Assembling a Cushcraft MA5B and finishing the second Alimast section

Some time ago I bought a second hand but never assembled Cushcraft MA5B and yesterday I collected it with the plan to get the aerial all built and ready to go.  It’s a couple of years old so it comes from the time before MFJ acquired Cushcraft so I hope that it will be a good one.

Once I’d got it home and taken everything out of the box, I was left with a pile of aluminium looking like this.

Cushcraft MA5B before assembly

Cushcraft MA5B before assembly

A couple of hours later and that pile of tubes had been transferred into this.

Partially assembled Cushcraft MA5B

Partially assembled Cushcraft MA5B

This is a “Mini Beam” but it looks larger on the ground than I’d expected it to be.  The boom is less than 8ft long but the longest element is just over 17ft from end to end which is roughly 2ft longer than the boom of my old 2m beam.  Of course, it will look smaller when it’s up in the air.  I have yet to fix the x-hat sections to the elements and the elements to the boom but I’ll do that once it’s ready to go up.

Talking of raising things up in the air, I finished off assembling the second section of my Alimast from Aerial-Parts of Colchester today.  It took a little over an hour to tighten all the bolts by hand so I reckon the total construction time for that one section was around two and a half hours.  I have two more sections to assemble so that should be another five hours work, maybe slightly less if I find I’m going quicker on subsequent sections.

To see how it looked, I joined the two sections of mast together and stood them in place on the patio where it’s going to be.

Two sections of Alimast from Aerial-Parts of Colchester in situ on the new concrete

Two sections of Alimast from Aerial-Parts of Colchester in situ on the new concrete

I’ve taken them down now but I think that looks very impressive (my XYL isn’t quite so keen).  Yan, M0YNK will be measuring up for the custom bracket to fix the mast to the side of the house and I’ll be ordering the winch in the next couple of days.  It’s not going to be long now before it’s all done so I’m getting quite excited.

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One Response to Assembling a Cushcraft MA5B and finishing the second Alimast section

  1. Terry G4GHU says:

    “Of course, it will look smaller when it’s up in the air” – is that a back-handed way of justifying a taller mast, I wonder…??

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