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Old 19-03-2012, 16:44   #1
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Coax Strain Relief at Mast Head

I'm installing a mast head antenna in my aluminum mast. How do people support the coax cable so that it is not hanging by the PL259 attached to the antenna? I'm thinking something like this at the hole in the side of the mast might do.

Heyco® RDD Lockit™ Strain Relief Bushings - Straight-Thru (Round Cables)
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Old 19-03-2012, 17:00   #2
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Re: coax strain relief at mast head

I don't have a good answer for you, but I would be concerned about the Heyco bushing. The Heyco's I am familiar with put a big kink in the cable and this is not a good thing for coax. Perhaps the Heyco's you mention are different -- I can't tell from the spec. You want something that evenly grips the cable so as not to kink it. I've seen (somewhere???) a strain relief device that looked like a "Chinese Finger Trap", and that seemed pretty gentle to the cable.
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Old 19-03-2012, 17:05   #3
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Re: coax strain relief at mast head

I did something as simple as this. I took a SS hook and taped it to the coax and then made sure there was enough slack in the remaining coax so that I could make my connection and then some. The hook was supported by the conduit.

As far as the device that Paul was talking about I haven't seen one but I have used something similar that I am sure can be adjusted to be used. Last time I bought one it was at Home Dump. Klein Tools KPS050 Double-Weave, Rotating-Eye Pulling Grips - Short Length | ToolBarn.com
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Old 19-03-2012, 17:07   #4
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Re: coax strain relief at mast head

You could try something like this, SS with a mesh to grip the wire.



I buy this type of stuff at ElecDirect.
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Old 20-03-2012, 06:53   #5
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Re: coax strain relief at mast head

Sorry I don't have picture but will try to explain in words.
I put a small service loop in the coax (just bigger than the minimum bend radius) and then attached the coax to the mast with a rubber bushed P clamp. I used an Al one rather than steel.
They look like this P-Clamps for Fender Attachment
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Old 20-03-2012, 11:41   #6
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Re: coax strain relief at mast head

The “Chinese Finger Trap” Strain Relief (per Paul Elliott, Charlie, & Efraim), consisting of an interwoven wire mesh, is sometimes known as a “horsecock” or a “wire sock”, and is also known as a “Kellems© Support Grip*”.

* http://www.afielektrik.com/PDF/urunl...L-WIRING/T.pdf

See also ➥ Shore Power Security

On my own boat, I just used a “fat spot”, consisting of multiple laps of tape, where the co-ax exited the mast.
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Old 20-03-2012, 11:47   #7
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Re: coax strain relief at mast head

On my boat, I just used 2 cable ties with the excess preventing entry down the hole.
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Old 20-03-2012, 12:16   #8
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Re: Coax Strain Relief at Mast Head

+1 for the Kellems®!
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Old 20-03-2012, 12:33   #9
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Re: Coax Strain Relief at Mast Head

For Carina, I cable-tied the wires for the mast together in a harness, and ran them through foam blocks every couple of feet. Once pulled into the mast the wires are completely supported by the foam blocks. Hence there is no issue with wear or deformation of the wires/coax where they exit the mast. YMMV
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Old 21-03-2012, 19:11   #10
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Re: Coax Strain Relief at Mast Head

thanks all. Good info. Looks like everyone has their own method, and I'll probably do likewise, and come up with own concoction.
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Old 21-03-2012, 19:26   #11
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Re: Coax Strain Relief at Mast Head

I should add that my method has the additional advantage of deadening the sound when line hits the mast. (Which is in no way a substitute for securing the halyards/lifts away from the mast to prevent slapping.)
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