23cm Antenna Issues


Paul Randall G3NJV
 

New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul


Colin Ranson
 

Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?  and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?

 

Regards

 

 

Colin de G8LBS.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Paul Randall G3NJV
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:29
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

 

New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul

 


Dave smith
 

I do think you should name the supplier Paul...if only to give other possible users a heads up.
Dave......G4DAX

On Mon, 18 Jan 2021 at 22:47, Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...> wrote:

Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?  and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?

 

Regards

 

 

Colin de G8LBS.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Paul Randall G3NJV
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:29
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

 _._,_._,_


Conrad, PA5Y
 

I would like to see a photo of the corroded elements, if the antennas is what I think it is then the elements themselves are insulated aren´t they? And they are just aluminium.

 

This statement.

 

‘I would have thought if you needed "professional" software’…….

 

Gives the game away.

 

Regards

 

Conrad PA5Y

 

From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> On Behalf Of Paul Randall G3NJV via groups.io
Sent: 18 January 2021 23:30
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

 

New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul


Kevin G6UCY
 

I would have thought that any reasonably designed and manufactured antenna would not have the issues you have described after such a short time so it is more than a bit strange for the outlet and manufacturer to try and fob you off so badly, especially as it is still in warranty. I would suggest taking pictures of all of the defects and sending them to the outlet clearly stating the issues and ask for a refund as the item they sold you is not fit for purpose. As the customer you should not have to fix their mistakes or shoddy manufacturing.

As I understand it as you purchased the antenna from the outlet they are responsible not the manufacturer so it is very poor customer service you just pass you on to the manufacturer. 

Like Colin and Dave I would also like to know the supplier but maybe after this issue has been resolved.

Kevin G6UCY


Paul Randall G3NJV
 

Hi Colin
I think I am still quite shocked by what I discovered Sunday; my expensive new antenna is junk. Two QSOs, outside less than 8 months, junk.
I'm a homebrewer, particularly antennas. A G3 wise enough not to take on homebrew projects my eyesight could not support, I researched widely for a modest but robust 23cm antenna for the 24/7/365 cluster on my house for use in all wx conditions.
All the sales material for this antenna promised a quality product. Lots of web publicity. The UK supplier is huge and I assumed, reliable. I am a retired professional, lots of experience in multi-million contracts for communications equipment. I did not take risks or cut corners but did not foresee this situation. 
Early days - the manufacturer seems to have one story for sales, another for service. Right now, on a different planet but I am hoping quality appears somewhere in the supply chain.  I will share the outcome here so others can benefit.
If all else fails I can cut my losses selling the remains on ebay. Some parts will be re-usable and the photos will tell the story, worldwide.
What bothers me is I purchased a 2m/70cm antenna at the same time, still in its box unused due to lockdown. If it corrodes just as badly, I won't find out before it is out of warranty - so a total loss. Whatever happened to quality products and trustworthy suppliers?

40 years ago I bought a rig from Ham Radio Outlet in USA whilst on a training course. My heart sank when one of the boxes arrived empty in my motel room. I was the perfect victim for a fraud but should not have worried because a quick phone call brought an immediate replacement, plus a $100 goodwill refund, plus an apology. Now that is service!

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, it seems dodgy antenna salesmen are still around.
Paul




From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...>
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:47
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 

Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?  and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?

 

Regards

 

 

Colin de G8LBS.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Paul Randall G3NJV
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:29
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

 

New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul

 


john pieniadz <johnak4mw@...>
 

I would love to have the name of the antenna manufacturer, and model number, so I could jump on buying one.. "NOT"

Sorry you are having to go through that ,it doesn't  sound like that manufacturer is interested in business. Let them know you thought you bought a special antenna, you bought from them..

John AK4MW

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 5:29 PM Paul Randall G3NJV <paulfrandall@...> wrote:
New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul


Robin Szemeti - G1YFG
 

Just as a side note:  DO NOT put up with any waffle from the seller about "please contact the manufacturer" ... the responsibility rests solely and firmly with the shop, as does your claim for repair/replacement.  You are now outside the 30 day period to reject the goods.

