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[TowerTalk] Realities of Tower Installations

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Realities of Tower Installations
From: (Roger L. Elowitz)
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 1997 13:44:09 -0400
Hi Guys,

I thought you might appreciate the insights shared by Stan and myself so I
posted them here.

Stan, W7NI wrote:

>Hi Roger,
>A couple of years ago when Washington County was considering drafting new
>tower regulations affecting hams, the "anti-tower" group was trying to get
>tower setbacks from the property line equal to the height of the tower.  The
>hams, who wanted to put their towers closer to their property lines, took
>the position that towers rarely fall the full distance equal to their height
>(unless they are free-standing towers without guys).  This sort of data
>helps to support the hams' position.  It could be argued that anything a
>2000 foot tower does has little or nothing to do with what a ham tower will
>do, but it is still data to support a more reasonable tower ordinance.

Hi Stan,

Thanks for taking the time to explain your position.  It's beginning to seem
to me the numbers involved in these calculations have more to do with
politics than with reality. I think I now understand both sides fairly well.
It's pretty clear to me that reality dictates that... towers do come down on
occasion and not necessarily the way the installers anticipated they would
nor for the reasons they anticipated either.

In fact, I don't believe most hams, (knowing their general penchant for
economizing on tight budgets), put up towers and spend much time figuring
out the disaster scenarios and addressing those particular engineering needs
to mitigate those circumstances.  Most likely, if that was done, things
would probably need to be over-engineered regarding the initial materials
used and the consequent expenses would likely become prohibitive.

Of course, if towers went up and never came down in an unanticipated
fashion.... there would never be any need to legislate the safety factors.
Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society that has far too many lawyers
per capita to support and consequently, suing anyone and everyone in sight
for everything and anything becomes standard practice.  Townships are not
immune to these lawsuits.  They supposedly have deeper pockets than the
average citizen and so would seem to be bigger targets to legally aim at.  I
guess in light of that (If my statement rings true) it's no wonder townships
are in a "CYA" mode and thinking more defensively than we would like for our
own self-interests.

Probably, this more rightly belongs in the bailiwick of the insurance
companies whereby towers must be insured by special rider on the homeowner's
policy (a fact I am only guessing at) and those policies only issued when
the insurance company is satisfied their liability is really minimal.
(Another supposition).  We all know how much the insurance companies enjoy
collecting premiums and are loath to paying claims.... TV commercials to the
contrary. Once a homeowner-ham has the necessary insurance coverage, it
should be a simple formality for a township to grant a permit. (That
statement probably proves beyond anyone's doubt that I really live in a
fantasy world of Cling-Free wrapped beams.)  

Objections for eyesores and health hazards are a whole different set of
arguments I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.... guyed or not!

I don't yet have a tower to put up but I am gaining a real insight into what
it really takes to get something into the air... and the more I read and
see... the more discouraged I get. Awhile back, I helped a friend install a
tower in his backyard and I had the misfortune to witness a gaggle of
adjacent neighbors screaming obscenities and objections over their fences as
we struggled with the installation.  My friend was thereafter subjected to
nightly  (read-  early morning) threatening phone calls and all manner of
abuse.  The phone company eventually found the culprits but couldn't
prosecute because they couldn't PROVE who in the house from which the calls
were made... was the responsible party.  Isn't hamming fun?  And previously,
I only thought we had problems on 14.313!

73 de Roger, K2JAS

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