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Thread: Homebrew Astroplane

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    Homebrew Astroplane

    As some of you may recall, as well as an old original Astroplane I bought and traded away, I built a homebrew copy of the antenna in a single afternoon of June 2011 making all the tubular parts of CPVC/PEX covered over with aluminum duct tape. When I was done with it I sold it for the cost of the materials I had in it.
    I have the homebrew AP back, and in the air. The fellow I sold it to for the cost of the materials no longer needed it. His son was the recipient of the antenna. The son moved away and was no longer using it. It was given back to me at a cost of taking it off the push up pole it was on. It has been in the air through thick and thin for 2-1/2 years now between my place and his, and still registers a very good SWR in spite of being CPVC skinned with aluminum duct tape.





    If anyone would like to see how this antenna went together I will put the thread together here.
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    Please Do...
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    With the holiday season in full swing it will take me a little time to put it together.

    We are redoing furniture gifts for our adult kids and customers in every spare moment, but I will try to get it done before the end of the weekend.
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    Copy That BB...Whenever you get the time.
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    Homer you are truly an inspiration to our hobby !! I enjoy reading and seeing your posts !!
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    Finally, the Build is Posted


    First, the dimensions:


    Bought three 10' x 1/2" CPVC tubes, and one 10' x 1/2" PEX tube.


    Bought a roll of aluminum duct tape, some CPVC 1/2" tees (used only two of them), and a galvanized flat plate bracket (for the top bracket of the antenna).



    Replaced the galvanized plate with better aluminum plate.


    Used only 8' of 10' PEX. Cut it into two 4' pieces and fashioned bottom ring as seen in this photo.


    Using the CPVC in lengths as cut according to the above posted dimensions I fashioned the the antenna skirt (lower half). the upper two tees were used temporarily to hold the antenna skirt together as I built it. They were replaced with couplers and a piece of plexiglass formed the cross piece used for antenna skirt width adjustment.


    I fashioned the upper half of the antenna from the CPVC tubing and two 48" long stainless steel rods. The rods are from glass block connecting brackets.


    You can see the coax direct connection I used for simplicity. All of the tube was covered in aluminum duct tape to form the actual antenna over the plastic tubing framework. Note the use of a short piece of 1/2" PVC as an insulator over the top of the short side of the skirt. The center coax conductor is connected to the antenna through this insulator. Look at the end of this connection - there is to be seen the CPVC tube end, around it a short nipple of aluminum tubing, and then the PVC insulator. Notice the aluminum nipple exiting the opposite end of the insulator and also covered with the duct tape. This serves to strengthen the electrical connection here. The braid is attached to the aluminum bracket completing the RF circuit as the other half of the skirt with the upper half are grounded directly to the bracket.

    I should add that I did not use a coupler on the for connecting the upper tube to the lower, but chose instead to use a three inch long piece of the scrap aluminum tube I had. I wanted this connection to be rigid and strong as the Cap Hat would sit above and catch a lot of wind (notice the bulge under the duct tape).


    The antenna flies successfully now for 3 years with no issues.


    Total cost - $36.00

    This antenna is very wide banded, has low SWR when well made and according to specs, and easy to fly being only 31" diameter across the ring, and 4' from tip to tip of the Cap Hat, with a mere 12' of height.
    I no longer have it as a Ham friend was needing a 10 meters vertical and is now using it at his place.
    Last edited by HomerBB; 07-12-2014 at 11:27 AM.
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    Very cool! Thank you, Sir!

    It actually makes me want to build one, always wanted to try one out.
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    All politics aside. Probably my favorite antenna I've ever owned. Thank you!! Awesome post!
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    Pretty cool antenna build! I used to shoot skip off a old droopy drawers ground plane. Early 70's. I now have a 2000 Icom.


    Sent from my iPhone using The Radio Room
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