The seller has two options:  repair or replace.  If they choose to repair, then they get ONE opportunity to repair, if that fails, ask for your money back.  If they choose to replace and the replacement suffers the same fate, ask for your money back.

Personally, in a known salt water location, I would apply a protective coating, such as a few coats of lacquer, or Plastikote, but you would void the warranty by doing so ... on the other hand, you would still have a working antenna ..


On Tue, 19 Jan 2021 at 04:18, john pieniadz <johnak4mw@...> wrote:
I would love to have the name of the antenna manufacturer, and model number, so I could jump on buying one.. "NOT"

Sorry you are having to go through that ,it doesn't  sound like that manufacturer is interested in business. Let them know you thought you bought a special antenna, you bought from them..

John AK4MW

On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 5:29 PM Paul Randall G3NJV <paulfrandall@...> wrote:
New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul


--
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG


Tim Hague M0AFJ
 

Good Morning

I’ve had similar problems with a 2/70cms dual band antenna from the same manufacturer. Also living in Cornwall. They certainly don’t like the marine environment.
Performance wise I couldn’t fault it, worked lots of DX on both bands but I had a coax failure, took it down and was surprised to see severe corrosion on all the screws and elements.
I’ve replaced it with 2 Powabeam yagis. 
I’m not QRV from home on 23 but portable I have a Wimo.

Best Regards
Tim Hague M0AFJ
Helston


On 19 Jan 2021, at 00:14, Paul Randall G3NJV <paulfrandall@...> wrote:


Hi Colin
I think I am still quite shocked by what I discovered Sunday; my expensive new antenna is junk. Two QSOs, outside less than 8 months, junk.
I'm a homebrewer, particularly antennas. A G3 wise enough not to take on homebrew projects my eyesight could not support, I researched widely for a modest but robust 23cm antenna for the 24/7/365 cluster on my house for use in all wx conditions.
All the sales material for this antenna promised a quality product. Lots of web publicity. The UK supplier is huge and I assumed, reliable. I am a retired professional, lots of experience in multi-million contracts for communications equipment. I did not take risks or cut corners but did not foresee this situation. 
Early days - the manufacturer seems to have one story for sales, another for service. Right now, on a different planet but I am hoping quality appears somewhere in the supply chain.  I will share the outcome here so others can benefit.
If all else fails I can cut my losses selling the remains on ebay. Some parts will be re-usable and the photos will tell the story, worldwide.
What bothers me is I purchased a 2m/70cm antenna at the same time, still in its box unused due to lockdown. If it corrodes just as badly, I won't find out before it is out of warranty - so a total loss. Whatever happened to quality products and trustworthy suppliers?

40 years ago I bought a rig from Ham Radio Outlet in USA whilst on a training course. My heart sank when one of the boxes arrived empty in my motel room. I was the perfect victim for a fraud but should not have worried because a quick phone call brought an immediate replacement, plus a $100 goodwill refund, plus an apology. Now that is service!

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, it seems dodgy antenna salesmen are still around.
Paul




From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...>
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:47
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 

Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?  and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?

 

Regards

 

 

Colin de G8LBS.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Paul Randall G3NJV
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:29
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

 

New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul

 


alwyn.seeds1
 

Dear Paul,

I would n’t waste much of your time on this: return the antenna as not fit for purpose and ask for a refund.

If you used a credit card for the purchase open a case with the credit card issuer, as that will increase the pressure.

Unfortunately, all the parties who have your money may try to fob you off.

Citizens advice/Which have good advice on purchaser’s rights.

Moving to the technical, the manufacturer has probably used sub-standard aluminium, as used for “Bacofoil” TV aerials.

My Wimos are not the toughest, but have done 10 years at an exposed, though non-salty, site with no problems.

Old Jaybeam antennas used very good aluminium and had excellent lifetimes; usual failure points were the spin galvanised screws, which started to rust after 25 years or so.

