PDA

View Full Version : US Tower TX-455, TRX-80 raising fixture



W5DWH
12-18-2008, 04:21 PM
I have a TX-455 on order but I will be making the raising fixture. If you have one, how tall is the pipe out of the concrete and what is it's diameter?

Thanks

WB2WIK
12-18-2008, 04:40 PM
Pipe? The one I installed was an I-beam about 15' long. HD pulley at the top, Fulton winch at convenient cranking height (maybe 54" above the pad), two support arms that attach to the tower base bracket on opposite sides of the tower (where the two opposing legs remain attached to the bracket as the tower cranks over). It probably weighed 150 lbs or so...

They may have changed this over the years.

WB2WIK/6

K4SAV
12-18-2008, 04:59 PM
The vertical pipe for the TRX-80 is not embedded in the concrete. It attaches to the tower base. It is 6 ft 10 inches from the base attachment bolts to the bolt for the top pulley. This pole is rectangular, 4 x 2 inches with a 0.2 wall. Without the brace at 3.5 ft, the pole will have to be much larger. Fabricating this will be a challenge.

Jerry, K4SAV

W5DWH
12-18-2008, 05:27 PM
Thanks


I have some 4" pipe that is over 5/16" thick. I plan on embedding it in the concrete and then make the support arms that brace it against the tower's base. For that I will use some 1 1/4" x 3/8" flat iron. It shouldn't go anywhere.

Thanks for the dimensions. US Tower is shipping the base out now so that I can start working on the foundation. Without having the tower I didn't know how tall to make the pipe.

Is the winch on the raising fixture the same model as the one on the tower? From what I have read a lot of hams are swapping out the winch on the tower for a heavier model (Fulton 2550, I think). They can then drive this winch with an electric drill.
I was thinking of doing the same thing. I would take the winch that comes on the tower and install it on my pipe and then buy a heavier one for the tower.

If it comes down to it I can lower the tower to ground with my John Deere - about 12000 lbs :)





The vertical pipe for the TRX-80 is not embedded in the concrete. It attaches to the tower base. It is 6 ft 10 inches from the base attachment bolts to the bolt for the top pulley. This pole is rectangular, 4 x 2 inches with a 0.2 wall. Without the brace at 3.5 ft, the pole will have to be much larger. Fabricating this will be a challenge.

Jerry, K4SAV

WB2WIK
12-18-2008, 05:42 PM
US Tower is shipping the base out now so that I can start working on the foundation. Without having the tower I didn't know how tall to make the pipe.


::Are they shipping only the base and not the tower?

If so, be careful. I always request the base+tower to ship together, preferably with the base already attached to the tower to be certain one aligns with the other. There have been instances where they don't, and if you install the base first and then the tower doesn't perfectly align, that becomes a bit of an issue.:p

The TX-455 is basically 20' long lattice sections that overlap. The higher up on the outside (base) section you "grab" the tower, the easier it will be to crank over and back up, as you'll have more leverage. Grabbing the tower 6'10" above the ground on a 20' long item as heavy as the TX-455 is creates quite a strain on the system, including the winch. Grabbing it at least 10' above ground reduces that stress a lot. Higher would be even better.

The John Deere would undoubtedly do a better job than the Fulton winch.

The first TX-455 I installed about 20 years ago used an I-beam, not a rectangular steel tube, for the raising fixture vertical support.

WB2WIK/6

K7FE
12-18-2008, 06:11 PM
Thanks


I have some 4" pipe that is over 5/16" thick. I plan on embedding it in the concrete and then make the support arms that brace it against the tower's base. For that I will use some 1 1/4" x 3/8" flat iron. It shouldn't go anywhere.

Thanks for the dimensions. US Tower is shipping the base out now so that I can start working on the foundation. Without having the tower I didn't know how tall to make the pipe.

Is the winch on the raising fixture the same model as the one on the tower? From what I have read a lot of hams are swapping out the winch on the tower for a heavier model (Fulton 2550, I think). They can then drive this winch with an electric drill.
I was thinking of doing the same thing. I would take the winch that comes on the tower and install it on my pipe and then buy a heavier one for the tower.

If it comes down to it I can lower the tower to ground with my John Deere - about 12000 lbs :)

The winch is the same for the fixture and the tower, a Fulton K1550. Made for "lifting." Most are rated only for "pulling."

