Products & Product Reviews

Product Spotlight: DX Engineering Telescoping Aluminum Antenna Tubing Kit…Plus Some Upcoming Operating Events

The 3Y0J Bouvet Island DXpedition looms in the distance, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the eleventh hour to get your station ready for what may be a one-time shot at checking off this rarity when it becomes active in January 2023. As we did last week by highlighting the COMTEK 40M (COM-40VA) and 30M (COM-30VA) vertical antennas, today we’re shining a spotlight on another piece of critical DX Engineering gear that will play an important role on the island—the ATK65A Telescoping Aluminum Antenna Tubing Kit.

But before we begin getting into the nuts and bolts of the kit—and how it will be used during the DXpedition—we would remiss not to mention that while your chance to log Bouvet is months away, April offers two exciting opportunities to remember landmark events in the history of ham radio:

World Amateur Radio Day, April 18: Join scores of operators in celebration of this annual event that commemorates the formation of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.” It’s a great opportunity to get on the air and demonstrate how amateur radio continues to connect people and nations from every corner of the globe.

International Marconi Day, April 23, 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC: According to the IMD website, the day’s purpose is for amateur radio enthusiasts from around the world to contact historic Marconi sites using communication techniques similar to those used by Guglielmo Marconi himself. Marconi was born on April 25, 1874 (the event is always held on the Saturday closest to his birthday). Register here.

Now that you’ve written these events on your ham radio calendar, let’s get back to the DXE-ATK65A.

The 3Y0J team plans to use the ATK65A kit to construct a top-loaded 160M antenna to be deployed on the island. DX Engineering also provided a 6-foot, 7/8-inch O.D. piece of aluminum tubing for the top section of the 160M.

The ATK65A kit consists of 12 sections: eleven 6-foot sections and one 3-foot section of DX Engineering’s rugged 6063-T832 drawn aluminum tubing. The kit also includes all required stainless steel element clamps.

The antenna’s 2-inch O.D. heavy-wall bottom section (0.120-inch thick) mates up to 2-1/8-inch diameter tubing with an 8-inch overlap, and then back to 2-inch diameter tubing with a 5-inch overlap. Each section continues the element taper down to a 7/8-inch diameter at the top. The overall length of the assembled sections can reach up to 65 feet. Intended for portable or temporary operations, the kit may also be used in a well-guyed permanent vertical antenna installation.

The ATK65A is also a good DIY vertical antenna element for Field Day, DXpeditions, RVs, SOTA, camping, and more. Guying is required (three or four levels of rope guys are needed when these kits are extended beyond 30 feet), so a DX Engineering Guy Ring Set (DXE-GR-5P) is included. The ATK65 is also well-suited as a vertical radiator for custom-designed single vertical antennas or in two- or four-element arrays. The antenna may be set to resonate on any HF band at any length up to 65 feet by simply removing or telescoping the sections and clamping them at the desired length.

NOTE: The ATK65A is NOT intended to be used as a support for other antennas. Also keep in mind that vertical elements typically require counterpoise or radial wires emanating from the feedpoint for proper function.

For many more details, assembly steps, guying and raising instructions, the importance of using Jet-Lube SS-30 Pure Copper Anti-Seize between all antenna sections, and use of an optional tilt base, check out the kit’s instruction manual here.

What do hams say?

Five Stars: “Great Telescoping Antenna! I needed something in the 40- to 60-foot range and considered a push-up but went with this kit and am glad I did. The included instructions are complete and very helpful. I put it up at 45 feet since I had to erect it by myself and had no problems. The included guy ring set is great. I used some paracord I had on hand for guys and tied them down to a fence.”

For all your antenna projects, be sure to check out DX Engineering Aluminum Tubing—widely recognized for its excellent surface appearance, close tolerances that maximize mechanical and electrical stability, and good resistance to general corrosion, including stress corrosion cracking. The tubing is available in 3-, 6-, and 12-foot lengths. For setups that demand maximum strength at long assembly lengths, choose heavy-duty DX Engineering 6061-T8 tubing.

Leave a Reply