Hi. I need some opinions on installing a U.S. Towers Tubular Tower.
I live on a 7.5 acre rectangular plot that is almost completely cleared and
is surrounded by tall trees (thoroughly shielded from neighbors, thank
goodness.) The long side of the rectangle runs north-south and the house is
in the southeast corner. The whole plot is tilted down a somewhat steep
hill to the west. The big problem is that the western and northern views
from the house are to-die-for (we're high above the Connecticut River
Valley and look across the river at the rolling green hills of Vermont).
"What's the big problem?", you ask. Well, the XYL does not want to see a
big ugly tower and HF beam in that spectacular view (or, "view shed" as
they say out west.) That rules out virtually all of the property...
It just so happens that there is a small stand of trees 30-40 feet high
(with thick brush in between) that juts out from the middle of the south
property line, about 50 feet straight north. The result is a nice hidden
square of land in the southwest corner bordered on three sides by trees.
It's about 250 feet from my operating position and 20 vertical feet down
the hill from the house. It cannot be seen from the house or any of the
common hangouts on the property. Right now, I have a 25' guyed GAP
multiband vertical hidden down there and it can't be seen, even when the
leaves are down in the winter.
I've got 300 countries on the wall and love contesting. I've got a
state-of-the-art rig and linear. I've waited 15 years for a quality HF beam
installation, and now it's time. What's the solution?
To hide the beam, it has to be a crankup (of course, it would show when I'm
operating, but only when there's really rare DX on or a big contest --
mostly nights and the occasional weekend.) For convenience, it has to be
motorized (I'm not running up and down the hill twice every time I want to
use the radio!) For aesthetic appeal when it is raised (minimum
impact on the XYL) and safety (there are children) I'd like it to be a
tubular tower (holy cow!) U.S. Towers looks like the only game in town. I'm
willing to spring for a self-supporting (not house-bracketed), tilt-over,
motorized tubular with the rotator at the bottom. The two most appealing
options are the 55' 3-section model and the 71' 4-section model.
Now, the literature says that both towers can handle up to 10 sq. feet of
antenna windload at 50 MPH ("adequate safety margins included".) Ideally,
I'd like to put in the 71' model (after all, I've got a 20-foot drop to
make up.) with a TH7DX or a KT-34XA. I'm strongly leaning towards the
KT-34XA, even though it may present more maintenance headaches. The
tilt-over feature of the tower may help to mitigate this. Also, it seems to
me that putting the rotator at the bottom should significantly reduce the
stresses on the top sections of the tube.
However, a friend says that I'd be nuts to go with a tube over 50' and
should put up nothing bigger than a medium-sized beam. He suggests the 55'
model with the TH5Mk2.
By the way, I live in New Hampshire, where the winters can be rather harsh.
Lots of snow, ice, freezing rain, and sometimes big winds (although nothing
like the midwest.)
Assuming I'm willing to bear the $1000+ cost difference to get the better
performance of the larger installation, what should I do? Am I buying a lot
of potential headaches? What are the risks? Is there a chance the 71' tower
could get stuck in the raised position all winter until I can get a crane
down there to remove it? My wife would never forgive such a gaff.
Please, folks, your opinions. I'd most like to hear from anyone with
personal experience with the two U.S. tower models, TH7DX, and/or KT-34XA
in a similar installation. Also, I need a recommendation on whether to go
with the heavy-duty boom option on the KT-34XA.
Thanks in advance for any info. I really appreciate it. Please e-mail
73, Dick, WC1M
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