Jaybeam, of course, knew that stainless and aluminium were a disastrous combination, as well as stainless being expensive. On the Jaybeam professional aerials I have, the screws are stainless and hold diecast clamps (material unknown) which hold the elements- no corrosion seen on these.

Regards,

Alwyn G8DOH

  

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
114 Beaufort Street (Management) Company Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU

114 Beaufort Street (Management) Company Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 02797775 Registered Office Address: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU
______________________________________________________


Graham Shirville
 

Hi All,

In addition to the bimetallic corrosion between stainless steel and aluminium, the cause of the aluminium elements corroding rapidly near the sea is not really to do with good/bad material. It is entirely to do with whether or not it has been properly anodised after cutting.

15 micron of hard anodising will give many years of protection.

(Knowledge gained from > 50 years of selling aluminium door handles!)

73

Graham

G3VZV



On 19/01/2021 09:58, alwyn.seeds1 wrote:
Dear Paul,

I would n’t waste much of your time on this: return the antenna as not fit for purpose and ask for a refund.

If you used a credit card for the purchase open a case with the credit card issuer, as that will increase the pressure.

Unfortunately, all the parties who have your money may try to fob you off.

Citizens advice/Which have good advice on purchaser’s rights.

Moving to the technical, the manufacturer has probably used sub-standard aluminium, as used for “Bacofoil” TV aerials.

My Wimos are not the toughest, but have done 10 years at an exposed, though non-salty, site with no problems.

Old Jaybeam antennas used very good aluminium and had excellent lifetimes; usual failure points were the spin galvanised screws, which started to rust after 25 years or so.

Jaybeam, of course, knew that stainless and aluminium were a disastrous combination, as well as stainless being expensive. On the Jaybeam professional aerials I have, the screws are stainless and hold diecast clamps (material unknown) which hold the elements- no corrosion seen on these.

Regards,

Alwyn G8DOH

  

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
114 Beaufort Street (Management) Company Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU

114 Beaufort Street (Management) Company Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 02797775 Registered Office Address: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU
______________________________________________________


John Fell
 

Hi Paul,
All advice given so far is good .

The material used for the elements will be an alloy and there in lies the reason for the surface pitting on the elements .
Die cast components as you mentioned often used  things like Mazac , fine for dry toys , but like some of the Far East imports , not good on the base of verticals with ground plane elements screwed in .
The alloy used in your case has reacted to the environment ,possibly a Zinc % issue , but in any case a product designed for external use should survive at best without add ons by the installer and in the very least should come with a Manufacturers warning about the environment and how to mitigate its influences .

My HB 23cm Long Yagis are still going - they used commercial HE30 element alloy and TV antenna 16mm Sq extruded hollow section booms - I live about 5 miles from Poole Harbour ,so not as bad as directly on the Coast .

73
John
G0API

On Mon, 18 Jan 2021 at 22:29, Paul Randall G3NJV <paulfrandall@...> wrote:
New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul


John E. Beech
 

The problem is that most antenna designers are electronic engineers and not metallurgists. Talk to Bob G4GEE; he used
to teach this stuff in his materials science course.

de John G8SEQ

-------Original Message-------
From: John Fell <john.g0api@gmail.com>
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
Sent: Jan 19 '21 10:36

Hi Paul,
All advice given so far is good .

The material used for the elements will be an alloy and there in lies
the reason for the surface pitting on the elements .
Die cast components as you mentioned often used things like Mazac ,
fine for dry toys , but like some of the Far East imports , not good
on the base of verticals with ground plane elements screwed in .
The alloy used in your case has reacted to the environment ,possibly a
Zinc % issue , but in any case a product designed for external use
should survive at best without add ons by the installer and in the
very least should come with a Manufacturers warning about the
environment and how to mitigate its influences .

My HB 23cm Long Yagis are still going - they used commercial HE30
element alloy and TV antenna 16mm Sq extruded hollow section booms - I
live about 5 miles from Poole Harbour ,so not as bad as directly on
the Coast .

