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View Full Version : What is the most weight you have cranked-up using your US Tower TX-455?



NU1O
03-27-2012, 12:37 PM
I know there is not a definitive answer to the question. It depends primarily upon the age and physical shape of the ham. I am 52

and have a bad back so I have great difficulty cranking my tower up. Luckily, I have a cousin who is 10 years younger and in very

good shape who lives only two streets from me and who assists me.


So, what's the antenna and the greatest weight you have been able to crank up? Right now I have an A3S (about 30 pounds) but I'd like to put up

something w/o traps up that covers 10-20 with the WARC bands, and if at all possible I'd love to have the same antenna have 2

elements on 40 meters.

73,

Chris/NU1O

WB2WIK
03-27-2012, 03:19 PM
You can change the winch or motorize the tower to make it a lot easier.

With the supplied winch on the TX-455 it's quite a chore to crank up, and a bit easier to crank down. I doubt the antenna weight has too much to do with it, since even without any antenna on it, you're cranking up about 400 lbs just lifting sections #2 and #3.

I've cranked my TX-455s but I sure don't like to...maybe once a year or so. This is a tower worthy of a motor drive for sure, if you plan to extend and retract it more often than a couple of times a year.

N7WR
03-27-2012, 03:57 PM
I had that tower once and had a fairly big tribander (TH7) and a 2 element 40 meter yagi on it. The mast was very heavy moly steel....like Steve says you might want to consider motorizing it

NU1O
03-29-2012, 06:22 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. i spoke to an engineer at US Tower yesterday and was told they do have a more robust manual winch which is made by Fulton. I was told my present winch is rated at 150 pounds of antenna weight. He also said I could add the automatic winch but it needed to be mounted so I'd have to get some help as it is no doubt beyond my abilities. H e gave me some new mph and square footage guidelines as things have changed quite a bit in the 12 years that I have owned my TX-455. It was a very informative conversation and he sure knew his stuff.

73,

Chris/NU1O

W5DWH
03-30-2012, 07:01 PM
Hi

I bought the better 15:1 ratio winch that you are speaking off. Sure it's easier to crank up but it takes forever to get it to crank up. I then bought a 1/2 drill and used that to crank it up. ( I took off the handle and screwed on a hex coupling. I drilled and tapped the coupling and added a set screw so that the coupling wouldn't unscrew). I used this about twice but decided that it was going to burn my brand new B&D 1/2 (120VAC) drill up. I then bought a Warn RT2500 Winch and mounted it where the hand winch was. I mounted the winch to a steel plate and then bolted my steel plate to the steel plate welded to the tower. This winch has a built in disc brake. When I want to crank the tower up or down, I just carry a lawn tractor battery out the door to the tower, hook it up and crank her up or down. I still need to permanently mount the solenoid next to the winch as well as make some kind of waterproof cover.
89874

VK4KGW
03-31-2012, 07:41 AM
So is it tilt or just vertical crank up ?
of course you can add a pulley increasing the amount power you can apply(google it) , change the winch to a higher turns ratio or add an electric winch
your choice

NU1O
03-31-2012, 08:29 PM
This is a Vertical crank up (55 FEET MAX) and it also has a separate winch to fold it over so I can work on coaxial connections or a balun problem up to the Driven element. If you want to see it use your favorite search engine and look for US Tower model TX-455. Right now I have it cranked down and folded over and the lowest element is about 1 foot above the ground. I use some thick wood in the shape of a cross to help support the weight and take much of the load off the fold over winch's cable.

WB2WIK
04-01-2012, 01:06 AM
This is a Vertical crank up (55 FEET MAX) and it also has a separate winch to fold it over so I can work on coaxial connections or a balun problem up to the Driven element. If you want to see it use your favorite search engine and look for US Tower model TX-455. Right now I have it cranked down and folded over and the lowest element is about 1 foot above the ground. I use some thick wood in the shape of a cross to help support the weight and take much of the load off the fold over winch's cable.

Wow, you went "whole hog" with that. I have the same tower but never tilt it over. When it's retracted, it's really easy to climb and I just do that. Of course my tower is right next to the house so when the tower's retracted fully I can "almost" (not quite) reach the top of the tower just standing on the roof, which of course was by design to make it easier for me.

I almost never crank mine down, but if I wanted to do that more than a couple of times a year, I'd go for the motor drive.

It's a lot of work to crank up (a bit less to crank down, since gravity helps). I only lower my tower if there is a really terrible wind, which doesn't happen often at all; even then, I never crank it all the way down, maybe just halfway which makes the tower a whole lot stronger. Even that, as you know, is 100+ turns of the crank.

I've modified these before for a motor drive, and it's honestly not much work. When the tower is retracted, there's no tension on the cables and this can be done with the tower still standing upright. The only obstacle is "cost."

WA7PRC
04-01-2012, 04:10 AM
This is a Vertical crank up (55 FEET MAX) and it also has a separate winch to fold it over so I can work on coaxial connections or a balun problem up to the Driven element. If you want to see it use your favorite search engine and look for US Tower model TX-455. Right now I have it cranked down and folded over and the lowest element is about 1 foot above the ground. I use some thick wood in the shape of a cross to help support the weight and take much of the load off the fold over winch's cable.
I subscribe to Steve/K7LXC's Tower Talk email reflector (http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/Towertalk). Someone recently posted a nifty way of driving the winch using a big 1/2" drill. I have a TX-472 that's going up in a month or so, and may go that route.

N0AZZ
04-01-2012, 11:19 AM
My wife cranks up and down my TX-455 for me and the weight on it is quite heavy with the stock winch. HF beam a Mosley Pro-67 C3 133#, 24' 6 element 6m yagi 29#, 33 1/2' 2m 25# yagi, 2/440m vertical 12# 20' dbl wall mast 80# amd Yaesu G-2800DXA about 25# for a total of about 280# give or take plus all the coax it pulls up with it.

Oh yes the wife is 5'1" and weights 131# she would die if she knew I had said said that she weighed 105 when we married 35 yrs ago.

WA7PRC
04-01-2012, 07:48 PM
N6RK is the one I mentioned above, who came up with a simple drill adapter (http://www.n6rk.com/drill_adapter_for_winch/drill_adapter_for_winch.html). The manual winch can still be used:

90050

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