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[TowerTalk] MA-550 advice...

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] MA-550 advice...
From: (
Date: Mon Aug 18 22:37:07 2003
In a message dated 8/18/03 8:41:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> I'm now on your page after strugging with alternatives.  For my QTH,
>  the MA-550 seems perfect -- neighbor and code friendly in terms of
>  appearance and ability to lower it below the roofline of the house, easy to
>  install assuming I can work on its top side from the second story roof.

    Sounds great. And they're aesthetically pleasing - they just look like a 
big flagpole. 
>  Sure could use your experience now that I'm running on this track.  E.g.:
>  Hadn't even thought of sound deadening as an issue.
    Sound deadening? You mean the tower crank-up mechanism? The motor just 
whirs and once in awhile a cable creaks. Barely discernible even when you're 
very close to it. 

>  Situatin: I'm assuming I'll use a MAB or MARB base.  Antenna will be a 
>  12 3CSS weighing 25#, and a 2 meter yagi and 2m/0.70m vertical above it, 
>  some kind of nice rotor; a bottom mounted would certainly look nicer and be
>  a lot less hassle to maintain.  I'm in my mid-50's and in excellent shape,
>  but that may not always be the case in the future....  $ is an issue, of
>  course, but I want to make sure I'm not pennywise and # foolish.
>  Questions:
>  1.  Is is practical to use the MARB rotator base and still attach the unit
>  to the roof?  

    Well, if you use the rotating base then the whole tower rotates so you'll 
have to have some sort of floating bracket on the house. 

    But you don't need it. The tower is designed to be self-supporting. Don't 
mess around with any "vest pocket engineering". 

>  Is there an available bearing?

    No. See reply above.

>  2.  If I don't attach to roof, does the 3.5' x 3.5' x 5' concrete pier 
>  provide sufficient stability?

    What do your factory plans say? What do your PE plans say? Don't 
second-guess the manufacturer. In all cases follow the LXC Prime Directive to 
"DO what 
the manufacturer says." This also covers the house-mounted bracket. Do they 
offer one? Do they specify using one?

>  3.  Raising lowering - do I need the MAF if I can use the roof structure
>  itself and a block and tackle?

    No, but don't underestimate the weight and force of the tower. It's HEAVY.

>  4.  Motorizing the up and down...hand crank vs motor?

    The whole tower only weighs 435 pounds with a bunch of it in the bottom 
non-moving section. You could hand crank it but you wouldn't want to do it 

>        buying the MD-75 or MD750 vs rigging a lower cost motor later?

    Installing the motor drive later is not a job for an amateur. You 
probably don't have enough cable when you convert from a hand crank and there 
other issues; i.e. it should be done while the tower is horizontal.

    I spent a couple of days at the factory learning how to cable their 
crank-ups and what I found out was that it ain't easy! 

>  5.  Noise management

    What noise?

Steve     K7LXC
Authorized US Tower installer 
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