Leading off is an original description from the Webster "Full Line Catalog" included with my 60+ year old model A-62 Webster Band Spanner mobile antenna that I recently acquired as seen in the photo...
A-61 & A-62 BANDSPANNER ANTENNAS 75-40-20-15-10 Meters Bands
High Quality... 5 band operation... designed for the discriminating mobile amateur. Covers 75-40-20-15-10 meter bands (also MARS frequencies), with no external taps or projections... no plug-in coils!
Band change is simple. Top whip is merly raised or lowered to a pre-calibrated setting corresponding to selected band. The Webster Band-spanner is a center loaded antenna with loading coil wound directly on the fiberglass support column. A circular contactor attached to the lower end of top whip establishes internal electrical contact with desired loading coil turn.
This type of continuous adjustment permits exact antenna resonance to be achieved anywhere within a given band... minimizes loading problems, band switching.
Antenna is modern, durable...weatherproof... coil section is epoxy sealed... top whip can be pushed down into column for clearance or storage... support column is constructed of reinforced fiberglass.
The above words taken from an original Webster Manufacturing brochure, is the first time that I had actually seen a description of the Webster Band Spanner mobile antenna that I recently acquired.
Off and on I have run across this very cool vintage mobile antenna built by Webster Manufacturing out of San Francisco, a company that no longer exists as you probably know. The particular antenna they built that caught my fancy was their Webster Band Spanner, covering the bands of 10-15-20-40-75 meters as seen in this photo with the antenna being held by yours truly.
Some guys refer to it as the original screwdriver antenna with it internal exposed coil running the top 3/4 length of the fiberglass mast, with the contactor mounted on the bottom end of the included whip. You slid the whip up or down to select the band you wished to operate on (in the photo. the whip is collapsed in the storage position). Once the antenna is tuned, there is a knurled collet-nut at the top of the mast that locks the whip in place so that the antenna stays tuned.
Over the past couple of years I had been looking for a Webster Band Spanner, and although I had the opportunity to purchase one or two in the past, they were always in so-so condition cosmetically.
I didn't just want an antenna that functioned, I wanted an antenna that also had not been abused and showed its years. Recently, I managed acquire one up in pristine condition.
This particular Webster Band Spanner had been in the same amateur radio family since new, and I acquired it from a local ham whose father was the original owner. The ham I acquired the antenna from remembered the antenna being mounted on his dad's 1953 Chevrolet. The antenna had never been left outside, and had not been used in many years, but was stored in a heated garage where it resided when I had the opportunity to acquire it.
I quickly set it up to operate with my Kenwood TS-480HX in my mobile, as the photos provided show. The spring is a Cal-Av military grade spring that is built by CAL-AV LABS, INC. located in Tucson AZ. I use their model Mark-5 with all my HF antennas, and now the Webster Band Spanner.
The antenna has proven to be up to the task of handling 200 watts out from the TS-480HX.
I have to say the Webster Band Spanner is not the equal of todays screwdriver antennas, however it wins hands down for the cool factor alone. Not bad for an antenna being 60+ years of age!
Read about it here.....