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[TowerTalk] RE:Tower Conundrum

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Subject: [TowerTalk] RE:Tower Conundrum
From: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 07:28:36 -0600
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I have some good and some bad experiences as far as Heights Towers. I
have used this forum last year in trying to deal with my issues. For
those who don't remember, I will discuss those issues.

I spent over $4,000 (plus cement and labor expenses)on a 72' tilt over
and its has been a nightmare. Before it was even all way up it made
"clanging" sounds. Since it was not fully tightened at the base, it was
determined that that "may be" the issue. 

I completed the tower, put the antenna on, and the clanging got worse.
This was about a year ago. After months of back and forth with Drake we
came up with some conclusions:

There are issues with a certain size of tower leg that he uses and how
it couples to the next section. If you use the same diameter of tower
leg for a number of "joints", there will be movement. The reason is that
the collar that goes between the joints is larger than the legs
themselves. Not just a small fraction, but a noticeable gap. For one or
two joints like this, he said he has not seen a problem, but for a
number of joints like I have, it has been determined to be a problem. He
did drive out from Florida to Texas last May and replaced the bottom 4
sections. In the process we added a fair amount of grease to each joint.
This all seemed to help and the clanging was much less noticeable. 

Unfortunately, over time and raising and lowering the tower a couple of
times, the grease has been less effective and the noise is back, maybe
not as bad as originally, but still quite disturbing. His only other
suggestion has been to apply shims to fill in the gaps on each leg of
the tower, at each of the 4 joints, but with no guarantee of success.
The shims are narrow little pieces of metal which don't really stay in
place very well, especially on the under side of the collars. 

Drake has told me that the collar material does not come in the correct
size to "match" the legs. That's the bottom line. My question, why sell
a tower where the leg joints will not fit properly. He has many models
whose joints do not couple the way this one does. I am sure those work
very well.

As to the tower, it's very rugged, well made. No complaints there. The
tilt-over mechanism works fine. But it is not climbable, since it
wiggles at the joints. Yes, there are 6 bolts in each of the 3 legs at
each lower joint, so I don't think its going anywhere, but for anybody
that has climbed a tower, it's not a comfortable feel.

I am sure he has a fine product and the company has been around quite a
while and through quite a bit. Drake himself is a great gentleman. But
lets look at a bottom line, I have a 72' (rated at 25 sf) tilt-over
tower that "clangs" with the slightest wind, and has issues with the
joints. Currently I have about 10 sf of antenna on it, and wouldn't ever
think of going to the "rated" 25 sf.

If I were to do it again, I would find a different product. I don't have
the money any longer to replace this one. I like aluminum towers, and
have had many over my 40 years as a ham, but not this model from this

I do hope this reads "politically correct", as my intent is to inform
and not "bash" anybody.

Thanks for listening,

        Bob Redoutey - N5KF
        Regulatory Test
        Dell Inc.
        512-728-0011 (Office)

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 00:28:25 -0800
From: Alan Zack <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Conundrum
Cc: Heights Tower Systems <>,, Gene
        Smar <>
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed

I would recommend Heights Towers.  I recently purchased and installed 
a 45 ft free standing crank-up/fold-over Heights Tower.  I needed 90 
MPH wind calcs in order to get my Bldg permit and Drake at Heights got 
them to me in about a weeks time.  I had many questions during the 
period of drilling my hole in the ground for the base and the final 
adjustment of the fold over arms adjustment.  I had a local contractor 
who installs Cel phone towers for a living help me with the concrete 
work and setting up the tower as well as the city bldg inspector both 
commenting on the quality of the tower and the workmanship putting it 
together.  Latest notable contacts with this tower and a measly MA5B 
mini-beam were both VU4RBI and VU4NRO on Andaman Island on 20 mtrs 
before the tsunami hit.
Check them out at:
73 & GL


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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