Step 1: Tools and Materials
8 Gray Hoverman TV Antenna Active Element Copper Links (homemade, subject of another Instructable. Those made from thickwall tubing will yield a zigzag weighing about 153 grams [5.3 oz], from thinwall tubing 113 grams [4 oz])
Steel wool for cleaning copper
Electric soldering iron or gun, heavy duty
Miniature gas torch, Bernzomatic (optional, but you know you want one)
9 number 6 flat washers
9 6-32 hex nuts (optional, for clamping the joints together while soldering, if you have the miniature torch. Now you have an excuse to go buy one)
Solder suitable for copper, plumbing or electrical type
Soldering paste (flux), plumbing, such as Nokorode
Brush for applying soldering paste
Solder flux remover, commercial (or a 50-50 mixture of mineral spirits [aka paint thinner] and rubbing alcohol--observe all safety precautions for the two chemicals)
Stiff brush for cleaning off flux
Paper towels for mopping flux remover from soldered joints
Screwdriver, small, for 6-32 screw head
Wrench for 6-32 nut
Step 2: The Assembly Jig
Step 3: The Prepared Copper Links
Step 4: Clean and Tin Some Link Pad Faces
2. Use steel wool to clean the pad faces that will be tinned. It is easiest to keep track if each link is removed from the jig in turn then put back until all have been cleaned.
3. Wipe the thinnest possible smear of soldering paste onto each cleaned pad face.
4. Use soldering iron or gun and solder to put the thinnest possible coat of solder onto each cleaned pad face. Do not tin the pad faces that will not be together during final soldering.
Step 5: Check and Adjust the Pads
2. With the second pad of a link chucked in the vise, check by eye to see if the other pad aligns rotationally with the one in the vise (with the jaws of the vise). If not, grip the pad with pliers and gently rotate it into alignment.
Step 6: Solder the Links Together
2. Place the links onto the jig in their correct orientations and with the tinned pad faces together. The tape tabs can be removed at this time or left in place.
3. If you have a miniature torch, snug a 5-32 nut onto each screw post to hold the joints together. A soldering iron or gun probably will not supply enough heat to allow use of the clamping nuts.
4. Heat each joint in turn, playing the heat over the ends of both links, being careful not to overheat the screw post or scorch the jig board.
5. Add solder at the crack between the pads and only when the joint has gotten hot enough to draw it in. Add no more solder than necessary to fill between the two pads.
Step 7: Remove the Element From the Jig
2. Remove the clamping hex nuts and lift at each joint in turn to see which ones will come off freely. Do not force. Solder will not bond to the screw posts and the washers, but the flux might cause a joint to stick.
3. For those joints that are stuck, to each in turn loosen the hex nut at the screw post's base and turn the screw head in the unscrewing direction to jack the soldered joint off the end of the screw. If the jig board is chucked into a vise for this operation, put hex nuts back on the loose joints to ensure that the element does not drop off the jig and become damaged.
4. Remove all the clamping hex nuts, remove the element from the jig and pick off any stuck washers. Handle and store the element with care.
5. Tighten those screw post base hex nuts that were loosened.
Step 8: Clean Off the Flux
Step 9: Gray-Hoverman Antenna Information Links
2. Antenna Research and Development Forum
3. Photo of mast-mounted outdoor G-H antenna (by others, post #94)
4. License governing the use of the antenna design information