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Re: [TowerTalk] Choice of aluminum

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Choice of aluminum
From: K8RI <>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:47:34 -0400
List-post: <">>
On 10/13/2012 8:02 PM, Jorge Diez - CX6VM wrote:
Hi Rudy,

You are lucky!, I am considering something for CW/SSB J

There´s some commercials self supporting towers. Also a Rohn 25 is good for
a guyed tower. My problem is shipment cost and handling.

So looking for instructions about how to build one J

If it's for a tower you probably want to avoid Aluminum.
A mast a bit short of 66 feet should work well. The larger the diameter the more bandwidth. You can get or make verticals that are unguyed, but if used in an array they do tend to wobble around quite a bit. Small diameter on top to reduce the effects of wind load, BUT that means less band width. If you have the room and can get some pieces of Lexan or Plexiglass you can make rings for guy attachment. Then shorten the mast a bit and add a top hat which will also add a little bandwidth. I have used 3/16" Poly rope on a set up like this for guying an AV640 multi band vertical mounted on a mast.

The reason I'd recommend against trying to build an aluminum tower is it takes some one with skill (which you or a friend may have) running a TIG welder. Each weld tends to take the temper and strength out of the Aluminum at the weld points.

OTOH the old Aluminum towers that came in 8' sections were a very soft alloy and not meant for climbing.Those make great verticals, although they need guying above 32 feet in height. Those were light enough that one man could easily stand up a 40 footer without straining.

If you are good at TIG welding and have a welder you could build something akin to one of these, but as a single unit. Used as an insulated base, vertical the strength is not nearly so important. Of course you still don't want it to fall over in the wind.

73 and good luck,

Roger (K8RI)




De: Rudy Bakalov []
Enviado el: sábado, 13 de octubre de 2012 21:46
Para: Jorge Diez - CX6VM;;
Asunto: Re: [TowerTalk] Choice of aluminum


This is a great question that has been on my mind for a while. I was very
tempted to try to model it, but never found the time to do so. I also
thought that all I care about is the CW/RTTY portion of 80m.

That said, I decided to see what DX Engineering offers on their site for 80
m. Two very interesting observations from the 80m vertical installation

1) they use very small size tubing, not even close to what I am considering
(my current 40m vertical uses better tubing!!!)

2) they claim a very wide bandwidth

So if their 80m verticals are half as good as they claim, the much beefier
size tubing I am considering should do very well.

Rudy N2WQ


From: Jorge Diez - CX6VM <>
To: 'Rudy Bakalov' <>;;
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2012 7:36 PM
Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Choice of aluminum

Hello Rudy

What´s the bandwidth of this verticals compare with towers?


-----Mensaje original-----
De: TowerTalk [] En nombre de Rudy
Enviado el: sábado, 13 de octubre de 2012 21:04
Asunto: Re: [TowerTalk] Choice of aluminum


Thanks for the comprehensive answer. I didn't realize that 6061-T6 is more
expensive than 6063 as I was looking online prices in chunks of 12 and 24'.

Just for kicks I prices a 4-Square set of verticals made of 24' sections of
3", 2.5", and 2.0", 0.25" wall thickness. $2,300 delivered for the set.
Doesn't look that bad compared to dealing with towers and tower crews.

Rudy N2WQ

From: "" <>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2012 6:36 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Choice of aluminum

Hi Rudy, 6061-T6 aluminum has a yield strength rating the same as 6063-T832
that is sold by Texas Towers and others.

The 6061-T6 costs more than 6063-T832 because of the extra
heating/quenching steps needed to reach the rated yield strength. 6063-T832
reaches the rated yield strength by work hardening the material in the

If you want a self supporting vertical, then you would need to go through
the same process as designing a 80 meter beam element with most of the
weight left out of the calculations. Just as a guess I would expect the
section to be about 4" diameter with a .25" wall.

This is not a trivial structure! Please proceed with caution!

If you want a guyed vertical, there are a number of them that have been on
the air long enough to think about duplicating one. W5UN is one that comes

Gerald K5GW

In a message dated 10/13/2012 4:09:30 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:
I was  wondering if anyone can help me select the right material for
full-size 80m  verticals. My questions are as follows:

1) offers
   6061-T6 aluminum, but not T8. Is there a difference between T6 and T8 for
2) Should go for the 0.125 or 0.065 wall thickness?
3) Is 1"
   tubing OK for the topmost segment? Too stiff for the wind at 70'? Not

I am aware that many ham stores offer 6061-T8 tubing, but I
   do want to buy it local in VE3, close to my QTH, in 12' lengths (instead
   6') and avoid shipping complications due to length or clearing

73 Rudy



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