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Re: [TowerTalk] telephone poles from the electric co.

To: "'Eric'" <>, "'antenna forum'" <>, "'tower talk'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] telephone poles from the electric co.
From: "Robert West" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 09:51:59 -0400
List-post: <">>
I'm pro-pole but I have yet to personally use one but from my experience,
there are usually GOOD poles in the pile, you just need to sort through it.
Linemen use a hammer to thump the poles near the base to check for the sound
of rot.  If it's a soft sound they replace the thing.  Out of the ground,
you could probably tell just from looking at it if it's bad or not but take
a hammer just to be sure.  Even if stuck with a bad one, if it's tall enough
cut the bottom off.  As far as the GOOD ones, they sometimes replace new
poles during an upgrade or whatever so you could find nearly new poles that
have lots of life in them.  Someone mentioned climbing the poles and this is
the big problem.  I have an uncle who is a retired electrician and he has
lots of stories of gung ho guys running up the pole but then not be able to
get down!  The bucket truck idea is the best option.  You can find a hungry
sign installer who would do the work for cheap, as in maybe 65 an hour or so
depending on how the sign business is going in your area.  I have seen
another guy use poles but used an idea you can see along the interstate
highway system with the tall light poles.........  He fashioned a steel ring
with skateboard wheels on the inside using spring tension to hug the pole
and mounted his antennas to the ring which was put around the pole and
hoisted up with a cable and pulley.  Was really easy to raise and lower.
Worked great and I'd like to try it someday when I have lots of time.
However, from my personal experience with doing the unusual, you end up
paying 1.5 to 2 times the cost of going conventional.  (Knew another guy who
was gonna be SMART and built a tower from rebar.  Yup, rebar.  The worst and
most brittle junk you can buy.  Welded it all together........  The whole
thing cost him more in welding wire, rebar, guy wire and the like than a
used 60 footer off eBay.  And was UGLY to say the least!  How would you like
to climb a 60 foot tower made from welded together rebar???  Not me.  Even
with guys on it looked crooked in every spot.)  To get the job done you
should just pick up a used tower for cheap but for learning or to have
bragging rights on a different way of doing it, heck yeah!  I'd go with the

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Eric
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 10:16 PM
To: antenna forum; tower talk
Subject: [TowerTalk] telephone poles from the electric co.


My casual conversation turned in a great opportunity today.   The 
electric company sent someone out to my property today to survey my 3 
phase job.  I asked him what they did with the old poles they remove and 
upgrade from time to time and he told me that they took them back to the 
company and put them in a pile and did not use them.  After I explained 
to him that I was in amateur radio and had heard other amateurs 
installing them for their stations he told me that I could have one or two.

This brings me to my second  point, What is involved in getting one and 
installing them ?  Is this worth further effort in trying to get one.  I 
would have to transport the pole to my property and install it.  What is 
the best way of transporting a power pole ?  Has anyone tried to install 
one ?  He did tell me that in the old days that they installed them by 
an a frame and a winch to pick it up.  I might even have some trees 
nearby to use for the anchor support.

Is this even worth trying to do it or is it more trouble than it's worth ?

Thank you,



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