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[TowerTalk] Mast safety

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Mast safety
From: (
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 20:58:30 +0000
> ...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? 

I'll make some assumptions that may not be correct, but please note 
that my response is based on those assumptions. 

     1. Tower is properly engineered and installed, and capable of 
          the load at the top.

     2. The mast is truly chrome-moly (4130), and that it as at least 
          1/4" wall.

     3. The "steps" are commercial (such as IIX's) or are substantial 
          enough to inspire complete confidence.

Okay. Climbing a mast is the ultimate test of your amateur radio
resolve. No matter how much tower work you have done, climbing a
mast is a new experience. It is almost assuredly psychological (the
"bulk" in front of you is significantly smaller than any tower), but
the additional swaying from the flexibility of the mast plus
whatever slop is in the thrust bearing will have an effect. If you
are prepared for those phenomena, you should have no problem. 

Call me a belt and suspenders man, but I double belt (actually strap 
and safety lanyard) whenever I'm moving around the mast, because when 
you take a triple wrap of the safety strap (which you need in order 
to remain a comfortable working distance from the mast) around the 
mast it becomes difficult to get the strap around the steps as you go 
up. I unwrap it only after sling the safety lanyard around the mast.

The up side of all this is VHF antennas are very easy to work with, 
unless you have bays of them.

73, Rod N4SI
    The DXer formerly known as N9AKE
         (c) 5 November, 1996

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