Help needed with old Larkspur 27ft mast

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by wireless_barf, Feb 24, 2013.

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  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.


  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.
  4. Sounds plausible. Although it has been a while...
  5. Soak the tightening ring in oil and then try a monkey wrench. If that doesn't work smack it with a hammer left to right.
  6. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    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.

  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. 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
    • Like Like x 1
  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. 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.