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Re: [TowerTalk] ballpark costs for a tower (installed)

To: TowerTalk Post <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] ballpark costs for a tower (installed)
From: Jim Idelson <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 21:40:40 -0400
List-post: <>
IMHO, the assumption of a crankup puts you in a well-above-average cost 
bracket. The low-end costs you suggest for the tower and installation are 
probably too low for a crankup. If you are trying to show the upper end of the 
cost for a tower of a given height, I think you've made an excellent choice. 
You should probably also show the example of a lower cost guyed or light duty 
free-standing tower and make the point that many bucks can be saved if the ham 
searches for good used hardware and does a lot of the work him/herself.


Jim K1IR

>I'm writing a short article with some tradeoffs between various approaches to 
building a station. What's a good ballpark number to use for the cost of buying 
and installing a typical medium height tower (i.e. say, 50-75 ft, crankup, etc) 
with a multiband 3 element beam. A quick check of the catalog from HRO and 
various websites, for instance, shows numbers like:

raw tower+mast+bracketry is going to set you back about $1500-3000 (don't 
forget you've got shipping, too)
(+ another 1000 if you want a motor to raise and lower it)
rotator at around $500-600
antenna around $500-1000
Cabling (rotator, controls, coax) $200
Installation (digging the hole, buying the concrete, etc.) $500-2500
(probably towards the high end, unless labor is really cheap)

Totals $3200 - 7300

I realize that one can greatly reduce many of these by clever shopping, 
scrounging, doing the work yourself (or having a bunch of friends come over for 
a tower raising party), but, then, you're essentially trading time for money, 
so I wanted to figure what it would cost if you just paid to have the work 

I assumed a crankup, because I assumed that your local PRB-1 compliant 
community will probably impose a "crank up only when in use" requirement. A 
fixed tower w/guys would be substantially cheaper, purchase wise, but might 
cost just as much by the time you figure in guys, anchors, additional 
installation time, etc.

Likewise, regulatory compliance could set you back a substantial chunk of 
change, depending on where you live (Thousand Oaks, CA had a $1000 antenna 
permit fee at one time, and may still do, plus the cost of dealing with the 


Jim, W6RMK

Jim Idelson K1IR
email    k1ir at


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