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[TowerTalk] Mast safety

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Mast safety
From: (
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 16:34:24 -0400 (EDT)
In a message dated 97-04-26 16:06:12 EDT, (wf3h) writes:

> Here's a different one. Friend has a 2 meter antenna which needs to be
>  replaced. antenna is at top of mast...about 15' up the mast. to reach it,
>  steps have been built on the mast about 3/4 of the way up. mast is 2"
>  chrome-moly. wind was brisk today so didnt climb up to get the
>  antenna...any comments on the situation?

    Ah, yes - the cajones grande problem.

    Out of the whole ham population, I guess about 25% can actually climb a
tower.  Out of that population, about 10% of them can actually work at
altitude.  Out of THAT group another small percentage will actually climb a
mast.  That's a pretty select group.

    I carry a couple of temporary steps with me with my tower working tools
and equipment.  They're about 18 inches long and made out of 2-3 inch angle
iron.  Drill out a couple of holes to acommodate a 2 inch U-bolt and saddle
and you're all set (with the exception of the cajones part).  Mount the first
one a foot or so above the last spot that you can stand on.  Put another one
(if required) a foot or so above that.  
Now you've got a temporary ladder to get you up the mast.

     It sounds like you can reach the top antenna from the built-in steps so
you won't have to worry about temporary ones.

    While most people wrap their belt around the mast a couple of times to
secure themselves, a good tip is to have a separate short lanyard (about 2
feet long) that is just used for mast work (tnx to K6NA for this tip).

     Of course you want to make sure that the mast is safe to support a
person on it.  While your chromoly mast sounds okay,  MAKE SURE that it's not
just a piece of thinwall something or other.  

     It's a pretty good-sized mental adjustment to be able to climb a mast
but remember the load is all vertical and the tower is capable of handling
big loads.  Compared to big wind stresses, one 200 pound climber isn't going
to make much of an impact on the installation.

73,  Steve  K7LXC

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