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Re: [TowerTalk] Wooden Power Pole Antenna Masts

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Wooden Power Pole Antenna Masts
From: Pat Barthelow <>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 19:08:11 -0700
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A major manufacturer of wooden poles is McFarland.
Their site has a Pole request form, that you specify everything, including 
delivery means, and they deliver a quote.

Indeed some city QTH's could not be a destination for a 120 footer, as 
mentioned.   McFarland Quoted me a  Class 1, (thick) 120 ft pressure treated 
pole, delivered to the property line, horizontal.  They handled all the 
reconaissance, permits, chase trucks, and  logistics of transport of the pole 
to the property from their yard in Idaho.  The 10,000 lb pole cost at the mill 
in Idaho $3500.  Transport to my yard, (Monterey area) was quoted $4000.
I did not solve for the costs of drilling the hole, (no concrete necessary) for 
this theoretical exercise.    The required  depth was quoted to me as being 10 
percent of height  + 2 ft..... Hmm 14 ft sounds shallow for 106 ft 
above ground.
Or the substantial cost of man-machine handling of the horizontal pole into the 
vertical position in the hole.  Let's say hole drilling and erection costs $4K.
Add step hole drilling,  (not expensive if done in Idaho + $2 per step, say 
Add hardware to clamp to pole to support rotors and thrust bearings, etc.
I will guess $600 for that  and we have ~$14,000 for a 120ft self supporting 
VERY HEAVY DUTY mast.  I dont know what that compares to a self supporting 
metal tower, or a 120 ft guyed tower, but would be interested in knowing how 
they compare. 
I will get a copy of the article...BTW, I wrote for CQ recently, and learned 
that their copyrights are one time, for the period cycle of production, after 
which they are perfectly OK with putting their articles up on the web.  So 
check with them directly to confirm whether you can post digital copies on the 
web 30 (or 60) days after publication.

All the Best, 73,
Pat Barthelow
Jamesburg Earth Station Moon Bounce Team

> Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 21:02:45 -0400
> From:
> To:;
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Wooden Power Pole Antenna Masts
> Poles are terrific if you can get them: A. delivered, B. planted, C
> stepped, D configured for rotator and mast properly level and plumbed.
> 120 footers are not common. Look at what it will take to get it to your
> place from the rail yard they drop it off at. The cost of permits,
> replaced stop signs light poles, overtime for traffic cops, permits, etc
> etc will make the cost of Rohn 55 or 65 cheap by comparison.....unless
> you live next to the rail yard and don't have to move it any distance.
> Anything over 65 feet long requires extra special handling. Once you
> have done all of that call the pole people and ask for a shipping
> quote. Me thinks you will not like the response.
> Now if you can have the local utility plant a few used 50 footers in
> your yard for a few cases of beer.......but remember two feet in the
> ground for every ten foot of pole plus two additional feet makes that 50
> footer a 38 footer.
> My first yagi was on top of a class 5 40 footer. It was a used pole and
> I had access to a line truck and a pole spoon. In the 35 years since I
> have always used stacked steel towers. 73 bob de w9ge
> Pat Barthelow wrote:
>> poles get good marks in the article? They seem to be vastly cost 
>>effective, and underutilized. I looked at poles at a big mfg: Look at 
>>McFarland-Cascade to get quotes on wooden poles, even up to 120 ft hts....
>>All the Best, 73,
>>Pat Barthelow
>>Jamesburg Earth Station Moon Bounce Team
>>>Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 20:41:50 -0400
>>>Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Wooden Power Pole Antenna Masts
>> It was beautifully done, most of the pages of the article were large full
>> color pictures.
>> I'd recommend it.
>>>>>For those contemplating the use of a used or new wooden power pole as a
>>>>>substitute for a tower, required reading should be the excellent
>>>>>article in the Oct 2007 issue of CQ by Steve Gillmor, W1FK.
>>>>>Henry - K4TMC
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