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Old 05-30-2015, 02:33 PM   #1
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Clean antenna elements connection points to beam


Anyone found a spray product to improve conductivity between outdoor antenna aluminum elements & the main boom, that lasts a good while?

Have a large Winegard outdoor, directional antenna - 6.5 yrs old. Near their "top of the line."
Also use their pole mounted pre-amplifier, with indoor power supply.

After only 3 yrs or so (here), even expensive outdoor antennas quickly lose gain. Too far from transmitters to use indoor / attic antenna. I've found it's the connection points where the elements are "clamped" on the boom (assume minor oxidation). The weather proof coax connectors are rarely the cause (for me).

Spraying WD40 on every connection (element to boom), restores excellent reception & reported SNR & signal strength. But must be repeated 1x or 2x per yr (depending on rainfall).

Tried an "electronic switch / contact" type of spray. Didn't seem as effective as even WD40.

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Old 05-30-2015, 05:50 PM   #2
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How about coating each "joint" with some clear silicone caulk?


Seems like that would last for many years.

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Old 05-30-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
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put a little white grease on there, before bolting it together.
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Old 05-30-2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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Sealing "joints" w/ silicone: Maybe theoretically possible? Most outdoor, horizontal (beam style) antennas I've seen, use similar way to fasten the elements to the beam.

It'd take a good while to seal all the element connections, so they're completely weather tite. Starting w/ brand new antenna (sealing an old one already oxidized would be pointless). Not sure you could make the element connections 100% air tite, or if it'd even be necessary.

Fix'n it - you're onto a good idea, but these TV antennas don't "bolt together."
They use rivets where 2 halves of a "clam shell" fit above / below the elements.
Pressure from the rivets (thru upper / lower metal "clamps" & thru the elements) hold the elements in a friction fit, between the 2 metal "shells."

For new or old antenna, I'd to drill out the rivets, then replace w/ stainless bolts / nuts. Which I did on another antenna, to replace - one - broken element. Theoretically possible. If I was relatively sure putting a specific grease on the joints would really solve this (common) problem, might be worth it.

I actually have some anti corrosion / oxidation paste, made for aluminum connections (wiring?). And if current antenna seems too far gone / oxidized, retro fitting w/ bolts is a possibility (but time intensive). Though there are many other "electrically connected" parts / joints to oxidize on these antennas, than just the main VHF elements-to-beam.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:24 AM   #5
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lets see some pics. i have other ideas.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:51 PM   #6
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Winegard horizontal antenna - VHF / UHF, ~ 110" long (not a "cheap" unit).
* Closeup pic - 2 halves of square-ish brackets (aluminum), clamped on the round VHF element.
* Meaning, long seams between each pair of clamping brackets.
* Only 1 rivet applies pressure - thru centers of both brackets & thru a hole in element.

* This setup (as shown) worked fine - excellent reception - since last time ALL signal conducting connection points on antenna were sprayed several mo. ago w/ WD40. Then several mo. after spraying - as is typical - signal strength & SNR begins dropping, again.

Once all the aluminum antennas I've had are ~ 3, 4 yrs (in very high humidity & heat), they've all needed some type "treatment" to deal with oxidation between elements & clamping brackets; maybe between brackets to beam connection.
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Clean antenna elements connection points to beam-antenna_winegard_resize_comments-008.jpg  
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:54 PM   #7
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ok. what i would do. get a good spray lube (wd40 isn't one of them) and spray the connections that you cannot get apart. then put the grease around the connections. the connections that you can get apart = automotive dielectric grease. scuff clean them first.

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