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Old 5th Aug 2022, 5:54 pm   #1
duncanlowe
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Default Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

I have a recently acquired radio, vintage of the 1970s, later rather than earlier.

The telescopic aerial is undamaged, but seems a little stiff. I know that certain oils have a habit of oxidising over time and becoming sticky. So what if anything do people use?
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 6:00 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

De-grease it and then *lightly* apply powdered Graphite, as sold by proper locksmiths.

Be careful though, ou don't want the powdered graphite to get into the electronics!

[indeed, munitions containing powdered graphite have been used in times-past as a way to disable electricity-substations and power-stations].
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 6:08 pm   #3
stevehertz
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

Rightly or wrongly my approach to making telescopic aerials run smoothly has been to spray a little WD40 into a polishing cloth and use it to wipe the extended length of the aerial as if cleaning it (it will clean it actually). Then 'operate' the aerial to check improvements and so on. Finally a wipe over with a soft tissue to essentially remove 95% of the oil with just a micro layer remaining for protection and lubrication. I've been doing that for decades and never noticed a problem later on.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 6:18 pm   #4
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

I agree with Steve. The stiffness is usually down to contamination over many years, and the WD40 removes it and provides a bit of lubrication. Obviously, you apply it sparingly.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 8:07 pm   #5
Philips210
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

Where the aerial shows tarnishing and light corrosion I've used Autosol polish to clean the metal. This works well often bringing it up like new. A little amount of WD40 dripped into each section frees things up nicely and then a paper towel to remove any surplus WD40.

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Old 5th Aug 2022, 8:35 pm   #6
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

Thanks for the hints so far. No signs of corrosion in spite of the years. TBF the radio is amazing for it's age. It takes me back to my teenage years which was long ago. On the one I had back then, I wrecked the top section. It's an unusual design. Quite a long telescope with an aluminium barrel top. Bit then within that another section that pulls out.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 8:41 pm   #7
Hartley118
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

I find that, contrary to some suggestions, a thin film of WD40 provides remarkably effective low friction lubrication lasting up to 5 years or so. I use it on curtain rails (wiped on with a soft cloth) and door hinges (sprayed on and surplus wiped off) and find it a very useful lubricant in such low stress applications.

Martin
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 9:05 pm   #8
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

WD40 is a much abused substance, possibly encoraged by corporate marketing which suggests it's a cure-all for absolutely everything. Used moderately and appropriately, it's a versatile and reasonably cheap solvent and short term lubricant.
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Old 5th Aug 2022, 9:07 pm   #9
fetteler
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Default Re: Telescopic antenna lubrication: what to use?

After cleaning to remove grit and whatever else was on there I rub 'em lightly all round with a candle and work the aerial up and down a few times to smooth the candle wax out and then polish it with a soft cloth. The result has always been really good, repeat every year or so.

Steve.
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