I get a lot of questions about the 2 meter copper J-Pole antenna related to painting it. Many users have different reasons why they would want to paint the J-Pole antenna, but the majority of reasons usually boil down to ways in which to hide the antenna, make it a stealth antenna, or to keep the copper bright and shiny. The antenna can be painted for either protection from the elements or to help it blend it into the surroundings.
Painting the antenna will prolong its life and keep the antenna looking new. I recommend that you use either a clear lacquer if you want to maintain the bright copper color, or a non-metallic spray enamel if your goal is to conceal the antenna.
The trick is to use nonmetallic paints. Anything with metal in it will create a capacitance on the surface of the antenna and adversely affect its performance. Check the ingredients on the label of spray paint; look for words like iron oxide, titanium dioxide, zinc chromate, or metals like aluminum, zinc, or gold. A good safe choice of paints to use are the Krylon Fusion line of plastic paints, but still check the label for metal content.
I outline the steps in which to go about painting the antennas in my Frequently Asked Questions section, but to recap, the steps to paint can be found after the break:
- Prep the antenna with a green ScotchBrite pad. You will want to remove any residual oxidation and create a bright surface for painting.
- Wipe the antenna down with isopropyl alcohol to remove any oils, excess flux or other residue.
- Protect the SO-239 connector with tape.
- Spray with 2-3 fine coats of nonmetallic spray enamel or clear lacquer. Follow label directions for proper application.
If you don’t paint your antenna, that’s fine also. The antenna will develop a dark brown patina with time. This patina will not affect its performance and will also help it blend into the landscape.
I don’t paint my antennas, so I leave that up to the choice of the end user.
These 3 pictures show how my antenna system is set up with your antenna at the top. I had to rig a tower system so that I could service antennas without the use of a ladder, since I am in a leg brace and don’t get around as well as I used to. Everything in the air is serviced using lines and pullys to get the antennas up and down. You can see the line above your antenna. That is a cobra junior that I use for HF. It is about 40 feet up. Also you can see where a horizontal loop comes in partway up my mast and is strung from trees around my back yard. total length about 268 ft. So with the three antennas and a Kenwood ts440 sat and a Yaesu FT 1900 R, I have good coverage world wide and really good here locally mostly through repeaters.The mast is a 2X4 sandwiched between 2 2X4’s and connected with a pin and a bolt for a pivot. From the top of the single 2X4 is a 21/2 in” sched 40 pvc pipe giving me a total of about 28 ft. of height.I raise and lower the top section by using the boat winch on the short end below the pivot pin of the middle 2X4. Cobbled together lookintg, I know, but it all works.
anyway just for your info since you are in the business.Thanks again for the great antenna
Bruce Belling N1BCB
Thank you sir for taking the time to not only make the videos to help explain but also going further by making a blog online for us to check back as a reference. Thanks again and I look forward to doing business with you sir.