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RE: M2 Fiberglass Boom preparation

> I have digested nearly 3 years of messages from this -BB, 
> and every thread on this subject so far has recommended 
> either taping, painting, sealing or wrapping these booms to 
> prevent UV/IR degradation.  Am I missing something, or is a 
> raw fiberglass boom more resistant to solar rays than other 
> materials?   Anyone have any data from an untreated boom?  

Roger that!!!  The sun here in West Texas will eat up that
boom in a matter of months.  I have found the best method
of protecting fiberglass out here is to use heat-shrink tubing.
It is available in 1.5 inch size...  the colored (not clear) protects
against UV damage...  it seals out moisture, stops abrasion
by the odd sandstorm (paint won't hold up)  and provides a better
grip for the antenna clamp to bite into.

> In the marine industry, fiberglass ALWAYS gets treated 
> or sealed, else water intrusion ruins it.  

Here in El Paso we don't have much problem with that.  It is
800 miles to the nearest ocean, so no salt-air.  Humidity is
very low... rarely above 50% and often below 10%.  And with
an annual rainfall of about 8 inches, it just isn't a worry.  What
I did to protect the ends against the infrequent rains was to
leave the H-S-T about 2 inches over the end of the boom,
fill the cavity with RTV, then shrink it over the end and wipe off
the excess RTV.  We did this 12 years ago to a fiberglass mast,
and just a few months ago it was removed for inspection.  It
was like new, and was re-covered on the end where the H-S-T
was cut off, and returned to service.

Within the constraints provided above, and discounting the odd
100+ MPH windstorm, I can see where a good fiberglass boom
could last a lifetime if properly protected.  I have see the remains
of an unprotected Shakespeare CB vertical cut to 10m.  In just
two years it was dangerous to handle without gloves.

Just my observations here, Y-all do what works for you.

Vy73,  Mike.   KD9KC    MARS: AAV6EV

My E-mail address: mailto:kd9kc@elp.rr.com
Ham Radio page: http://www.qsl.net/kd9kc/
Gun page: http://home.elp.rr.com/elpasochl/
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Freedom is expensive.  Those who are not willing to
pay the price ultimately lose everything.

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