I recently collected several rolls of old guy wire from a local ham with the
intention of removing the strain insulators to use in my tower installation.
He told me the guy wire had been sitting in his back yard for nearly 30
years and had been used in towers from a broadcasting station (size and
While expecting to cut through rust to remove the insulators I saw that the
cable was clean and shiny. The insulators are spaced every 11 feet and the
connection at each insulator is made with a crimped pressed fitting. I
spread the cable strands apart and it was equally clean and shiny inside.
The cable is hard and inflexible; I can hold out about 1 meter horizontally
and it won't bend. It is about 4.7mm (3/16" ?) diameter and has 7 strands.
Each strand is between 1.6-1.7mm in diameter.
I began considering whether the cable could be used as is instead of
removing the insulators and installing hundreds of U-bolts on new cable
(there are dozens of insulators on the rolls).
I therefore have the following questions:
1) What is the lifetime of steel cable used as guy wire? Is there a
rule of thumb on how often guy wires should be changed? Should old guy wire
be replaced/not used even if it appears to be in good shape?
2) Same question as above for crimped pressed fittings. Does their
holding strength deteriorate with time?
3) Can someone help identify the cable with the description given
above? My guying specs call for 3/16" EHS.
Any help will be much appreciated.
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