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[TowerTalk] Fwd: Heights Towers Aluminum??

Subject: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Heights Towers Aluminum??
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 13:33:37 EDT
List-post: <">>
I am glad to get this information. The Height tower I have in my yard just  
now is old. I noticed that some of the weld or the Z have opened and was going  
to fix that before I put the tower up. Now I may get all the welds inspected  
before I put it up. I looked at the welds before and wondered if they were 
OK,  but as I am not an expert I thought they were OK. The welds that brook 
 under high tention after the Z itself bent at these places.
Hans N2JFS
Sent: 8/15/2008  2:00:39 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: [TowerTalk] Heights Towers  Aluminum??

Hi all,

As being the lucky person to clean up the  mess left by Owen's tower 
failures, I can tell you first hand that all antenna  weights, wind load specs, 
lengths, etc. were passed on to Heights before Owen  put them up, anyone who 
Owen knows he goes by the book and documents!!  He was told that his loading 
was within spec.

I am no expert on  aluminum welding but I do a fair amount about steel 
welding and what I have  seen is a failure of welds on his towers. Normally, a 
is stronger than  the surrounding material. If there is a failure, the weld is 
intact but metal  is ripped away around the weld. A sign of a good weld is a 
slight cutting away  of material right at the weld. This is the point where 
the material starts to  melt and becomes one with the welding rod material. 
of the failed welds  on his HF tower that came over first look like they just 
poped off, like a  cold solder joint.

His second failure, just a couple of weeks ago,  occured at 36 mph as 
measured by his Davis wx station and verified by the  local airport which 
only a 31 mph gust. The top section failed right  where it went inside the next 
section. A leg buckeled in and it was all down  hill from there. Once again, 
as the leg that was receiving all the downward  pressure (opposite the legs in 
the wind) pushed inward and the Z bracing which  is supposed to keep it from 
collasping, didn't. I did not see the Z bracing  buckle, the welds just broke.

All the discussions thus far seems to be  centered around just self 
supporting foldovers, not crank ups as Owen's was.  I'm sure there is a 
between the way the load is distributed down  the tower.
At K8GP, we use a lot of Univeral self-supporting towers that  pivot up from 
atop our school buses. Our towers take a lot of abuse from being  overloaded 
(it's only 5 days twice a year!) and riding around on bumpy roads  on top of 
school buses. Our towers have survived 80+ mph winds and when we  have a break, 
it's usually a fatigued Z brace and NOT at a weld and we only go  up 30 to 40 

I'm not passing judgement on Heights towers or  aluminum towers in general, 
just adding to the discussion of what I saw. For  most of us, a tower is a 
pretty good size investment in time and money, and  since my tired, old, fat 
is climbing up, I want nice heavy, thick,  galvanized STEEL under me!


-------------- Original message  -------------- 
From: <> 

> Hi Dick,  
> Unlike K3CB's recent experiences with the catastrophic  failure ofboth of 
> Heights crank-up towers (one in dead calm  weather and the other in light 
30 MPH 
> winds), the collapse of the  Heights tilt-over tower was the direct result 
of an 
> inexperienced  tower owner significantly exceeding the maximum dead weight 
>  specification. 
> I suspect he isn't alone in failing to  appreciate the importance of not 
> exceeding the dead weight  specification for tilt-over towers. 
> 73 
> Frank  
> W3LPL 
> ---- Original message ---- 
> >Date:  Thu, 14 Aug 2008 16:40:33 -0600 
> >From: "Dick Williams" 
>  >Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Heights Towers Aluminum?? 
> >To:  
> > 
> >I have seen several interesting comments on the  reflector concerning 
> >Alum towers; and in fact, I posted a  couple myself. 
> > 
> >As I mentioned in a previous post, I  have three of them and they all tilt 
> >over in the center (80 ft  towers with the fold over at the 40 ft level). 
> > 
>  >Obviously, weight is a concern, you can't put 400 lbs of antenna and  
> >acessories on the top and expect it to work. 
> >Alum  masts certainly help; in fact I have a nice 20 ft, 1/2 inch wall one 
>  >sitting on the ground that I am not using right now (150 bucks picked 
> > 
> >As far as size, I have not found that to be a  problem (just weight). I 
> >put the antenna together (or take it  down to work on with the boom 
> >to the ground (elements  vertical). If the elements are too long, I just 
> >start removing  element sections as I lower it down until the boom is low 
> >enough  to work on. 
> > 
> >It is too bad that Glenn Martin  Engineering does not produce the Voyager 
> >more. It is the  similiar to the Hazer except it is on a external track on 
> >the  side of the tower. I have one on a 120 ft Rohn tower. Have a Force 12 
>  >Mag 620/340N on it with a M2 R2800 rotor. Works great; brings the antenna 
> >right down to the ground ready to be worked on when needed. And  all it 
> >takes is a 1/2 inch electric drill to raise and lower it.  
> > 
> >All said and done, I like the Heights towers and  the Voyager system for 
> >"ground level" antenna work. 
> >  
> >Dick K8ZTT 
> > 
> > 
> > 
>  >_______________________________________________ 
> > 
>  > 
> > 
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> > 
>  > 
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