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[TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms

Subject: [TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 06:14:06 -0700
List-post: <">>
On 8/30/11 3:51 AM, Tom Kennedy wrote:
> On any tower of any description a yearly maintenance check is a must, no
> matter which system is being used.  Towers that fail have been left with out
> said.

You know.. we see this advice all the time: "It's time for your annual 
spring tower check".. but I wonder.

There's an awful lot of power/telephone poles out there that I doubt get 
checked on an annual basis, and not a whole lot of them fail.  Likewise 
light poles, freeway signs.  Sure, if one breaks or gets obviously 
damaged, they go out and fix it, but is there some sort of organized "go 
check the poles and signs" activity?

And on big transmitting towers, I can see regular maintenance being part 
of the plan (you have to paint the darn thing and keep the lights 
working, for instance).

Likewise, if you have a crankup.. moving mechanical devices need 
periodic checks.

Maybe it's because hams have a long history of improvisation and 
overloading (if the antenna didn't fall down in last winter's storms, it 
wasn't big enough) or it's from our agrarian heritage (the snow melts, 
time to get the plow out, curry the winter coat out of the draft horse, 

But, for instance, this thing about "checking the ground rod clamp"... 
the whole point of the clamp design is so that it shouldn't loosen with 
thermal cycling (i.e. does the electric company come out and check your 
grounding connection every year?  Do you see recommendations that 
homeowners hire a licensed electrician annually?)  And of course, one of 
the advantages of exothermic welding over clamps is that there's no 
possibility of it changing.  Or is this, again, because hams have used 
all manner of improvised clamping schemes, and "design for immovability" 
wasn't necessarily in the list of requirements.


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