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N7TML
04-13-2007, 01:59 PM
I'm putting up a 30' Universal Tower at our new house. These aluminum towers are fairly lightweight but I'd like to come up with a way to raise and lower it by myself beyond the armstrong method. Its base is hinged and the entire tower is leaned over (or pushed up) as an entire unit.
Tom, N7TML

N3BIF
04-13-2007, 02:20 PM
A seat of pants, on the cheap method involves taking a long plank or pole and using this to your mechanical advantage to push the tower up from the horizontal position. The only problem is you have to be quick to keep the tower from going over center when it reaches 90 degrees, stabilising and then securing it. As light as it may be , 30 feet of tower with antenna etc can easily think for itself and you are not going to be able to control it once it does. Handling a simple 30 foot mast is scary enough by ones self, a tower, much more intimidating.

WB2WIK
04-13-2007, 05:17 PM
The tower base makes it impossible to tilt the tower up beyond 90 degrees.

If the tower is installed next to your house, you could put a pulley block up near your roof line, solidly attached to the house, and a winch block with brake down lower where you can conveniently crank it, also solidly attached to the house, and install the tower so it can "crank over" and "crank up" using the winch and a cable attached at the right spot (same elevation as pulley block) on the tower.

This means, of course, that the base has to be installed in the proper position and orientation to allow that, and there has to be enough space in your yard to allow the tower to crank over and lay down in that space.

I've done this lots of times.

The only hazard is that if the tower's top loaded too much, the stress on the tower itself might be excessive and damaging when you try to pull it up or lower it down using a cable attached to a single point on the tower. Especially with aluminum towers, this can be a problem. You might need to encircle the whole tower where the cable attaches using a perimeter bracket, and have the cable attach to that instead of a tower leg -- to prevent buckling the leg.

WB2WIK/6

K0RGR
04-13-2007, 05:26 PM
Yes - I'd be careful of the Universal Tower legs - I tried pulling my 30 footer up with a winch, and abandoned the effort. I later found that leg has a big hole in it. It's still standing after 14 years, but I'm scared to try taking it down!
When he time comes to do that, I'm going to have to find a way to brace the weak section very carefully!

It took 4 beefy adults to raise my 30 footer by hand. The rotor is mounted in the bottom section of the tower, too, to reduce the top weight. It has beams for 6, 2, 222, and 432 on it - OK on paper but too much weight in reality.

N7TML
04-13-2007, 05:32 PM
OK, sounds like have friends over and put tower up first and drink beer second. When something sounds as simple as light enough to push up by hand I'm always suspicious. Maybe when I was 20 it'd be a piece of cake but not at 60.
Thanks, Tom

WB2WIK
04-13-2007, 05:34 PM
Quote[/b] (K0RGR @ April 13 2007,10:26)]It took 4 beefy adults to raise my 30 footer by hand. The rotor is mounted in the bottom section of the tower, too, to reduce the top weight. It has beams for 6, 2, 222, and 432 on it - OK on paper but too much weight in reality.
That's likely because the aluminum tower twists too much as you do this.

It's actually pretty easy with a heavy-duty galvanized steel tower.

I've "pushed up" (using manual manpower, no crane or winch) much heavier steel towers like the W-51 (about 400 lbs) and even a TX-455 (600 lbs) without any problems, using 4-5 men. As you hump them upright, they don't "twist" at all. That's key to making the "Iwo Jima" tower raising technique work.

WB2WIK/6

W4SE
04-15-2007, 01:05 AM
Well I 'll tell ya. I have a 40' Universal Tower that I have raised and lowerd twice. Both times was with myself and one other adult. Man to be light weight these are heavy when assembled. Next time I will add two more adults. Four adults using a couple 8ft 2x4's to help push it and brace it. That's what I think would be the best method.

W4SE
04-15-2007, 01:11 AM
Quote[/b] (K0RGR @ April 13 2007,15:26)]I later found that leg has a big hole in it. It's still standing after 14 years, but I'm scared to try taking it down!
When he time comes to do that, I'm going to have to find a way to brace the weak section very carefully!
Maybe you could find someone who can weld aluminum. Weld some splints on it or something. I would brace the tower very well just incase the heat causes that leg to become soft and give out. But, the welder may know if it could be done safe or not. But I would try this or lower it before it may fall and do more damage to the tower/antenna or other property.

K7MH
04-15-2007, 04:19 AM
Do you want to be able to tilt it over from time to time to mess with antennas which would indicate a desire for a more permanent tilt over fixture, or is this just to get it vertical once and for all? There may be different approaches.
I have a friend that constructed a tilt over fixture for a W-51 tower that was very successful. It basically involved sinking a very long piece of 6 (?) inch iron water pipe pretty far into the ground and a lot of concrete behind the tower. The pipe was also guyed to anchor bolts in the concrete to reduce the stress. He had a 4 element 5 band quad up top and a very good quality cable winch to tilt it up and over with. Also he had the best high strength pulley he could find. I think it was a pulley for sailboat use. I could ask him about it to get the exact construction info. http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif
Since yours is only 38 lbs total weight it would be easier to build. The average triband beam will max out the wind loading on that tower.

