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Re: [TowerTalk] Crank up Winch Cable Replacement

To: "'Towertalk'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Crank up Winch Cable Replacement
From: "Mike, K6BR" <>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 10:32:52 -0700
List-post: <">>
Some useful information on cables posted by Steve a couple of years back
on this group.

Mike, K6BR

QUESTION:  US Tower recommends replacing the cable every 2-3 years,
which may be overkill but is definitely erring on the side of safety.
Since my tower is 7 years old I'd like to start out with fresh cabling. 

ANSWER:  The UST recommendation is known as a "weasel clause"; that is,
Something happens to your tower and you hadn't changed the cables, they
can weasel out of any liability. Tower manufacturers are
insurance-driven enterprises so it's no surprise they are reluctant to
provide any helpful information. 
The other gotcha is that there isn't anyone around who can do the cable
change anyway. I spent a couple of days at the factory to learn how to
do it and what I found out is that it's an involved and semi-complicated
endeavor. It's not something I would try myself. 
I'll bet you a nickel that you don't have to do anything other than lube
the cables and you'll be good to go. The actual circumstances that would
require cable replacement are:

1) Excessive broken strands. Industry standards allow you to have six
broken strands before replacement is necessary.
2) Excessive rust - not surface rust but real cancerous into the strands

3) Damaged cable. This would be kinks or flat spots in the cable. I
doubt that your cables meet any of the above criteria.  

OTOH you should lubricate the cables annually at a minimum. Champion
Radio products sells PreLube 6 which is recommended by the wire rope
You should exercise the tower a couple of times a month by running it up
and down. You should also park it at different heights rather than just
at the limit switches all the time. The cables can take a permanent set
by sitting on the pulleys at the same spot for years.  By doing these 3
things, you will prolong the service life of your cables.
BTW I have never personally seen a ham tower that the cables were so bad
that they had to be replaced. Some were pretty grungy but didn't meet
the aforementioned criteria. 
Lube it and enjoy it and don't worry about  replacing the cables.
Steve    K7LXC
Professional tower services for hams
Cell: 206-890-4188

-----Original Message-----
 Subject: [TowerTalk] Crank up Winch Cable Replacement

You are very likely to get a response from K7LXC on this one. I agree
with him that unless the cable shows some indication of imminent

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