[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms
From: K8RI on TT <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:58:32 -0400
List-post: <">>
On 8/30/2011 9:14 AM, Jim Lux wrote:
> 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.

Maybe so and maybe not.  Ice storms have take down perfectly good tower 
systems.  So have high winds that were outside the norm for an area.

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

I see it as a good idea but it gives no guarantee. does the typical ham check a tower regularly.  Remember that 
every time you check the torque on bolts it tightens them just a tiny 
bit more and if they have never seize on them the listed torque is going 
to be way too much.
Guy line tension? that looks/feels about right, or a Loos gauge?  
Elevated guy anchors Vs the standard approach?
is the tower still straight?

I typically give it a good once over every couple of years and check the 
guy tension by feel.  If I find one that is obviously under tensioned or 
the guy anchor post shows a definite lean (elevated guy anchors that 
weigh 17,000# each) THEN I get out the Loos gauge.

> 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?

Now days?  With money in short supply it took several years (more like 
two decades) to get them to clear the right-of-way for the power line 
through the woods. It's a mile run across the section to the sub station 
and it's woods all the way.  In general they do a cursory inspection. IE 
if nothing is obviously broken they don't touch it.  BTW 5 years after 
they cleared the right-of-way it's over grown to the point you can 
hardly tell they ever cut it back.

> 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).

And you can often pop the paint off the rust underneath.  Comforting 
thought at three or four hundred feet plus. <:-))
Plain steel wire rope guys an inch or more in diameter than ring like a 
tuning fork when hit with a wrench. Boy, but those things can sing even 
with that brown finish! <:-))

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

Moving devices need to be moved periodically.

> 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,
> etc.)
> 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.

I think "We may want to move that in a year or so" is the most likely 
criteria although those split clamps are about a third the cost of "one 
shots" might be the over riding criteria. <:-))


Roger (K8RI)


TowerTalk mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>