While at Pacificon last fall (2019) I attended an antenna seminar that had many great presenters, and when it was over, I won a door prize! While I did not win the HF Vertical, I won a an Elk 2m/440L5 Log Periodic Antenna, suitable for entry-level satellite work on the VHF and UHF bands – something I always wanted to try.
Once I flew home, I put the antenna to the side, and focused on other things, but a few weeks ago I came across the antenna, and with the weather here in Texas getting nicer, I decided to look into working satellites so I pulled the antenna out of my closet and started searching for a suitable mount. While ideally, being lazy, I was hoping to find a pre-built, inexpensive, and simple computer-controlled AZ/EL solution for the Elk antenna, what I did find was an inexpensive solution for mounting the Elk antenna on K0PIR’s website using an inexpensive Amazon Basics 60″ tripod, a 3″ bolt and a couple nuts and washers.
The parts list is down below (I went to Home Depot for my hardware, but there’s no reason to think you can’t source similar parts elsewhere), and beyond the price of the Elk 2m/440L5 antenna ($129.95) and the Amazon Basics 60″ Lightweight Tripod ($25.95), the hardware was under $5 (Three bags of hardware at $1.18/each):
Assembly is simple.
- Prepare the camera mount plate on the tripod by removing it, placing it on a solid surface with a hole large enough to allow the bolt to pop through the plate (if you put the plate on a flat surface, the bolt will not have enough “travel” to break free of the Camera mount plate.
- Take the 3″ long 1/4″ bolt, put one of the washers on it, then insert it into the hole on the camera mount plate, place another washer on the bolt (so they sandwich the camera mounting plate) and then tighten with one of the wing nuts. This will securely mount the bolt to the camera mount plate – put this aside for now.
- Take out your PVC mount “bar” from the Elk antenna and secure the center “T” piece with the center 1 1/2″ opening facing straight up. Making sure you are on a surface you don’t mind marking up with your drill, insert your 1/4″ drill bit into the “T”, holding the drill in the center of the opening. Start the drill slowly, carefully working up your speed until the drill “bites” the PVC and QUICKLY goes through the PVC.
- Place the PVC “T” on the bolt you attached to your tripod Camera Mount (See step 2, above), then place a 1/4″ washer on the bolt, then secure it with another wing nut.
- Attach the Elk antenna to the PVC mount “bar”, then attach the Camera Mount Plate to the tripod and enjoy!