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[TowerTalk] US Tower Motor Winch in Winter

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] US Tower Motor Winch in Winter
From: (Steve Babcock)
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 16:42:56 -0700
Hello Dick:

I have a US Tower 589MDPL....(the 89' version).
Although I have had it for only two winters, I have had no trouble with
cranking it up in VERY  COLD -30 deg C (almost-30F).  I keep the
tower down all the time except when in use, so it has been up and down
countless times in temperatures colder than you are describing.  I still
have the "stock", factory delivered oil in the gear box, but my guess is you
should consider a colder temp, lighter gauge oil?  I assume you checked to
make sure the belt was not slipping?  I keep belt dressing on hand.  I also
lube the tower sections every fall.  I have a 20' mast, 80m rot dipole, F-12
tribander and 2-el 40 on top.
I have had a problem with ice buildup/ frost forming on the cables and on
the pulleys and cable drum.  I have since built an enclosure for the winch
and drum assembly which seems to help.

Good luck,  de Steve VE6WZ.........

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Flanagan <>
To: <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, December 03, 1999 9:33 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] US Tower Motor Winch in Winter

>This morning for the first time in the almost two years I've had my US
>Tower HDX572-MDPL installed, I was unable to raise the tower up because of
>what appeared to be excessively cold temperatures.  When I turned on the
>motorized winch, everything moved VERY slowly for about ten seconds before
>the circuit breaker feeding the motor tripped.
>Everything moved -- the tower didn't appear jammed or stuck -- but ver-r-ry
>slowly.  Are there any known problems with the gear box or cable drum
>getting cold soaked and becoming too stiff for the motor to turn?  The
>temps weren't THAT cold, perhaps 10 degrees F, and I don't recall having
>this problem last Winter.
>If this is a common or at least a known problem, are there ways to keep the
>affected components warm in the Winter.  Heat tape or blankets or ? . . .
>73, Dick
>Dick Flanagan W6OLD CFII Minden, Nevada (South of Reno)
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