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Re: [TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms

To: "K8RI on TT" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms
From: "Tom Kennedy" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 16:08:38 -0400
List-post: <">>
When I do my checks on some 300 plus towers every year, which I originally 
installed I check them with a torque wrench and it is and will be a wonder 
to me if the nuts and bolts tighten even a little bit.  A torque setting is 
a torque setting.  Guy wires not checked guarantee a tower failure, high 
winds, ice or not.  Failure to check a tower once a year will invalidate 
most commercial insurance on this side of the 49th.  regards tom/va3tvk
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "K8RI on TT" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] yearly maintenance checks Re: Preforms

> 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. <:-))
> 73
> Roger (K8RI)
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