Thursday, 12 June 2014

Clansman antenna kit

Much of my Special Event and field antenna kit is ex-MoD 'Clansman' equipment. After all, why go to all the trouble of designing stuff yourself when MEL and Racal have already done it?

I have a Clansman dipole kit, which consists of a dipole center (two spring loaded terminals and a BNC), and two very long lengths of kevlar braided wire and long lengths of line on a spool. These antenna wires are very versatile, and also have coloured cable ties on them at intervals of 1m. A single tie indicates a 1m mark, a double tie is used at 5m, and three ties 10m. So its possible to wind out the length of wire needed day and night.

I have a 27ft (8m) Larkspur push up mast. This is copper coated steel, and can in itself be used as a vertical antenna, as it has a base insulator! Even better, the clamp at the top allows addition of whip elements, allowing the mast antenna to be extended. I have a 2.4m collapsible whip, intended for the PRC320 HF manpack radio, which will fit.

I also have two 5.4m Clansman sectional fibreglass masts, one modified with securing bolts to allow the turning of a lightweight VHF beam antenna. These can also be used as vertical antennas, as each has a length of wire its length that attaches to the top section. The top section has a hole, into which can go - you guessed it - the 2.4m whip!

All this makes for a very versatile antenna system. The only thing I dont have is the 'counterpoise' kit, which is four 5m wires on a spool, but these sell for around £30 now, due I think to the popularity of re-enactment groups, or more likely the airsofters! But I can easily make one of my own for much less money!

And the reason for this write up?

I wasnt sure that the 2.4m whip would work 'as is' on the 5.4m masts, as the manuals say to use the adapter. So, I put it into the end of a mast today, metered the connection out, and agitated the coupling. The whip does indeed work like this! Adapter not required.

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