How to Prepare your Antenna Site for the Flagpole Antenna, an HF Vertical Dipole Antenna System
This will serve as an introduction to the installation process. We've covered How to choose your Greyline DX Antenna System and How to choose a Remote Tuner in these other articles.
The shipment package includes everything needed to get on the air. You'll need to provide the radio, coax to your shack, and shovel, of course. Included parts in the box that lands on your doorstep are:
- HF Vertical Dipole Antenna
- Ground Mount, Ground Sleeve Kit
- Feed Line Kit
- Flag Kit (when selecting Flagpole Antenna)
Tools Needed: (2) A post-hole shovel and an Allen wrench.
When an order is placed in our system, digital copies of the Manual, Parts List, and Antenna System Configuration documents (or links to them) are emailed to you immediately. They can also be found at any time on the website here: Assembly Documents. This includes a visual configuration of the Antenna System, Videos, Stories from customer reviews, Picture series of customer installations, How to identify each element, and Step by Step Antenna build instructions.
How to Locate the Best Location to Install the Flagpole Antenna
By now you have an idea of where you wish to install the antenna system. We know that your choices are well within your QTH property lines, right? We will show you how to find the sweet spot and your job is to plant the antenna as close to this point as you can for the most valuable experiences.
Pro Tip: When considering a location to plant your new vertical antenna, we want to be sure we know the noisy and quiet areas along your home perimeter. consider first walking the perimeter of your QTH with a battery-powered AM radio. Tune to a frequency with no AM station currently broadcasting. This will allow you to hear the background noise and more importantly the local QRN at or near your QTH on the AM band. You'll want to pay close attention to the noisiest and quietest location as you walk the perimeter of your property. You may find one part of the home is much noisier owing to an appliance, utility or a neighbor's noise generator. Plant the antenna as far from this area as you can, in other words, you want to plant it near the quietest location. You will be so glad you did this exercise and it will reward your every minute tuning the ham radio bands. Remember, if you can't hear them... right?
Dig the hole
When you locate the perfect spot to plant your vertical, you'll need a fence post shovel to dig a 3-feet deep fence-post hole for the 12-24' and a 4' deep hole for the 28-foot antenna. These holes are typically 8-16" in diameter, from what our customers tell us.
Note: Some folks may find their ground unreasonably difficult to dig and therefore 2' deep is fine without too much fuss from our structural engineer.
The antennas are strong and built to be free-standing yet also light enough to handle by one single person, alone if you wish. One customer completed the process from his wheelchair with no other help. You can do this too.
Weight and dimensions are:
23 lbs for the 20-foot
26 lbs for the 24-foot
35 lbs for the 28-foot
Many will find incorporating a Sonotube within the hole helpful for a clean worksite. This is a mesh sleeve that can be inserted into your ground hole to serve as a mold or tidy sleeve for your concrete pour. You can find these for $10-15 at your hardware store. They will also have ideas for the proper size of the hole as they will know your region's ground and dirt.
For ideas and visuals on how others are installing, you can see several installations on our YouTube page and in the Customer Reviews Tab in our Library of FAQs.
Where to Install the Remote Tuner
Many have installed this tuning unit within 1-2 feet from the antenna, others install the ATU further away near the shack behind a bush, and others use a tuner in the shack. The closer the tuner is to the antenna the "better" but no need to fuss as it will work great in any scenario you choose. We know many are purists and we urge folks to consider that every partial dB counts. It certainly does as each dB can add up in the end calculation. We also know there are family and neighbors to consider and with our many customers in the field using various locations, we have witnessed all scenarios create Real DX adventures on the bands.
Other useful scenarios we've seen are installing the ATU inside hollow rocks, flipped-over buckets with a shelf keeping the tuner off the ground, behind a bush or floral arrangement, under birdbaths, simply attached to a PVC pipe, and so on.
Install this as closely as possible to the Antenna System and elevate the final location of the remote tuner at least 6-inches off the ground. It is part of the antenna after all. Many folks use weatherproof housing of sorts whether it's a bush or flower arrangement to a hollow rock with a shelf or a flipped-over wine barrel. Please use non-conductive support such as PVC, wood, or rock.
Can we bury the tuner? Oddly enough some have tried this. It's not recommended. We had an RF Engineer experiment and in the end, were able to get it to work on most of the bands. The painstaking process he went through was riddled with tests and test equipment and various repeat attempts. Consider placing the tuner near the antenna or find a nearby bush. You'll find plugging in the coax works great the first time with no testing required.
Some have reported having a second DX Flagpole for portable use. In these cases, some have secured the antenna to patios, hotel decks, RV camper wheels, picnic tables, and other portable and quick-deploy scenarios.
This antenna system is built rugged yet elegant in aesthetic appearance with its clean lines and high-quality finish. Again, no stubs, coils, or unsightly wires, simply a polished Flagpole Antenna. Being lightweight enough to assemble and disassemble rapidly for quick deploy field operation and portable operations yet made for permanent installation in the fanciest of HOA communities. See our Ski Bag portable story as one example.
What will you do with your Greyline DX Antenna?
See what others have done in our BLOG and FAQ sections, and let us know your thoughts. It is an honor to serve you in this way.
Ham Radio is fun again! Pass it on.