extremely well running wire up the outside matching it to my FT-991A using a UnUn and radials.
On its second outing the bottom section cracked and on inspection seemed to be very thinly moulded compared with the fishing rod equivalent.
With another DXpedition planned for April I am now having to buy another!!
Great idea but not sure the quality it quite there.
This perfectly compliments the Tri Band linked dipole. But be sure to on lash it to the pole at the suggested height, it gets a little flimsy at the top. Very compact when closed, could easily pack in an over night bag or for back packing.
Very good, the collapsed lenght is just perfect, it's not too long to carry, yet it doesn't have too many sections.
I've put away the top 2 sections, since i use it with a 20/40m linked dipole, so i set it on 6 m height.
I've put 2 cm thick polifoam at he bottom for protection against the eventually falling sections.
One of the joints are a bit loose, but some lacking will sort this problem easily.
Amazingly simple idea that works perfectly for intended purpose. Very prompt service.
This was got as an expedition and back garden mast. The most important criterion was to be able to pack it small for public transport and going on foot. At just under 700mm in the tube (2' 3½") it won't fit any backpack I'd be prepared to lug, but it is carryable. It's very tall, and has been used to support, about halfway-up, a beefily-constructed 40m inverted V without problems. For this, some of the top sections were removed to reduce wind loading.
Assembling the sections is quick & reliable if one is methodical. The guying kit, some other form of guying, or other form of vertical support, is essential. I used the GK-10.
So far, I'm very pleased with the kit.
I have not actually used this mast and don't see how I can. I wanted to use it to put up a light weight 75 meter inverted vee at about 30 feet. The mast at the smallest part is really tiny and not strong enough for anything I can imagine. It is light and it is affordable but I'd love to see something stronger.
I have used this mast with a 3 band end fed antenna for several SOTA activations and other portable operations. The size and weight are perfect, and it is easy to deploy in the field. In colder drier wx, I have found it helpful to bring a pair of gloves to better grip and twist the sections for setup and take-down; my hands tend to get dry and lack grip in such conditions. I've usually secured the mast to a tree with reusable tie wraps or bungee cords, but also have used the guying kit (GK-10) with success. A great addition to my SOTA and portable QRP kit!
This mast is exactly as advertised - a good choice for suitcase or car travel. It coul be carried easily on a SOTA hike but it's a bit heavy for extended backpacking. It will support a full-size vertical for 20M and shorter bands, longer bands with a bottom loading coil. It can hang the center insulator of a light-weight 40M dipole part-way up although I haven't had a chance to try that yet. It's pretty flexible (read "floppy") at the top and sways a lot in the wind. If a storm is coming up, this pole should come down before it hits. The top section, like the rest, is tubular but appeared solid until I poked through the paint with a pin. Then I could hang the vertical with a holder made of stiff, bent wire. My only disappointment was the lack of foam rubber inserts at the ends to keep the sections from rattling in transport. There were styrofoam bubbles, but that's suitable for shipping only. I look forward to many fun outings with this mast.