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[TowerTalk] How to raise mast?

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] How to raise mast?
From: (
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 10:36:28 EDT
In a message dated 7/9/01 4:04:02 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 

> But back to the question at hand.  Suppose that you 
>  had a 72' tower, and you wanted to install a 24' 
>  chrome-moly mast (~18 feet sticking out) and three 
>  antennas.  How would you do it?
>  Seems to me that there are three obvious approaches:
>  1) Use the crane to do it all.  Upsides: fast.  

    Also safe.

>  Downsides: the antennas have to be ready when the 
>  tower goes up, 

    Well then, that's your goal - have *everything* ready when the crane 

>  someone has to ride the crane to bolt on the antennas, 

    What I do is to have the crane guy bring a man-basket. I use my 6' nylon 
slings to sling the boom and suspend the antenna from the hook at my waist 
level. When you arrive at the top of the mast, then you bolt everything in 
place. You only need the man-basket for the top antenna since everything else 
can be done from the top of the tower. 

>  the crane has to be taller (~90' 
>  reach instead of ~50' reach since it now has to reach 
>  to top of the mast, not just above the center of 
>  gravity of the tower), 

    Even "little" crane/boomtrucks commonly have 90' of boom - be sure to 
tell your crane guy how much you need.

    It only has to clear the top of the tower (72') and a little more than 
1/2 the mast length (approximately 13') so 90' or so of boom is about right. 

>  expensive (additional crane  time, bigger crane), not reproducible for 

    That's another topic. If you need to get at the top antenna you can 
either climb the mast with temporary steps or lower the mast.
>  2) Pre-install the mast in the tower, raise the whole thing with the 
>  then install steps on the mast 
>  and climb the mast to install the antennas using a 
>  rope and pulley to raise them.  Upsides: cheaper, 
>  reproducible for maintenence, antennas go on 
>  whenever.  

    Why waste your skyhook by not installing the antennas whilst it's there? 
Simple, safe, quick and you're done. 

>  Downsides: someone has to climb the mast 
>  and work while perched on it (that someone would be me :-).
    The number of people who can actually perform this manuever is *really 
small*. If you haven't done it before, my guess is that you'll prefer not to 
climb the mast. 

>  3) Use two thrust bearings or similar, install the 
>  mast in the tower with ~3' sticking out pre-raising 
>  of the tower.  Once the tower is up, climb the tower, 
>  install the top antenna, winch the mast up a few 
>  feet, install the next antenna, winch the mast up a 
>  few feet, install the next antenna, etc.  Upsides: 
>  All of those of #2 above, plus no climbing of the 
>  spindly 2" mast.  Downsides: Mechanical issues of 
>  keeping the mast vertical while installing the 
>  antennas (before it is seated in the rotor at the 
>  end).

    This is a tedious job and will probably take 10 times longer than using 
the crane (30 minutes vs. 5 hours). Go with the skyhook and he'll be out of 
there in a couple of hours and you'll be done. 

Cheers,    Steve     K7LXC
Tower Tech 

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