Please Note: I am an Amateur Radio Experimenter. Please accept this information in that context and please do not hold me responsible for problems that you encounter as a result of the information contained on these pages.
I assume that you know how to drill metal, etc. Always measure and mark
carefully and then using an awl or punch, dimple the metal where you want to
drill. Always use good quality sharp bits for drilling metal.
CAUTION: ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES WHEN WORKING WITH TOOLS, ESPECIALLY WHEN DRILLING METAL
I know very little about building antennas, but I am too cheap to go out and buy commercial antennas, so build as much as I can. I have found some very simple solutions to mechanical problems and I have displayed them here in the hope that others may benefit from my experiences.
I have found some very simple antenna designs that seem to work well, so they are recorded here for your benefit.
Most of my antennas for VHF and above, use T6 1/8" thick, 1/2" round aluminum tubing for elements and square tubing for the boom.
For 6m and 2m I recommend T6 1/8" thick, 1" square tubing for the boom. For all my other antennas, I suggest that you consider 3/4" square tubing for the boom. This stock is available from Ridalco on Michael Street near Belfast Rd (Ottawa).
I thought it worth mentioning that I have found 2 products which are vital for successful weather proofing of connections. These products are quite expensive but well worth their cost:
I like to tape all coaxial connections in feedlines with a soft, sticky, rubber tape. This is non-vinyl tape which is very pliable and sticky and totally seals against moisture if properly installed. This tape's offical name is 3M Scotch 130C Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape and it is available from Westburne Electric located on Michael St. (where it runs parallel to Innes Rd.). Cost is about $15 per roll and one roll will last a long time. Stretch it slightly when applying .... something like black vinyl tape. This tape must be installed dry but it has a far better temperature tolerance than vinyl tape.
The second product is a black, liquid rubber substance which I coat all screw terminals with. This material is difficult to remove, if later necessary, but it is an excellent sealant for screw terminals, to prevent water penetration, corrosion, and electrolysis. Put 2 coats on. It dries within 5 minutes and can help ensure that your antennas keep working trouble free for years. This product is called Star brite Liquid Electrical Tape and is available from Gervais Electronics on Industrial Ave in the east end of Ottawa. It comes in a small, round, yellow can, with a brush/applicator in the cap. One can will last you for years. It cost me $11.50 in October, 2001.
I see that Canadian Tire and Home Depot now carry very similar products at significantly lower prices.