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Re: [TowerTalk] Temporary guys

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Temporary guys
From: Donald Chester <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 18:18:23 +0000
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I would recommend approximately # 10 gauge solid galvanised "high tensile" 
fencing wire for temporary guys. It is inexpensive and available at about any 
agricultural supply outlet. It doesn't stretch, and has a rated breaking 
strength of something like 1250 lbs. 

Substitute a temporary guy wire for a permanent one only one guy wire at a 
time, and proceed to the next guy wire only after the previous permanent one 
has been fully repaired or replaced.  It goes without saying to install and 
tension the temporary guy before disassembling the permanent one.  I have a 
couple of extra turnbuckles on hand, and use one of those to tension the 
temporary. I pull the temporary as tight as I can by hand, and then attach to 
the turnbuckle, which is run out almost to maximum length.  Then the turnbuckle 
is retracted until there is enough tension on the temporary to cause a 
perceptible drop in the tension on the main guy.  Besides safety concerns, 
another reason to do only one guy wire at a time is that prior to doing the 
work you can make sure the old guys are properly tensioned, and then it is easy 
to adjust the tension on the new one by tightening it until the tower is 
perfectly aligned and straight and/or the sag is equal on all 3 guys. Do this 
one guy at a time and you won't have to  go through the entire process of 
measuring and adjusting tension of the entire set of cables at the guy point.

High tensile fence wire is stiff and springy much like EHS stranded guy cable, 
but not hard to work with with the proper tools.  I would suggest a couple of 
pairs of vice-grips for bending and cutting. Fasten with 1/8" u-bolt cable 
clamps, also available at the agricultural supplier for about 35¢ each, using 3 
clamps to terminate each end. Be sure to wear gloves if you don't want to come 
away from the job looking like you just  lost a fight with an alley cat. Make 
absolutely sure there is no kink in the wire before pulling on it.  Applying 
even a slight amount of tension to a kinked wire will seriously weaken it at 
the point of the kink, even if the bend is straightened.  If a kink is 
inadvertently pulled, replace the wire or cut it at the kink and install a 
strain insulator and properly clamp and terminate each of the loose ends.

I wouldn't use this to permanently guy a tower, but I wouldn't go up to do 
tower work during a hurricane either.  It should work perfectly to permanently 
guy a tubular mast up to 65' or so. I would use 3 clamps per termination to 
install strain insulators, because this wire is far too stiff to easily use the 
twist and wrap method.

I also use this same wire as a messenger cable to support a 150' long 
above-ground run of RG-213, as well as the run of standard  7-conductor rotor 
cable I use to operate my remote controlled antenna tuning unit.

Don k4kyv


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