73
John
G0API

On Mon, 18 Jan 2021 at 22:29, Paul Randall G3NJV
<paulfrandall@hotmail.com> wrote:

> New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last
> April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This
> antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
> First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend
> because bad SWR.
> Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8
> months outside. Still in warranty.
> The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I
> mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy
> metal.
> The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting
> screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the
> driven element box has detached.
> The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to
> be mounted to the mast.
> The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac)
> between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for
> rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
> I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the
> manufacturer.
> The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas
> were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna.
> They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would
> make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also
> offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these
> will last longer.
>
> Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic
> clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I
> don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing
> this on something still in warranty?
>
> OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials,
> Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart.
> Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here
> not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding
> rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying
> recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and
> 70cm :-)
>
> Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if
> you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna,
> sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?
>
> Paul


John E. Beech
 

I agree - name and shame and send the supplier and manufacturer the e-mail. They'll soon buck their ideas up when
their sales plummet!

de John G8SEQ

-------Original Message-------
From: Dave smith <dave.goathland@gmail.com>
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
Sent: Jan 18 '21 22:55

I do think you should name the supplier Paul...if only to give other
possible users a heads up.
Dave......G4DAX

On Mon, 18 Jan 2021 at 22:47, Colin Ranson <g8lbs@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?
> and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to
> replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?
>
> Regards
>
> Colin de G8LBS.
>
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>
> FROM: Paul Randall G3NJV
> SENT: 18 January 2021 22:29
> TO: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
> SUBJECT: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
>
>


Conrad, PA5Y
 

As you are reluctant to mention the name of the manufacturer I will. It is an antennas-amplifiers Yagi. 

I think that the manufacturer will be quite surprised by your experience, he will have sold hundreds of antennas and seldom if ever had this problem. So, it is reasonable for him to say that you have a special case. Also, with the knowledge that you have of the saltwater air content that you experience I am quite surprised that you did not take any precautions.

My experience with the 70 ele 23 cms yagi from this manufacturer, it is completely different from yours. It has been up 2 years and I see absolutely no sign of any corrosion anywhere. I am 130km from the sea. The antenna is superb, I am delighted with the electrical and mechanical performance. You mention that other antennas do not suffer this problem. I find that hard to believe. Maybe you just do not notice it because the antennas have larger diameter elements?

I am surprised that you have rust, mine has stainless steel fittings and I too was worried about the combination of stainless steel and aluminium but on the 13 antennas that I have bought from antennas amplifiers only a very early one (dual 6m/4m)did not have stainless steel screws and bolts and I did see some rust. I replaced the screws with stainless steel and informed the manufacturer some 4 years ago. Since then I have had no problems at all. Currently I have 11 of these antennas in the air and working very well.

People who live near the sea must take additional precautions. If you had specified an antenna for a marine environment and then had this problem, then fair enough.

73

Conrad PA5Y



From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of Paul Randall G3NJV via groups.io <paulfrandall@...>
Sent: 19 January 2021 01:14
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 
Hi Colin
I think I am still quite shocked by what I discovered Sunday; my expensive new antenna is junk. Two QSOs, outside less than 8 months, junk.
I'm a homebrewer, particularly antennas. A G3 wise enough not to take on homebrew projects my eyesight could not support, I researched widely for a modest but robust 23cm antenna for the 24/7/365 cluster on my house for use in all wx conditions.
All the sales material for this antenna promised a quality product. Lots of web publicity. The UK supplier is huge and I assumed, reliable. I am a retired professional, lots of experience in multi-million contracts for communications equipment. I did not take risks or cut corners but did not foresee this situation. 
Early days - the manufacturer seems to have one story for sales, another for service. Right now, on a different planet but I am hoping quality appears somewhere in the supply chain.  I will share the outcome here so others can benefit.
If all else fails I can cut my losses selling the remains on ebay. Some parts will be re-usable and the photos will tell the story, worldwide.
What bothers me is I purchased a 2m/70cm antenna at the same time, still in its box unused due to lockdown. If it corrodes just as badly, I won't find out before it is out of warranty - so a total loss. Whatever happened to quality products and trustworthy suppliers?

