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[TowerTalk] How about this tower?

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Subject: [TowerTalk] How about this tower?
From: (Jim Stahl)
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 00:40:22 +0000
     A few weeks ago there was a post (imported from another group) by an
obviously inexperienced person who wanted to put up some sort of house
bracketed tower.

    Shortly after that I ran across an article in Radio World (a
broadcasting trade paper) by a Troy Conner of Tower Maintenance Specialists.
He had been asked to look this tower over by a small church that thinking of
buying it along with a radio station.  Here are the some excerpts;
unfortunately I'm not able to reproduce several photographs from the
original article.

     ..."a small guyed tower 140 feet tall, with a face width of 12 inches.
The structure was stayed by four guy levels, with three cables at each
level.  A folded AM radiator was installed on the structure."

    "Even at a distance, I could see that this tower had a serious problem.
The top 20 feet was canted about 10 or 15 degrees out of plumb.  Closer
examination made the problems of this tower even more evident.

      ..."Starting at the ground, I examined three guy anchors.  While the
connections were in fair shape, the cable tensions were horribly low.  At
the base of the tower, I was in for my next surprise.  Normally, a tower is
firmly bolted to the concrete foundation pier.  In this case, the tapered
base section actually stood on the top of the anchor bolts.  Nothing
prevented the tower from merely falling off the pier.

     " The concrete foundation peir had been poured inside an 18-inch
galvanized culvert pipe, which extended about 4 feet above grade.  In
addition to being too small and protruding way too far above ground, the
pier appeared to have shifted slightly downhill, causing a distinct lean.

     "...Examining the first splice, I noted that the bolt holes between
sections did not appear to line up.  As a result, the original crew had used
smaller diameter bolts.  Later, the manufacturer of these sections told me
that their towers must be assembled in sequence, although the sections
appear identical. Not only were bolts used in only about half of the holes;
the bolts themselves were too short, often only catching part of the nut.

     "At 100 feet, I decided to climb no further. At this point, the tower
was held together tenuously by one bolt on one leg, two U-bolts haphazardly
around the second leg, and a turnbuckle on the third.  Apparently, the crew,
having run out of sections from one manufacturer, simply created this fine
interface in order to use some handy sections from another company.

     "The piece de resistance was the old rusted come-along with two of the
four cable strands broken.  In lieu of bolts, this splendid arrangement had
been contrived to connect the seventh and eighth sections. The top 40 feet
of tower did not appear to have any splice bolts; only gravity and friction
held the sleeve-type connections between sections."

      I hope your towers don't fit the above description!

Jim Stahl   K8MR

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