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[TowerTalk] Double Trouble

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Double Trouble
From: (Jim Reid)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 13:17:37 -1000

We have just  had a wx improvement.  Winds have gusted
upwards of 50+ mph on  and off for several days.  
Weather service advises the super high off to our NW has
weakened and will continue so.  I have had my MA-550 
telescoped down during these days.

So this morning,  with the winds in the 15-25 range,   decided
was time to get back on up with the 550.  So started up,
when.....TWANG........then WHAM,,BAM,  and a final clunck!!

Tower had been up seven years  from the Spring of  '92,  even
went through hurricane Iniki.  But today,  the cable broke as the
extension upward was continuing.  Of course,  it immediately
began to telescope downward,  and I RAN!!

Now the MA-550 is going to be only 22 feet tall for some time
to come!

And,  oh no,  the C4 boom broke!!  Exactly at the rear boom to
tower U-bolt clamp.  Looks like a perfectly round,  clean break
of the aluminum boom tube.  Can't quite get up close enough to
see.  The back half was the heaviest,  with two reflectors and
the 40 meter dipole mounted there.

So what remains still horizontal is the front section of the C4;
that is,  the driven cell for all three bands,  and only the
front 10 meter director remains.  The reflectors for 15 and 20,
and the 40 meter linear loaded element are dangling from the top,
suspended by the coax line feeder to the 40 meter dipole
element, otherwise would have fallen on to the ground,  and
I might not have gotten out of the way in time.

Interesting,  that the driven cell still seems to work ok;  and
maybe the 10 meter section is just fine,  as it had no
reflector anyway!  So now I have rotating dipoles for
15 and 20.  In the next weeks will get around to fixing
the beam,  if possible.  Probably will need some new
boom pieces from Force 12.  And I just got the
C4 put up only in January.

As for the telescoping tower,  may just do what others
 here on the island have done:   just weld
the upper sections in place,  maybe at a total height of
only 40 feet or so.  Seems good enough for my set up
anyway;  not that far from the ocean.  Maybe not that
tall,  as it might be too much leverage to tilt the whole
affair back up using the US Tower raising fixture.  Will
see in time.  I understand it is a very tough job to replace
a broken cable with one of these set ups.

Well,  I gambled;  didn't replace the tower cable after
3 years as US Tower advises.  I lost.

73,  Jim,  KH7M
On the Garden Island of Kauai

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