The larger capacity winch offers little advantage because the cables are then the weak link. Unless the cables, and possibly the pulleys are changed, the lifting capacity remains the same for a 1500 lb or a 2500 lb winch.

You can attach an electric drill to the Fulton K1550 to raise your tower. Be careful when lowering the tower because the manual version does not have a "pull down" cable and is dependent upon gravity to bring the tower down. If the sections catch, bind and then drop a few inches, that can cause damage to your tower pulley's or cables (as in break). Wind can cause tower sections to bind.

I would suggest that you borrow/or buy a raising fixture. They are engineered to take the load while not stressing the tower. I have one that I loan out to local hams. Most towers go up and stay there until the owner moves. Your homemade fixture may fail during it's first test or twist the tower. You could conceivably use a tractor with hydraulics to do the lift, however they can have jerky movements that may over stress the tower. A slow, smooth winch pull is the most trouble free method to raise your tower.

Note: Never use stainless steel bolts on your tower. They are made from harder material that is brittle and prone to shear. Heavy galvanized steel bolts are softer and will bend rather than break.

Be safe.

73,
Terry, K7FE

K4SAV
12-18-2008, 08:12 PM
If it comes down to it I can lower the tower to ground with my John Deere - about 12000 lbs :)

Wow. That's a humongous tractor. I didn't know John Deer made anything that size. What model is it?

I have not tried a tractor, and I wouldn't attempt it with my tractor (about 5600 lbs including implements and ballast). You could use the roll bar to pull with and that would get you some height, although the roll bar is not intended for pulling. With my tractor I would expect it to go sliding on the grass as the tower gets low. I don't really have a feel for the traction of a tractor that size. I think I would calculate the forces and do some tractor traction experiments before attempting it.

Jerry, K4SAV

W5DWH
12-18-2008, 09:10 PM
Wow. That's a humongous tractor. I didn't know John Deer made anything that size. What model is it?

I have not tried a tractor, and I wouldn't attempt it with my tractor (about 5600 lbs including implements and ballast). You could use the roll bar to pull with and that would get you some height, although the roll bar is not intended for pulling. With my tractor I would expect it to go sliding on the grass as the tower gets low. I don't really have a feel for the traction of a tractor that size. I think I would calculate the forces and do some tractor traction experiments before attempting it.

Jerry, K4SAV

6220 with cab, 4wd, loader and water in the tires. This one is 90 engine hp (72 pto). John Deere makes them lots bigger.

If I use the tractor I will use the front end loader. The tractor has a Powe Quad transmission with 15 forward gears so lowering it slowly shouldn't be a problem (The tractor pix in the callsign database is it's sister). The 2wd model is used for haying while the 4wd does the dirty work- digging up tree stumps, burying dead cows:mad:, loading hay etc

W5DWH
12-18-2008, 09:14 PM
::Are they shipping only the base and not the tower?

If so, be careful. I always request the base+tower to ship together, preferably with the base already attached to the tower to be certain one aligns with the other. There have been instances where they don't, and if you install the base first and then the tower doesn't perfectly align, that becomes a bit of an issue.:p

The TX-455 is basically 20' long lattice sections that overlap. The higher up on the outside (base) section you "grab" the tower, the easier it will be to crank over and back up, as you'll have more leverage. Grabbing the tower 6'10" above the ground on a 20' long item as heavy as the TX-455 is creates quite a strain on the system, including the winch. Grabbing it at least 10' above ground reduces that stress a lot. Higher would be even better.

The John Deere would undoubtedly do a better job than the Fulton winch.

The first TX-455 I installed about 20 years ago used an I-beam, not a rectangular steel tube, for the raising fixture vertical support.

WB2WIK/6

Yes, I have them shipping the base in advance. It will be a two month wait for the tower (I believe that they are staying busy with a military contract). The base is a one piece unit. If it was welded correctly from the factory then the tower will fit. If not, then you can unbolt the base from the anchor bolts and repair it or get another one.

I also have a piece of railroad track that I could cut a piece off of and bury it 6' down in the concrete. It sure wouldn't bend and wouldn't need any bracing.

W5DWH
12-18-2008, 09:22 PM
The winch is the same for the fixture and the tower, a Fulton K1550. Made for "lifting." Most are rated only for "pulling."

The larger capacity winch offers little advantage because the cables are then the weak link. Unless the cables, and possibly the pulleys are changed, the lifting capacity remains the same for a 1500 lb or a 2500 lb winch.

