A Shock-Absorber for a Wire Antenna

Of the three support-points for my wire antenna, one of them has caused me some concern. The end of the longest span of my New Carolina Windom is attached to a rigid, unguyed 12 foot steel mast by a very short length of rope — not nearly long enough to stretch and absorb the shock that a wind-whipped wire might induce in a good storm. Furthermore, this 12 foot mast is set in a small 3′ tripod without any reinforcement below the roof. Obviously this isn’t good enough for a heavy load, but I’m hoping it will suffice to support one end of a 42′ wire. As a precaution, I’ve built a shock-absorber into the system:

This is a spring that I bought at the local hardware store. I didn’t do any calculations to select the thing. I just went through the drawers and handled all the likely-looking springs they had. This one felt about right when I pulled on it. I tied it into the 3/32″ braided dacron/nylon rope with a loop long enough to match the length of the spring when fully extended. The electrical tape is to prevent chafing for as long as it stays on.

The spring is strong enough that on a calm day it doesn’t stretch at all, but it still has plenty of give if the wire gets to whipping around. Will it help this antenna-system weather the storms we get out here in western Minnesota? Time will tell!


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