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Fiberglass Quad Spreaders

MAX-GAIN SYSTEMS, INC. announces an expansion of its extensive line of fiberglass rods and tubes to include all-fiberglass quad spreaders-up to 26 feet in length!

Many spreader types are available:

  • Type 1 consists of one 8 ft. length of 1¼" OD and one 8 ft. length of 1" OD round fiberglass tube both having 0.125" wall. The 1" tube snugly-but-easily telescopes in-side the larger tube. Using a recommended 12" overlap yields a usable length of 15 feet...more than enough for 20M!! A foot of this extra length may be easily cut (with a hacksaw) from the 1" OD tube, and epoxied inside the bottom of the 1¼" OD tube. This yields a full ¼" wall thickness(!) at the point of greatest stress...e.g. where the clamps secure the spreaders to the spreader mounting plate-or "spider".
    Approximate Weight: 4.4 lbs; Color: Grey; Price: $24.21 per spreader
  • Type 1L consists of one 8 ft. Length of 1" OD grey tube, 1/8" wall, and one 8 ft. Length of ¾" OD grey tube, also 1/8" wall. Recommended for intermediate duty locations (no heavy ice) up to 20M band. Approximate Weight: 3.5 lbs; Price: $20.61 per spreader

  • Type 2 consists of one 8 ft. length of ¾" OD round fiberglass tube (0.125" wall) and one 8 ft. length of ½" OD solid rod. The two have been especially made to easily telescope. Again, a foot of the smaller rod may be cut and secured inside the bottom end of the tube-effectively yielding ¾" solid fiberglass(!!) at the point of greatest stress. Recommended for quads up to the 17 Meter band in "light duty" locations. This spreader is NOT suitable for 20 meter band applications.
    Approximate Weight: 2.8 lbs; Color: Black; Price: $16.11 per spreader
  • Type 3 consists of the same two tubes as the Type 1 spreader, plus one 8 ft. length of 1½" OD (0.125" wall) grey fiberglass tube. This yields a spreader with a usable length of up to 21 ft.!!! (Allowing for 1 ft. of 1¼" OD tube to be epoxied into the bottom of the 1½" OD tube for reinforcement.) MORE than enough for 30 Meters!!!
    Approximate Weight: 8.0 lbs; Color: Grey; Price: $44.87 per spreader
  • Type 5 consists of one piece each of the following: 1½" OD, 1¼" OD, 1" OD, & ¾" OD fiberglass tubes (all 1/8" wall x 8 ft. long.) This spreader is suitable for the 40M band in light duty locations. FedEx Shippable!!!
    Approximate Weight: 9.5 lbs; Price: $54.72 per spreader
  • Type 6 consists of one piece each of the following: 1.75" OD, 1½" OD, 1¼" OD, and 1" OD fiberglass tubes (all 1/8" wall x 8 ft. long.) This spreader is suitable for the 40M band in standard duty locations. FedEx Shippable!!!  (NOTE: Even much heavier duty custom spreader configurations are possible if desired. Inquire!)
    Approximate Weight: 10.4 lbs;  Price: $67.32 per spreader

With these additions to our line, our customers have a wide range of choices, allowing them to customize their choice of spreaders for the load the spreaders will be asked to carry: lowest band desired, total number of bands, and the most severe weather conditions likely to be encountered in their location. You may design your quad with budget in mind, or to be "bulletproof". In either case, our aim is to give you absolutely the most for your money.

MAX-GAIN SYSTEMS' spreaders - unlike earlier types of sleeved spreaders using smaller diameter, less reliable materials-offer a number of advantages:

  1. FedEx shippable. Available since the spreaders telescope at 8 feet... saving a great deal over the motor freight charges required for all one piece spreaders.
  2. Strength. Our design puts the larger diameter (and therefore the greatest strength) where you need it most: at the point of attachment to the boom. The ends of the spreaders are light-allowing flexibility, yet more than strong enough for severe conditions.
  3. Length. Since each spreader is made from eight foot sections, there is still up to 26 feet of usable length-even allowing an entire foot of overlap!!! More than enough for a 40M reflector arm.
  4. Stress point reinforcement. Some of the extra length can be used to reinforce the larger diameter with the smaller, at the point of highest stress: where the clamps secure the arms to the spreader mounting plate. This yields a full ¼ inch wall thickness for most spreader types, and sleeved nearly solid for Types 2 and 6!!!

Buying spreaders to repair a damaged Lightning Bolt quad? Take a look at this VERY well done page by WB9DLC:

PLEASE NOTE:  If you have not done so already, be certain to visit this additional page on our site, which contains even more useful information of interest to quad builders: http://www.mgs4u. com/fiberglass-tips.htm

Wire Attachment Method for Quads - Does Not Require Drilling Spreaders

The following photos illustrate an easy method of making almost indestructible clamps to be used to attach element wires on quad antenna spreaders.  This method does not require drilling through the spreaders.  This method allows easy and infinite adjustment of the corners of the wire loops, for easy and precise loop centering on the element spreaders. This method cushions and protects the wire elements at the points of greatest stress . the loop corners, and prevents sharp bends which weaken the wire.

These clamps consist of an ALL STAINLESS hose screw-clamp.. (be certain the screw clamp says "All Stainless" or the screw itself will be plated, not stainless, and it will eventually rust),  a short length of copper plumbing pipe, and a plastic tube. Very simple, but effective.  For the plastic tube, it is best to use a very tough and UV resistant material such as truck air-brake hose (from auto parts store) instead of clear vinyl tube. It will last MUCH longer. Also, spray-paint the plastic tube with flat-black spray paint for additional UV protection.

The photos below may be clicked to enlarge:


Minimum spreader lengths required for quad reflector loop at various frequencies*

  • 6 meters = 3.7 ft.
  • 10 Meters = 6.6 ft.
  • 11 meters = 6.9 ft.
  • 12 Meters = 7.4 ft.
  • 15 Meters = 8.8 ft.
  • 17 Meters = 10.2 ft
  • 20 Meters = 13.1 ft.
  • 30 Meters = 17.9 ft.
  • 40 Meters = 25.9 ft.

*(calculated for bottom end of bands)

Useful formula

In order to estimate how far out (measured from the center of the boom) a quad wire of a given length will intersect with a spreader, use this formula:

Take the total wire length of the quad loop in feet (for example, 70.79 ft for a driven element on the 20 meter band) and divide it by 4....(about 17.7 in our example). Then square the result...(about 313.3 in our example). Divide this figure by 2....(about 156.65 for the example) and then take the square root. For our example, this yields the result 12.51, so you know that the wire intersect point will be 12.51 feet out the spreader, measured from the center of the boom.

A far less complex method (with thanks to Ed Niemi, K6EDJ) is to simply take the cosine of one side of the quad loop (.707 times the length of one side of the quad loop) and measure out the sp reader (measure from the center of the boom) to determine the point of wire attachment! The measurement from corner to corner, measuring down one sp reader, through the boom, and up the opposite sp reader, (wire attachment point to wire attachment point) of each quad loop will be 1.414 times the length of one side of the quad loop.













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