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Using Electric Drill for raising/lowering Glen Martin Tower with Hazer

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by W9BB, Nov 3, 2012.

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  1. W9BB

    W9BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Someone told me you can use an electric drill to raise and lower the hazer on the Glen Martin Tower...can't seem to find that info or how to interface..etc.
  2. K9XR

    K9XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have never heard that about them, but you can use a drill to raise/lower an Aluma-Tower.

  3. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have not seen it, but I would consider replacing the hand crank with a half-inch drill - that would probably have enough oof, although it might get a bit warm.

    Of course, it might be handy to mark the end of the cable at both ends with spots of orange paint so that you don't overshoot and overtension something.

    Of course, if you want to use this to overpower a binding hazer, it's probably not a great idea.
  4. K4HBK

    K4HBK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just a thought - some popup camper owners use a drill to raise/lower their popup tops which are often 2-400 pounds with an air conditioner sitting on top of them. A Socket Genie is the adaptor of choice but other options may be better.

    I've never seen a tower in person much less raised it with a drill but I hope that's some help to you.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Subscriber QRZ Page

    But seriously folks, the physics here simply doesn't work unless you are in a cartoon involving the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. A cordless Black and Decker drill ain't going to lift no tower or even a pop up camper with a 170 lb. air conditioner on top of it anytime soon. :)
  6. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many years ago, I used either a 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch heavy duty drill to raise and lower a 70 foot tubular steel tower, and also to tilt it up from horizontal. It worked great. The keys to success are a high ratio reduction gearbox, the state of Hazer friction (including factors such as dirt, corrosion, pulley lubrication, and temperature), and a quality 120V or 240V drill on a short cord (pulling lots of Amps). One UP or DOWN operation took at least 5 minutes of continuous effort, but it sure beat the armstrong method! A shaft coupler (interface) may be something you find on QRZ or other ham sites, but I'd guess you'll need to take dimensions to a machine shop, and have one fabricated. They won't be hanging on a hook at a hardware store. 73, Gary
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  7. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with NM7G, you can raise a tower with a battery or plug in drill motor.

    I have an old Tri-Ex W51 50' crankup which weighs in at about 350 pounds. It has a manual crank but the shaft where the crank attaches has a large nut jammed on at the end of the threads (~3/4"-1"down the shaft). To raise and lower it I use a Ryobi 12 Volt 1/2" battery operated drill with a spark plug socket on the end. But you can use any deep socket that fits the nut. Lowering is easy. I can bring the whole thing down in about 5 minutes on a single battery. Raising is a little more difficult. I always make sure I have three fully charged batteries ready for a lift. It takes a little bit longer to put it up (10-15 minutes), because you need to stop and change batteries. But it is still quicker and easier than the "armstrong" method. I wouldn't want my right arm to have big muscles and my left to be flabby anyway. Part of my problem with raising was that, I only had the ni-cad batteries, which are not as long lasting as the high priced batteries.

    As for W0BKR, you might try getting a large nut that will just slip on the crank shaft. Make it large enough so that you can drill it for a pin. The pin will prevent it from coming off when you change directions. The shaft on my tower crank was threaded, so that made the choice of nut a little easier. I can now choose between the manual crank, when I feel strong and viral, or the drill when I'm not.

    Also, with the tower being bigger and heavier, you might want to go to a higher power drill motor.
  8. W9BB

    W9BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    This isn't a tower I am trying to raise or lower, but the hazer that has the antennas that go up and down the side of the tower. I have a winch but get tired of cranking on it. I saw somewhere that you supposedly can use a 1/2 inch drill to raise or lower the hazer, but don't remember where or the details.
  9. NM7G

    NM7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know what a Hazer is. The physics between raising/lowering a Hazer versus a tower don't seem to be substantially different. I found no question in your post, but tried to help anyway.

    If there's a shaft for a hand crank on the Hazer, it requires torque. It seems logical that an electric drill might do the job. As one gentleman suggested, there is some risk when using a motor to replace a hand crank, because you won't feel changes in load (stress). 73.
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