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is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Monday, 22 June 2009

A tall tale from Spiderbeam

Those that are aware of Summits on the Air will know that for HF the favoured mast for mounting wire antennas in the field is a fibre glass telescopic fishing pole, often referred to as a roach pole. When I started out I used a 10 metre pole but when that broke I replaced it with something a little lighter a 7 metre version and found it is usually sufficient. These poles can be obtained from Richard G3CWI's SOTAbeams at a reasonable price or any fishing shop but I found a supply on the Internet where I could get them for £5 each. They were just the job, cheap and cheerful and I would not be bothered if I broke one.

The guys at Spiderbeam see things a little differently to me and have come up with a pole 26 metres high, that is 85 feet to us old fogies. Which may be a little over the top for back packing operations, like SOTA, but might have its uses as a support for vertical wires come field day. However ideas of fazed arrays can be put away for now as the price is 599 EUR which at todays exchange rate is £707 or $838 US and there was me all ready to buy four. Sorry SpiderGuys but I could buy a lattice tower for not much more and that would not snap in the first 70mph wind. These beauties are about four times the height of my 7m poles so I would be prepared to pay maybe £40 which is 8 times as much but not 141 times the price, but the SpiderGuys must know their market and there must be plenty of people with more money than sense.


  1. 599 euro is 545 sterling, Stephen, but nevertheless quite pricey. I think they are specially made from very rugged thick-walled fibreglass. They also do 1.15 metre long 30 and 35mm dia constant-width interlocking tubes for 5 and 7 euro ( so 35 euro for 7 metres. I don't like the price of the v. long poles either but the price doesn't go up linearly with height because the size of the lower sections and thickness must go up too.

    My 2p worth

    Philip, G3TEX

  2. That was the exchange rate we were getting on credit card purchases when I wrote the piece five months ago. I think the pound has bounced back a little since then.