In a message dated 8/12/2008 4:20:45 PM Greenwich Standard Time,
Owen, K3CB, has had several total failures with his Heights crankups
but, other than a few complaints about rattling noises, the foldovers
seem to all be doing fine.
I sent a reply to the original poster of the question, but figured I needed
to make sure others know some of the issues related to aluminum towers and the
foldover mechanisms associated with them.
I personally used four of them (Heights and Universal) and one problem
common to all of them is the egging of the holes where they are bolted
This egging is caused by the flexing of the joint in the wind and gets
progressively worse, leading to an increases sloppiness of the joint.
the bolt does help a little, but the aluminum distorts with more tightening
also, and the egging continues, especially in high wind areas. Climbing these
things is, uh....exciting. I like to call them flexible fliers.
The second issue is getting the damn sections apart. Sometimes they are
impossible to get apart in the air OR on the ground....totally frozen. I have
bought them from guys that way and had it happen to me. Nothing, and I mean
using all the tricks of the trade to get them apart worked. Oxidation is a
pain, much worse than on the steel towers. I used lithium grease on the
when installing and this did help on later installations
Third issue. I los two of these towers, both by the foldover devices. One
involved a totally rotting rotting away of the base stubs in less than five
years. The second involved using the winch which was provided by the company.
The winch failed internally, freewheeling out cable and I lost 72 feet of
tower, a mast, rotor and a very expensive antenna.
Would I buy or erect any aluminum tower again...not unless I got it almost
free, didn't have to climb it and was only gong to use it to hold wires.
73 Bill KH7XS/K4XS
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