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

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

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-2
ad: l-BCInc
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Having gone through such a process a few dozen times...I'd recommend when dealing with "the city" don't ever ask "is this okay?"

    Better to state, "I'm doing this. Do I need a permit for it?"

    That way, it's already stated you're not asking for permission, you're doing it, and just want the paperwork to be properly completed.:)
    W4PG, WA7PRC, WZ7U and 1 other person like this.
  2. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Shoot....Winter Garden says I will need a permit and also stated that I need to talk to the zoning department first....Ugh. We'll, that's the first hurdle. Let's see if I can pass that test.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Zoning is one thing, but normally a building permit requires you provide engineering plans so typically you'd need to pick out a tower model along with its manufacturer drawings and data and include all that with the application.

    In my experience in several states and municipalities, this is usually pretty easy as long as you provide current documentation.
    N2EY and WA7PRC like this.
  4. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I live in unincorporated county. That's the first thing Steve K7LXC advised in his fine book, "UP THE TOWER: The Complete Guide To Tower Construction" (link). The county laid it out clearly & simply, "an antenna support structure over 35' tall that is not part of an already-permitted structure requires a permit". YMMV. :)

    Same here. My county required "wet-stamped" plans for MY project, from a Professional Engineer licensed in my state. They would not accept generic plans from the tower manufacturer. This again was communicated by the county representative. YMMV. :)

    Interestingly, there are around 2K hams in my county, and you'd think at least a few percent have towers. When I sat down w/ my assigned county representative (a lady who was a ham), she said she was excited 'cuz "in twelve years issuing permits, I don't recall seeing a single permit request for a ham tower". That's scary. :eek:

    When some local hams learned I was going to erect a tower, some suggested I just erect it and, if/when caught, feign ignorance of the requirements. When I then asked which of them would pay my legal fees, fines, and deconstruction costs, the silence was deafening. ;)

  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The "wet-stamped by a PE licensed in state" is a fairly unusual requirement and one I've personally never experienced.

    But they can ask for almost anything, so semper paratus prevails.

    Here, they accept manufacturer drawings and specifications and you have to agree to follow them, including the excavation details, exactly. They reserve the right to inspect all that, but my guy never showed up to do that so I took some pictures.:p
  6. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Coast Guard's motto ("Always Ready") prevails? :p
    Since I'm on a septic system, my inspections included verification that the tower wouldn't interfere w/ that. The Health Dept inspector showed up w/ an "As Built" drawing that had only lines on it, and was wrong before I had the drainfield repaired (rebuilt). He thanked me for the updated/corrected drawing.

    The other inspections were kinda funny. They (apparently) never saw a ham tower installation. When I assured them it was per the drawing, they quickly signed the paperwork & left. :)
  7. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Maybe it's a Florida thing (among some other states possibly) but I had to have a PE licensed in the state of FL. US Tower provided a "wet-stamp" for my tower but from California. That was a no-go here. Not a big deal but just another hoop to jump through.

    I spent some time as a volunteer counsel helping folks get permits a few years ago. I know SOME lawyers who took the approach "better to ask for forgiveness than permission." No doubt for some that worked but I never took that route. In my case, I got the permit by giving the folks everything they needed to make a decision. Turns out ONE somewhat ignorant lady (she thought I worked for the CIA and was listening in on her phone conversations once she saw my tower) called the city to complain and apparently even tried to get some interest in local folks to file a petition to force me to take down my tower. That never happened. One day I saw the fellow from the city who approved my building permit and went to thank him, "I know you don't remember me but . . . " He replied, "Oh yes I remember you! I got several calls from this lady complaining about your tower. I just told her it was all legal and there was nothing she could do about it."

    That was the end of that. AND, I was thankful I had the legal permit for my tower!!

  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It really means "always prepared." The Coast Guard improvised. Omnia paratus might be more appropriate: "Prepared for anything.":p
    WA7PRC likes this.
  9. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Coastie friends claim the motto really is Simply Forgotus
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's funny, but reminds me of a personal experience from 1978.

    In '78 I bought a new (to me) house in Mt. Olive Twp., NJ. Development was fairly new, I think the homes were built in '72 or something.

    Anway, I hadn't sold my previous home yet so owned them both for about four months. As such, we didn't move in after closing escrow on the new one, and while the house was empty I wired up the ham shack for 240V outlets and installed a tower.

    The tower was up for about a month (highly visible, right behind the house which was atop the highest hill in the area), and I spent one long Saturday installing beams and cables. Still no radio gear, cables all came to the ground and were just coiled up there connected to no equipment.

    A lady from directly across the street came walking over while I was outside cleaning up and complained that since I started "broadcasting," her TV was all screwed up and the ice maker in her fridge stopped working.:p She was going to report me to the police or somebody.

    I patiently listened to her without interrupting. Then I said, "Anyone you tell won't do anything for you."

    "Why not?"

    I almost whispered, "Have you heard of the C.I.A.?"

    "Yes, I have."

    "Well, that's all I can really say. Have a good day."

    Never heard from her again.:)
    N2EY likes this.

Share This Page