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Discussion Starter #1

I have completed posting a series of projects at Instructables.com that shows my build of a SBGH6 with straight NARODs, lots of photos and text. My objectives are to encourage first-time builders and to draw the Instructables DIY community to this forum. My antenna features active elements made of links of copper tubing soldered together at the corners on a jig, and the antenna's plastic frame is also assembled on a jig. The antenna went together nicely, and it receives stations up to 46 miles away in Washington, D.C., including the two available high-VHF ones. Some ideas in the series could be applied to building any version of the GH.
Antenna photos may be seen in my forum albums:
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/picture.php?albumid=632&pictureid=3391
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/picture.php?albumid=647&pictureid=3406
List of Instructables:
1. How to mark, cut, drill and join plastic pipe and fittings:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Plastic-Crafts/
2. Make The Active Elements:
a. Build the assembly jig:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Active-Element-Assembly-J/
b. Prepare the copper tubing links:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Active-Element-Copper-Lin/
c. Assemble the active elements:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Active-Element-Assembly/
3. Reflector Rods:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Reflector-Rods/
4. Antenna Plastic Frame Assembly:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Plastic-Frame-Assembly/
5. Gray Hoverman TV Antenna Final Assembly:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna-Final-Assembly/
Straighten Copper Wire:
http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Straighten-Heavy-Copper-Wire/
6. Make tophat (alternative to straight) NARODs:
http://www.instructables.com/id/NAROD-Bending-Jig-for-Gray-Hoverman-TV-Antenna/
 

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Excellent resource Uncle Sam! Very helpful for the beginning and experienced DIY'er! Very helpful to see how to build a GH all in one spot instead of searching multiple threads throughout this forum.
 

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Looks nice. :p The only thing Im not thrilled about is the overkill on the stub holders/NAROD holders. It looks like it would add a lot to the wind load, overall % wise. Of course that could be compensated with a heavier duty mast mount.
 

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Errata:
1. On Intro page, fol. link to pdf drawing does not work:
http://www.user.dccnet.com/jonleblanc/Canada_TV_Stations/Gray-Hoverman/DBGH_VHF_hi_Antenna.pdf
2. On Info page11, a link to the performance charts for THIS antenna should be added.

I'm not too sure about using a bunch of screws to interconnect the zig-zag elements.
I would predict that wind will cause vibration, loosening the screws over time. Even
without vibration, corrosion could also creep into the joints, degrading the connection.

Perhaps you should add an alternative, using BENT copper tubing. I would simply
hammer flat a 2-in section of tubing to facilitate bending the tubing.....

Perhaps others would care to comment on alternatives & relative merits.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
300ohm, as I built and documented this antenna, I felt sorry that it included those overkill NAROD holders, because mine is one of few builds that are easily accessible. The holders allow me to reconfigure to support the tophat style NARODS. Versatile, but possibly confusing to prospective first-time builders. Hopefully they can figure out their own, smaller, simpler NAROD support system. I considered building and including my own optional version, could still do that, because I can edit an Instructable any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
holl_ands, thanks for your comment, I will check into that broken link and fix it. With regard to the use of brass screws on the active elements, the SBGH6 antenna was built as a learning exercise, it will not go up the mast, so I just wanted to see if an antenna I built worked in my location. It did, so GH10n3 is in the works for the mast. If you look at the actual Instructables, you will see that the active elements are soldered at the corners, so the screws just secure them to the plastic framework. Still, screws can certainly come loose, so I have acquired copper pop rivets for attaching similar elements, also soldered at the corners, to the GH10n3 framework. They will be backed up inside the plastic pipes by pre-curved copper washers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
300ohm, I would appreciate your advice about how to fix broken link to the GH6 drawing that I included in my several Instructables, as pointed out in holl_ands post #4 of this thread "SBGH6 Build is Documented." Without a working link to the drawing, my effort was pretty much wasted. The broken link is http://www.user.dccnet.com/jonleblanc/Canada_TV_Stations/Gray-Hoverman/DBGH_VHF_hi_Antenna.pdf It used to be a working link to this color drawing, which can only be viewed by people who create a login at this forum, http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/album.php?albumid=133. The broken link yielded a pdf that could be viewed and downloaded by anyone.
Thanks for any suggestions you can provide
 

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Discussion Starter #14
holl_ands, re bending copper tubing for active elements. That is the first thing I tried, and I did not like the result. You still need to figure out some way to attach the elements to the framework. I flattened sections of tubing, tried to bend it to accept short piece of brass tubing that would be soldered in the joint. A small screw would go through the brass tube to attach to the framework. The bends were not neat or predictable, and there was the problem with using screws that you have already identified. For the GH10n3 I am building, I will use the copper links, but not assemble it on a jig, which itself requires some building. A jig creates a very precise, neat element, but the plastic frame cannot be made as precisely, so some bending and fudging is needed at final assembly anyway. I intend to build up the active elements one link at a time using the antenna's plastic framework as the jig. I will trim and drill each link in turn, fasten the new corner using a plated steel screw and nut, remove from the framework, solder that corner. Only the free end of the screw will drop into the eventual mounting hole in the framework. The remaining links added until finished. All the steel screws will be removed and copper pop rivets used to attache the elements to the framework, pre-curved copper washers inside the pipes for strength. Copper washers are sold in hardware and hobby stores as "burrs" used with more conventional rivets they also sell, for leatherwork, etc. The exception will be the joints where the signal will be picked off. During assembly of those joints, I will secure the joints using steel screw and nut, but will add a brass nut that has been cleaned, tinned and fluxed. The brass nut will be soldered to the element, and that corner will eventually be secured to the framework using brass screw, pre-curved copper washer inside pipe for strength. Second brass nut, and bronze lock washer, will be used to attach the balun's wire terminal, and that should keep the screw from ever coming loose.
 

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