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Re: [TowerTalk] Speaking of wood supports

To: "Tower (K8RI)" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Speaking of wood supports
From: Don Havlicek <>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 17:47:00 -0500
List-post: <>
When I was in college [before electricity, it seems], I built a fold-over tower of 2 12-foot long 4x4's and 2 18-foot long 2x12's.
The first 4x4 was put in a hole approximately 4' deep and the two 2x12's were lag-bolted to that piece.
I drilled a 1-inch diameter hole in the two 2x12's approximately 6 inches from the other end of them, and inserted a 1-inch bolt through them and the mid-point of the other 4x4.
Using the second 4x4 as a 'push-arm' and a stout rope, I rotated the assembly upward and placed a second 1-inch bolt through the 2x12's and the 'ground' 4x4 to hold the entire assembly erect.
Having previously mounted a rotor-bracket and thrust bearing on the upper 4x4, I was then able to allow it to turn downward, using the weight of those brackets, inserted a mast through the bearing and into the rotor ... climbed a short ladder and tightened the mast in the rotor ... then, mounted the 5-element 15m yagi I had assembled [upside down!] to the mast.
Pulling on the stout rope [still attached to the far end of the upper 4x4, I was able to rotate the entire structure to operating position.
Yes .. I had previously mounted a piece of 2x8 to the [now] lower end of the upper 4x4 to prevent it from 'over-rotating'.
This 'tower' put the 15m yagi approximately 23 feet above ground, and provided me with a lot of DX for a few years .. until the entire thing came crashing down when 80+ mph winds hit one Spring day ...
Makes me smile to think of what we were able to manufacture when we couldn't afford to buy something more permanent!

Tower (K8RI) wrote:
The note on using a wood Gin pole jogged a very old memory.

Wayyyy back when I was first licensed, I built a simple A-frame out of 2 X 4s (when they were really 2X4s). It was multiple layers for reinforcement and was about 30 feet tall (as I recollect)

It hadn't been up all that long. Maybe a few weeks when we had a pretty strong wind. Out there in the flat lands there isn't much to slow it up.

I was operating on 75 when I noted a low frequency hum. I couldn't find what was making the noise, but it was one that seemed to penetrate right through me.
I happened to look out the window and saw the A-frame vibrating like a tuning fork. It was moving so fast you could see the standing waves. I was looking right at it when it let go. It sounded like a 12 gage shotgun. The largest piece I found was less than 3 feet long. As I recall, some of those pieces flew over 50 feet.

I don't think I'd want to use wood for a Gin pole except for very light duty.<:-))


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