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Old 24-Apr-2014, 4:14 PM   #1
Jason l
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DIY bb8

Does anyone have a bow tie antenna made with copper wire I'm courious if copper works well after it oxidizes looses it's shine. I was going to solder my aluminum whiskers but it was very difficult. So I'm thinking of trying copper wire. Plastic and PVC standoff haven't held well for me. I'm trying to make a more durable whisker. Any experience would be appreciated.
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Old 24-Apr-2014, 5:00 PM   #2
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Both aluminum and copper oxidize when exposed to air. The anodized aluminum found in factory built antennas is actually a form of oxidation... Regardless, the performance of the antenna is no going to be affected by surface tarnish on either aluminum or copper antenna elements.

Just be sure that the connections between the element(s), phasing lines and any other metal to metal contact is secure and low resistance. Soldering is probably the most reliable method, but the pressure of a nut & bolt connection can seal the two metal parts tightly enough to prevent corrosion at the actual interface of the two parts.
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Old 24-Apr-2014, 5:57 PM   #3
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Thanks I am going to work on another db8 to install on top my 48' tower after I get oak tree removed. I want to make it as strong as possible. So I will use copper wire number 10 soldered for the whiskers not sure how to do the framing up the PVC have used is working but it seems to worp in the cold and warm weather
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 10:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jason l View Post
Thanks I am going to work on another db8 to install on top my 48' tower after I get oak tree removed. I want to make it as strong as possible. So I will use copper wire number 10 soldered for the whiskers not sure how to do the framing up the PVC have used is working but it seems to worp in the cold and warm weather
I'm surprised that you had ANY luck in soldering aluminum.

After assembly, you could thoroughly clean the aluminum w/ lacquer thinner, or Acetone.
Finish by using a quality clear coat, like Krylon, or Rust Oleum.

If you're making a frame out of PVC, be sure to drill tiny weep holes at the bottom.

A good scuffing, cleaning and a coat of flat black, will help retard the effects of UV.
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 3:11 PM   #5
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Diydb8

I had no luck soldering aluminum.they are screwed down to PVC cross joints with stainless steel screw and washer. I have two like this. I don't no how to put pic on hear. Yes I hVe drain holes PVC and aluminum are very light. And the antennas work great. I just want whiskers soldered insted of nut and bolt.So I thought I could use copper wire insted for easyer soldering . Have you used copper? I may just stick with what I have. But I think copper whiskers solderxd and then screwed or bolted down would be more rigid than just screws/bolts like I have currently.i am going to top of tower and there will be trees behind anttenna.i hope to not have to go up and fix whiskers after a strong north wind blowing twigs on it.anttenas are down protected somewhat from the tower currently. I have 1 tree that I'm removing it hangs limbs over top. So I have had to pull twigs from whiskers several times. And some of the aluminum is getting soft from bending back.thanks for all the inputs the more the better. I am going to try some rustolium.and see if I can solder copper. I love free tv
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 3:57 PM   #6
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I had no luck soldering aluminum.they are screwed down to PVC cross joints with stainless steel screw and washer. I have two like this. I don't no how to put pic on hear. Yes I hVe drain holes PVC and aluminum are very light. And the antennas work great. I just want whiskers soldered insted of nut and bolt.So I thought I could use copper wire insted for easyer soldering . Have you used copper? I may just stick with what I have. But I think copper whiskers solderxd and then screwed or bolted down would be more rigid than just screws/bolts like I have currently.i am going to top of tower and there will be trees behind anttenna.i hope to not have to go up and fix whiskers after a strong north wind blowing twigs on it.anttenas are down protected somewhat from the tower currently. I have 1 tree that I'm removing it hangs limbs over top. So I have had to pull twigs from whiskers several times. And some of the aluminum is getting soft from bending back.thanks for all the inputs the more the better. I am going to try some rustolium.and see if I can solder copper. I love free tv
Yes, I used #4 copper to make a Gray Hoverman. Boy, that was a mistake.
I ended up using it, cause it was laying around and I didn't feel like running out and buying 6, 0r 8. Very difficult to work with. It wasn't the bending that was so bad, it was the straightening.

Whatever you use, you will probably need a torch and not an iron. Don't do it near the PVC. LOL

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c9...k/DSCF3040.jpg

Last edited by Stereocraig; 25-Apr-2014 at 4:56 PM.
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 5:16 PM   #7
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Rite on lol thanks for sharing �� nice anttenna

Last edited by Jason l; 25-Apr-2014 at 5:18 PM.
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 5:27 PM   #8
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I have used a zinc based rod to successfully 'solder' cast aluminum. I had had a couple of sample packs of assorted soldering and brazing rod lying around for years and finally had a need to try a repair on aluminum. I think I had bought the rod at a Fred Meyer store more than ten years ago.

Copper will be far easier to solder... clean it well, use the right flux and enough heat.
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 6:28 PM   #9
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Yup I will experiment untill I feel comfortable with the rite heat.i will post my results. Buy then maybe I will figure out how to attach a pic
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 7:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
I have used a zinc based rod to successfully 'solder' cast aluminum. I had had a couple of sample packs of assorted soldering and brazing rod lying around for years and finally had a need to try a repair on aluminum. I think I had bought the rod at a Fred Meyer store more than ten years ago.

Copper will be far easier to solder... clean it well, use the right flux and enough heat.
Even w/ that special aluminum rod that they sell at swap meets, I didn't have good luck w/ Aluminum.
The guys that sell it, make it look so easy.

I've always viewed Aluminum as just an unfriendly all around metal, that doesn't play well w/ others.

Zn, Sn, Ag, Pb and Ni, are much friendlier.
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Old 25-Apr-2014, 10:28 PM   #11
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I hear that. I've seen it done but I'm not good with it unfriendly for sure
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Old 26-Jul-2014, 2:09 AM   #12
pips
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i used the rubber and metal washer that come on metal roofing screws on old yagi i had here and 3 years later when i had to change the balun it was still clean and nice.the other trick is an aerosol that autozone sells to coat battery terminals in diesels to keep them from corroding.it seems almost like a clear coat.solder is prob best but aluminum is a pain i brazed on but it didnt hold.my micro butane torch works great for soldering with a good resin core solder.
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