Lightweight Dipole Centre

Standard Dipole Centre with PL259 and RG58 strain-relief

For my /P outings, I make use of a 10m telescopic fishing-pole purchased from SOTAbeams which is able to support a variety of aerial configurations – My preferred being a coax-fed 40m Inverted-V or via 300-ohm balanced feeder as a low-loss frequency-agile Doublet.

When using coax, I had previously made use of a fairly chunky emporium-bought dipole centre which has a built-in SO239 connector.  It’s a sturdy item, and although perfect for home use, does mean that a PL259 has to mate with it making the whole ensemble at the end of the pole a little whippy at times.

As you can see from the picture, the strain-relief on the PL259/RG58 contributes to the sway-factor.

In order to lighten the load at the top-end of the pole, and to keep the coax pressed against it – I decided to make-up a new run of RG58 coax and use one of my Ham Goodies dipole centres.  There’s already one at the end of my 300-ohm feeder so putting one onto a run of RG58 was long-overdue.

The yellow T-piece is perfect as part of any /P kit – it means that I can save money on connectors and there’s less chance of a connector failing during assembly/tear-down.  So that’s boxes ticked for efficiency and value-for-money – true Ham spirit!

The picture below shows a comparison of store-bought and home laser-cut solutions.  Excluding the coax, the weights of each are 55-grams and 13-grams respectively – this 42-gram reduction by using a smaller centre-piece and omitting an SO239/PL259 combo is a considerable reduction and I’m sure the pole will be happier for it.

Standard and Ham Goodies Dipole Centres

Ham Goodies Dipole Centre on Telescopic Fishing Pole

Here’s the completed arrangement fixed to the 2nd section of my pole.  I looped a short piece of velcro strip through the RG58 and then around the pole: Do this about half-way up the section, then slide it down to the joining point – the velcro will be a tighter fit due to the increased diameter of the pole.

With everything fixed against the pole and no bulky PL259/SO239 connections it shouldn’t worry me when operating if it gets a tad breezy.

One final thing I’ve done recently: I added a piece of brightly-coloured electrical tape at the 9m mark from the feedpoint on my RG58 and 300-ohm runs – this gives me an easy method of ascertaining – before the pole goes up – just how far away I can be from the base of the pole.