Aerials, the missing link

Hi all, Im building Italeri’s LAV-AT at the moment, its an old kit and shows its age. Especially compared to modern stuff like HobbyBoss and RFM.

What I have noticed is the absence of aerials* and their associated mounting “boxes”.

  • Not looking for actual antenna, just the mounting box, antenna base and the stub of the antenna.

T’internet shows 2 and sometimes 3 such antennas on LAV. Italeri provide one, a rather useful little piece with a recess in the back to locate a sprue antenna, AM unit - or my latest find………Beadalon bead stringing wire.

This product width (its plastic coated wire) is slightly narrower than say Orange Hobby’s modern US vehicle type, but it flexes allowing you to bend it and secure it to the model. It also stands straight if needed, although has a memory once bent.

Now, a suggestion and a question;

I think these antennas have a wider application to our modelling world. G So, ive written to Dennis at Shapeways asking for his input.

Finally my question; The err….bent over and tied-down antenna :woozy_face: seen on vehicles, is this a regular feature on antenna or does only specific radio equipment use this type?

Djiti’s Productions makes a really nice set of resin US antenna bases. You get a bunch for around $10-$15 too, both upright and tied down.

The tied down antenna has nothing to do with radio type. They are usually tied down when not out in the field and running around post or in an area where they could hit power lines or other overhead obstructions.

To add on to what Gino said regarding tie down of antennas, they are usually tied down for tactical reasons. Ours were always tied down for field ops before we left the motor pool. An upright antenna will give away a vehicles position when it is just below the crest of a hill or ridge. Also certain weapon systems such as the vehicle mounted TOW need the antenna tied down so that the backblast of a launch does not obliterate the antenna. Amazing how that happens.

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Thanks Gino and Carlos,

All good information. Off comes the Orange Hobby (erect) antenna on the rear hull of my LAV-AT and I’ll be looking at my M901 too.

Gino, do those mounts come pre-drilled for antenna?

No, you have to drill out the mount; easy enough with a 0.020 bit as they are soft resin.

Thanks Gino. Just ordered a set of Bits from MicroMark.

These are available - along with other antennae in the range. Leopard Workshop : LW021B - 1:35 scale US-style AS-1729 Aerials on MX-6707 Base Unit
Resin bases, real springs and turned metal parts for base and mast.

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These look very nice Michael. I’ve ordered some spring and base units from Poland but will definitely look at the LF pieces.

Thanks for your advice.

Dammit, I looked again and theyre too good to pass up.

C$33.00 for a pair shipped but WTH.

Gotta love retirement!

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Yes indeed! Just can’t work anymore overtime to finance that next goody and have to keep it within the fixed income budget.

I’m in the middle of reducing my collection of 1/18 scale cars. That, combined with a couple of pensions, keeps me buying.

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Hey Carlos,

Can you help? I’m refitting my M901 with a tied-down aerial and would like info on how/where it was tied down.

Also I’m guessing that generally speaking,if you were moving in a column/convoy the aerial(s) would be left up?

Any views or info would be appreciated.

This is an M981 FIST-V, but you can see how they get tied down. This should give you an idea.

No, not for us regarding aerials being left up for movements. We usually tied them down at the time that they were installed prior to leaving the motor pool. In the motor pool while parked, aerials were removed and stored inside the locked vehicle to prevent theft. The tie down cord for our ITVs was attached to the brush guard over the tail lamp directly behind the antenna mount, not the opposite side so that the antenna was angled straight back. If angled forward it could foul the turret in traverse.
The tie down is a standard kit for pretty much any army vehicle that had a length of OD nylon line (1/4”?) and a flat metal “J” shaped part to hook over the antenna. The tie down cord could be adjusted by the crew for height.

Thanks Gino and Carlos. Just what I needed.

No, especially in Europe. Many of the trains and all of the streetcar/trams were electric, with the power supplied by overhead wires. Contacting those wires with the antenna would electrocute the crew and set the vehicle on fire. That sort of thing would really mess up your day. :boom: :dizzy_face:

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Good point Ken, I’m just focusing on ODS at the moment, but take your point about powerlines.

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One more question; What method and materials do you guys use for tied-down antennas?

My FC Model Trend antenna bases arrived yesterday and I want to get these onto an M901 and LAV-TUA.

I started out with stretched sprue, then found Orange Hobby brass ones, then the bead wire I mentioned up post (flexes for making a tied down antenna but too narrow and is uniform diameter)

What do you use?

For a tapered antenna on this jeep I used stretched sprue and some guitar string, along with thread as the tie down.

Not exact, but it looks the part.

Looks good to me Carlos. I’ll save my Orange Hobby brass antenna for
…….erected antennas. :smirk:

Thanks for the reply.