1. You can now help support WorldwideDX when you shop on Amazon at no additional cost to you! Simply follow this Shop on Amazon link first and a portion of any purchase is sent to WorldwideDX to help with site costs.

When to Replace Old A99 antenna...

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by Brain the Dog, May 18, 2016.

  1. Brain the Dog

    Brain the Dog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Antron A99 on my roof. It's been there since 1992... 24 years. Use it on 4 watts for CB.

    I am planning to redesign the mounting system to something about 10 feet higher and much more stable, and adding the Ground Plane Kit. In fact, I just purchased the GPK for my A99.

    Question: Before I start this huge project, should I purchase a brand new A99? Is it possible that 24 years of wind, rain, snow, freezing temps, hot temps, and sun may have damaged the antenna? From the looks of it, it's got black spots all over it and is clearly all chipped.

    I have not looked at it closely yet... but I wonder if there may be cracks in it that let water in when it rains, etc..



    So... should I get a new antenna or not?
     

  2. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    After that long I would say yes. Get a new antenna. And be careful handling the old one as well. Use gloves.
     
    Marconi and Brain the Dog like this.
  3. Brain the Dog

    Brain the Dog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you very much for your advice.
     
  4. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    636
    well, if it was me, I would just coat it with varnish/shellac and put it back up. if it has worked this long, there is currently nothing wrong with it.
    wearing gloves is good advice
     
    357magnum, Marconi and Robb like this.
  5. space cowboy

    space cowboy
    Expand Collapse
    Quack Quack

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,369
    Likes Received:
    431
    When they pry it from your cold, dead, fiberglass slivered fingers.

    if you like it, and using it for 24 years I'm kind of guessing you do, you can restore it several ways.
    I like the sound of using heat shrink tubing, but I went with a nos starduster off ebay that's even older than the bigstick I replaced.
    the bigstick is still in the garage to try the heatshrink on when I set up a garage system.
     
    222DBFL likes this.
  6. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    No worries. I actually took my old A99 and sanded it down a bit then I installed heavy duty heat shrink over the entire anfenna minus the joints. Man talk about making it nice to handle! And much more resistant to the weather as well. . At any rate. Not saying that your antenna is messed up, just it being that old I am surprised that the anfenna still works well with it being fiber glass. 24yrs is a long time. Replacing the entire antenna will most likely be the best bet as well as adding the GPK, for help with CMC issues. Good luck and hope you get it all fixed up.
    Again, be careful with the old antenna as it will have fiberglass splinters all over it! Man does it make your hands itch and leaves a bunch of splinters as well. Or like others have said repair if needed, and make sure to check all connection points and places that might allow corrosion. No-Ox special "A", will keep this from happening. Good stuff and it's not expensive, eBay has it for cheap.
    At any rate, after doing 2 antennas in HD black heat shrink, I would do it again. It stiffens the antenna a bit and also makes it last a long time as no fiberglass is exposed. That or sand it down and paint it black and add some clear coat. The heat shrink I used has UV protection as well so it worked out well. I don't use this antenna anymore. But my boss does and it rocks. Easy to handle and easy to put up. They aren't the best antennas in the world, but get them up as high as you can, and they work well. The GPK Kit some say works well, I didn't have one, and the antenna worked for what it is.
     
    357magnum likes this.
  7. Brain the Dog

    Brain the Dog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, it seems the antenna is working fine. I fell away from CB hobby for about 15 years.. just recently got back into it. The antenna has been up on the roof since 1992. What concerns me is this: I notice my power meter on the CB jumps all around when I transmit. It never did that in the past. So I wonder if there's some breakage in the antenna that has let in some water or something...
     
  8. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    660
    More likely to be a problem with the coax. Very few people knew how to waterproof connections properly back then and just used to use electrical insulation tape which will have gone well brittle by now.
     
    Marconi and 222DBFL like this.
  9. Road Squawker

    Road Squawker
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    636
    are you also using a radio that has been sitting around for 15 years too?

    perhaps the caps need replacing, or the meter movement is dirty, or.....
     
  10. unit_399

    unit_399
    Expand Collapse
    EL CAPO

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,318
    Likes Received:
    533
    Not trying to hijack here.

    I also have an OLD Antron 99 that I use as a base antenna for local work, but it was damaged in a windstorm. The top section cracked, and two of the radials in the GP kit were snapped in half. I repaired the top section, and have been using the antenna w/o the GP kit. I can't buy replacement parts here, and having them shipped from the US will cost a small fortune. Can I use 102" steel whips in the GP kit ?? Or ... should I redrill the GP spider and make a clone of the kit that Maco offers ?? Which is best ?? Maco says that there's is, but they'd be crazy not to say it. I am already using a steel whip as the radiating element in my 99. If I use the whips for the GP, I know I will need to make a spreader to keep them from drooping. The antenna works OK and the SWR is great, so I don't want to pull it down and do all the work if it's not going to be worth it. Any opinions ??? 73s.

