[Towertalk] US Tower MA-Series Maintenance

Richard Zalewski w7zr@citlink.net
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 12:49:59 -0700

Good hints.  I would like to see more pics from guys with MARB
installations.  I still have problems from time to time with the tower
hanging up.  Probably on the collar.  I have just two bolts in the back of
the collar and the closure system in front.  They are all left purposely
loose so that the tower "floats" better in collar but still have problems.

Dick W7ZR

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Reid" <jimr.reid@verizon.net>
To: "Jeff Battin" <jbattin@starband.net>; <towertalk@contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: [Towertalk] US Tower MA-Series Maintenance

> Jeff wrote:
> > US Tower has been vague on the proper maintenance for
> > the MA-Series towers. Does someone on the reflector have
> > some information? Do I need to lubricate the cables, etc...?
> Hi,  I have had an MA-550 up for about 10 years out here.
> Had the cable rust through and break about 3 years ago!
> Happened for two reasons: (1) I was careless about keeping
> some sort of rust prevention spray on the exposed portion
> of the cable on the winch;  it was a section of the cable
> which spent the great majority of the time wrapped on the
> winch which is where most of the cable is when the tower
> is up.  I had lowered the tower for a period of heavy winds,
> so most of the cable was off the winch.  When I started to
> raise the tower again,  it got up several feet,  but as the
> rusty part of the cable began to coil again around the winch--
> wham! Cable snapped,  down crashed the telescoping sections
> which drove the top section right down through the "stop" plate
> at the top of the bottom section,  and the boom of my Force
> 12 C4 antenna snapped off at the boom mounting plate!!
> So,  at least keep an antirust "lubricant" on the cable on the winch!
> I am now using a product called "Whitmore's Wire Rope
> Lubricant",  it comes in a spray-on can.  There are others out
> there.
> Odd,  but none of the cable which was "out",  that is the run you
> can see up the side of the tubular sections was rusted at all;
> just the coils on the winch seem to rust over.  Suppose the water
> tends to stay there,  while the sun dries the exposed wire rope
> rapidly.
> (2) Don't forget to use a grease gun on the bearing on the
> rotating base assembly if you are using the MARB base.
> (3) Good idea,  I think,  to put a little "bar and chain" lubricant
> on the upper "collar bearing" of the MARB base also.  That is
> a specially formulated oil for the bar of a chain-saw over which
> the chain rides at a pretty high speed.  This oil seems to adhere
> very well and,  to me,  seems ideal for that upper collar support
> surface.
> I expect to get a lot more years from my set up here, as I
> now am taking better "care" of same,  hi;  note I
> had to buy a new tubular assembly because of the damage
> done when my cable broke!!  The local Kauai club has a member
> very handy with welding stuff;  he was able to rebuild my old
> 550 to a single telescoping section for use at our Field Day
> site.  You can see the installation of my new 550 in the old
> MARB base as well as the rebuilt 550 at our Field Day site
> here on the island at:
> http://www.karc.net/Activities/Photokh7m.htm
> We spliced the C4 boom back together and it is on the new 550 now.
> The two thumbnail photos at the bottom left show the old
> re-fabbed tower as set up at Field Day.  Russ even put it on
> an old boat trailer for easy hauling about the island!
> 73,  Jim  KH7M
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