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Re: [TowerTalk] US Tower damaged by lightning

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] US Tower damaged by lightning
Reply-to: "Tower and HF antenna construction topics." <>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 12:31:16 EDT
List-post: <">>
In a message dated 4/28/2010 6:29:40 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

>  My US Tower HDX-589MDPL, which is motorized with the  remote control 
recently took a very large, direct lightning  hit.  The antennas on it at 
time were (and still are) a Diamond  2M/450 vertical at the top, a 2L M2 40,
a Force-12 Delta 130 30M rotatable  dipole, and a 4L (+26M directors) 
at the bottom.

>   My question concerns the US Tower repairs.  US Tower says the cable and 
pulleys need to be replaced and the tower inspected - all necessary  to
ensure structural integrity.  The cables look to me to be  undamaged, and 
pulleys seemed to turn, as I didn't have any difficulty  lowering the tower
with a US Tower emergency hand crank. 
    Of course UST says to replace everything. It's a  potential liability 
issue and they don't want any responsibility ("We told him  to replace 
everything and he didn't so it's not our problem")
    Of course you should inspect the tower. You  should look at or touch 
all of the cables and look for burned spots -  they should be relatively 
obvious. I would think that the strike followed the  path of least resistance 
(and skin effect) by going directly down any  conductors. Maybe the tower 
itself acted as a sort of Faraday shield  protecting the cables inside the 
    Anyway, I'd be surprised if the cables were  affected but a visual 
inspection will tell you. 
    The problem is that the only guy I know who does  UST repairs is Skip, 
KJ6Y, in SoCal. Replacing the cables on your  tower is not a job for the 
inexperienced or faint of heart. If it was my  tower I'd roll the dice and just 
go ahead and use it. In the case where a  cable does fail at some point, 
then you do have a loss worth pursuing. You  could be candid with your 
insurance folks and tell them they can either fix it  now or later by keeping 
claim open for a year or so. 
Cheers & GL,
Steve      K7LXC
Professional tower services for hams
UST factory authorized installer


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