Thanks for all the answers and comments (some private, some public) in
response to my questions.
I also had the opportunity to see a tower the next step up from the one
I intend to use. As far as I could tell, this guy had done everything
"by the book," including expensive Polyphaser protection units, Kellem
grips for the cables, and -- talk about thinking ahead -- *4-inch* steel
conduit for the coax and control lines. He also had a fence -- with
lockable gates at the opening through which the tower can tilt down --
around the base of the tower for reasons of aesthetics and security.
Concerning the allowable number of bends: I woke up a few hours later
and realized that inserting a box commences a new "run" and resets the
count on the number of bends. I also realize that RMC *sweeps* (as
distinct from bends) may be available from a "real electrical supply
house" if not from Lowe's or HD.
I still see no reason not to follow Polyphaser's recommendation to use
grounded steel conduit for all wiring to minimize the likelihood of
surges traveling even along the outside of feedlines and finding their
way to ground via my equipment. Using non-metallic or
metallic-but-not-grounded conduit and running a separate ground wire
inside does not do the job, AFAICS.
I am thinking, however, that instead of running power underground, I
might simply mount a weatherproof GFCI outlet on the wall of the house
adjacent to the tower base and plug in the cord from the motor when I
want to raise or lower the tower. I won't be using remote control from
the shack (since I won't be able to see the tower from there), so I'll
have to walk outside to the tower anyway; plugging in a power cord will
represent only a minor additional hardship.
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