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 The 50 Foot DXE-FTK50 Telescoping Fiberglass Tubing Kit and Antenna Installation Adventure by KF4WRL

My installation and modification of the DX Engineering DXE-FTK50

Some history about why I did the modification.
We took a lightning hit several years years ago when my son Ced was fooling around with a metal 5/8 wave, 11 meter antenna, on a push-up pole, about 40' above grade.  The co-ax was disconnected, and laying on his bedroom floor. We were "counting" lightning strikes, approaching from the southwest. "ten...six...three...BOOM!". It came firing out the side of the co-ax. I've learned that lightning is high frequency, and doesn't like to turn corners. The EMF took out two TVs, two phones, and a "Billy Bass", hanging on his wall. So I devised a method for lowering and raising my 41 foot vertical inside the 50 foot tubing kit (shortened) made by DX Enginnering. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure!

History lesson over....read on....
The 50 foot fiberglass tubing kit DXE-FTK50 from DX Engineering came with seven 96" telescoping sections. I wanted to install my wire vertical inside the tubing and raise it up and down from the ground to help with lightning protection in the future.

The smallest top section of the 50 foot kit is too small to accept my vertical wire of 41 feet, and it's too flexible, anyway. The instructions that came with the kit advised guy ropes. I've decided to dispense with them because my tiny yard limits that and I'm trying to fly beneath the radar of local codes that forbid antennas in the front yard, hence the bamboo camouflage growing in the background in the first picture on the left below.  So far it has withstood 23 M.P.H. winds, on a couple of occasions. 

The photos above showing the large pulley-wheel on the left that became prototype #1. It didn't work well at all. I did some creative PVC heating, stretching and shaping, to accept a much smaller wheel (pulley) as seen on the right  photo above and in the closeup photo below. 

Smaller pully wheel installed

I used to work at a place called Southern Industrial Supply Co.  (SISCO) where I learned that when you heat PVC to a temp above 142 degrees, it becomes "leather soft". I also learned to stay up-wind because of the toxic fumes. The guys in the fab shop at SISCO warned that if you can smell it, you're getting too much so use caution if you attempt this method!

I'm running a Yaesu FT-950, through an MFJ-989b roller tuner. About 20' of  co-ax gets me out to the 4:1 LDG balun at the base of the 41' vertical wire shown below.

"Radial Ring and base of vertical with balun"

A ring of #6 AWG solid copper wire serves as the radial "plate" seen above. The radials are limited in length by proximity to the lot line on one side and a sidewalk/patio on the other side. There are only 8 now but I plan to add more in the future. I'm guessing that if folks can talk DX using the roof of a car for a counterpoise, I can eventually get my radials dense enough to suffice and feel safer about lightning.

73 - Race KF4WRL

Email him for questions at >>>>>>