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Re: [TowerTalk] masting

To: Gregg Seidl <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] masting
From: "Roger (K8RI)" <>
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2008 20:44:37 -0400
List-post: <">>
Gregg Seidl wrote:
> Boy with all the talk about using fencing makes me get nervous!!Good high 
> grade masting ISN"T that expensive.What if you put that mast up and then 
Expensive is relative, but I find structural steel tubing strong enough 
and far less costly than Drawn over Mandrel (DOM) tubing

Don't forget this is a group of Hams and we are known for being a bit 
frugal. Many years ago I put up several 40' towers with some pretty big 
antennas. The towers set on dirt bases and were guyed with stuff we'd 
not consider now days.  They stood up through winds that took a TV 
antenna right off the roof. Pulled out 6 lag bolts into 2 X 4s 
(edgewise) inside the roof yet two towers with the big antennas had nary 
a problem.  I had to go up on the roof in that storm and plug the holes 
with Silastic RTV (TM) <:-)) My but that was fun.
> decide you want a bigger antenna or " just one more ".Not to mention if you 
> get a " 100 year " windstorm.Saving a penny is almost always smart but in 
Now days it's a lot more than a penny.  Steel has gone *UP* a lot. <:-)) 
The material being discussed in this thread now costs a fair amount more 
than the structural steel I put in mine a few years ago.
> this case I'd spend the money and get a 1026 DOM tubing mast and sleep easy 
If money were no issue I'd go with chromemoly steel.
I believe High carbon steel is now recommended over the DOM Low carbon 
tubing, but a 20' length of 2" with 1/4" wall is on the order of $470. I 
use 30' so we're looking at roughly $700 just for the masting at the 
top. That's more than most hams would want, or be willing to put into 
the whole system. I'd prefer chromemoly tube, but what I have (1 1/2" 
inside 2") structural steel tube is sufficient but HEAVY and 
considerably less expensive than chrome molly.  I also have to take it 
down and weld the two pipes together at the ends and weld a cap over the 
top as paint has not proven sufficient to prevent a slight rusting which 
is staining the tower.  Then it's time to give it a good dose of LPS-2 
which will probably make a bigger mess than the rust.

I also believe that most of the hams posing on here are not typical. In 
our area I think there is only one system larger than mine and mine is 
probably, no not probably, _it_is "small potatoes" compared to many on 
here.  (how long since any one heard that expression?<g>)

> at night knowing that if that mast bends it will be the least of your 
>'ll need to worry about no power,trees down all over.You'll 
> need a new roof etc etc.Please do it right ONCE.   Gregg K9KL 
With today's economy we are going to see more and more economizing, 
pushing towers, masts, rotators and antennas to the limits and beyond. 
We'll see more old TV towers resurrected to support tribanders. After 
all hams are great innovators and we are know for being cheap as well.  
All we can do is offer guidance and hope for the best.

For relatively short towers there's nothing wrong with a dirt base if 
the soil is adequate and the load isn't oversize.  I wonder how many 40 
and even 50 footers are still using that soft guy wire from the local 
electronics store that no longer sells parts.

Roger (K8RI - ARRL Life Member)
N833R (World's oldest Debonair)


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