"If you write an article saying that even a modest tower will cost $3-7
large ones, there's a lot of would-be tower builders out there who may
likely give up the hobby."
Bill, you're correct in the sense that many are likely to give up the hobby but
even if they live in an area where towers are permited the neighbours will
have computers and TVs that emit so much RF noise that serious HF ham
radio is impossible to receive. The biggest expense is buying an acreage
property - (in ZL we call it a 'lifestyle property) where the neighbours are so
distant/beyond the view corridor that you cannot hear their RF noise, and
they cannot see your towers.
My QTH was selected with those criteria - it's not perfect because it's not on
top of a hill, but on 11.5 acres we have no TVI and no RFI from neighbours.
Yes, I get QRN from electric fences (including mine) but it's about S1 and not
a real problem.
The tower cost was modest - a second-hand 60' Triex crank-up for $300,
and a home-brew 40' tilt-over for the cost of the Hi-ab truck rental ($50).
When totalled - concrete, screw-anchors, big-grips, insulators guy wire and
hardware was less than $1500.
The lifestyle property cost $300,000 - included two houses and a 'granny flat',
hay barn and sheep-shearing shed.
The neighbours on either side have offered to accommodate Beverages or
any other long-wire antennas if they are high enough to be clear of the cattle.
I count our blessings - both my XYL and I prefer the rural lifestyle, but the
benefits for ham radio activity were massive for me, especially for contesting.
Perhaps the unfortunate point I'm making is that it's not the cost of the tower
that's important - it's the cost of the real estate to erect it on.
My message for those more senior contesters (like me - there's no way I can
stay awake for 48 hours anymore) - please consider a Multi-Single operation
for the big 48 hour contests. If your station is competitive, invite some
ops who are stuck in apartments or suburban QTHs with tower restrictions.
The last time this happened for me, the good ops brought their own radios,
amplifiers, lap-tops, keyers and sleeping-bags. It was a pleasure, and I
hope they'll do it again soon. They even brought their own wine.
Bill, I hope the would-be tower builders don't give up the hobby.
73, Ken ZL1AIH
PS The dollar figures have been converted to US$
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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