Home mounting of WiFi antenna - advice sought for a too-short antenna mast

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I picked up a Rocketdish RocketM2 radio for WiFi reception and tried to mount it on an old Dish-TV antenna arm.

The problem is it's about six inches too short (see picture above).
I had planned on bolting this to the wood boards framing the edge of a tile roof (without going on the roof itself).
Advice sought: a) Would you just extend the mast with a pipe? b) Would you buy a new mast (from where)? c) Is there another trick I can't think of?
I'm hoping a clever idea will pop out of this.
Otherwise, I'll just buy a new antenna arm and make sure it's longer somehow!
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On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:53:38 +0000 (UTC), "J.G."

Yes, but it has to be a solid fit or welded to withstand wind.
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see a muffler shop where they bend pipe custom making the pipes for each vehicle
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On 8/24/12 1:53 AM, J.G. wrote:

Someone mentioned a muffler shop and a pipe. Would a standard plumbing pipe fit snugly in the existing bracket pipe? If so, you could slide the plumbing pipe into the existing bracket pipe. Cut some grooves in the existing pipe. Use a muffler clamp to squeeze the two pipes together.
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Looks like the existing pipe is about an inch diameter. There has to be a way to extend that, some how. Either with a pre formed piece that slips over, or perhaps some kind of rod that slips into the existing tubing.
Got to be a way, but I've not really got any good ideas for this moment.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 8/24/12 1:53 AM, J.G. wrote:

Someone mentioned a muffler shop and a pipe. Would a standard plumbing pipe fit snugly in the existing bracket pipe? If so, you could slide the plumbing pipe into the existing bracket pipe. Cut some grooves in the existing pipe. Use a muffler clamp to squeeze the two pipes together.
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On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:25:37 -0500, Dean Hoffman

This may be too small of a pipe for common muffler clamps. If plumbing pipe fits inside, either get it welded, or drill a hole thru both pipes and put a bolt thru it. Around my area getting it welded if you supply the extension pipe, would cost $10 or less at a professional welding shop. Even if they charge $80 an hour, you're looking at a 5 minute job and a buck or two for the welding wire. You cant buy a bracket for that. Be sure to paint the weld to avoid rust stains on the house.
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On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 03:17:40 -0500, fred.flintstone wrote:

I went to Midas today. They have pipe that is EXACTLY the same size, but, it MUST be welded (as you noted).
Just dropping the EMT pipe inside seems easier than welding. And stronger if I bolt it in (as you also noted).
Today I picked up a 10-foot length of 1" EMT which fits loosely inside the DirectTV J arm bracket. They don't sell smaller lengths! :(
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On 8/24/2012 2:53 AM, J.G. wrote:

On my own kit, I actually used a short piece of schedule 40 PVC, slipped over the end and bolted through both pipes with washers. So far it has served me well for 8yrs and held up through two hurricanes, but I have no idea what your own localized weather situation is. Can't remember anymore what size I used, believe it was 1 1/4", but you should be able to figure it out.
Eventually, exposure to sun and elements will take a toll on exposed PVC, but may work until you can come up with something better.
EMT would work just as well, last forever, but if ice and snow is an issue, you should probably cap the end: you would not believe what freezing can do to to metal pipe of any sort.
Worst case, purchase a length of similar sized EMT from almost any big box or hardware store and either fashion a temporary pipe bending jig, very simple, or find someone with an EMT bender and cut to length.
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On 8/24/12 2:53 AM, J.G. wrote:

Use a mounting made for eaves/trim like this:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId 62039
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On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 06:53:38 +0000 (UTC), "J.G."

Some ideas: 1. Muffler shop as others have suggested. You will need to paint it properly if you expect the pipe to last. 2. Remove the bent pipe and drill holes in the short end to match the pivot and locking bolts. 3. Purchase a proper "eave mount" satellite dish mounting kit: <http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882250051 <https://www.google.com/search?q=satellite+dish+eave+mount&tbm=isch 4. Consider an "under eave mount" kit which is less likely to break. <http://www.eavemounts.com <http://www.asia.ru/en/ProductInfo/1134891.html <
http://www.summitsource.com/images/products/MTPEV2.jpg
5. Non-penetrating roof mount if you want to move the dish around for optimum positioning: <https://www.google.com/search?q=satellite+dish+non+penetrating+mount&tbm=isch 6. Consider another location or mounting method: <http://rapidmount.com/roofmounts.html

The eaves are usually rather thin but will work if you don't have a rain gutter and add some reinforcing behind the eave. Another board will work, but I prefer painted Unistrut.

You could if you have another piece of similar diameter pipe and a welder. I've done this for one weird installation by taking two DBS dish mounts and butt welding the ends together. Welding was easy. Painting was not.
Someone suggested using PVC pipe. That will work for wi-fi because antenna aiming is far less critical than Ku band. Pound or glue a piece of schedule 40 pipe into the end of the existing mount. You may need to build up the PVC to the same diameter as the steel pipe or antenna aiming might be a bit clumsy.

Not just a new mast, but also a new mount. I'm partial to the "under eave mount" method.

Clever tricks have a habit of backfiring. Search Google Images for photos of "tile roof antenna mount" or "eave antenna mount" and look for something similar to your situation.