40 years ago I bought a rig from Ham Radio Outlet in USA whilst on a training course. My heart sank when one of the boxes arrived empty in my motel room. I was the perfect victim for a fraud but should not have worried because a quick phone call brought an immediate replacement, plus a $100 goodwill refund, plus an apology. Now that is service!

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, it seems dodgy antenna salesmen are still around.
Paul




From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...>
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:47
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 

Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?  and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?

 

Regards

 

 

Colin de G8LBS.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Paul Randall G3NJV
Sent: 18 January 2021 22:29
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues

 

New to 23cm so bought an antenna from a well known manufacturer last April, supplied from a well known BIG ham outlet in the UK. This antenna looked solidly made and I was pleased with my purchase.
First used for the 23cm AC in May and taken down this weekend because bad SWR.
Shock, horror, the antenna is grossly corroded after less than 8 months outside. Still in warranty.
The boom is clean but all the element rods are deeply corroded, I mean this is DEEP corrosion, the sort you get with Mazac dinky toy metal.
The N connector is covered in brown rust from corroded mounting screws. The balun is so corroded the sealer weatherproofing the driven element box has detached.
The antenna was supplied assembled just needing the two halves to be mounted to the mast.
The factory assembled it without any protective compound (Duralac) between stainless steel and aluminium components - a recipe for rapid corrosion as any sailor will tell.
I've emailed the UK supplier, they referred me on to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer blind sided the complaint, saying their antennas were good, where I lived was bad. I need a specially made antenna. They suggested sandpapering the corrosion from the elements would make the antenna "good as new" as a temporary measure and I'm also offered a set of replacement elements - without any suggestion these will last longer.

Rebuiding the antenna is a lot of work; short rods held in plastic clips incredibly hard to line up properly without a factory jig. I don't trust my eyesight. I'm also questioning - should I be doing this on something still in warranty?

OK OK so I live in Cornwall with salt winds but my TV aerials, Jaybeam and Tonna ham aerials didn't corrode, just got blown apart. Hundreds of thousands of aluminium satellite TV dishes around here not "specially made" Even my home-made 2m "PVC yagi" using welding rod elements lasted over 5 years without corrosion, only dying recently due to metal fatigue (but not before working D4 on 2m and 70cm :-)

Am I out of touch or being told porkies? I would have thought if you needed "professional" software to design a good antenna, sandpapering the elements might not be ideal?

Paul

 


Richard GD8EXI
 

I can confirm well-made aluminium alloy antennas with stainless steel fittings can survive in the presence of salt spray for over twenty-five years.
 
Both aluminium and stainless steel need an oxide film on the surface to protect the metal underneath. This oxide layer is self-repairing in the presence of oxygen. Aluminium alloy and stainless steel are only incompatible if in direct contact in the presence of water, particularly salt water, in the absence of oxygen.
 
Yacht masts are normally aluminium with 316 stainless steel fittings, yet last over thirty years in a marine environment. This is achieved by good anodizing and then insuring the stainless steel fittings do not form a tight seal. So for example do not tap the aluminium and put in a stainless steel screw, at least without using Duralac or a similar jointing compound.
 
If the corrosion was caused by dissimilar metals, it would radiate out from the stainless steel fitting. However from the description that appears not to be the case, so probably a poor choice of alloy left un-anodized.
 
By the way trying to coat an antenna in varnish etc may actually do more harm than good as unless perfect it can trap water and keep out oxygen. Also coating the elements with anything with a dielectric constant of greater than one will detune the antenna slightly.
 
