Ham Radio

Rover Mast Mounting System

A rover needs a way to attach and raise antennas. Click on images to see some designs I've used.

Hitch Mast Mount

Tilt over trailer hitch adapter

For lightweight antennas, it works very well to use a tilt-over hitch adapter on vechicles with a trailer hitch.

Be sure to choose dimensions that fit your own vehicle. In my case, a hitch length of 8" allows the mast to extend upward without interfering with the lift gate.

Source:These can be available for about $100 on eBay. I've purchased both 2" and 1.25" hitch adapters on eBay.


Tee Hitch Adapter

Hitch tee-bar adapter

This "tee hitch adapter" moves the mast off to one side, it allows the vehicle's lift gate to open and close. This keeps the mast close to the operating position (within easy reach for rotation) while the operator stands under the lift gate shelter for weather protection.

You can use both sides for separate antenna systems. I've put a stack of horizontal loops on one side, while raising a larger stack of yagis on the other. This provides capability for operating in motion, and then stopping to set up bigger directional antennas.

Source: Harbor Freight sells the hitch extenders. These were welded to square steel tubing and painted black. Total parts price was about $100.

How well does it work? Awesome. I like having the mast within easy reach of the operating position while standing under the lift gate for weather protection. The disadvantage is that the car is pretty much stuck in one place until the big mast is removed. So, if I wanted to set-up in one place for a longer while, I should invest in a drive-on mast mount; then it would be possible to leave the antenna setup and drive somewhere.

Dual mast adapter

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