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[TowerTalk] Tower tipS - really long

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Tower tipS - really long
From: (Jim White, K4OJ)
Date: Mon Feb 10 16:07:15 2003
One of my more recent finds is using a new fangled boom to mast 
attachment - I use HD structural steel angles  (about 1/4" thick) which 
are designed for two timbers coming together at right angles - typically 
used in the Pacific Northwest where latrge dimension lumber is a bit 
more reasonably priced since it grown out there...  I have them custom 
produced and hot dip galvanized....

The reason for this is:

It is an angle stock piece with gussets....each is about 5 inches on a 
side and roughly 10 inches long...I have custom located holes prepped 
for it - they are such that there are enough holes for three u-bolts to 
attach it to the mast and this same hole pattern is also at the ends of 
the piece....

The holes are in sets of 3.... a common hole which is near the "fold" of 
the stock and the next hole is c2c 2 1/16" away....for a 2" u-bolt.... 
shari g that first hole there is a companion hole which is c2c 3 1/16" 
inches away....

both sides of the angle stock are prepped identically so should you have 
to use it on one side or the other of your mast you have what you 
need.... and since the hole pattern is all the way around the holes on 
the non mast side of the angle work for your boom - on BOTH 2" or 3" 

Why go to such a bother you ask....

When you are on top the most important thing is for you to be in control 
of the antenna - if an HF antenna gets away from you retrieving it often 
is not an option and down it goes... I only dropped a yagi once and will 
never do it again.

By using a right angled bracket - once the beam is topside you simply 
lower it onto the nice flat surface and voila you are NOT controlling 
all that weight - it is sitting there - with only work needed other than 
installing the u-bolts being keeping it from getting walked off the 
angle by a gust of wind...

I hope I successfully described it for you....

I had to use this for a beam with a 2 1/2" boom recently and was about 
to be upset with myself when I realised I could take the original 
equipment plate and rework it... by rotating the manufacturers plate to 
horizontal and drilling holes that matched the holes of the HD angle 
bracket I was able to simnply set it on there and drop bolts through - 
even easier than the original idea since the mfg's plate was u-bolted to 
the boom and presented a large flat area that sat on the HD angle... I 
stuck a phillips screwdriver through one of the hole locations and used 
it to pivot the plate so that the other bolts lined right up - when I 
think of 30 years of muscling antenna boom to mast plates into poistion 
and simultaneously begging the u-bolts to go in to the holes and then 
quickly slapping a nut on them only to find I wasn't quick enough - hell 
- never again...

Once the angles are on the mast they stay there - when you take an 
antenna down you take it off the angle...

I had a bunch of these fabricated at once to minize the "set up charge" 
the manufacturer wanted - and - I had them hot dip galvanized after 
production - they will be around longer than I will for sure!  

Cost: A little over 20 bucks each - Effectivenss: PRICELESS!


Always do a run through in your mind of the job - think of every fastner 
and tool you will have to use and bring multiple wrnches for that size 
fastner - if you are wokring with 1/4" bolts bring up a Crescent wrench, 
a socket, a deepwell socket and ==== I especially like these: a 
wratcheting box wrench (great for u-bolts where you have to run the nuts 
a long way down the threads)


Always bring up EXTRA fastners for the job - be it extra 
nuts/washers/lockwashers/bolts.... it is much easier than having to 
climb AGAIN


Always have the ground crew do the physical work - they are in a MUCH 
better situation to exert themselves... they can put their backs into 
their work with fear being a five foot fall :-) - you on the other hand 
- well....  ALSO :


THE GUY ON THE TOWER CALLS ALL THE SHOTS...the guys on the ground need 
to minimize their chatter and focus on what he is doing to the best of 
their ability - the ground guys provide two things - muscle and 
support... if a wrench is needed, post haste!  Think of it as a military 
exercise and the guy on the tower is your drill sargeant barking orders!


Previously mentioned on the reflector - the climber should start by 
taking up a light line which will  allow a work line to be established 
for the parts/tools bucket.... oh yeah.... use multiple snap rings in 
series on the rope to bucket attachment.... the initial snap ring atr 
the end of the rope stays at the end of the rope for the next thing to 
be lifted or lowered always... by then hooking another snapring onto 
that one you can snap the second one onto a tower rung - have the gorund 
go slack on the rope and them open the ropes snap ring and disconnect it 
- this way you do not have to take the weight of the bucket - just snap 
and unsnap it...  AGAIN - let the ground crew do the work.


Ground crew always need to remember that the guy on the tower can see 
things they cannot since he is right there - do not question the guy in 
the air - he is the boss!


One of the best tower tips is to follow Towertalk - thanks K7LXC - good 
job you olde fuddy duddy!

Cc: FCG Refletor

Jim, K4OJ

75 Days until the Florida QSO Party... details at:


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