In a message dated 4/28/2010 6:29:40 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
> 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,
TOWER TECH -
Professional tower services for hams
UST factory authorized installer
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