Falling tower question

Roger Grady k9opo@netusa1.net
Tue, 15 Oct 1996 22:14:24 -0400 (EDT)

>So, what happens to a self-supporting tower when it decides to fall?  Does
>it typically stay within that 30% of height... or will my future tower hit
>my neighbor's house?   (just planning my answers when the neighbors start
>asking once I do choose a tower and put it up)

Our local Emergency Management 150' self-supporting tower failed a few years 
ago. Besides their 4-bay commercial VHF antenna on top, it had another 4-bay 
commercial VHF at about 120' for our repeater, and a 10 el. 2m beam (and 
rotor) at about 80-90', on a heavy pipe mount.  Way too much stuff 
side-mounted, too high. Anyway we had a storm with strong, very gusty winds. 
The gusts hit the tower resonant frequency and got it swinging. It just bent 
over at about the 80' point. The tip of the top antenna ended up just a few 
feet above the ground (sidewalk, in this case). Fortunately, the winds blew 
it toward the street, so when it swung down, it didn't hit anything. They 
put up a whole new tower. Our repeater now has a Diamond instead of the 
commercial antenna, and there is no beam/rotor.

Roger Grady  K9OPO

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