We stock clamps to attach poles to each other, the most basic is the 2" x 1" or a 2" x 2". The latter type will clamp parallel or perpendicular but the smaller one only perpendicularly. If two poles of any length are to be clamped in parallel it is normal practice to use two clamps, also see aerial clamps / cradles and pole couplers.
The 2 x 2 and 2 x 1 clamps are the most commonly used. A 2”x 2” clamp (sold here) is shown on the left in in the above picture, it is clamping two 2" poles in parallel (though it’ll actually clamp any 2 poles between 1" to 2"). Note that two are usually required to join two poles together in parallel. The clamp will also clamp perpendicularly, though only a 1.25” to a 2” in that plane.
We sell the 2x2 clamp is three different finishes :
1 - pre galv with plated bolts or
2 - hot dip galv with stainless bolts or
3 - all stainless.
On the right (in the above picture) is the 2”x 1” clamp - sold here. It is holding a 2 inch pole perpendicularly to a 1 inch pole.
It will also clamp 2 x 1" or 2 x 1.25” poles together, but it will only clamp perpendicularly, not parallel.
Unfortunately the 2x1 clamp is only available in pre-galv with plated bolts.
Less common are Little & Large clamps, the 1” x 1” and 3” x 3” clamps.
At the the small end of the scale Little is represented by the 1x1 clamps. As the name implies these clamp one 1” pole to another ! They will only clamp perpendicularly, not parallel. These are only available to order.
At the other end are the 3x3 clamps (sold here). These will clamp two poles up to 3 inches (perpendicular or parallel). These are very far from being “standard clamps” though, they’re heavy duty with hot dip galv pressings and stainless bolts.
We stock five Heavy Duty clamp kits : 2”x 2” - 2.5"x 2.5" - 3" x 3" - 3.5"x 3.5" and 4.0”x 4.0”.
Think about it, the latter is capable of clamping something as small as one and a quarter inches to something as big as FOUR inches ! Obviously these clamp kits will only clamp parallel ( ! ) and you’d generally use them as a pair.
Like they say on the cereal packets the pictures are serving suggestions, the clamps can be used in any number of ways, for instance with or without the centre nuts.
The saddles (galvanised or stainless), threaded stainless rod and stainless nuts/washers are also available separately.
Ever wondered what the neatest strongest way is to install a pole on a post, in the first case, a wooden post (for other materials see below) ? You haven’t ? Well I`ll tell you anyway, the answer is to use some 2.0” saddles and some studding like this (at a pinch large wood screws could be used). You’d usually use two sets of saddles but get a very strong and also very neat installation. The picture on the right is a 2” pole bolted to a wooden 4x4 fence post.
All very neat I’m sure you’ll agree, but what happens if you can’t (or don’t want to) drill into the post ? Well, purely by fluke, but very fortuitously, it just so happens that Low Profile Brackets (sold here) fit perfectly round a 4x4 fence post as the picture on the right proves ! Use two (or two pairs for a stronger install), one each side of the post. When I set up the install for the picture I used our stainless threaded bar and nuts/washers pack but we now also stock an M8x60mm stainless bolt/nut kit which is perfect for this job. The mounts of the brackets bend slightly as the nuts are screwed up but that isn’t significant for the strength of the install. Also see below for the 3.5in U bolt.
The big advantage of these 3.5” U bolts (sold here) is the fact our 3.5” sledges (sold here) fit them. Note that the 3.5” U Bolts are supplied without sledges, the latter being available as an extra if required. Using the sledges the 3.5in U Bolts can be used in may ways, including, and we’re asked for this quite often, attaching a pole to a box section / square section. Here are some pics showing the maximum dimension of box section that the 3.5” U bolt / sledges will fit, also see “pole on a post”.
The picture above reveals that a pole up to 1.25” diameter can be clamped to a 3x3 post using two sledges. However, though not ideal, if only one sledge is used a 2” diameter pole can be clamped to a 3x3 post. Wedges between the clamp and the sides of the post could be fitted if desired to give an even stronger install, though even without these the customer reported that the pole was very firm against the post. Thanks to Dave Horne for the pic.
