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.
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