    - 399
     
  11. Brain the Dog

    Brain the Dog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, old radio. Cobra 90 LTD. Got it in 1992. Used it lots from 1992-1996. Put it in a plastic box from 1996 to 2016. Started using it again recently.
     
  12. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
    Expand Collapse
    Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3,301
    Likes Received:
    1,284
    Like said the radio may need a recapping and a fresh alignment and tune. Get rid of all those old caps and get some new ones put in. The ones in the radio are almost 25 yrs old. Pretty old.
    And about the antenna, that is up to you in the end whether to replace it. It might not look at all damaged, but can you verify what the inside looks like after all this time? And your coax as well? At the age it's at I am suprised it's holding up. Unless it to was stored away properly. Most rg8x, the grey type anyway, doesn't last many years in the FL heat and weather anyways. Best to get some good double shielded coax like LMR240, or LMR400, or even good rg8x that is black and is double shielded and is well made. And last but not least, check all your connectors. You may have had or have some water damage or coax issues if your meter is jumping all about. Check all coax connections, at antenna, radio, and also any coax jumpers that may be being used. But if it were me, I would not keep tx'ing at this point if you want to keep your radio alive. Find that issue and resolve it!! Gotta start at one end or the other. Best bet would be at the antenna first. JMHO about that. Hope you get it all figured out. It is not a real good time to be getting back into the hobby I suppose as most of the DX is dead!! It's very sporadic to say the least here around east coast of FL. But don't let that stop you. There are times that it does get active. And there are always locals if you have any. But getting that antenna up as high as possible is going to help a lot. 35ft or more and it will work well for you. Good luck and be safe.
     
  13. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn
    Expand Collapse
    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    874
    You are correct about using 102 whips for ground radials, they will sag.

    It shouldn't make a difference on ground radials if you use steel whips or the original antenna elements or a combination of both. If it is RF conductible, that's all that matters.

    You can also just go with ground mounted radials using nothing more than 14 gauge wire which will giver you a smaller footprint and will help with the high winds in your area. This type of radial system will be much better than those ground plane kits anyway and you won't have to pull your antenna down.

    They work best if your antenna is mounted away from your house so you can spread them out in a circular pattern underneath the antenna. If your antenna is roof mounted, then simply lay the wires on the roof.

    Just use 1/4 wavelength pieces of wire for each band you operate on and lay out as many as you can. The more radials per band, the better!

    You can bury them slightly in ground or stake them taut into the grass and the grass will eventually grow over them which is fine.

    See pic below for an example you can easily make yourself.

    [​IMG]
     
    #13 fourstringburn, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  14. Robb

    Robb
    Expand Collapse
    Yup

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    10,325
    Likes Received:
    2,096
    Refurbishing an A99?

    You will want to clean the threads free of rust where the upper/lower sections are screw together. Lightly coat with oil.

    Wash off the antenna surface and let dry, being careful not to get any free fiberglass shards in the air. Let it dry and wipe it down with a dry cotton cloth. Use spray varnish or KlearKote and coat all exposed sections. Do NOT use spray paint, as it uses metals in its formula.

    Clean the outside of the SO-239 connector at the base with a wire brush, and clean the inside of the SO-239 pin hole with a small brush or scrape it well with fine sandpaper rolled into a tight, narrow tube..

    Replace mounting clamps with new ones made of stainless steel.

    Same process for the Imax 2000 . . .
     
    #14 Robb, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  15. Needle Bender

    Needle Bender
    Expand Collapse
    ...he thinks it's funny that I stepped in it

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,401
    Likes Received:
    285
    Best time to replace an A99? Just before you leave the store.
    Turn around, get a refund and buy an Imax - if you must have a fiberglass radial-less vertical omni.

    After this long the fiberglass resin is well cooked by ultra-violet from the sun. I'd clean it up, paint it with anything you have, sand off the paint which will help prevent the fiberglass from becoming airborne then hit it with some clear or perhaps a rubber-type coating and put it away for a camping antenna or to sell or give away.

    Replace it with a metal ground plane such as the Zero-5 5/8 or Penetrator-500, or a Sirio NV4K depending on your power handling needs.

    You can adapt & use that A99 radial kit on an Imax if you get a grinder, or a stone bit for your high-torque plug-in hand drill, and grind away a small triangle of aluminum at the base of of the Imax mounting plate, until the A99 radial kit mounting ring fits up high enough into the Imax base mounting tube to lock well in place, then drill a set of new mounting holes up an inch or so for the bottom U-bolt.

    Though a bit of work, I prefer this system & look to the funky Imax radial mounting plate.
     

: a99, antron, antenna

Share This Page