Many of you have been following my ham radio tower erecting project since it
began back in May, 2006. I have promised all of you photos and the project
photos to date are now posted for viewing. The most recent Cadweld joints shown
were made today, 9/6/06. I will be adding a few final photos later this month
as completion approaches, God willing!
You can view the photo documented project by clicking on or pasting the
following URL into your browser:
Enjoy, send comments, and,
Mike DiGirolamo, W4XN
Charlottesville, VA 22901
History: This antenna tower is made by "US Tower." It's their Model HDX-572
MDPL, a 72' self-supporting, crank-up. Included in the sale was a HyGain
TH-11DX, H.F. log periodic beam antenna (which will be re-installed on a 17'
mast, once the tower is erect at its new home at my QTH) and a host of other
antennas. The tower was purchased from the estate of a S.K. in Knoxville, TN.
The project begins with photos showing its former installation at its original
QTH and progresses from its move, when Dave Metzgar (WG4T) and I drove to
Knoxville, TN, hauling a rented trailer, to lower it and pick it up. We
arrived at 4:00pm on a Friday and we were on the road back home at 12:15 the
following day, being held up for 2 hours during a thunderstorm. At my QTH, the
project was somewhat complicated because the underground power utility feed was
coursing across the proposed tower base site and had to be spliced. Also the
rebar cage needed to be welded (a special type of rebar steel) since I wanted to
use it as a Ufer ground. I want to thank my good friend Bill Eubanks, a master
welder at the Lake Anna Nuclear Facility, for his assistance and construction of
this rebar cage. Thanks to both Dave and Bill, some 20 ground rods were sank in
about 4 hours one Saturday afternoon as the 3 of us worked diligently. The
following week I rented a Ditch-Witch to form trenches between the rods and it
nearly "beat me to death." What an experience!! This is NOT a precision
instrument! The final ditching had to be done by hand to connect the peripheral
and tower radial ground system ditches together. I used a special tin-coated
copper wire/rope (1/0) to connect the 5/8'x8' ground rods together with Cadweld
joints. The Cadweld products have given me a host of problems but Erico, the
manufacturer, has been excellent in working through them with me. The project
lacks only a few more Cadwelds to mark the completion of the grounding system.
The final step will be the tower erection.
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