I posted this on the Professional's Tower list so I could get their point of
view but thought I'd ask here to see what the hams think. I know that there
are some very proficient tower folks here who could give me some valid
Anyway, I'm not a professional tower dog but have "played" on towers all my
life (yeah, I'm one of THOSE who "does it at home"). I had 90 feet of Rohn
45 at my old qth before I moved here. I decided that I was going to put up
another R45 so I have no problem in its construction. Planning phase found
some Rohn 55 so I decided that's what I was going to use - 150 feet or so.
I'm the fella who bought 340 feet of the stuff and am currently advertising
190 feet of it for sale. If the cell tower comes thru, all 340 feet will be
on the market.
New twist to the tale:
I ran across a 180 foot (cell ?) tower that is already on the ground. I am
quite tempted to buy it and use it instead of the R55. It would be nice to
have a self supporting tower and not have to fight the guy wires when
pulling my ham antennae up. Also, I could use inverted Vees without
interaction wif guys.
Anyway, I have not seen the tower and the 'messenger' told me nothing more
than "180 feet and it's already on the ground". I have no idea what
brand/condition/construction/weight/etc.... So at this point, I'm
'pipe-dreaming' for my ham station.
So I'm asking for your opinions as to what kind of base you could suggest I
install for the tower. I do know that it is a 3-leg tower, tapered, then
straight up. Beyond that, I dunno.
I talked with a local sign/crane company, explained what it is and asked
what he thought I would need for a crane. He said something like a 40 ton
that reaches 90 feet up.
Not big/tall enough. He then suggested his 150 foot crane and could set the
tower in 3 picks. Sounded good to me.
I plan to install the concrete bases and set the bottom sections. Then climb
to the top of what's there and wait for him to bring the next 'section' up
and bolt it. Climb and wait for the top group which would include the tower
sections and prop pitch and 20 feet of 3 or 4 inch steel mast that would
have a permanent pulley with cable loop at the top of the mast. Set it all
in place and bolt. Then I could install my yagi antennae at my leisure
without any crane.
So my question is about the concrete base sections. What diameter holes and
how deep is typical for something like this ? My soil is hard clay that
will not move, nor will it soak/drain water. There are many man-made ponds
in the area thanks to the hard, water-sealing and when I dug the hole for
the foundation for my house foundation, I learned how hard the soil and
shale bedrock is. There is a layer of shale about 5 feet down, 3-4 feet more
hard clay and then more harder shale. The base support available to me by
the soil is quite formidable. Also, what kind of steel do you typically
included in the base sections that you set in the concrete ?
I initially considered 3 3-foot diameter holes, going about 8 feet deep,
with rebar cages and substantial J-Bolts for the attachment. Again, not
knowing who made the tower, I am at a loss to call anyone and ask if they
have base mounting kits available. If I can find the mfr, I will get their
kit. Otherwise, I'll have to fabricate something that is obviously
over-engineered. After all, it will be MY house it would fall on, and it
would be ME that would be on it. And I don't want to be a subject of
discussion on the list if there is a fatality. I'm not one who likes to
increase (morbid) statistics, you know.
Where I live, there are NO CODES or HOAs or any of that crap. I talked with
the township trustees about putting up a tower and asked if I needed any
permits or blessings. NOPE. So I'm good to go without any PE stamps on
every page (backs, too). Heck, I don't even have an old lady to bitch about
what I'm doing. But I would ike to have a tower dog girl friend to accompany
me up from time to time. In fact, I have a pic of Alice Wolfe as my desktop
at the office. I disremember where I got her but she has such an engaging
smile, making me drool when I look at her. Wish she woud come to work with
me instead of those lucky professinals who have to look at here every day.
I mean DAMN.
Anyway, that's my sad tale of woe.
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