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RE: [TowerTalk] Mast Raising Fixture

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Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Mast Raising Fixture
From: Pete Smith <>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 09:14:48 -0400
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K4ZA has an excellent solution to the problem of managing a tall mast while dropping it into an already-erected tower. The write-up is at page 4 of the February 2004 PVRC Newsletter (, with a picture. The words are below:

"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 ginpole, 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, manuevering 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 ginpole. The installation of long, heavy masts is now much easier. This simple tool will always be in my tower toolkit."

73, Pete N4ZR

At 09:01 AM 8/17/2004, Carl R. Stevenson wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of
> Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 4:44 AM
> To:
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Mast Raising Fixture
> Greetings all....
> Just put up a Rohn RTP to 80'....putting in a 24' mast....anyone have
> plans for something to raise and lower it?
> Bob


Just a suggestion for thought ... This may not work in your situation.

Managing a 24' mast sticking up free above the top of the tower can be quite
an effort/potential for an accident.

How about this?  Can you get the mast *inside* the tower from down at/near
ground level? (This may have been easier if done as the tower was being put
up, but I gather you already have erected the tower.)

The idea is to contain the mast within the tower and raise it up inside the
tower to pass through the hole(s) in internal/top plate(s) so you don't have
to wrestle with it "freestanding" projecting 24' above the top of the tower.

Then, you could raise the mast *inside* the tower until it protrudes above
(passing through the hole in) the rotor plate, any intermediate plate, and
the top plate.  You could haul it up using a "rolling hitch" a few feet
below the top of the mast.  Once you get the top end through at least one
internal tower plate, you can use "vise-grip" or other "chain wrenches" to
firmly grip the mast, allowing you to raise it further (ideally, you'll use
2 or more of these tools).  This will give you something to lift with and
should prevent the mast from falling all the way down should your grip slip.
(Once one (or more) of these wrenches are on the mast, I'd still be inclined
to move the "rolling hitch" down and tie it off - just in case - as you work
the mast up to the final desired height. You'll probably have to raise the
mast a bit more than the final position to get the rotor in place, then
lower it to the final position.)

Just some thoughts.  They may not work for you because it's not clear if you
can get the mast inside the tower from ground level at this point.

Carl - wk3c


See: 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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73, Pete N4ZR
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was updated on August 2, 2004
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See: 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.

TowerTalk mailing list

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