This is the seventh part of eight in this series. Visit the main article here.

Let’s bring you up to date. Your mast with antenna is now vertical with mast section 1(lower) visible and section 5 (top) is extended only to the bottom of the loose 1st Reinforcer.. Note: for our purposes sections will be from 1 to 5 with the lower number 1 at the bottom and section 5 being the top one.

To make sure we extend the sections in the correct order, you will need to use the included factory clamps and manually install them in their correct holes and tighten them so they can’t extend until you are ready to release them-section by section.

So, to finish raising Section 5, adjust your winch strap so you can clamp its’ end to the 3rd (top) Reinforcer of section 5 with a muffler clamp. Crank the winch slowly as you see the mast section going up. See Figures 21 and 23. You’re looking for the 5/16″ hole that the 2nd Reinforcer bolts into.

Figure 21
Figure 23

You probably will be limited in how much you can raise before reaching the 6″ below the 1″ opening where it becomes difficult to continue and you have to reset the strap. You may have to move the strap clamp several times before you reach that hole. Be sure to lock in your gains each time with a muffler clamp. Continue the raising to the hole for the 2nd Reinforcer and bolt it. Repeat the process until you reach the lower Reinforcer’s mounting hole and bolt it.

You can raise it until the strap is about 6″ below the 1″ opening or until you have an obstruction in the way, like a guy ring or factory clamp. From here, you will probably be able to finish raising Section 5 to the point that you see the black marker line around the mast with the 2 vertical marks.

Note: It’s hard to find and align the grooves/cutouts at the bottom of each mast section, so raise the mast until you see the section’s bottom just above the cotter pin hole, then install the cotter pin. Drop the mast gently down so it hits the cotter pin. Now rotate that section around until you feel/hear the grooves align with the pin. You know where they are from the two vertical lines drawn earlier. If you can’t rotate the mast because the strap is at the it highest point, you have to reset it to a lower level. Before loosening the strap, you must lock in the mast position with a muffler clamp clamped to the lowest part of the involved section- section 5, in this case. Then you can reset the strap to just above the clamp you just installed. You may then have to release the locking muffler clamp to get the cutouts in view for installing the cotter pin. This will allow you some mast movement.

You should be able to set the cotter pin through the mast hole and you should be locking down the factory clamp in the hole provided. I used a thread locker on its’ threads and screwed it down tight so it won’t loosen over time. The locking muffler clamp is not needed now on section 5, as you have locked it down with cotter pin and factory clamp.

After raising the mast until the strap needs to be reset, you always place a muffler clamp in place just above the top of the next section. This locks in what you have just raised.

Note: When removing the strap for adjustment, if the mast starts compressing downward, then you forgot to lock in your gain by moving the muffler clamp to the new lock point.

Now, as Section 4 is the next one to be raised, you need to loosen the factory clamp to free it to move. If your strap isn’t maxed out yet, you can raise the mast until it does. Now you install a locking clamp at the next joint.

Also, stop, if while raising, the mast is pulling in one direction. This happens as you get further into raising and it’s more noticeable if your antenna is heavy. At that point you will be adjusting guy ropes every foot or so just to keep the mast somewhat straight unless you have ample help to man the guy ropes.

Note: the lean will tend to be going in the same direction each time, so this is where a 2nd person will really help out. Have him attend the opposite leaning guy rope so he pulls the mast about straight up and slowly releases the slack as the winch strap person cranks a like amount until you have to reset the strap or other guy ropes. By keeping the mast almost straight, it will cut down on the friction between section pipes making the mast easier to raise.

Cranking may also get hard if a guy rope has been overlooked and has gotten to be very tight-a common issue to watch.

NOTE on Passing guy rings and factory clamps through the top standoff bracket.

