I spent this weekend with W1CW twisting guy grips onto pieces of EHS and
threading them onto insulators to create some very well broken guys for the
new 20 meter tower....we dodged weather and sweated in the Florida sun, but
heah - it was Labor Day, so we labored!
So you know this posting is based on fact, I went insulator crazy when I
found a ham with a good price on them, and we are using 66 insulators on the
tower's 18 guy wires The tower is "double guyed" at three heights....by
double guyed I mean that there are two guy wires per face of the tower
heading down to each guy anchor point on three different azimuths (try saying
azimuths three timez phast).....hence, including leg attachment at the top,
and turnbuckle attachment at the bottom, there are a total of 168 guy grips
on this tower's guys. Yes, my hands are aching! Typing this on the keyboard
is reminding me its time for some more aspirin.
What did we learn....I re-learned that the guy-grip is the best thing since
sliced bread....our other towers are equipped with NON-insulated guys, and I
hadn't fully appreciated the grips as until now.
Since this is our first set of stacked yagis I wanted to be sure to give it
no excuses for not playing like a 20 meter stack of 2 yagis should....I have
sought counseling from many of you on the reflector on this project and have
received some excellent suggestions, I plan a magazine article on the move
from a single yagi to being "stacked" (hubba hubba)....I also plan on being
loud this Fall!
...time for us to put something back in to the Towertalk pot, here goes:
Tips On Installing Preformed Guy Grips de K4OJ & W1CW
Other than being the only way I will ever, EVER dress the end of a piece of
EHS again, I do not know how to say what a Godsend these things are - the
inventor of the idea is, I hope, getting a taste of his brilliant idea. If
you are using cable clamps, you will never again use them (barring an
emergency trip to the hardware store because you don't have any grips) once
you've gotten a taste of "the grip"......isn't that an English expression?
For those unfamiliar with this incredible creation....the guy grip is a
galvanized steel formed end for wire rope or cable, usually consisting of
about 5 strands running parallel....PLEASE be careful that you get the right
handing and type for the cable you are using, there are many flavours out
It comes out of the box looking like two of Shirley Temple's curls attached
end to end....only these curls are really long ones. By first wrapping one
curl around the guy wire, and then wrapping the other end around it you end
up with a "hoop" at the end of your guy wire. This can be done in two
stages, applying one side of the hoop and coming back at a laer time and
finishing the far side....this is especially helpful for the connection at
your tower leg....you can wrap one side, use the open loop to haul the guy
wire up with, and then after placing it around the tower leg, twist the other
half into place on the EHS. The grips have a gritty coating on the inside
where they bind on the EHS, the end results of this is an extremely strong
attachment point which is fast and easy to apply.
QUiICK BREAK, A trick I use on new installations is to NOT fully snap on the
guy grip initially at the ground end connection to your turnbuckles, leave it
almost fully wrapped but no "popped" into place on the ends. Why? There is
always a breaking in of the guy wires as things seat themselves....you can
re-tension things after the guys have taken a set, and sometimes there will
be more slack to take up than your turnbuckle will give you. By leaving the
ends loose on the grip you can easily remove it, after you use your
come-along to re-tension the guy - bringing up the slack that has "set in".
After this initial set has occurred I would recommend fu;lly re-installing
Most of the readers of Towertalk have used guy grips by now, and probably
like myself were not aware of this installation tidbit we feel is worth
It is the final dressing of the tail of the guy grip that is sometimes
awkward, after the first few you know how to start them just fine, and they
just seem to fall into place real easy, but....you never have quite enough
hand/finger strength to snap that last bit into place so you use a screw
driver under it to walk it around the guy on that one last turn.
So what is the tip?
Proper screw driver selection and orientation....huh? Yup, there is a right
way and a wrong way to use the screwdriver....after this weekends multitude
of grip installations you should trust us, we KNOW! Oh, my fingers.....
Screwdriver selection...what's to chose?
Both W1CW and I were sorta simultaneously doing these ....and we would
sometimes have good luck with the grip just popping right into place as the
screwdriver made its last trip around the EHS, other times it wouldn't slip
off neatly and would have to be "persuaded" to dress off nicely. After a
while I noticed that when we used one screw driver it always worked better
than the other one....what the ????
They were simply flat blade screwdrivers.....but, there was one big
One screwdriver had a round shank and the other a square shank.....the one
with the square shank produced far better results as it did not want to roll
or twist as the grip was snapped into place. The one with the round shank
And the orientation trick?
Once I realised the flat sided screwdriver was better I still had an
occasional grip that wouldn't fall into place....it took me a while to catch
on as to why - it was very subtle, but oh what a difference!
When you use the screwdriver to wrap that last turn onto the EHS you should
have the tip of the screwdriver bearing on the cable, NOT the free end of the
grip. You can do it either way, but when the tip bears on the central EHS
you cause the grip to follow the guy wire, and voila - success. By putting
the screwdrivers tip on the end of the guy grip you will get that sloppy
result where you have to push on the grip to get it to seat properly.
So, summarizing, use a flat sided flat bit screwdriver, and, make sure that
as you install the grip the screwdriver's tip is what touches the EHS
guy....not its shank....the grip will be sliding down the shank to the tip as
it reaches its final installed position, CLICK!
May sound like bunk to you sceptical types - but after this weekend's
marathon session...we will NOT forget what worked! Especially since it was
5/16 EHS, which for the unfamiliar is about as flexable as a piece of
rebar....you should see it take off as the roll is un-bound.......boing!
de K4OJ & W1CW, the sore hands people!
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