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Putting together data for possible crank up tower install - need some feedback

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KN4DQE, Feb 10, 2020.

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  1. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I am considering installing a crank up tower with a StepIR urbanbeam antenna. It may take me a while to get from point A to point B, due to cost, as well as approval from the HOA I live in.

    I am considering an Urbanbeam due to sizing and aesthetics. I've read good things about them, except that they aren't cheap (~$2600 for their top of the line model that comes with the SDA 2000 OptimizIR). Since I am in an HOA, and I have a tree line behind my house, I am thinking of installing a crank up 35-40' tower directly behind my pool enclosure. Since the beam is multi-band, what sort of performance hit will I take if it is only going to be off of the ground about 35 feet? I presently am running a Hustler 6BTV right now that is ground mounted with radials in the tree line, and it works great! I am looking for more though, especially after some discussions I had at Hamcation with some folks.

    I talked to Alumatower, and they have a crank up tower that looks like it may fit the bill nicely (and they are local here in Orlando as well and they'd deliver it without a fee!). Obviously I need to get a permit from the city, which I don't think will be a big deal. The bigger deal will be convincing the HOA. There are no covenants specifying no antennas - they approved a 2m/70cm vertical for my roof! I'm thinking if I get a crank up tower, and leave it down when I'm not using it, it won't be visible from the road unless I put it up to use it.
     
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Aluma should support that just fine. While assuring your HOA is okay with it (big step, and hope it goes well) also check with municipal/county/state requirements for wind survival, as although I haven't installed a tower in Florida since the 90s (and that was up in JAX) I have heard quite a bit about local ordinances requiring very high wind survival ratings (hurricane force) and if they pick on this point, you may need Aluma to provide engineering docs to indicate they meet the requirement; meeting high wind ratings for self-supporting towers is largely based on the foundation so that may also have some specific requirements.

    But, the Urbanbeam is a good product and shouldn't overload the Aluma telescoping tower. Start the wheels rolling!:)
     
  3. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Travis this is my first exposure to this antenna. Looks like its built super well and since Aluma tower is close that should work well, Eham reviews are great also. One thing with Aluma Tower, when I contacted them about a crank up they had 11 month turnaround time. They cited government work which they put first. So maybe that has changed but it put me looking elsewhere. I run a Hex which works perfectly at 30' but its on a 75' hill also. Even if it were not I believe it would work great however I know its not a choice for your situation.

    I took the liberty of looking at your crib on google earth to see your lot situation and how close your neighbors are and at the risk of being a killjoy I'm guessing you're going to be facing some opposition with the tower from the looks of it. The tower will be, since its bright aluminum much more visible than the antenna. Yes I know it cranks down to 12' or so but then you have the mast and antenna. I know that is not your question. I think it will do very good if you can pull it off at 35'. Best going forward with the project, I talk to Fl. daily, SSb/CW, it's like I have a pipeline so Ill look forward to adding you to my QSO list sir, 73 Rich
     
    K0UO likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Aluminum takes paint really well.:) If "stealth" is an objective, just paint the whole tower dark green or something.
     
    WA8FOZ likes this.
  5. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not a killjoy - I appreciate the comments! If I can't get the beam, I'm happy with what I have (Hustler). The guy I did talk to from Alumatower did state that you can paint or powder coat it, which would be a requirement where I am (as you've stated, HOA's usually have oversensitive jackholes on their boards that love their power!). Thanks for the feedback!!
     
  6. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the encouragement - my biggest concern is performance of the beam at 37 or so feet. I know it will be ideal for 20m, but I'm wondering how much I'll lose on 40. Two things this will definitely help me with is 10m and 6m - my Hustler is all buy deaf on 10m and I can't do 6m with it either!
     
  7. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly!!
     
  8. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Anyone recommend a rotator for this thing? I see that the Yaesu ones get fairly good reviews, but not sure...
     
  9. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Would be nice if you could put a tower on the industrial site behind you. Getting the coax under the road might prove to be a tad of a problem. But you could work it remote. 73 Rich
    P.S. Yaesu makes good products I believe including the rotors.
     
    VK6APZ and K0UO like this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    A Yaesu G800 series rotator should be fine with that beam; so would a Hy-Gain CD-45.

    You may be surprised how well the beam works at 37 feet, compared with the vertical. A good vertical over a good ground plane works fine, but if you have any local ground clutter (conductors or poor dielectrics at ground level near the antenna) they can degrade performance. A dipole "up in the air" can have >6 dB "ground gain" simply by being a horizontal antenna above earth. That gain will occur at some elevation angle which may be useful, or may not be terribly useful, but it's there and it's free.

    If you go with the tower and the little beam, keep the vertical up and use both with a coax switch. One can never have too many antennas.:p
     
    N0TZU, KA0HCP, VK6APZ and 3 others like this.

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