--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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On Fri, 24 Aug 2012 08:06:56 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

This seems the easiest. The angles will all change, and the Rocket is heavy so it has to be strong enough. I probably have to screw it into one of the cross-cut edges of the beams.
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For the record, quite a few solutions were proposed which should work.
The first approach I will is drilling & reversing the J. However that greatly changes the geometry, and may need side braces. (DTV-AT9-SB Standard Short Brace for DIRECTV Slim Line Dish DTV-AT9-SB) http://tinyurl.com/9cmr8l6
So the second approach is to find a SECOND Dish-TV J-arm and mount them both on the wall, one ABOVE the dish and one BELOW (in opposite directions) with the "tops" of the mounts almost touching each other.
The third approach will be to shove 1 1/4" EMT electrical conduit into the short end of the j-arm and then weld it on or bolt it on.
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On 8/24/2012 10:26 PM, J.G. wrote:

Why not get a piece of pipe that will fit the Rocket mount, clamp it, then use two more U-bolts to mount that pipe to the direct TV mast.
I got two of those Starband and Hughes satellite internet dishes for free on Craigs. They have a very strong mount. What happens is in the Santa Cruz mountains, as soon as a wired internet service shows up, they junk the satellite internet gear. You can convert them to FTA, though in your case, just use the tripod.
The tripods that come with sat internet are really strong. The LNB and BUC combo is mighty heavy. Often the satellite internet dishes are still on the homes but not being used.
Satellite internet is terrible. You can't get around the latency problem unless you can cut a deal with Einstein.
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Yech. The spacing between the two U-bolts will be fairly small due to the inadequate length of the short end of the satellite dish pipe. All you've done is transfer the problem from the dish mount to the U-bolts.
Also, U-bolts won't work. You need something like these to keep the pipes parallel: <
http://www.wpsantennas.com/ProductImages/antenex/fm3.jpg
<
http://www.deltaclub.org/mount_closeup.jpg
<http://www.wpsantennas.com/fm2-antenna-pole-mount.aspx The Radio Shack (Channel Master) vent pipe mount are junk.

Reminder: Tile roof. Most of those mounts won't work unless you drill the tile. It really does need to be something designed for eave mounting.

If you don't do anything in realtime, it's tolerable. Exede (Wild Blue), which uses Ka band and spot beams seems to be less disgusting than the others. <http://www.wildblue.com Einstein is not a stockholder. However, note the spot map at: <http://www.mybluedish.com/spot-beams Note the south end of beam 21, which cuts through Monterey Bay. I know of systems that work in the Aptos and Prunedale areas, but the signal levels are lower than a few miles north in Santa Cruz. Grrrr...
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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On 8/25/2012 8:20 AM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

I didn't know those "double" mounts existed in real life. I have hacked them together buying long bolts at OSH and COTS antenna mounts. But that double clamp looks much better.
In my rounds today, I noticed a large sat dish on the roof at a strip mall. No LNBF on it. I guess when a tenant leaves crap on the roof, the owner pulls the cable out when cleaning up, but odd they pulled the LNBF. Maybe the F-connectors had rusted and it was less work to pull the LNBF.
It would be interesting to know the percentage of sat dishes mounted but not hooked up. Anyway, it was one of those heavy duty mounts and a 36x24 oval dish.
I've run into sat internet gear hooked up to instrumentation in the boonies. There are only so many "slots" on those GOES birds to send data. For $50 a month, it is chump change for some outfit that is doing seismic studies in East Bumfuck.
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Look on any decent vertical antenna mounting and you'll find them: <http://awapps.commscope.com/catalog/andrew/doc/Pipe_Mount_Kits.aspx?id 00002%2Ft009_r02125_v0.pdf> About $60/set.
Antenna Spec used to make a really fancy machined aluminum version that I can't seem to find. That's what's needed to pipe mount a 21ft Stationmaster or solid dish with a high wind loading.

What you really want is the thick zinc galvanizing. It's the dull gray stuff you see on all the telephone pole hardware. It lasts. The thin galvanizing on the commodity hardware doesn't last and often rusts in place. I have a large pile of old Metricom hardware that is similar to the APSR-616 but thinner and with 1/4-20 hardware. It's functional for very small antennas, but nothing big and heavy.

That's standard procedure. If it's a tenant occupied structure, such as a gas station, or a rental, it's likely that the new tenants will need to use the dish again. However, the LNB can be re-used immediately at other customers, so it's removed and re-installed elsewhere. If it's transmit/receive assembly, it's the most expensive part and is usually removed immediately.

We have 3 in the neighborhood. One more (me) as I'm pulling the plug on DirecTV. I'm paying $75/month, 30% of which goes for paying to watch commercials.

Ku band is packed full. All the new stuff is on Ka band. At 30-40GHz, dish alignment and stability is rather critical.
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
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On Sat, 25 Aug 2012 22:16:13 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

That's interesting!
I noticed most of the bolts that came with the Rocketdish were stainless steel, except one set of bolts which was a dull gray for just the bottom brace.

BTW, WHAT is the purpose of the bottom brace anyway?
It is just to stop the antenna from sliding DOWN the mounting pole?
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On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:44:40 +0000 (UTC), "J.G."

Are you sure they're stainless and not electroplated steel? Use a magnet. I've been fooled a few times. If it sticks, it's electroplated steel. If it doesn't, it's probably stainless. (Note: There are magnetic stainless compositions, but they're not commonly used for hardware).

Some of the larger J mounts have additional support arms like this: <
http://sadoun.com/Sat/Products/Winegard/superDmount-6.jpg
Looks like you have the mount, but not the arms.

No. The typical DBS dish has a stopper at the top of the mounting clamps.
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On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:21:45 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Interesting.
I put a neodymium button magnet on the shiny bolts and it was slightly sticky. Strangely enough, the magnet would stick slightly to some bolts, enough to stay on, but in others it would just slide off.
It stuck like glue to the painted steel but didn't have any attraction at all for the stainless steel hose clamp that came with the assembly ... so there's something very different about the bolts and nuts.
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On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:21:45 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Oh. That makes sense.
There's NOTHING about that in the instructions! They just say to mount that bracket below the antenna. That's it.
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