You can attach an electric drill to the Fulton K1550 to raise your tower. Be careful when lowering the tower because the manual version does not have a "pull down" cable and is dependent upon gravity to bring the tower down. If the sections catch, bind and then drop a few inches, that can cause damage to your tower pulley's or cables (as in break). Wind can cause tower sections to bind.

I would suggest that you borrow/or buy a raising fixture. They are engineered to take the load while not stressing the tower. I have one that I loan out to local hams. Most towers go up and stay there until the owner moves. Your homemade fixture may fail during it's first test or twist the tower. You could conceivably use a tractor with hydraulics to do the lift, however they can have jerky movements that may over stress the tower. A slow, smooth winch pull is the most trouble free method to raise your tower.

Note: Never use stainless steel bolts on your tower. They are made from harder material that is brittle and prone to shear. Heavy galvanized steel bolts are softer and will bend rather than break.

Be safe.

73,
Terry, K7FE

From what I have read on Tower Talk the heavy duty towers (HDX models) come with the 2550 winch which is supposed to have worm gears as well as increased capacity (2500 lbs v.s. 1500?).

This is not a Rohn 25G and I don't that it twist. You retract it to 23' then with the erecting fixture lower it to ground for service. The erecting fixture is not just to stand the tower up- that's the idea of this tower. You can retract it, then lower (close) to the ground for service. You can then stand on a ladder and repair or replace antennas, coax etc.

I don't see how someone could borrow a fixture for this tower unless it was made for US Tower models - their fixture mounts to the tower base plate.

K7MH
12-18-2008, 09:52 PM
You can attach an electric drill to the Fulton K1550 to raise your tower
Yeah well...maybe the K2550.
I have a Fulton K1550 for the tilt over winch on a 40ft Wilson tubular tower.
There isn't any way in the world that an electric hand drill is going to be able to get it off the ground and it gets worse until you hit 45 degrees. It is a mother just to crank it by hand up to about 45 degrees. The gear ratio is 5.1 to 1. The average electric drill wouldn't even be able to fit the shaft! You'd have to have one monster electric drill!!
The K2550 has a better ratio at 15.8 to 1 so should be much easier to crank at.
It's capacity rating is almost twice that of the K1550 so can bear a great deal more weight at 1500 lbs. full drum and 2500 at first layer.
I'd love to get a K2550.
At any rate, WINCHES DESIGNED FOR CABLE ONLY!!!

N1KON
12-19-2008, 01:26 AM
I have the TX455 and the TRX-80, I have to admit if I was making the Trx80 I would make it taller and support it behind the vert pipe or whatever you end up using, I still might do this with mine, support wise. This would help take the stress off of the two studs when tilting. The two back studs is what takes most if not all of the weight, I am surprised that the pully is not higher up on the tower as it seems darn low. Then again the TRX80 would need to be taller to match, and that would be higher cost. FYI look at ALL instructions on the base as the base foundation plans has no info on how high or far below the cement surface the rebar cage should be. AFTER I got mine done I found they suggest the cage be I beleive 1-3" below the surface. Again that is NOT on the foundation plan page that I gave the guys who did mine. Errrrrrrrrrrr
Oh yeah I ended up adding two pullys and longer cable to help reduce, this works great, it takes twice as long to raise and lower but I was having issues with the brakes on the winch squealing so loud it could be heard 3 blocks, and jerking the tower. I also can now fold it over with ease. I have the motor to raise and lower..............
73s

Jerry

W4PG
12-19-2008, 01:54 AM
Attached is a picture of my HDX589 tower base with the raising fixture.

.........Bob

W5DWH
12-19-2008, 09:36 PM
Thanks guys

N1KON
12-20-2008, 02:05 AM
oops I said the stress is mostly on two studs I meant to say ONE stud... the back one
Jerry

N1KON
12-20-2008, 02:07 AM
Bob,

Could you please post a pic of your motor?
It looks like it has two belt and pully covers..
Jerry

W4PG
12-20-2008, 04:20 AM
Bob,

Could you please post a pic of your motor?
It looks like it has two belt and pully covers..
Jerry

It's dark out right now, but will do when it's light again! ;)

AA5KT
12-20-2008, 05:58 AM
The winch is the same for the fixture and the tower, a Fulton K1550. Made for "lifting." Most are rated only for "pulling."

