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[Towertalk] Iis a "free" tower a good deal?

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Subject: [Towertalk] Iis a "free" tower a good deal?
From: (Steve Katz)
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 14:42:18 -0700
What a well thought-out posting!

I don't like BX-series towers at all.  They are "rated" by Rohn for antennas
having 10' maximum boom length, and I tend to follow that advice -- these
non-welded towers have little torsion strength.  After 42 years (if it was
really installed in 1960), it has less.

If it were me, since I like playing with towers and antennas anyway, I'd
take down the whole mess and sell it off to help raise money for a good
crank-up tower.  A W-51, HG52SS, TX-455 or other used 50-55' telescoping
tower would be a far better deal in your situation: No guy wires, and a
tower you could retract when not in use*, to minimize XYL and neighbor
impact.  And one easily capable of supporting rotary beams up to about the
TH7DXX size, should the opportunity arise in the future to install such a

*Note: Telescoping towers have one more advantage: They can be height
optimized for the band and conditions.  Sometimes 60' is way too tall to
work close-in DX on 10 meters, and 30' works better.   With a retracting
tower, you can accomplish that in a minute.  With a fixed tower, you cannot.


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." -
Mario Andretti

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Burns []
> Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 1:27 PM
> To:
> Subject:      [Towertalk] Iis a "free" tower a good deal?
> I have been hoping to expand my antenna system beyond my simple random
> wire,
> but had not thought I would be able to do anything at this time because of
> the cost. Then I was offered a standing tower and associated antennas. I
> am
> in the process of deciding if I can afford this "free" system. Someone
> suggested that this group would be a good place to ask my questions.
> Before I ask about the tower I have been offered; let me give you enough
> information about me, and my QTH, to be able to intelligently answer my
> questions.
> I have been a Ham for 2+ year. My equipment consists of an Elecraft K2
> with
> the antenna tuner, Ten-Tek 6m transverter, VX-150 2m HT, and a 2m brick
> amp.
> I only use the 2m stuff to keep in contact with my wife, and participate
> in
> a few local Radio Club activities. I picked up the transverter at a ham
> fest
> recently and have done little more than verify it works. Most of my time
> is
> spent on HF. For the first year I worked SSB, but now I mostly concentrate
> on CW. My goal is to improve my CW skills form the 10-12wpm into the
> 18-20wpm range. Later I expect to get into DXing using both phone and CW.
> My QTH is a moderate sized suburban lot outside the city limits. No legal
> restrictions on antennas, but I do wish to keep the neighbors happy. The
> house is a single story ranch. The back of the house is 43-ft from the
> power
> lines. A tower placed on the side of the house could be farther from the
> main power line, but would be closer to the neighbors power feed, and
> trees
> that would require yearly trimming to stay clear of the antennas. At this
> QTH I know I cannot put up a super contesting station, but I would like
> something better than my current wire.
> If I had no concern for the cost of an antenna system, and was convinced I
> would not move for many years I would put up something like this:
>     - 40 ft self supporting tower
>     - 3 Element SteppIR
>     - 100' Doublet supported at the center by the tower. A tall tree in
> the
> front yard would support one end. The other end would slope to the top of
> th
> e fence in the back. This would be fed with ladder line.
> Given the cost of such a system I have been thinking of using a
> lightweight
> temporary mast instead of a tower, and using a rotatable dipole instead of
> the yagi. The guide wires for a lightweight mast are a problem because the
> house is in the way and my wife objects to them. A rotatable dipole 35-ft
> long and feed with ladder line sounds like a good idea. It should be
> tunable
> on all bands from 30 to 10m, and would not be objectionable to look at.
> The wife of a Ham with Alzheimer's has offered me the following system
> free
> if I take it down. It was probably put up in 1960.
>     - BX-56 Tower in good shape
>     - Trapped HF beam; three elements but two are close together at one
> end
> so I am not sure exactly what it is.
>     - 2 eleven element 2m beams phased together
>     - 2m ringo
>     - Rotor; mounted just above the third tower section from the bottom;
> probably a ham IV but I am not sure.
> If I put this up I would probably only use 40-ft of the tower making it an
> HDBX-40.
> Now my questions:
> 1. Is this system a good deal?
> 2. Is it well suited to my situation?
> 3. Are antennas this old worth messing with or should I sell them off and
> use something newer? Maybe I should make a rotatable dipole and start
> saving
> for the SteppIR.
> 4. I know of an HDBX-48 that is on the ground and freshly panted that I
> could purchase for $200. Would this be a better deal?
> 5. Is putting up a used tower being penny wise and pound-foolish? Should I
> just save for a couple for years and get new equipment?
> Jeff Burns
> AD9T
> _______________________________________________
> Self Supporting Towers, Wireless Weather Stations, see web site:
> Call 888-333-9041 to place your order, mention you saw this ad and take an
> additional 5 percent off any weather station price.
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