I have a 3el SteppIR on a UST 455 with a 10' mast --- about 6' sticking
above the tower. I routinely lower the tower and crank it over without
problems. (The standard winches provides good arm exercise; I recomment
asking for a winches with a little more mechanical advantage.)
I constructed a saw horse about 4' high and I place this under the tower
(as it is being cranked over) such that the boom of the SteppIR is a few
inches above the ground as the tower rests on the saw horse. Yes, I then
use a step ladder to access the beam feed point and the inverted V attached
near the top of the tower.
The first few times I did this I was a little worried because the cables do
creak a little as they work, but there have been no problems. I have
thought about using a ladder to work on the lowered tower (while it is
vertical), but I have always cranked it over.
I installed the SteppIR by attaching the boom (with the driven element and
director already in place) to the mast. I then partly raised the tower,
rotated the beam so the other end of the boom was pointed down, and
attached the reflector. No problems. There are a bunch of rather small
wires connected next to the dirven element and some care is needed to get
these dressed in a reasonable way.
The worst part was working on a step ladder to later connect the 30/40
modification to the beam. I did this by installing the additional cross
element (not difficult) and then installed the "U" pieces that connect the
new cross element to the original driven element. Installing these,
especially on a ladder, was a pain. They fit very tightly, the %$#$%&
connectors are a bit difficult to use, and the small SS screws provided
should be a little longer to ease installation.
I previously had a self-supporting aluminum tower. Like some of us, I am
not growing younger and I never liked climbing. The crank-down/crank-over
seemed the best long-term solution. The 55' tower is a modest solution, of
course. If you want to be in the big leagues a crankdown is probably NOT
the way to go.
Bill - W2WO
TowerTalk mailing list