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[TowerTalk] Gin Pole

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Gin Pole
From: (Richard L. King)
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 14:05:25
At 04:14 AM 6/20/98 GMT, Rick Bullon wrote:
<stuff deleted>

> MY first priority was to get a gin pole a safety belt and either buy 
>the SB25g from Texas Towers ( fairly local to me about 65 or 70 miles 
>away) or just sinking a tower section for the base. The only place I can 
>find that sells gin poles is HRO and it lists for $499.95. If I paid 
>this for the gin pole and bought a climbing belt, the I beams for the 
>elevated guy points ( XYL's rule on guys)and ordered the truck and got 
>the base poured and creted in the I beams I would be busted.
>  Is there a cheaper place to buy a gin pole ? a used one would be fine 
>if it was a commercial made unit and semi local to the Dallas Ft.Worth, 
>TX area.

<stuff deleted>

I just bought a new gin pole. I have used a Rohn ginpole for many, many
years and it has given me good service. However, I was impressed with the
WB0W ginpole and bought one at the HamCom convention in Dallas. The price
was $220 without the mast. 

I didn't buy the ginpole mast because it was 12 feet long and I would have
had to figure out a way to tranport it 200 miles away to my Austin QTH. So
I found the exact same mast (T6061-1) at a local metal distributor in
Austin for $5/foot. So I paid $60 for the mast and only had to carry it
about 10 miles to my QTH. The distributor said this was a very common size
of tubing (2 inch OD with 0.25 inch wall thickness).

This ginpole is really heavy duty and well made. I looked at my old Rohn
ginpole and it uses a smaller wall thickness for the tubing. Handling the
new ginpole on the tower may require a little more effort because it is
heavier, but my safety factor has certainly improved. WB0W has a URL that
shows his products but I don't remember what it is. You can find it if you

Speaking of safety, I have a few comments about ginpoles. I NEVER lend
ginpoles to other people. I don't care who you are. I consider ginpoles to
be part of my safety equipment and I don't lend climbing belts, etc,
either. I always buy new ginpoles because I don't want to use one that
might have been abused. If I let someone use mine, I have to go with it,
watch its usage like a hawk, and bring it home with me at the end of the day. 

The problem with Rohn ginpoles is that people tend to overtighten them in
position. Too often an inexperienced climber will hook his wrench on the
tightening levers for extra leverage and really overtighten the clamp. This
causes a rounding off of the back of the clamp that can lead to clamp
failure or slippage. Hand tightness is all you need to position a Rohn
ginpole clamp. You should always inspect a Rohn ginpole for this condition
before you use it.

If properly used, a Rohn ginpole can give you decades of safe usage. Why am
I replacing my ginpole then? Well...... it seems I had this small accident
when I was driving around on my Kubota tractor carrying the ginpole. The
ginpole mast hooked a fence post and it now has a very slight bend. It is
still usable but it makes me nervous. My screw-up.

73, Richard


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