My rule of thumb (which you can violate freely): NEVER BUY A PAINTED
Just a story of mine: back when I was a jr. ham in grade school, a friend
of mine (who was in high school, I think) bought a painted tilt-over tower
from a local ham. Great green paint job. My buddy had it on the ground for
a little while until we (four of us) went to help him tilt it up.
Somewhere while we were walking it up, someone said, "Oh, sh*t" which is
usually a bad thing during tower work. The thing started to bend in the
middle. We all got out of there, except for Greg, who didn't know what was
going on. The tower bent about where Greg was holding it and he was safe.
The pivot end and the antenna end were on the ground.
The tower was absolute junk. Completely rusted through. The ham had
painted it to hide the rust. We were lucky it went down when we were
putting it up, and not while we were climbing it.
Be careful taking down towers, too. You have to know what you're doing or
you can get hurt. Even easy ones. Last weekend I helped take down a
crank-up/tilt-over tower and I had to climb a tree about 15' so I could
disassemble the beam in the air, halfway tilted down. The tree wasn't in
the way when the owner put it up, and his wife didn't want the tree to be
harmed. (Only lost one branch and no one got hurt, so we were successful.)
Hisashi T Fujinaka - firstname.lastname@example.org
BSEE (6/86) + BSChem (3/95) + BAEnglish (8/95) + $2.50 = mocha latte