I have been asked a number of times as to what type or make of push up mast is mounted on my mobile as seen in the various photos seen throughout my amateur radio galleries.
The mast assembly that I am using is the Max Gains Systems fiberglass mast assembly manufactured and sold by Max Gains Systems out of Alpharetta Georgia.
The model that I purchased and is pictured here is their model MK-4-HD that is 25 feet in length when extended to its working length.
The mast consists of 7 fiberglass segments with the bottom segment measuring 2.5"OD and top segment measures 1"OD.
The complete mast assembly with quick clamps weighs 12.5 pounds.
The Max Gains Systems mast is easily extended to height by pushing up each segment, and securing it with the Quick-Clamp that is situated at the top of each mast section as seen in the insert photo of the collapsed mast assembly.
Max Gains Systems have both shorter and longer mast assemblies available, but the reason I went with this model is the strength built in to this particular model allowing me to have it extended to its 25" working length with my favorite 10/20 meter Inverted U dipole mounted up top without any guying required.
I do have a guy ring in place if I felt I needed to guy it due to strong winds.
Having said that, I have operated in some pretty stiff winds, and the complete mast assembly with antenna rode it out without any problem.
Now you may be asking how I mount the Max Gains Mast assembly on my mobile.
Although I could have built a tripod to allow the mast assembly with antenna to stand on the ground, this would have required guying the mast to keep it all standing up.
I decided that I preferred to build an insert for the hitch on my mobile, as this makes it much quicker and easier to assemble the mast and antenna, and the hitch assembly is strong enough to keep everything secure and standing up straight.
I built the hitch insert from 2" aluminum tubing that matches the factory built hitch inserts made from steel for pulling a trailer.
I also built this insert assembly long enough to allow the tailgate of my Avalanche to stay open while operating for several reasons.
The first reason is that I can access the cargo bay while operating, and having the tailgate open makes the assembly of the mast and antenna very simple, as you can stand on the tailgate to accomplish this.
I begin by installing the hitch insert assembly into the hitch on my mobile, followed by assembling my 10/20 meter inverted U on the collapsed Max Gains Systems mast, which is a simple task being I can stand on the tailgate to accomplish this.
Once the antenna is assembled, I then push the mast up segment by segment, locking each segment until the last segment is in place with the mast extended to its full height.
Now I can work some DX from the operating position in my mobile, or if I prefer I can set up and operate from my portable position outside of my mobile.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
I have modified and built a motorized 12 volt rotator based on this unit, check it out.....