A few comments. I agree with all of Steve's comments also.
1. MA-550 is easy to raise and lower with the hand crank, but if you do it
more than a few times a week, all the way up and down, it can get tiring. I
raise or lower it half-way maybe once or twice a week and it's not a big
problem. The weight of 435 lbs is much easier to handle and was an easy
install. To move than the 900+ lbs with the motor and the extra $1400 or so is
signfiicant. The crank over package is a must for antenna maintenance.
2. I've heard of people buying Dayton engineering winches as an aftermarket
modification. Everyone I have heard of has said good things about this
approach. I was about to buy one when the manufacturer would not warrantee it
if it were used vertically rather than the spec'd horizontal. I decided to
wait and see.
3. Despite a permit and no applicable CC&R, used this tower to reduce visible
impact. It's a big improvement over my old lattice-type tower in terms of
looks. When it's all the way up, there are some visitors to my place who say
they didnt even notice it driving by.
4. The MARB-550 and MAF-550 are very solid and have no concerns about their
ability to handle the tower. I used a 4 x 4 x almost 6' base. I am not
worried about the base, even though I added the US Tower 20 mast. I lower it
if the wind picks up. It is close to the house and even though it makes me
nervous being so close, I dn't feel the need to mess with the factory design.
The rotor base in my opinion is a must. Having a rotor at the base is terrific
and a Tailtwister moves it without hesitation.
5. Suggest buying a wx monitor such as the Davis Engineering to keep track of
wind at the tower top. I have alarms set at 25mph. It does sway in the wind
and creaks occassionally.
Bottom line. I love the tower. It's a great system. If you would like photos
to help you decide, let me know. Good luck.
Michael Hatzakis, Jr MD
Physiatrist, Treating Individuals with Neuromuscular Disabilities
Consultant, Information Technology Based Health Care Solutions
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