Don't forget about the portable tubular crank ups sold by Force 12. They
are more expensive than the AB-577 but much lighter and smaller.. A friend
has the 42 foot version mounted on the rear of his big Van.
Another option is the complete tower and trailer sold by Alumna tower..this
does run $6,000.
Military surplus towers (both tubular and smaller versions similar to the
AB-577) are often sold by military surplus dealers. There is a fellow in
Roswell, GA who sells a 30 foot version of the AB tower for about $350 when
he has them. I understand they are often for sale on Ebay under both
amateur radio and military.
I find the 4 or 5 foot section aluminum and fiberglass tubing sections are
hard to work with when more than 5 or 6 sections are placed together. Years
ago I had 50 feet (10 sections) of 1 3/4 aluminum tubing from a WW II TBW 5
set that we used on field day to hold a G4ZU birdcage
and a Gonset 20 meter bow tie beam. Fairly easy to get up with two or three
people helping but impossible to take without help And we only went up 6
sections! The instructions said to have a muscular marine hold the center,
another marine to add sections and three marines to hold the guy lines.
This for a double doublet. They had two towers to put up.
73 Dave K4JRB