Building a Ham Radio Tilt-Tower

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by WA5DX, Oct 2, 2019.

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  1. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone,

    My current Radio Tower is a "lay-over" style and requires quite a bit in preparation to lay it over and raise it back up, so I have designed a simple "Tilt-Tower" base and in the process of building it. When completed I will bolt the current Tower on top which will add 6-feet to the overall height. All I will have to do will be to unlock and then lift a second latch to lower and raise the Tower. The Counterweight will offset the weight of the Tower past the fulcrum so it will be very easy and safe to operate.

    I will make several videos showing the construction from the raw materials to the completed unit and post them on my WA5DX Youtube channel. I am attaching a video of Part-01, and if you have any questions please let me know.

    73's and good Dxing,

    Thomas / WA5DX

    https://youtu.be/m_bsjhy7m80
     
    W5KUL and N2EY like this.
  2. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Thomas,

    It looks like a good design to me, not a lot different than the mechanism used on a lot of other tilting towers, arms, drawbridges and etc. It's a good, solid concept.

    The only things I see that is not covered in your videos are the concrete base under the tower, and the concrete base to steel plate juncture. I'd also look at the lateral load on the lower section's uprights. But given your attention to detail, I'd guess you've already worked that out.

    By the way.... Your "Buggy" project and steam engine videos are certainly worth watching! Having built several steam engines myself, I think I'm am qualified to say: Great Work!

    Dave
    KK4NSF
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    WA5DX likes this.
  3. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page


    Hello Dave,

    First off thank you for the kind words, the Buggy project was most fun, and I love designing and building steam engines.

    You are correct about the "concept", it is pretty basic. I have built a number of these in the years past and one that was 100-foot tall. The concrete base is already in the ground, it is what my current Lay-over tower is sitting on and my new bottom plate will have the same hole pattern so it will bolt right in place. I will cover the Steel Base Plate in a video when I weld the upper parts on to it.

    Thanks again and have a great day,
    Thomas / WA5DX
     
  4. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone,

    I went over to Nacogdoches to Langley Mfg. and picked up the 1/4" steel plates that they had cutout for me. They Laser cut them rather than waterjet and the precision is hard to believe. The holes looked like they were drilled on a Mill and the edges and corners are sharp enough to shave with. That is some beautiful work, now I need to get them welded in place and I will upload another video to my youtube channel.

    Have a great day,
    Thomas / WA5DX
     

    Attached Files:

  5. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I also had a base made out of 1/2 inch steel for my TX-455 with tilt over fixture. I cut the "legs" off of the T base and had them welded to the Plate by a certified professional welder. One thing for sure, precision is a must for the legs and mounting holes!
    IMG_1093.JPG
     
  6. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page


    Hello Stephen,

    Your base looks very heavy duty and I agree about precision is a key to working correctly. I just completed welding up the Arm to the Counterweight Down Leg and the "Tower Plate. That took almost a full half day just to insure that all dimensions on "X", "Y" and "Z" were correct. Even after all the welding I wound up within 1/32" of being spot on and I am pleased with that. Welding the 1" OD round rod ( which is 1018 steel ) to the Plate took a lot of time. I will upload another video this afternoon showing the now completed Counterweight System.

    73's and have a great day,
    Thomas / WA5DX
     
  7. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can't wait to see it. I'm not sure how much the plate weighs but it took 3 of us to get it off the truck, it is HEAVY!
     
  8. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page


    Hello again Stephen,

    It appears that you have "leveling" nuts under that base plate.

    I have uploaded Part-04 video showing the Counterweight System in primer paint. I will get the first coat of paint on it tomorrow. I will also get started on welding up the Base Unit tomorrow. My shop has an 8-foot ceiling so I will have to fabricate the two Standards and the support legs on to the Base Plate supported just off the floor. I'm not looking forward to that because of my back problems, but once I get everything tacked welded I can move it to the sawhorses.

    73's and have a great day,
    Thomas / WA5DX
     
  9. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone,

    Attached is a photo of the now completed and painted Counterweight System, ( Arm, Counterweight Leg, Tower Plate and Pivot Rod ). I will start to work on the main fixed base system today.

    73's and have a great day,
    Thomas / WA5DX
     

    Attached Files:

  10. WA5DX

    WA5DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello everyone,

    OK I finally completed all the welding on the Base portion of the Tilt-Tower and it turned out to be a load, it is heavy. However, heavy is good in this case, it will handle the Tower and the Counterweight with no problem. Tomorrow I will get another coat of primer on it and maybe the first coat of Black. I have uploaded Part-6 video to my youtube channel showing the work completed to date.

    73's and good Dxing,

    Thomas / WA5DX
     

    Attached Files:

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