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[TowerTalk] PE services

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Subject: [TowerTalk] PE services
From: (Steve Sawyers n0yvy)
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 20:49:52 -0600
Pete Smith wrote:
>I guess what set me off was the idea that a PE
> (or any other professional) could charge over and over for the same 4-hour
> effort.

I have yet to see any amatuer tower installation look even close to 
any I have seen before. Everyone has different antenna's and different
guying restrictions. Elevated guys, miss the house and garage and still
give the guy a place to park his camper. Oh yes, does the camper have an
air conditioner on top? Can't have that snag the guy wire on the way out
the drive. Then there is always the XYL an "kitchen table zoning

Here in the ice belt the ice load calculations get rather hairy and
detailed. I have some of tower section info and ice loading canned or
precalculated, but generally each one is special.

I use spreadsheets a lot. It provides easy documentation and I can
answer the inevitable "what if I...".

It usually takes several spread sheets chained together to handle a
given situation. Sometimes I can use portions of an existing set for a
new job, but usually I can't.  YMMV

I am an ARRL Voluteer Consulting Engineer. I am employed in industry, so
consulting is not my primary income. If I just have to provide advice
and check things out without "officially" stamping anything, I don't
charge a dime. Most of the guys are in the area clubs with me, and I
sometimes need a ground crew. I am an old farm boy and we always helped
our neighbors.

I try very hard to get a plan approved without having a a PE stamp on
it. I don't like setting the precedent. But the officials have a
responsibility and sometimes I have to dust off the stamp and do it in
the "official" manner to keep them happy.

Most of the time, I spend telling someone that we really need to beef up
the installation, and "No, 4" water pipe is not suitable for an elevated
anchor system for a 70' tower fully loaded with everything in the AES
catalog." "this is going to take about 8 yards of concrete and the
anchors have to be 48" deep to be below the frost line.

I get real tired of the "can I get by with..". The answer is yes you can
till the wind hits 50 MPH but we are in an 80 MPH wind zone and we have
these required safety factors. I usually wind up making a friend very
unhappy, so I really hate to charge.

Steven H. Sawyers PE
ARRL Volunteer Consulting Engineer.

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