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 ) it fits in a suitcase making it perfect for vacation DXing.
Extended length: 10 metres (32 ft). Lengths approximate - click here to find out more.
Packed length: 67 cm (26.4 inches)
Number of sections: 17
Wall thickness: 1.5 mm (0.06 inches) bottom, 0.67 mm (0.03 inches) top
Weight: 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs)
Mast Material: glass-fiber composite (non-conducting)
Tube diameter: top 3.9mm (0.15 inches) base 49 mm (1.9 inches)
Base cap diameter: 55 mm (2.2 inches)
Tube colour: Light grey
Mast sections hollow to the top
Supplied with black carry bag with tie
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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Very good mast
I was pleasantly surprised when unpacked the parcell by really compact size of this 10m mast with only 68cm collapsed. I thought it might be a bit too much like a flimsy "fishing device" but it was not! I found it thick enough at the 8m level in order to support my lightweight doublet ( 30m long with 10m home made open air feeder). Erection is easy, the mast stood for couple of hours self supporting with no need of counterropes nor tape-reinforcement of the section joints. Taking down is equally quick and easy. Besides using this pole for my doublet support I also use it as a 10m vertical in variuos configurations for the qrp field work. Being such a short collapsed and lightweight it is my Nr1 choise for the short bycicle-portable trips to activate Hillfort and Flora-Fauna sites of local award programmes. The only minor remark - the bottom cap of the pole makes the bottom end 1cm thicker than the first bottom segment which is 5cm. This makes a bit of inconvienience when binding the pole to the support structures or inserting it into the supporting tube of the mast holder. But on the other hand thicker bottom makes it more solid to stand on and protects the other sections from damage in the event of uncontrolled collapse. In this context it is a good advise to put some packing fome taken from the packing of the parcell into the space under the bottom cap.
Top sections above 7m easily removed as Richard suggests if not required for bandhopper. Taken abroad in hand luggage through airport security with no problems. Does require a little packing inside the base to cushion the poles when folding down and stop them rattling around- a handful of bubble wrap does the trick.
Easy to use, good quality material.
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.