Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N0WJH, Sep 17, 2021.
How much life can be expected from hardline generally ???
Mine, too (and probably a few other's).
Give or take a hurricane or two!
Hint: "Not an electrical transmission tower", and that isn't RG-58/U whipping around.
Holy smoke! That's probably the worst case scenario ever for Heliax---rand that image really illustrates the ultimate power that Mother Nature can unleash!
It depends on how much you bend it.
Short as a day with the right tower crew, up to the end of tower life 20 years later. I hang my hat over 600 towers using multiple runs of 1-5/8" in lengths of 350 to 1000 feet. It will depend on the installation quality of the crew, method of support, proper maintenance, and a bit of luck; a weather seal does not fail, bullet holes, and missing support clips allowing the cable to beat against the tower in the wind.
You are taking a huge gamble, and even if it pays off will still be more expensive than other options. To do this requires a tower crew. Any tower crew will have the sweep equipment and expertise to diagnose the coax. You could do a sweep, and if there is an obvious problem can catch it. But it is not conclusive. A comprehensive test requires the tower crew to disconnect the antenna, terminate the hard line with a short, and perform a DTF test. If there is any problem, the DRF test will find it. If the test pass, salvage the hardline right on the spot while the tower crew is there. A good crew will charge you $1500 to $2000 to show up and climb plus Time and Expense. You do not want to pay for a return trip.
There is a smart money option. If you know the industry, you know hard-line coax is antiquated, carriers no longer use it, and manufacturers are discontinuing production. The industry no longer has any use for it except a short piece of 1/2-inch Heliax. The industry moved all the radios up on top of the tower and used fiber optic to bring the signal down using SFP CPRI modules. Thousand of miles of Heliax has been removed and salvaged for sale dirt cheap at salvage prices. Price will follow junk copper market prices. Find a reel you like, and they have a forklift to help load it on your trailer.
Maybe hams will go the same way: rig/amp up on the tower and nothing but power and optical fiber back to the shack… where they’ll jump on an AM net…