If mounting a pole against a square section we stock heavy duty 20mm x 20mm box section alloy which can be be used in conjunction with the saddles etc (also see 3.5” U bolt - sold here). [link] How strong is 20mm x 20mm x 2.0mm box section alloy ?
The best method of joining two poles (although they must both have approx 2" diameter) is the 2" pole coupler (sold here). Apart from looking a lot neater than two 2" x 2" clamps, it had also has the advantage that you don’t "lose" the height of the pole that is required for the overlap between the two aforementioned clamps. It is sufficiently strong that the pole would fail before the coupler. Also fits scaffold poles at 48mm O/D (sold here) and can be used to join a scaffold pole to a 2” diameter pole. We do not normally advise joining two 10ft x 16G/1.6mm poles together. If making up a longer mast we recommend coupling our 10ft x 2” (16G/1.6mm) to our 8ft “satellite pole” which is 14G/2mm (sold here) using a thicker pole at the bottom and the thinner pole at the top. Think Eiffel Tower (stronger at the bottom......).
In addition we stock a 2" to 1.25" pole coupler for use when an aerial (or weather station or whatever) can only accept a 1.25" pole
This Multi Angle Bracket (sold here) has got to be just about the most versatile ever. The plate clamps to a pole (between 1" and 1.5" diameter) onto which can be attached anything e.g. a CCTV camera. Note : this product is not meant to join big poles together or mount large aerials in exposed locations, it’s to attach, well just about anything of relatively low wind loading, and at an angle if required
Aerial Clamps & Cradles
An aerial obviously requires a clamp to attach it to the pole and the vast majority of aerials come with a clamp, all the aerials we sell certainly do. Most aerial clamps will accept pole diameters up to 2”, and again all of ours will do so.
Ideally all medium or large aerials should be centre mounted (unless installed in the loft) and cradles are generally used to add support. In addition cradles move the antenna away from the pole which, for a centre mounted aerial, is particularly important when vertically polarised. Lastly, aerial cradles should always be installed perpendicular to the elements.
Tilting clamps (sold here) allow for elevation of the end of the aerial to help achieve the most accurate alignment and (some say, I`m not sure about it....) reducing interference. All our aerials come with tilting clamps except the Log36. The manufacturer’s of the latter maintain that one is not required for Log Periodic type aerials, though we disagree and recommend all log Periodic aerials are tilted up slightly at the front.
The aerial in the lower picture is aligned onto Cow Hill transmitter which is high up on a hill (would that be why it’s called Cow Hill....) next to Fort William which is down in the valley. It must be said that it is rare to require a clamp to tilt this far !
Incidentally I don’t like the install, it’s on a fascia and it’s a Contract aerial. Contract aerials don’t come with tilting clamps, so did the installer buy the clamp separately ? Why not just buy a decent aerial, with a tilting clamp, in the first place ? ! ?
Fitting a cradle to an aerial.
When fitting a cradle to an aerial it is far more important to overlap the boom coupler (if fitted) than to achieve perfect "balance" of the aerial. Our recommendation is to place the cradle as far back towards the reflector as possible, whilst still overlapping the boom coupler, and it may be necessary to slightly bend the arms of the cradle to enable it to fit where you want it to. Then install the clamp as far to one end of the cradle as possible to try and minimise any imbalance. As far as balance goes, whilst perfect balance is a goal, it is not the be all and end all, remember there are many end mounted aerials out there, so no matter how out of balance your cradle mounted aerial is it will be far better than one of those. Particularly a Tri Boom......
Collinear antenna mounting plate
Although these plate are actually designed to fit one (or two) collinear antennas to a pole, they can also be used to fit a lot of other things to the side of a pole as well ! The plate is available on its own or as part of a kit, the latter includes a (long pattern) 2” V bolt (stainless steel) and a 2” saddle (hot dip galv).