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Antenna Maintenance


Old 08-03-2006, 08:19 AM
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Default Antenna Maintenance

I've seen a lot of broken antenna posts lately. Perhaps it's time for some information/reminders about antenna maintenance.

On the RX antenna:
Don't just let it drape out of the fuselage. Use a strain relief where the antenna exits the fuselage, or close to the RX against a bulkhead. A little scab of covering or 100 MPH tape holds it neatly against the fuselage so it won't be stepped on. If someone does step on the antenna and pulls it tight, inspect the solder joint at the RX before flying the plane again. If a section is pulled off, simply save it and resolder back onto the remaining length. Use a piece of shrink tube to cover the joint. Never fold the antenna or double it back on itself. This will shorten the antenna's effective length. Use caution when running it close to metal or carbon fiber linkages. Both may reduce the RX range.

On the TX antenna:
Keep it clean. If it becomes difficult to extend or retract, clean it with Formula 409 or a similar solution. Extend and retract it gently until it moves easily. Handle it gently at all times. You ain't Chi Chi Rodrequiz and it ain't a putter! The TX antenna is just several pieces of telescoping thin-wall tubing. Once bent and kinked, it can not be straightened and must be replaced. Be sure you get the correct antenna for your TX. Occasionally, give the base section a gentle twist to make sure it's screwed tightly into the internal mount. If it's loose, finger-tighten until it's snug, but do not overtighten. A looe antenna may severely reduce the TX range. Always transport your TX with the antenna retracted. It's also a good idea to transport your TX in a carrying case. Allowing it to bounce around in the back of a truck or the car trunk is a NO-NO.

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