Choosing the right fiberglass masts for helium mining antennas is an important topic. There is a lot of confusion out there on YouTube, Reddit, and other forums when it comes to connecting an external antenna to a helium miner. We have been asked countless questions including: What helium antenna mast to use, what helium antenna pole to use, how do I mount my helium antenna on roof, how do I use a helium antenna roof mount, and which helium miner antenna mount to use? This post covers choosing the right mast to mount your helium antenna to in order to get the elevation you need to get the best results. We will cover mounts in an upcoming post.
Masts refer to a vertical post, tube, or rod that the antenna is attached to in order to reach higher into the air to clear obstructions to have better “line-of-sight” when it comes to getting better signals. One of the biggest advantage of using fiberglass made from E-Glass and Polyester Resin, is that it is completely RF transparent. Metal masts and carbon fiber masts can all cause interference when it comes to radiating signals. If you were to have an antenna on top of a fiberglass mast, as far as the antenna is concerned, it would think it was floating in mid air. The only interference you would need to worry about would be from other structures and not the from the mast.
Not only are fiberglass masts RF transparent, being completely non-metallic they do not “attract” lightning. A full metal mast with an antenna and attached coax while being the tallest structure around, in order to increase your line of sight capability, would make for quite a large lightning rod. Using a fully non metallic mast would greatly reduce that risk.
Choosing a Fiberglass Mast
Choosing a mast for a Helium Mining antenna comes down to two questions:
1:) How big of a mast can my base mount accept?
2:) How big of a mast can I mount my antenna to?
There are a ton of different base mounts out there. Some would be lag bolted to the side of a structure, which would hold the mast several inches out, some to a house ridge mount, and some out in the middle of nowhere being held up by a big tripod. You will need to be sure that the structure you are wanting to mount the mast to is strong enough. Many mounts out there are great for their intended use. However, if you were to try to extend them up with an additional length of mast, the additional length may cause too much stress on the structure at the base. Using one of our 93 inch long fiberglass masts is a great way to extend a mast upward in order to clear obstacles or even to get a little more height above a roof line. Using an under engineered mount could cause damage to the structure the mast is attached to. Each additional foot of mast increases the forces seen at the mount exponentially.
Example: If you have a 50 foot lever and put the fulcrum one foot from the opposite end from where you are standing, you could easily lift up a small car.
Fixed Length Fiberglass Masts
The typical mast used for this application in a stock 93 inch long piece of 1.5 inch Outer Diameter (OD) Round Fiberglass Tube that has a beefy 1/8th inch Wall thickness. This will work in most applications as most mounts will accept a 1.5 inch Outer Diameter Round Tube though “U-Bolts” or the 1.25 inch Inner Diameter (ID) will fit over the mount attachment tube. We also have a beastly 1.5 inch OD Round Tube with a 1/4 inch Wall Thickness. This Tube is so strong you could support both ends, jump up and down in the middle and barely deflect it.
We have many different sizes of Round Tube and even Round Solid Rods that could be used to support your helium mining antenna. It just depends on your mount and antenna.
Push-Up Masts (Variable Length)
If you are looking to mount your antenna in a particular location, but a structure is not present to attach it to we have our fiberglass push mast kits that are made for ease of use, RF transparency, and very affordable. We offer Fiberglass Push Up Mast Kits that range from about 10 feet tall up to 50 feet tall! The taller 50% of mast kits would require guying. A little more space would be required, but with a buddy or two any of these masts can be easily erected for better distance and line of sight.