KE5FRY
04-16-2007, 07:56 PM
I used to market Tomcat Stage roofs which have four hinged towers. Pretty scary standing up a heavy wall 12" tower 40' tall hinged 2 feet from the bottom. The boss made a frame out of pipe that stood up 20' tall next to where the tower would be when it was up. we would attach a block and fall to the top of the frame and over about 2/3 up the tower shaft and pull it up that way. The thing is pretty easy to control once it is within 15-20 deg of vertical. Going down was a lot less scary too. In a permanent installation, I would use a piece of telephone pole guyed away from the tower to use as this pickup point.

K4ZOT
08-01-2010, 11:32 PM
Sorry to pull an old post out of the archives, but I am thinking of buying a 9-30 Universal Tower (30'). I am planning to put the first section up manually from the ground and then use two ladders leaning up against the first section for the second and third section. I would just lean the ladders up against the first section and then the second section and pull up the second and third sections with two men on the ladders. Is this approach feasible?

Glenn

K7MH
08-01-2010, 11:47 PM
Sounds like a good way for someone to get injured to me.

WB2WIK
08-02-2010, 01:00 AM
I wouldn't do that, either.

K0RGR
08-02-2010, 01:49 AM
When they took mine down, someone did climb it and it didn't collapse, but someone was killed trying that at a Field Day somewhere recently. Make sure that you have good temporary guys it. I would think that the design of the cross braces would make it somewhat more difficult for a person to climb.
The guy that took mine down had proper safety gear, and a tool to pry the tower sections apart - the aluminum sections can be tough to separate.

As for walking it up - I think we should have had an easier time of it. I tried to build my own lift for it, using a 10' piece of 2 " heavy wall galvanized steel pipe, which I set into a large concrete base and filled with concrete. The end result was a piece of 2 " pipe bent over at a 60 degree angle, and a tower still laying on the ground. So, you will need a somewhat beefier lift than I tried. I see that Glen Martin has a 30' aluminum tower designed to be tilted over.

K4ZOT
08-03-2010, 12:54 AM
Thanks for the feedback. The GM tower is too expensive for me on retirement. The Universal Tower is very reasonably priced for what you get. I just have not heard a good way to raise it with an antenna and rotor which is what I am going to have to do? I can not climb the tower nor would I what anyone else to climb it. I plan on using a light Tri-bander junior antenna. Any another suggestions or help?

Glenn

WC5P
08-03-2010, 02:34 AM
Thanks for the feedback. The GM tower is too expensive for me on retirement. The Universal Tower is very reasonably priced for what you get. I just have not heard a good way to raise it with an antenna and rotor which is what I am going to have to do? I can not climb the tower nor would I what anyone else to climb it. I plan on using a light Tri-bander junior antenna. Any another suggestions or help?

Glenn

Borrow a gin pole and safety harness for raising the upper sections and the beam. If you were closer, I would gladly loan you mine.

K7MH
08-03-2010, 03:05 AM
he Universal Tower is very reasonably priced for what you get.
The shipping may be a real killer!

I can not climb the tower nor would I what anyone else to climb it.
That is limiting your choices.
Usually you would have a couple extra people on the ground and one on the tower with the correct climbing gear a jin (or is it gin pole :confused:for hoisting up the sections) and the requisite amount of know-how.
Some clubs can help with that stuff.

I plan on using a light Tri-bander junior antenna.
Pretty small and light weight if it is a junior beam.

Any another suggestions or help?
Contact a couple local clubs for help with it if you can.

I had a Mosley TA33 Junior beam for my first HF beam. I used the bottom 3 sections of a 50 ft push-up mast to support it. With the antenna and rotor on it I could only push it up to about 24 or so feet...it gets HEAVY! I used an eve mount bracket to attach it to the house. The bottom was into the ground about a foot. It wasn't guyed but that would be pretty easy to do.
Maybe it was under engineered but I never had any problems with it and it was inexpensive to do.
If I did it like that again, I'd use 2 eve mount brackets and hefty lag bolts and reinforce the eve to accommodate them. I'd dig a hole maybe two feet and put a sheath (PVC maybe?) in the middle of it to slide the mast into after I put concrete in around the sheath and it set up. Maybe do it in a bucket in the ground.
Or, at least get the bottom section of the mast a couple feet into the ground.
The US tower MA-40 with the self supporting base and tilt over fixture is real slick (but not cheap). I now have the older Wilson version of it with a 6 band quad on it.

Rohn 25G is pretty standard tower stuff, is relatively inexpensive, and if you can bracket it to the house at around 12 or so feet you can go up I believe 20 ft above that with out guying it. Not sure of the particulars of that anymore.
But of course someone has to climb it.

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