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[TowerTalk] Universal Freestanding Tower

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Universal Freestanding Tower
From: (Steve Maki)
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 21:10:17 -0500
KK9A wrote:

>Unfortunately there are not a lot of freestanding tower choices for the
>amateur.  I currently own two Universal towers and I had another one over 20
>years ago in my parents backyard . They are easy to install, although I
>doubt you'll be able to put the antenna on top and walk it up as easily as
>their catalog shows.   I've used a tow truck to pull one up and I've put one
>up with a gin pole.  The round tubing is easy to climb and there's no sharp
>edges to get cut up on.  I use stainless steel hardware on mine.   There are
>many on this reflector who are against aluminum towers and masts.  I'm sure
>you will have good success with this tower if YOU DO NOT EXCEED THE
>MANUFACTURES RATINGS!  Buy one heavier than you need.    I have also have
>30' of universal tower in Aruba where I've used it in a field day type set

There is a big difference between "don't exceed the manufacturers
ratings" and "buy one heavier than you need". The problem with
aluminum is that it work hardens. If you load it near it's initial
max ratings, wind gusts over the years WILL cause it to fatigue and
de-rate, and eventually fail.

The big question is whether the manufacturer takes this into account
when rating their tower. My experience is that they don't.

So I would advise that if you must have aluminum, buy WAY oversized.

Or, save tons of money and buy a steel tower.


Steve K8LX

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