Mounting a Cushcraft R8 vertical antenna above ground

09Mar17

We received a question from a Ham in Oklahoma about mounting a Cushcraft R8. Although our answer was aimed at the Cushcraft R8, the information can be used for other vertical antennas that are mounted above ground.

Cushcraft recommends that the R8 antenna be mounted at least 10 feet above ground level.

The mast you should use depends on your soil conditions. Here in NorthEast Ohio, I suggest using a post hole digger to make a hole about 12″ in diameter  and about 3 feet deep, and use a 1.5″ water pipe (which is just under 2″ OD) about 5 feet long with threads on one end. Put some gravel in the bottom of the hole for drainage, brace the mounting
pipe with the threaded portion up, and use quick-crete (you pour the dry stuff in the hole, then add water and stir with a stick). It sets up in about 20 minutes – so make sure that mounting pipe is straight up and down so the antenna won’t be leaning. This is pretty much the system I used for my 43-foot ground mount vertical. Using the threads, I could then mount another water pipe to it using a threaded coupler, and then mount the antenna on the extended pipe.

Would I use guy ropes? – YES. And in Oklahoma , a Big YES – you guys get a lot of wind! Any vertical antenna should be guyed. You can use a very light weight rope and make the guy ropes somewhat snug – not real tight. Take a look at the DX Engineering guy rope kits – they may be what you are looking for. I used a four-point guy rope scheme on my 43 foot vertical iwth no problems after 8 years of Ohio wind storms.

DX Engineering OMNI-TILT™ Vertical Antenna Tilt Bases DXE-OMNITILT-2PAnother great option that allows easy up/down for tuning, maintenance ,or in case of severe weather, is to use a tilt base. We suggest the OMNI-TILT Base. There are many tips in the manual about installing and using a Tilt Base, which can be found here. You may decide this is another option to use for the mounting pipe going to the antenna.

– Tom Parkinson, KB8UUZ

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