Your top level guy ring is already above the top standoff bracket. The 2nd may be, but the 3rd surely won’t yet be passed. When the situation occurs, stop the winch strap when the guy ring and clamp are just below the standoff. Install a muffler clamp tightly on the lowest part visible of the involved section. This keeps the mast from dropping down while you are navigating this issue. Now tighten all the top level guy ropes leaving a little slack. Loosen the lower standoff to give the mast some wiggle room. Disconnect the winch’s strap and lower the strap so it can be fastened to the mast section a little above the muffler clamp you just installed. Leave the strap with a little slack. Now remove the top standoff’s front strap, LOOSEN one 5/16″ standoff bolt on the back plate (1×12), then REMOVE the other standoff back plate bolt. Now you can push one side of the standoff up 90 degrees or so and out of the way. See Figure 22. This gives you clearance to pass the guy ring and factory clamp while pulling the mast out for a little more clearance, if necessary. The mast is safe without the top standoff because your guy ropes won’t allow the antenna and mast to sway much and you still have holding power from the lower standoff and the base is inserted into the swivel cylinder. Now crank the winch until your obstructions are just above the top standoff. You may have to loosen some guy ropes if they become too tight and you can’t turn the crank handle. Reinstall the standoff and tighten the lower standoff firmly. At this point your 3rd guy ring is just above the top standoff. That makes this a good time to install the guy ropes for this guy ring while it is in safe reach.

You may still have room to crank more if your strap has not reached the 6″ area from the 1″ opening. After having reached that point, take the muffler clamp that stops the mast and move it down to the new bottom of that section and again, tighten it. Now you can loosen the winch strap and re-attach it just above the muffler clamp you just installed. This is the process you keep repeating until that current mast section is fully extended. Again, look for the circle you marked around the mast at the low end.

Now you need to lock this section in place as described earlier. Don’t forget the thread locker.

For the mast section 3, you need to unlock the factory clamp and start the process used above. Keep going until all sections are extended, if so desired.

HANGUPS. With the number of guy ropes attached (I have 3 factory levels for my 34′ mast), it’s easy to have one get tight and it gets very hard to turn the winch crank. You will get the feel when there is a hangup. Also, if the mast is leaning too much, you need a rope adjustment.

Lowering the antenna mast: place your strap and muffler clamp on the mast a little below the 1″ opening at the top and tighten it up. Loosen the telescopic’s top locking bolt/screw and remove the cotter pin. Now you can reverse the strap and let the mast down gently. When the strap has to be reset, lock in your position with a muffler clamp (similar to when you were raising the mast) and start the process again. Use the ‘passing the guy ring’ procedure when you have to pass a guy ring. Continue lowering until you reach the Reinforcers on the top 1-1/4″ OD section. When you reach the Reinforcers, the two lower ones need to be unbolted so they will slide up to be adjacent to the top Reinforcer. See Figure 23. This allows the top 8′ section to be more recessed into the lower sections which allows you to be able to safely reach the top Reinforcer when connecting the winch strap to it for the mast’s lowering to the ground. After connecting the strap to the top Reinforcer before final lowering to the ground, MOVE the top standoff out of the way as you’ve done before. See Figure 22. Now, with the strap still tight, it is safe to remove the lower standoff and the guy ropes and finally to crank the mast down to the ground (ladder) level.

IMPORTANT NOTE on 1-1/2″ Reinforcers when lowering your mast: for DIYers thinking of supplying their own 5″ Reinforcers, the top 8′ mast section is 1-1/4″ OD (1.250″). Due to manufacturing tolerances for both the mast pipe and DOM steel Reinforcers, you can eat up around 0.010″ more. Add any lateral runout to the steel and you will find that you need at least 1.260″ ID for the Reinforcers. You can easily purchase 1.260″ ID from online suppliers, but you will find you have a very tight fit. I’ve tried it and after a short period of time, it’s very difficult to be able to slide them on the mast. If this happens, you will not be able to move the two lower Reinforcers without lowering the mast. This will result in more of the top section protruding which will increase the possibility of it bending under the antenna weight as it will not be in balance.

The good from all this information is that my Reinforcers have sufficient clearance to avoid this issue and they are available from the Order page of

This has been a long and hopefully enjoyable instruction. Some procedures and tidbits can make it a worthwhile read and, hopefully, you are happy with the finished product. It should last for many many years.

PROJECT HINT: Because there are so many details involved, if you decide to attempt all or part of this project, I suggest you might ‘yellow marker’ the details that apply to your install. You’ll avoid possibly getting lost in text looking for your next step.

Return to Part 6. Actually raising the mast/antenna to vertical.
Continue to Part 8: Safety Concerns and Warnings.