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[TowerTalk] Securing problem U-bolts..

Subject: [TowerTalk] Securing problem U-bolts..
From: Fred Spinner <>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 14:46:40 -0500
List-post: <">>
This may have been covered at some point in the past..I'm sorry if so..

I rebuilt a Cushcraft A3 that was given to me in bad condition a year ago
and because of many reasons I redid the U-bolt (and mast that it connects
to) that is on the driven element.  The mast previously was cut like a
tubing cutter from that element (it had the problem before!), and the
fiberglass insulator was toast.  So due to the 6' limit on shipping modern
tubing I went with a new stainless, somewhat larger U-bolt and a thicker
telescoping tubing to fix the antenna among other things like rebuilding
many of the traps (which is possible to do contrary to Cushcraft/MFJ saying
otherwise!)  I also replaced the fiberglass insulator tube with a solid
piece I turned on the Lathe and covered it with PVC so it wouldn't sun rot

Anyway.. I thought I had it pretty secure but we have had a lot of 50-75 MPH
winds this winter and the U-bolt, has, of course recently slipped.

Can anyone see a downside to wrapping the mast with non-skid (outdoor
almunimum carbide safety) tape to rid a little slop-- and add some
friction-- then tightening it back down?  I need to do this with the beam on
the tower.  Thankfully the mechanics of such are I can reach it without
having a team to help take it down and fix it.  It's literally right above
the thrust bearing, and I can stand on the tower to do it.

Probably I'm looking at torquing it down every 6-9 months forever.. but
anything I can do to minimize tower climbs is a good thing for me.  I'm a
bit height challenged.

I notice now that it is loose there is some side-to-side slop, so I hoping
the tape also makes the U-bolt a slightly more snug fit?

Anyone see any unintended consequences to doing this?

Is there a better fix I'm not thinking of?  No replacing it with a DXE
U-bolt is not an option.. I looked into that when I rebuilt it and couldn't
find a matching size that would physically work.  The original Cushcraft
part wasn't an option either.


Fred W0FMS

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