1 B'n'M Black Widow Crappie Pole BW6 - 20'0" $$ 24.99 from landbigfish.com I like the website name...applies to QRP ops also!
This is a neoprene bicycle chain stay wrap used to protect the metal chain stay from nicks from the bicycle chain. Velcro wrap around attach. Gives your hand a nice comfortable fit when using the "pole" as a walking stick.
This is the "bottom" of the pole. The end is very fragile plastic and you will need to protect it. I used black tape then duct tape. Looked at furniture tips but they were too big and heavy. Still looking for a better solution.
The "top" end of the pole. Furniture tip protects this end. This end also is the ground end when using the pole as a hiking stick.
Another view with the furniture tip off. Seems to be rugged enough so far.
I used 3 sections of the original BW pole. I measured the diameter very carefully with precision calipers. You want it to be a "snug" fit into the PVC extension adapter which attaches to the BP VersaTee adaptor. I used precision calipers to get a precise diameter measurement of just less than 0.003 in. Then I scored the fiberglass with a pipe cutter and carefully cut the pole section. I then cut from the discarded section 3 inch "inserts" that fit inside (epoxy glued) to significantly strengthen the end that will insert into the PVC adapter. See the following photos.
Another view of the laminated end of the pole mast that significantly strengthens this end. Without this the end is too "flimsy" and isn't strong enough for the joint.
I use some foam rubber to fit inside the pole slip-fit end connector to "buffer" the pole sections when collapsed. The foam rubber keeps the pole sections from "banging" inside against the end connector when using it as a walking stick.
Here's the rest of the antenna mast. Clockwise: VersaTee from Buddipole. Dedicated length elevated radial. I use a round terminal connector and attach it to the VersaTee via the bolt-in adapter. Alum ground stakes. Climbing chocks which are useful when operating from a rock summit and only have rock cracks available. Poly tent guy line with an S-hook. Buddipole mini-coil. VersaTee pipe adaptor and 3" of PVC pipe that fits over BW mast. Homebrew alum guy ring that fits over VerstaTee pipe adaptor.
Another pic of the same thing without the flash.
Close up of the HB guy ring and the VersaTee pipe to BW pole adaptor. The 3" PVC tube significantly strengthens this joint. I painted the pole adapter black for appearance reasons.
I use fiberglass driveway snow markers (Home Depot) cut to a 24" length and PEX tubing adaptors for the slip fit joints. Simple fishing line swivel adaptor for the top end. This is to support the elevated radial. I got the "heavy duty (0.38" diameter)" shock-cord 3-section whips custom made from Buddipole. Get the screw-in ferrule for both ends: one end to the VerstaTee and the other end to the mini-coil. The Mini-coil has no screw-in male insert 3/8-24 adapters, i.e. female only so you can screw in the shock-corded whips. The 1" alum rod is a HB "coupler" when I don't need the mini-coil for the higher bands (17m and above in my case).
Another view of the same picture but with flash.
Installation on Twin Mtn, Catskills NY. Winds were gusting up to 25+ mph. Heavy duty 3 sect SC whip + mini-coil + 5 section "normal" duty SC whip. System tunes easily on 30m. For 17m, I use one turn on coil. For 15m and up, I use no coil and the black 9-1/2 whip at 4 sections extended or less. This is a very rugged/durable system.
One of the big wind gusts!
Mast installation. Guyed to tree limbs.