I’ve not got a decent Amateur Radio antenna up in the workshop yet so today I got busy rigging something together and came up with this 3D printed ham radio antenna clamping bracket which I thought I’d share with you all.
I should point out before going any further that this isn’t for conventional antenna pole sizes but I have provided FCStd file as well as the STL file in the zip attached for download at the end of this post.
All I had to hand to use as an antenna mounting pole was an old adjustable type aluminum washing line prop measuring 23mm in diameter. Also having no clamps, I decided to design and print my own – even if it is just as a temporary solution until I get a chance to buy some metal ones and do it properly.
Putting it Together and Installing It…
The whole antenna system is pretty much a “Heath Robinson” job of inserting / wedging the antenna into a short section of pole for a snug fit, then this section of pole is snugly inserted into the length of the washing line pole with the coax running all the way down through the middle of the poles and out the end.
I used electrical insulating tape to wrap around the antenna to get it to sit snugly in the first piece of tube and then did the same again when I inserted that piece of tube into the washing line pole. Then I went round and taped up all the joins (where one pole inserts into another) to finish it all off.
Outside of the workshop I will vertically mount a short length (aprox 150 – 300mm) of 3″ x 2″ timber to stand the antenna away from the wall and then I will clamp the antenna pole directly to the timber using my newly designed and 3D printed Antenna Brackets.
Strength, Loading and Flexibility
The antenna I am using is a Watson 1/4 for 2M band – designed ideally for mobile use – but that’s all I have to hand. Plus it’s nice and light and won’t have much wind loading on it.
I’ve deliberately made these brackets nice and chunky but don’t let that deceive you. I doubt they’d handle anything big with huge wind loading forces acting on it. Certainly they’ll do for what I want and other similar things requiring small antennas (ADS-B etc) but much beyond that, I wouldn’t like to say.
Although I’ve printed out my brackets using PLA, I recommend you print them out in tougher ABS plastic. I did not have any to hand so I had to use PLA.
The download for the 3D files is free for anyone that wants it. If you find it useful then I’d appreciate a thanks in the comments and maybe a little acknowledgement if you choose to share it elsewhere. You may modify it as you wish but some credit for the original is always welcomed.
Thank you for reading and Happy 3D Printing!