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[TowerTalk] My Tower cost

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Subject: [TowerTalk] My Tower cost
From: "Tower (K8RI)" <>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 15:40:31 -0400
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For a bit of input: I've installed a few towers and put up a few of my own.

A good rule of thumb is the cost goes up exponentially with tower height and

I've had 40 and 50 foot towers that had a tribander, or monobander on top, used dirt bases,
1/8" guy lines hooked to 8' fence posts that withstood over 70 MPH winds.

I had one 40' bracketed to the end of the house, that used a dirt base and
1/8" steel guys that had a 5L KLM 20 meter beam on a 42 foot boom. I had a
second 40 foot tower that was just out in the back yard holding a 6L 15
meter KLM on a 42 foot boom, and I had a third 40 footer in the garden with
a 7L 10 meter Wilson on a 39 foot boom. On all, the guy anchors were nothing more than 8' steel fence posts driven in about 2 1/2 feet of clay/loam. These systems
withstood over 70 MPH winds out in the open country on a good many
occasions. They also withstood over 3 inches of ice that took out nearly a
mile of power line. BTW, those towers were the cheap American Steel, not
the strong 25G.

But, things get complicated in a hurry as you go up.
What worked at 40 feet is not going to work for long at 60 feet in many

Bigger arrays and/or multiple antennas mean heavier towers. Heavier towers
may be more rigid, but at any reasonable height they require guying and the
guys require anchors a lot bigger and heavier than a steel fence post.

For smaller towers on the 40 to 50 foot height where (IF) you don't have to
present engineering data, or get a building permit others have already
suggested putting an add in the paper.  With the proliferation of the small
satellite dishes and cable there are many 30 and 40 foot towers available if
you just take them down.  A few may be Rohn 25Gs, but don't get your hopes
up. The vast majority are light duty towers such as the American Steel (the
most prevalent in this area) to some light duty aluminum towers. There are a
few HBX or similar looking towers floating around.

Many of these towers are suitable to 50 feet. Even 60 feet for some of the
heavier ones in good shape, but 60 feet is pushing your luck with anything
lighter than a 25G unless the antenna load is small.

I did a lot of scrounging and hunting.  I found a 45G on close out plus the
accessories. It was still on the order of $200 a section.

Every thing in the installation was done by hand except digging the holes
for the guy anchors.
I had no charges for labor except the back hoe operator.  The hoe with
operator was $370 for a full day.

I no longer remember the exact figure  and don't have the ambition to dig
out all the paperwork, but with the tower, guys, anchors, concrete, rotor,
and antennas (tribander is a used TH-5) it ran me some where between $5000
and $7000.  I'm not counting the two Hygain HDR rotors and the tail twister
that lasted only a few days each.

There are 6 runs of LMR-400, 5 of which are 228 feet and the other is about
200 feet.

Roger Halstead (K8RI, EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
N833R, World's Oldest Debonair (S# CD-2)


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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