 
73s
Richard
GD8EXI



On 19/01/2021, 11:34, "John E. Beech" <john@...> wrote:

> I agree - name and shame and send the supplier and manufacturer the e-mail.
> They'll soon buck their ideas up when
> their sales plummet!
>
> de John G8SEQ
>
>>  -------Original Message-------
>>  From: Dave smith <dave.goathland@...>
>>  To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
>>  Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
>>  Sent: Jan 18 '21 22:55
>>  
>>  I do think you should name the supplier Paul...if only to give other
>>  possible users a heads up.
>>  Dave......G4DAX
>>  
>>  On Mon, 18 Jan 2021 at 22:47, Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...> wrote:
>>  
>>> Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?
>>> and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to
>>> replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?
>>>
>>> Regards
>>>
>>> Colin de G8LBS.
>>>
>>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>>>
>>> FROM: Paul Randall G3NJV
>>> SENT: 18 January 2021 22:29
>>> TO: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
>>> SUBJECT: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
>>>
>>>
>
>
>
>
>


Conrad, PA5Y
 

It is fit for purpose, but not fit for a saltwater environment. I am sure that this was never mentioned at the time of purchase.  I will find out the type of aluminium used as I have a very good relationship with this antenna manufacturer as a VERY satisfied customer. My oldest antenna from this manufacturer is 5 years old. It still works perfectly well and has no corrosion. It has 8mm elements.

Conrad


From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of alwyn.seeds1 via groups.io <a.seeds@...>
Sent: 19 January 2021 10:58
To: UK Microwaves groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 
Dear Paul,

I would n’t waste much of your time on this: return the antenna as not fit for purpose and ask for a refund.

If you used a credit card for the purchase open a case with the credit card issuer, as that will increase the pressure.

Unfortunately, all the parties who have your money may try to fob you off.

Citizens advice/Which have good advice on purchaser’s rights.

Moving to the technical, the manufacturer has probably used sub-standard aluminium, as used for “Bacofoil” TV aerials.

My Wimos are not the toughest, but have done 10 years at an exposed, though non-salty, site with no problems.

Old Jaybeam antennas used very good aluminium and had excellent lifetimes; usual failure points were the spin galvanised screws, which started to rust after 25 years or so.

Jaybeam, of course, knew that stainless and aluminium were a disastrous combination, as well as stainless being expensive. On the Jaybeam professional aerials I have, the screws are stainless and hold diecast clamps (material unknown) which hold the elements- no corrosion seen on these.

Regards,

Alwyn G8DOH

  

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
114 Beaufort Street (Management) Company Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU

114 Beaufort Street (Management) Company Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 02797775 Registered Office Address: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU
______________________________________________________


Conrad, PA5Y
 

The email has been forwarded. Plummeting sales would not be my preferred outcome. Specialist VHF and above antennas are scarce enough as it is, I would be very upset if antennas amplifiers stopped making antennas. 

I find it highly unlikely that the manufacturer does not want to resolve this issue in a satisfactory way. So far, I see no evidence to the contrary, I just see a lot of old blokes moaning and feigning indignation. 

I hate this behaviour. This is not facebook!

Conrad PA5Y


From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of John E. Beech via groups.io <john@...>
Sent: 19 January 2021 12:34
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 
I agree - name and shame and send the supplier and manufacturer the e-mail. They'll soon buck their ideas up when
their sales plummet!

de John G8SEQ

>  -------Original Message-------
>  From: Dave smith <dave.goathland@...>
>  To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
>  Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
>  Sent: Jan 18 '21 22:55

>  I do think you should name the supplier Paul...if only to give other
>  possible users a heads up.
>  Dave......G4DAX

>  On Mon, 18 Jan 2021 at 22:47, Colin Ranson <g8lbs@...> wrote:

>  > Sounds like a poor show Paul, can you at least tell us the make ?
>  > and as its in warranty the supplier has ultimate responsibility to
>  > replace under the Sale of Goods Act ?
>  >
>  > Regards
>  >
>  > Colin de G8LBS.
>  >
>  > Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>  >
>  > FROM: Paul Randall G3NJV
>  > SENT: 18 January 2021 22:29
>  > TO: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
>  > SUBJECT: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
>  >
>  >






 

On Tue, 19 Jan 2021 at 09:58, alwyn.seeds1 <a.seeds@...> wrote:
Dear Paul,

I would n’t waste much of your time on this: return the antenna as not fit for purpose and ask for a refund.

