[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [TowerTalk] Tower, rotator and antenna maintenance

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tower, rotator and antenna maintenance
From: K8RI <>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2012 23:33:17 -0500
List-post: <">>
On 11/8/2012 7:22 PM, K0DAN wrote:
The older you are, the less you'll do it!

If you're in your 40's (or younger): No problem, you do it just for fun
and exercise! You like to go looking for problems and challenges. You
are disappointed if everything works perfectly.

I NEVER had that much ambition! NEVER.

 You regret that your
tower is the only place you are able to do "technical climbing".
If you're in your 50's: You can still do the work but are tired of it,
the risk, and the unexpected.

Nor that.

 If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I've always believed that, but there's nothing wrong with "improving" anything. <:-))

 If you go
up the tower, you pray you don't find the unexpected and hope for a
miracle. You are tempted to ask people for help.

I still have a problem asking for help as I'm so used to doing it all my self. The other problem is arthritis.

If you're in your 60's: You have a motorized tower and lower it to the
20' level and do the work using ladders and safety equipment.

In my 60's, at least early 60s I was still climbing 100 and 200 ft towers just to shoot photos of sunsets let alone work on things. Then I had a heart attack. The doc has removed all restrictions and I'm back to climbing 50 foot towers, but not quite enough stamina to climb the 100 and get anything done. Unfortunately I had to give up flying airplanes. Aerobatics are fun and a 1000 - 1500 mile instrument flight gives a real sense of accomplishment.

It was when I turned 60 that my wife said it was time to let the younger guys do their own work.

You still
don't enjoy it and it is still a lot more difficult than it used to be.

It is more difficult due to the arthritis, but I still look forward to going "up there"

You occasionally pay the high price to rent a bucket. You hate doing the
work and hope & pray you can avoid it.

I'm more likely to over do and then have to pay the price for pain pills.

You are no longer ashamed to ask
other people for help. You especially hope it is only routine
maintenance and not something seriously broken.

If you're in your 70's: You hire young guys to do it all, or you have

I'm putting up a smaller tower...only 50 feet of 25G and have built a mount to hold a manual winch to go on the tractor so I can crank up "things" like 24' masts, rotators, and tower top sections. Just installed a Bridgeport mill with digital readout and power feeds, looking for a reasonably good sized toolroom lathe, and a new bandsaw/cut off to replace the inexpensive one I've worn out. It only lasted 3 or 4 years

already moved to a non-ham-friendly condo location. You are probably
happy with a dipole in your attic and are actively looking into stealth
antennas. DX is now a 300 mile QSO on HF.

I chase DX on 40 at 3:00 to 4:00 AM.

If you're in your 80's: You have made friends with some younger ham who
has a remote controlled station and you operate his station using Skype
+ TeamView.
If you're in your 90's: You mostly read the SK section of QST. You show
off your WAS certificates

I have never even worked all states. I'm more interested in building and although I usually work 'em on the first call chasing DX I've never applied for any awards. ... and I still enjoy climbing. Now if it just didn't hurt so much. A lot of things don't get done because I am used to doing things myself and just wait until I have a good day to go up. I did hire a local climber to take down the antennas from the 100' 45G for repair, but I've done all the other work.

 made when there were only 48 states. Your DXCC
and other award certificates have two-digit certification numbers. 85%
of DXCC contacts are on the "deleted" list.

How often do you go to the top of your tower and do maintenance on the
antenna, rotator, coax, antennas, etc? Just when something breaks? Or more

I'm back to every few weeks. Having to do anything except build or change is about it unless a piece of coax or antenna has been taken out by lightning. I don't normally have to worry about coax or connectors.

When you get up there, do you have a set routine? Do you look for anything
special, other than obviously misplaced wear-and-tear?

Take a deep breath and enjoy the view. Then remember not to stay too long. The biggest danger in doing your own climbing is staying up until you are too tired to safely climb down.

Do you go up more often when the tower is new, for reasons other than
something being broken or obviously wrong?

That has nothing to do with the age of the tower.<:-))

Tomorrow I hope to finish up the yard for Fall, then mount the winch on the tractor and install the rotator, masting, and top section on the 25G with guys installed this week end. Unfortunately I do not have the guy anchors finished which are 8' of 3", schedule 40, structural steel It's be nice to finish those. Then when the weather is good I can take the WARC-7 and C19-XR off the sawhorses and install them on the tower.

BTW I'm still in my 70's.


Roger (K8RI)

73, Rick ZL2HAM (ZM1G)


TowerTalk mailing list


TowerTalk mailing list

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