Don Daso K4ZA came up with a cute trick to help install masts in towers. He
describes it as follows in this month's "PVRC
I think this is an important safety innovation in ham tower work and think
Don's idea should be widely circulated.
-- Eric K3NA
By Don Daso, K4ZA
Hams sometimes do slightly dangerous things, and that can include tower
work, especially the job of raising heavy masts. I?ve done it myself, plenty
of times, using a variety of methods. Having tried all these ideas, having
listened to everyone else's solutions, I was still convinced there "had to be
a better way." Driving through my neighborhood a while back, I had one
such "Eureka" moment--coming up with a solution to this age-old problem.
This works better than anything else I?ve tried.
I recently had to install a 21-foot chrome-moly mast, working alone atop
the tower. Installing a basketball goal (just the hoop) at the top of my 13-
foot heavy-duty gin pole, provided a margin of control (and safety) missing
from all previous methods I?ve used. The mast, lifted at
just above its midpoint, couldn?t swing or ?get away? from me once inside the
hoop, which made guiding it down, and into the tower
top?s thrust bearing, relatively easy. (No matter how big and strong the tower
worker is, maneuvering such a mast is always
difficult ON THE TOWER, as there's no real mechanical advantage possible, nor a
good way to control the heavy mast.)
Despite all the kidding from my ground crew, everyone agreed this simple tool
made our work faster, and more importantly, safer.
I chose the basketball hoop because it was pre-made, relatively cheap (mine
cost $20), and sturdy. I ground off the small loops,
which normally hold the net, then drilled matching holes for U-bolts and
saddles to allow mounting on the gin pole.
The installation of long, heavy masts is now much easier. This simple tool will
always be in my tower toolkit.
See: http://www.mscomputer.com for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather
Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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