The larger capacity winch offers little advantage because the cables are then the weak link. Unless the cables, and possibly the pulleys are changed, the lifting capacity remains the same for a 1500 lb or a 2500 lb winch.

You can attach an electric drill to the Fulton K1550 to raise your tower. Be careful when lowering the tower because the manual version does not have a "pull down" cable and is dependent upon gravity to bring the tower down. If the sections catch, bind and then drop a few inches, that can cause damage to your tower pulley's or cables (as in break). Wind can cause tower sections to bind.

I would suggest that you borrow/or buy a raising fixture. They are engineered to take the load while not stressing the tower. I have one that I loan out to local hams. Most towers go up and stay there until the owner moves. Your homemade fixture may fail during it's first test or twist the tower. You could conceivably use a tractor with hydraulics to do the lift, however they can have jerky movements that may over stress the tower. A slow, smooth winch pull is the most trouble free method to raise your tower.

Note: Never use stainless steel bolts on your tower. They are made from harder material that is brittle and prone to shear. Heavy galvanized steel bolts are softer and will bend rather than break.

Be safe.

73,
Terry, K7FE
You did not say what bolts that should be used?

AA5KT
12-20-2008, 06:03 AM
I have a raising fixture that you can use or come over and make a a mental note of it( picts ext) and make your own?


I have a TX-455 on order but I will be making the raising fixture. If you have one, how tall is the pipe out of the concrete and what is it's diameter?

Thanks

K7FE
12-20-2008, 07:46 AM
Attached is a picture of my HDX589 tower base with the raising fixture.

.........Bob

Bob,
The raising fixture that I have for my two 72 foot towers looks just like yours.

AA5KT,
Use "heavy galvanized" steel bolts. They are softer and will bend rather than break.

I have a large Milwaukee 90 degree drill that has a gear reduction. It is a 120VAC motor and has the torque to drive the winch. I usually hand crank them.

73,
Terry, K7FE

WB2WIK
12-20-2008, 10:07 PM
After struggling with "raising fixtures" over a period of years, my current raising fixture is 4-5 strong friends. Once the tower's vertical I leave it that way forever, crank it down for servicing, then climb it.

Waaaaay faster than cranking it back over again, and a lot less work.

To remove, call the same 4-5 strong friends, or find some new ones.;)

My current TX-455 doesn't use a raising fixture. 4 friends and I pushed it up vertical in about 60 seconds and it's been vertical ever since. It will be horizontal when we move, and I hope I can find those guys again.:p

WB2WIK/6

AL7GA
09-17-2009, 02:57 AM
I am standing up a HDX-555 next week, and have the US Tower instruction (limited) but no picture. What is the "threading" of the cable from the TRX-80 through the tower pulley(s)????? If someone could e-mail me (AL7GA@arrl.net) or fax (907-344-9111) the complete instruction WITH pictures, I would appreciate it. It is a used tower, and I did not get all the documentation.

W4PG
09-17-2009, 03:20 AM
I am standing up a HDX-555 next week, and have the US Tower instruction (limited) but no picture. What is the "threading" of the cable from the TRX-80 through the tower pulley(s)????? If someone could e-mail me (AL7GA@arrl.net) or fax (907-344-9111) the complete instruction WITH pictures, I would appreciate it. It is a used tower, and I did not get all the documentation.

I think I still have the directions around here someplace. I'll look and see if I can scan them and send them to you. It's not hard at all, but you do have to know over and under which pulley, etc. Email me if you don't here from me in a day or so. I'm getting senile in my old age . . . :)

........Bob

PS: Edited to add: Found it! I'll scan it in tomorrow and email it to you.

PSS: See attached pdf file. Those were for my HDX -589, a different tower than you, but it might help you. Use caution!!

AE1P
09-17-2009, 03:43 AM
Don,

Here is a sketch of the raising fixture for my Triex W-51,
Obviosly it is different than the US Tower fixture, but I believe
you said you had some 4" round pipe, and this might give you some idea's if
your still going to make your own...good luck...:)

W9RLG
09-17-2009, 09:39 AM
I think I have a trator that will pull you tower up. Outside in the shed is sitting a John Deere 9430, what say??? Any OM good luck, and be careful, so many things happen with towers,

73 Bob

AL7GA
09-17-2009, 04:08 PM
Perfect Bob, thanks. For a bug killer, I am not such a good engineer!

ad: giga-ldg