Me too. 

My radio club had an issue with two Innovantennas antenna.

1) 10 element 2 m OWL fell to bits, as the 3/4” x 3/4” boom had been drilled for 1/2” elements.😢😢😢

2) We got offered a discount on a 17 2 m element antenna, but it was blinding obvious that was poorly designed mechanically. 

In the end, our club Secretary wrote a letter, requesting a full refund on the second antenna, which we received. 

I see a claim that they Innovantennas are using HFSS, but I think a better investment would have been a basic book on mechanical engineering!😂😂  You don’t need expensive 3D EM simulation software package to tell you that drilling 1/2” holes in a 3/4” square boom. 

There seems an obsession of antenna companies to use expensive simulation software, but they ignore the mechanical aspects. 

You can search for books on antennas, and find thousands on the RF aspects, but there’s very little about construction. Look for books on wind resistance, and there’s loads on buildings and bridges, but next to nothing on antennas.😢😢 


Regards,

Alwyn G8DOH


Dave, G8WRB 

--
Dr. David Kirkby,
Kirkby Microwave Ltd,
drkirkby@...
https://www.kirkbymicrowave.co.uk/
Telephone 01621-680100./ +44 1621 680100

Registered in England & Wales, company number 08914892.
Registered office:
Stokes Hall Lodge, Burnham Rd, Althorne, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 6DT, United Kingdom


Conrad, PA5Y
 

I am looking forward to using these perfectly designed antennas that I often see touted on various forums. The ones with no dissimilar metals, robust mechanically, yet lightweight. They do not corrode and have perfectly symmetrical radiation patterns and have an excellent match in all weathers. They must also be low cost and last 25 years, although few of us will need an antenna to last that long.

So far all I see is a lot of 'expertise' and no products.

I have no wish to build antennas, nor do I have any wish to drive people out of business. 

Conrad






From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of Dr. David Kirkby, Kirkby Microwave Ltd via groups.io <drkirkby@...>
Sent: 19 January 2021 13:10
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] 23cm Antenna Issues
 
On Tue, 19 Jan 2021 at 09:58, alwyn.seeds1 <a.seeds@...> wrote:
Dear Paul,

I would n’t waste much of your time on this: return the antenna as not fit for purpose and ask for a refund.

Me too. 

My radio club had an issue with two Innovantennas antenna.

1) 10 element 2 m OWL fell to bits, as the 3/4” x 3/4” boom had been drilled for 1/2” elements.😢😢😢

2) We got offered a discount on a 17 2 m element antenna, but it was blinding obvious that was poorly designed mechanically. 

In the end, our club Secretary wrote a letter, requesting a full refund on the second antenna, which we received. 

I see a claim that they Innovantennas are using HFSS, but I think a better investment would have been a basic book on mechanical engineering!😂😂  You don’t need expensive 3D EM simulation software package to tell you that drilling 1/2” holes in a 3/4” square boom. 

There seems an obsession of antenna companies to use expensive simulation software, but they ignore the mechanical aspects. 

You can search for books on antennas, and find thousands on the RF aspects, but there’s very little about construction. Look for books on wind resistance, and there’s loads on buildings and bridges, but next to nothing on antennas.😢😢 


Regards,

Alwyn G8DOH


Dave, G8WRB 

--
Dr. David Kirkby,
Kirkby Microwave Ltd,
drkirkby@...
https://www.kirkbymicrowave.co.uk/
Telephone 01621-680100./ +44 1621 680100

Registered in England & Wales, company number 08914892.
Registered office:
Stokes Hall Lodge, Burnham Rd, Althorne, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 6DT, United Kingdom