View Full Version : Putting Solarcon A99 on my roof

1911 guy
04-26-2020, 06:31 PM
So I ordered an antenna, A99 with the ground plane kit. So this will be a two parted question.

First, does the ground plane kit mitigate interference on adjacent devices, or is it completely useless? I bought it because it came at a good price as a package deal. I'm not committed either way with the GPK. If it will keep me off my neighbors electronics, I'll install it.

Secondly, I have an idea about mounting I'd like to run by those with much more experience:
Would it be at all advisable to attempt a home brew of something like this
made from hardware store tubing? Weld or solder all the joints, weld or stainless steel bolt an attachment at the peak to hold the mast.

Thanks in advance. It's been fun reading through the forum here after getting back into radios. And I also ordered the ARRL Technician study guide.

04-26-2020, 07:02 PM
Not real clear how that roof mount works, most people who mount on roofs use tripod type mounts that have a place in the center for the mast to be mounted...Other option would be a telescoping pole mounted on the side of the house.


04-27-2020, 01:01 PM
I agree with JJD. Use the proper equipment for mounting the antenna. Been down this road and I wish I would have done mine with a telescoping pole mounted to the side of your house or in ground with proper securing guide wires. This way you at least know that the mast pipe is built for an actual antenna and not just some metal poles from the hardware store. Iíve done it both ways, and by far the telescoping pole is the way to go with an antenna such as the A99 or similar. Get that antenna up as high as possible, and use good coax, connectors, surge protection, grounding of the pole and related equipment such as your surge arrester, radio, and any related equipment. Take your time setting it up and make sure you are clear of any power lines. I will stress taking your time and getting it right the first time. Nothing like putting up an antenna and then realizing itís not working as it should. Lastly, make sure you weather proof all your connections. I like using self amalgamating tape. It looks like this

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WB 2637
04-28-2020, 12:26 AM
I have ran Antron 99's off and on for over 20 years. I haven't found any advantage to running the ground plane kit.
I've bleed on my neighbors with and with out it. :/ Performance wise I haven't found a difference as well. Maybe others will respond with there experiences as well.

04-28-2020, 10:48 AM
The GPK is just what it says it is. A ground plane kit. It most likely changes the take off angle of your signal. If you looked at a Smith Chart you would see the difference in the signal pattern with and without the GPK. The A99 is an ok antenna at best. Yes they work. Are there better options, yes there are. But if your budget only allows for an A99, then by all means get one and make it work! Getting it high up as possible and tuning it correctly will be up to you. Every antenna install is a little different, or from my experience it seems that every install is a little different. Donít forget to use quality coax, good connectors, and weather proof the connectors well. If you can afford it, get yourself a 30-40ft push up pole and get that antenna as high as possible. Also running clean equipment will keep you out of your neighbors hair. And also use of good filters and such. Take your time and do it right the first time. It will repay you with many contacts. That is if the conditions are good!!

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08-21-2020, 01:02 PM
I second the notion of a pole mast. I use a 30' Push-Up Mast. I can lower the antenna to minimum height then tip it over for ground working. As to the GPK...the usefulness of the GPK is often debated but the published testing says not worth the money. Im not sure it wasnt Solarcon themselves who published the test results. The purpose of the downward radiating elements is to direct the base of the radiating energy lobe toward the horizon. I have a GPK below my Solarcon IMax 2000 and have had it up for years. And have been scolded by the neighbors. I believe a properly constructed "Air" Choke does more to reduce local area RFI; by eliminating the 30' of coax below the antenna from radiating energy closer to the ground. Since installing the Air Choke and perhaps with the combined purpose of the GPK, Ive had no feedback from the Weiners and Butts. And I do operate at times above lethal limits.
:300 (214):

08-23-2020, 09:52 AM

you can make one to experiment with using speaker wire and pvc pipe (or some other non-conductive material) shaped into a X to use as a stand off to spread the GP element/wire out . i used four 9 ft pieces of 12 gauge speaker wire and two 10 fr pieces of PVC pipe with a PVC 4-way strapped to the side of the mast . the vertical was also 12 gauge speaker wire taped to the side of PVC pipe .

08-24-2020, 06:02 PM
On the roof, you risk this..

Big Moe
10-14-2020, 12:05 PM
I've had an A99 before and never used the ground plane kit. Use to talk a lot of skip years ago. I have an A99 ordered to replace an old antenna that doesn't work anymore. Using a push up pole is the way to go for mounting these antennas.