I had a Heights 64 foot crankup with an electric winch from 1980 through
1986 (pre-insolvency manufacture). The tower collapsed into itself when
the steel rollers bound on the aluminum legs, and the wire rope snapped
before I was able to turn off the winch. So although it's certainly
easier to use an electric winch as hand cranking is no fun, there are
After my experience I can't recommend a Heights crank-up, but if you do
go with one, consider using a 1/2" electric drill which has good torque
instead. Assuming that hand winch shaft has a slot on it and that the
hand crank has a key that fits that slot (or some other arrangement that
gives a positive lock with the winch shaft), cut the end off the hand
crank, weld a 1/2" shaft to it, insert the shaft into the drill and use
the drill to crank the tower up or down. It's cheaper than an electric
winch, and you have a lot more control (assuming your drill is variable
speed). I use this technique to crank over my Tri-Ex Sky Needle (using
the raising fixture) for antenna work.
From: Alan C. Zack [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2004 10:47 PM
To: Tower Talk
Subject: [TowerTalk] Heights Towers
Anyone out there using a Heights tower?
Having gotten my Bldg permit I am now ready to order a 40 ft crank up
Heights Tower. I am trying to decide if I should put out the extra
$315.00 for an electric powered winch or just go with the hand winch.
Anyone using one or the other and could tell me how hard it is to
crank it up or down by hand.
Amateur Radio Station K7ACZ
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Quality Engineer, The Boeing Company, Retired
Aviation Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
U.S. Coast Guard, Always Ready, Always There
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Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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