In 1992 I also put up a W51. The first hole was dug by a friend of mine
who owned a back hoe and didn't charge me anything to dig it. We were
both adult leaders in a local Boy Scout troop and I had helped his son
earn Eagle Scout.
Unknown to me, the area where we live is permeated by lots of small
underground streams. The previous owner of our house said we didn't
need to water the yard hardly ever because of the ground water present.
The morning after the hole was dug (the first time) it had filled with 6
feet of water and I thought we had a water leak somewhere so I called
the city water department. They sent a crew out and pumped the hole out
then showed me all the water leaking into the hole through the fissures
in the clay soil. Before the hole filled with water we found a steering
wheel at the 6 foot level from a 1960s Chevrolet pickup truck. The city
assumred me my subdivision wasn't built on top or the edge of a
landfill, but no one could explain where the steering wheel came from hi
hi. Never found the rest of the truck either.
I then (second time) hired a professional tower installer who had two
men dig a 4x4x6 foot hole in one day, set the base for the WT51 and had
an on-site concrete mixing truck with a concrete pump and flexible 6
inch diameter hose mix it in front of our house and pump it to the back
yard before it could fill with water. He used what was called "six sack
mix" which several persons told me was the same mix the Texas Highway
Department specs out for its concrete highway bridges. He told me the
PSI rating then, but that was 11 years ago. I did keep a cynlindrical
sample of the concrete using a 2 pound coffee can for a mold for several
years in case there were any problems with the base. There haven't been
any problems in the 11 years since it was installed.
One the concrete began to set up, several times a day for more than two
weeks I would lightly spray it with water to let it cool/cure more
uniformly. I waited about 45 days after that before putting the W51 up.
> I spent about 5 hours the first day and almost 5 the next day on a
> 3.5' X 3.5' X 6' hole for my W-51 in some pretty well packed soil with a
> good amount (maybe that should be bad...) of clay. I should have done
> less work in each day, as my hands were very full of blisters, even with
> good gloves.
> Make sure you have a place for the stuff you take out of the ground, and
> remember that it is worth all the hard work!
> Jeff Chambers / KK7MQ