On 9/29/2012 11:19 PM, Steve Maki wrote:
For light tower work (up to 1000 lbs load) most crews use capstan rope
hoists (catheads). After getting used to one, you will never consider
Unfortunately I do like the capstan, but it is completely unsuitable for
solo work. IE, I need to be able to operate the winch alone, taking
masts and sections to the top of the tower, guiding things into
position, and then lowering them into place, yet still holding onto them
while I climb up the back side of the tower to bolt things in place. IE,
one person on the rope to the capstan and one or two for lateral
movement of the parts works great, but I don't have that kind of help.
There are several knowledgeable hams in the area, but scheduling is a
I can use the occasional gofer on the ground, but generally will be
working with untrained (and likely unknowing) helpers. That means
planning ahead and depending on the equipment while practicing safe
The capstan is great if I have someone on the tower that knows what they
are doing, or some one on the ropes to raise and lower parts while
controlling their position. I'm not willing to depend on inexperienced
rope handlers to the capstan or positioning while I work the tower. Also
with me working the tower, I've still not built enough stamina for more
than about an hours worth of work. I have done this with a hand cranked
winch including the placement of tower sections, but I'd like to
minimize the work required. To stay out from under things the hand
cranked winch requires it be mounted away from the tower and that means
building a mount that won't pull loose, or take up a bunch of space in
In either case I will not be working under anything being raised or
lowered, nor will I let anyone else do it.
The heaviest parts will be less than 150#, hence I figure a winch with
1000# capacity should have plenty of safety factor.
When climbing you have to always remember that people make mistakes and
equipment breaks. So the simplest, mundane things can kill you when
doing tower work. You have to know what you are doing, the people on the
ground have to know what they are doing and you prepare yourself to
handle anything that might go wrong. You CAN NOT eliminate the danger
but you can minimize it and minimize your susceptibility to things that
do go wrong. One thing to never forget. "Tower work is Dangerous!"
On 9/29/2012 10:48 PM, K8RI wrote:
I'm looking for a powered winch that runs off 110, that is relatvely
easy to move from tower to tower, can be left out in the elements, will
take up to several hundred feet of 1/4" steel cable or 7/16ths double
braided poly rope.
I like the winches that go on the front of pick up trucks and SUVs
except for the weight and 12 VDC operation.
Most of the 110VAC powered winches are meant to be a permanent part of
the installation and use multiple belts. I do not want to use a simple
V-belt reduction unit. It needs to be reversible and hold up to 500#
safely, yet be something a guy with a bad back can handle.
I have several hand cranked winches that are capable of doing what I
want, EXCEPT I do not want to be underneath what I am cranking up. Nor
do I want to have to build a remote mount for each installation. Hence
the remote operated, electric powered requirement.
There are enough ways to get hurt seriously when working on towers
without standing under what's going up.
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