Suggestions for mounting antennas to a utility pole

We have someone in Ontario who is eager to host a Motus station. The only decent-looking candidate for mounting is an existing utility pole. I know others have used these, but I haven’t personally, so it would be good to get some feedback from those who have (@amacdonald and @matt.webb come to mind). One thing about this pole is that it’s fairly crowded so anything that was mounted would need to be offset to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the other equipment. As for antennas, we’d keep it simple just have 2 434 antennas and 2 166 antennas (no larger than 5-element). There is power available so we wouldn’t need solar. But it’s still not a lot of room to work with. Any input would be appreciated!

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Hi Josh,

We use utility poles a fair bit and have had great success using a universal pipe-to-pipe clamp to get around any clutter on a utility pole. Here’s the one we use: Site Pro 1 It can be installed in a way that does not interfere with any other equipment that is on the pole, it looks like it might be possible to put the clamps above and below the light. I’ve attached a couple images that show how we use them on light poles to mount a 10ft section of 1" diameter Schedule 40 steel water pipe for a mast. One thing to keep in mind is the expansion and contraction of the wooden pole in the elements. To prevent the clamps from shifting during this, even after being fully tightened, we use large lag bolts to hold everything together. To remove any chance of the antennas blowing out of alignment on the mast we put JB weld on the U-bolts. I hope this helps and would be happy to keep talking further about this or other possible ways to get this station mounted!

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Thanks, Kylie. Very helpful! That clamp looks great. It should work above and below the light, though we’ll still be working with relatively little space as the conduit extends up much of the rear side of the pole. Looks like that clamp can also accommodate a pole that is not entirely straight, which is great.

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Hi Josh, I was also going to recommend the SitePro pipe-to-pipe clamps, but Kylie already got there! I really like those clamps - I’ve used them for railings, a wooden post, and as a wall mount when the wall mounts I had didn’t extend enough for a building’s overhang. For the utility pole install I did, I used structural screws through the mounting bracket to attach the antennas right to the pole. You wouldn’t have enough space on this pole to do that, and I’d recommend your own mast and the clamps anyway. My utility pole setup with the antennas directly mounted to the wooden pole hasn’t detected anything (except my test tags), which kind of surprises me, so I wonder if that wasn’t the best mounting method… all my tests suggest the station is working fine though and we haven’t done any tagging nearby, so it’s possible no tags really have gone by - we were just expecting migrants to use that mountain pass but some evidence suggests they’re using others. Anyway, I digress. @matt.webb and @kylie.lamoree, I know you have also mounted antennas directly to the wooden utility pole - have those stations detected many birds?

Matt, I’ve also mounted antennas directly to a wooden pole (JBNY) and have had detections of real birds.

To round things out: Another simple method we’ve used to attach a mast to wooden pole is to run lag bolts straight through the mast into the pole. Carefully drill 3-4 evenly spaced and centered holes in the bottom 4ft of the mast. Use 3/8" lag bolts and washers to attach to the pole and treated wood blocks or spare antenna brackets to shim the mast to vertical. This assumes you can access the entire length of the mast to attach antennas once it’s installed (bucket lift, scaffolding, etc) rather than sliding the mast up like you can with the pole-pole mount.

Thanks for the tips and feedback! This is all very helpful.

Late to the party, but we did one where we wanted additional elevation and were not confident that the pole alone would support a large array, so we used through bolts and a mast that butted onto the ground.

Guy wires were not an option at this site, but we have guyed the tops of masts that extended more than 5 m above the pole.

Thanks! Where did you get those drill-through clamps?

I believe it was Talley, either DBLDB365W or RFS46. See attached.
talleycom_300001_20240109_27498428_12297506468.pdf (50.0 KB)