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Best Plastics, Composites, Rubber for structural antenna parts

90165 Views 212 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  300ohm
Just a warning note about using ABS for structural parts that I've mentioned many times before - hopefully what you're planning to use is the thick walled stuff that has little or no flex. If you go to Rona or Lowe's or Home Depot and shake a 10 foot ABS pipe like a sword it flexes a lot. ;) It seems to be rigid, but its not. If you shake a length of PVC like that it will seem like a wet noodle, so avoid using PVC for structural use either, except when recommended in build plans.

From experience I'm clarifying that ABS should never be used as a pole or mast, and it should be carefully considered if you're thinking of using it as a horizontal boom of any length more than a meter or a few feet.
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Clic Pvc Straps

I stumbled across an item at my local electrical supply store which might be useful to anyone building with PVC40 pipe and struggling to fabricate plastic stand-offs similar to those used by commercial antennas.

I am referring to the following item:
Arlington Industries, Inc. NM2005 Clic PVC Strap (Quicklatch)

I believe this PVC strap could be used to easily attach reflector rods and zig-zag elements on the outside of the PVC pipe for quick prototyping and quick changes before contemplating any final drilling and gluing. It even accepts a square nut behind the front opening for ease of use. I’m sure it would also work fine for the final build, but you might need to glue the plastic strap in-place and further reinforce the latch with screws to withstand outside weather conditions.

It is marketed as a pipe hanger, but by turning it around, it could become a versatile stand-off suitable for a variety of uses. Normally it is sold in paks of 100, but my local store sold me the ½” version singly for $0.36/each (just slightly more than a PVC tee or elbow). It also comes in ¾” and larger sizes.

Here is some additional info:
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RE: Post #41

My local Lowes and Home Depot both have a pretty good PVC selection, but I couldn’t find this particular PVC strap there (unless it was hiding in plain sight, as sometimes happens to me). Don’t know if this item can be a hard-to-find item elsewhere.

If anyone has difficulty locating, you might contact Arlington at:
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