Help needed with old Larkspur 27ft mast

#1
One for the old hands, i think

I have a 27ft Larkspur telescopic mast. I know little about this unit, but the lowest of the knurled rings doesnt turn, and I suspect it is meant to, to lock the second from bottom mast section.

Can anyone provide me with the specs of this mast, and instructions on care and maintenance? If this lower section is meant to turn and extend then it looks like ive some repair work to do.

Cheers

M
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#2
The Larkspur masts had a C-spanner to lock the sections up. The knurled rings have a small stud onto which a hole the inside of the spanner engaged, to provide some purchase. I'd suggest you try to find a suitable spanner before trying to drive the locking-ring round with the end of a screwdriver/lump-hammer combo.
 
#3
Cheers for the reply

would that be the 1/4 inch or so hole in each of the rings? They all have some sort of plug in them at the moment.
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
warm with a blowlamp then spray with wd40 to draw it into the threads might help. leverage is better than smacking it one
 
#7
I'll get it soaking in penetrating oil early in the week. The other sections seem to move freely enough.

Do these masts dismantle into their seperate sections easily? (I cant try it at the moment!) I think the whole thing could do with stripping, any rust dealing with, then giving a good dose of grease
 
#8
Never seen them taken apart but why would you want to? The whole thing telescopes down in to not much more than the length of the bottom section.

I still think tapping the knobs on the tightening rings after an overnight soaking in penetrating oil would loosen things up.


3_slideshow.jpg
 
#9
I was thinking, if it did come completely apart, to give the whole thing an overhaul. Deal with any internal rust spots, grease up, repaint, that sort of thing. It looks like the sections are held in with stab crimps though.

How do the locking rings actually work? They seem not to be simple threaded 'nuts', one where the 'plug' has come out I can see a round bar inside. Does anyone have any instructions/diagrams that show how these work?

I also need pegs. I can fabricate these myself from some T section steel bar, but I need the dimensions of an original peg to work from. I suspect they are quite hefty, if the base spike is anything to go by!!!
 
#10
One thing to consider, if you start stripping sections down, the seals may perish to dust. I'm not sure how easy they would be to replace
 
#11
I've got one that I modified to take ham radio antennas. The mast comes with a green canvas bag containing the pegs, guys, hammer and spanner.

Have a look on the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) website for some amateur radio rallies or a local club, you may be able to locate the correct spanner.

I'll dig mine out of the garage and post a photo later.
 
#12
I've got one that I modified to take ham radio antennas. The mast comes with a green canvas bag containing the pegs, guys, hammer and spanner.

Have a look on the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain) website for some amateur radio rallies or a local club, you may be able to locate the correct spanner.

I'll dig mine out of the garage and post a photo later.
Thats what this one will be used for, for special events (particularly the Doncaster Show later this year). Im an RSGB member, plus i know a few local clubs, so will ask about.

I'd be interested in seeing your pegs, so I can see what I need to fabricate.

Im not sure there are seals in these, with them being push up. I'd have liked a pump up one, but couldnt go to the expense.
 
#13
The 'C' spanner actually had a hole towards the end of it, this fitted over the 'plugs' as you call them in order to give enough purchase to unlock the collar. As the spanner was frequently lost, a mast hammer was often used in lieu. The draw back with this was that it was possible to snap off the lug. Yours is probably rusted solid so I would advise caution.

Oh, and no damping on the sections - watch your knuckles when dropping it - lol
 
#14
OK, I've been to the garage and here are the photos, first the spanner (sitting on the front wing of my Series 3 Land-Rover) and then the holdall showing the guy pegs and base spike. The bag also contains the guy lines, a flat base plate and an insulator for using the mast as an HF antenna.

View attachment 111424 View attachment 111425
 
#15
OK, I've been to the garage and here are the photos, first the spanner (sitting on the front wing of my Series 3 Land-Rover) and then the holdall showing the guy pegs and base spike. The bag also contains the guy lines, a flat base plate and an insulator for using the mast as an HF antenna.

View attachment 111424 View attachment 111425
Crikey, I almost followed through looking at that photo! Brings it all back, particularly the memories of putting up antennas in shit weather in the middle of a wood somewhere in Germany (normally in the dark!). Happy days.
 
#16
Fook me, that takes me back. If you didn't have that spanner, you'd be screwed. No amount of bodging other tools to do the job was effective. We used to have them mounted on the back stub wing of the FFRs. This was for Clansman use, so we used to dismount them and hide them in the stores for PRE. They were pretty good for quickly getting comms in at a roadside stop or whatever. Never bothered with the guys or anything, just the mast on the FFR, and only for quick jobs, but much handier than setting up a PU12.
It's a rock solid piece of kit though, I lathe turned an adaptor to fit an SO 239 base to the top of the mast so it now supports PL 259 mount ham mobile whips. The results are quite impressive at 145 and 435 MHz :geek:
 
#17
Cheers Ex-Ten. If im stuck im sure I can find a modern spanner similar and drill a suitable hole in it. That said, the part number is readable on that, so I might be able to find one somewhere. Ive a good few months to get it sorted.

The pegs then are simple angle-iron, with a loop. No problem then if i can borrow a mates MIG. Im ok for the dimensions now as I have the ground spike and theyre the same length near enough.


Stevie-r, yep the lower ring could be rusted up. Ive got it soaking in penetrating oil, but i'll give it a soak in Jenolite when i can next get some

It is seriously hefty kit. That ground spike alone is as heavy as the entire 5.4m clansman mast kit! I have the guys, spike and base plate. All im missing are the pegs, spanner, and the base insulator (had a chance of that for a tenner and missed it!)

One of the rings (not the seized one) is missing the lug, i'll have to tap that and put a bolt in i think
 
#18
On the subject, can anyone send me/direct me to, a manual, instructions, or whatever, for putting this mast up? I have the manual for the PRC320 which details putting up the 5.4m mast, so what im looking for is something similar for whichever Larkspur equipment this mast was used with.

What im looking for from it really is the recommended guying radius etc, but its always interesting to read the manuals for this old stuff.

Just had a trawl on ebay and theres naff all Larkspur antenna stuff listed at the moment, which is mildly annoying
 

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