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Re: [TowerTalk] new member with tower question

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] new member with tower question
From: "Patrick J. Jankowiak" <>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 21:25:17 -0500
List-post: <">>

Jim Lux wrote:
> *--*
> Why can't you put up the BX?  Talk to an engineer familiar with your local 
> conditions, and they may agree with your assessment that caliche is 
> comparable to concrete.  The BX wants a base that is heavy and large enough 
> that a) the downwind side doesn't sink into the soil and b) that the upwind 
> side doesn't pull up.  There's lots of potential concrete pads that can be 
> created that are compatible with this.  One common strategy is to drill 4 
> round holes, one for each foot (you see this on HV Transmission towers).
The other reason is the BX has X-shaped braces instead of flat ones, and 
no one wants to climb the thing because it is horrible to stand on!!
>> Since this will be done in an enclosed area of yard that is only 40x40 
>> FT, the three guy pipes will be placed so that they are sunk 5 FT into 
>> the ground and extend 5 FT above the ground. We want to use 4" oil well 
>> drill pipe for this. We can find the pipe because any piece with a crack 
>> has to be discarded and they go to scrap. 
> Of course, that crack indicates a failure of the pipe, no?  (unless you're 
> talking about taking a 20 ft stick with a crack at one end and chopping a 
> section out of the middle?)
True. The wall of the pipe is 3/4" thick and the cracks are hairline and 
discovered by X-ray (thanks Halliburton), I was told. I have yet to 
inspect one of these to find the facts. Might be bogus info.
> As you increase the tension on the guy (e.g. by bringing the anchor in 
> closer to the tower base) you increase the compression load on the 
> tower, perhaps above that which the mfr recommends. You also increase 
> the load on the anchor, tending to pull it out of the soil. And, of 
> course, the increased downforce on the tower tends to sink it into the 
> soil.
That is a very good point.

> An engineer can answer all these questions, tailored for your particular soil 
> conditions, in about an hour or two.  The couple hundred bucks for the 
> engineer will be well spent (and you might find someone to do it free or for 
> the proverbial "sixpack".. check the ARRL Volunteer Consulting Engineer lists)
Ok, I am convinced to hire an engineer first. Then, I will know what I 
can put up, and what I can't.

I trust that a 25FT pole embedded 5' in the ground will be OK to support 
an end of a dipole without the engineer's approval :-) (not to open 
another can of worms)
>> Is there a free downloadable calculator to help with the angles of the 
>> guys and design of the site? All advice will be welcome.
> Not one that I would trust....
> Jim, W6RMK

kind regards,

Patrick Jankowiak
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