Monday, July 09, 2012

Tripod for a WalkHam

Having got an AlexLoop WalkHam antenna I needed some way of holding it up whilst it was in use. After considering ideas like a guyed mast made from plastic pipe I decided the best solution would be a photographic tripod, if only I could devise a way of mounting the antenna on it.

After scouring eBay for a suitable tripod I came across this one from British firm Strand Europe. Unfortunately this won't be much help if you're not in Britain as the seller will only post to the United Kingdom.

The tripod is short enough when collapsed to fit inside the WalkHam carrying case - the stumbling block for most of the ones I looked at which were just a bit too long. What's more, the panning handle can be secured in the vertical position and fits inside the WalkHam's mounting pole like it was made for it! So no modifications are needed and you can still use the tripod for photography if you want.

The same day that the tripod arrived I received an email from Alex giving details of his own tripod recommendation. He wrote:

"The perfect tripod is the VIVITAR VIV-VPT-1250. It is a 50'' unit and the lightest and most inexpensive VIVITAR unit that can be found for less than U$ 10.00. The secret is take off the camera head with a Phillips screwdriver and leave the aluminum tube on the top. It must be  marked with a pencil at 4 inches (12 cms): that is the maximum extension that can be used to introduce something to avoid any pressure on the antenna elements. Without the camera head the tripod can be collapsed and carried inside the antenna bag."

I couldn't find the Vivitar for as little as $10 in the UK so I'm content with my purchase. My only reservation is that the tripod is much lighter than the antenna (a good point for the person carrying it of course) and might be inclined to blow over if used in much of a breeze. I'll find out when I manage to try it! I can't say whether Alex's recommended model would be any better in that respect.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good day Julian,

Very good idea.

Something to consider to help stabilize the tripod/antenna whilst set up on site is the same old trick that photographers use - hand something heavy from the tripod in the center, below, and inside the three legs. Rock(s) or a log, or sand in a small plastic or cloth bag, your carry bag with whatever is left over after you have set up. Of course digging in or placing a rock or whatever over the feet of tripod will help too or could always drive a stick into the ground where you are going to set up the tripod/antenna and then lash the center column of the tripod to that stick.

I have always used the first method as I always seem to have or can find something heavy to use and has always worked for me.

cheers, Graham ve3gtc

Anonymous said...

Good day Julian,

Very good idea.

Something to consider to help stabilize the tripod/antenna whilst set up on site is the same old trick that photographers use - hand something heavy from the tripod in the center, below, and inside the three legs. Rock(s) or a log, or sand in a small plastic or cloth bag, your carry bag with whatever is left over after you have set up. Of course digging in or placing a rock or whatever over the feet of tripod will help too or could always drive a stick into the ground where you are going to set up the tripod/antenna and then lash the center column of the tripod to that stick.

I have always used the first method as I always seem to have or can find something heavy to use and has always worked for me.

cheers, Graham ve3gtc

G6BHB said...

Hi Julian, you could always use a Caravan Tether or sometimes called a Dog Tether(like a large wire screw). Only good in soil of course not up in them hills, even on the Southdowns the chalk only inch or two down.
Grahams rock idea is great, used it myself.

John

Julian Moss said...

Yes, thanks for the rock idea. There is usually no shortage of rock where I operate.

MrJoshua said...

Hi Julian

How are you finding the AlexLoop?

I can't decide whether to get one, or get a Buddipole instead.

Have you any experience with a Buddipole too?

Hope you're feeling OK?

Best wishes

Josh de M0JMO

Julian Moss said...

Hi Josh.

Conditions have been dire since I received the antenna so I haven't had the opportunity to make some meaningful comparisons.