[TowerTalk] Grounding and Insurance WD4K

WD4K WD4K2 at Charter.net
Thu May 22 11:07:03 EDT 2003

After the recent rash of terrible tornado and thunderstorms here I called my
agent and raised the limit on my tower to $15K. I totally agree with Billy
and his methods using Polyphaser. The only drawback is cost. (I understand
pay me now or pay me later:) Three years ago I attended the Polyphaser
lecture in Dayton and spent quite a bit of time talking to the reps about
the system. A general cost figure for their demo was in excess of $10K. A
LOT of money. Granted it can be done more cheaply but then what is the
compromised value if it is not done correctly...then the position of the
insurance company on what is or is not correct. My point is that if some of
us are lucky enough to have avoided extreme damage so far, that it would be
prudent NOW to go ahead and up the insurance TODAY...possibly to the "max
plus" to help with a fix and subsequent new polyphaser system. If you have
the ability or even to some lesser extent, to follow Billy's
suggestions..great...just do it, it is very good advice. If not, certainly
call your agents today and cover yourself. I did and I am sleeping a little
better. 73, Tommy
As an aside, I found that my insurance that covered my losses during the F4
tornado here 5 years ago did NOT now cover the same type of equipment...they
sneaked in a limit that I did not realize and limited the coverage to $1k
max. Glad the storms prompted the call and that I asked. I have taken care
of that also. Better to ask and insure NOW, rather than after the damage. T

-----Original Message-----
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[mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com]On Behalf Of
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Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2003 7:53 AM
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Subject: TowerTalk Digest, Vol 5, Issue 40

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Today's Topics:

   1. wire rope (Roger Borowski)
   2. Tri Ex LM-470D question
   3. Re: grounding (Billy Cox)
   4. Re: CB operator charged under new city law (Michael Tope)
   5. Re: Combining ant elevation pattern data with propagation
       predictionsto produce a contest bandplan (Jim Smith)
   6. RE: CB operator charged under new city law (David Robbins K1TTT)
   7. Re: EHS Guy wire (3/16) (Pete Smith)
   8. Re: grounding (Pete Smith)
   9. Stacking Distances (Paul Christensen, Esq.)


Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 21:39:18 -0400
From: "Roger Borowski" <K9RB at bellsouth.net>
To: "z-TowerTalk" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: [TowerTalk] wire rope
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About a year or so ago, someone posted a link to a wire rope surplus =
page, where cut-off pieces of various lengths were listed for purchase. =
If someone has this link, I'd appreciate it once more.=20
Thanks and 73,  Rog-K9RB=3D-From barrie at centric.net Wed May 21 21:55:25 2003
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From: "Barrie Smith" <barrie at centric.net>
To: "John Paul Dooley" <portscom at hotmail.com>, <towertalk at contesting.com>
References: <Law9-OE30cKjAI6qLVj000160e0 at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] feeding a crank-up tower
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 19:55:22 -0600
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I ran my 1 5/8 up to the top of the first section, then LMR-600.

Barrie, W7ALW

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Paul Dooley" <portscom at hotmail.com>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 2:03 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] feeding a crank-up tower

I have aquired a very nice US Towers TMM433SS and want to feed a multi
band yagi from the tower to my shack at abt 100'. I have well over 100'
of Andrew ½" superflex and connectors but I'm concerned if raising and
lowering the mast will cause me problems. What about feeding the hard
line to the base and then running a short section of 9913F up to the
rotatable yagi??? Questions, questions. Hi
John W6ZIP
Victorville, Ca.


See: http://www.mscomputer.com  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless
Weather Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any
questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

TowerTalk mailing list
TowerTalk at contesting.com


Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 23:04:52 EDT
From: EL34GUY at aol.com
To: towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: [TowerTalk] Tri Ex LM-470D question
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I just bought a motorized crankup(LM470) and was wondering what the largest
rotor anyone has ever got into that thing? What have you guys had success
with? I want to use the alfa spid if possible. 73


Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 22:43:20 -0500
From: "Billy Cox" <aa4nu at ix.netcom.com>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] grounding
Message-ID: <021501c32014$4b7ca300$6501a8c0 at rthfrd01.tn.comcast.net>
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>Most hams in houses don't  have all these options and disconnecting
>everything isn't real expensive.   Again, this isn't meant to advocate
>giving up and doing nothing, it's just to make the point that these
>extensive, extremely thorough techniques seem to come from folks
>who aren't in touch with every day ham life.

As to every day ham life ...

There's another side of this ... try living in a nice wide open area, one
where your towers are the highest points ... and being hit several times
with varying amount of damage ... and filing such with your insurance
company. Been there, done that, and was canceled after many years
with the same firm. THEN try to get 'reasonable' insurance ... <sigh>

I then invested into much Polyphaser equipment, and worked with their
engineer who is also a ham who provided me much welcome advice
as to "doing it right" this time.

Since then ... ZERO problems here ... and also was able to use the better
protection to obtain reasonable insurance again. If I was doing it over, I'd
done this when we first moved out here many moons ago ...

Just another data point ...

73 Billy AA4NU


Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 21:26:44 -0700
From: "Michael Tope" <W4EF at dellroy.com>
To: "M. Kent Miller" <K4MK at triad.rr.com>, "Steve Katz" <stevek at jmr.com>,
   "'KD8OK'" <kd8ok at n-focus.com>, <TowerTalk at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law
Message-ID: <039c01c3201a$5a1303e0$0100a8c0 at 1800XP>
References: <DC6063575EF1D4118C300050040D2E93B8DF43 at mail.jmr.com>
	<02a601c32001$6235b950$6401a8c0 at CPQ14190774464>
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The only thing that disturbed me about this affair was the press
coverage. To me the news article cited will just reinforce a
misconception that I believe is already common among the
general public, namely that RFI is always the fault of the station
doing the transmitting. "All you have to do is log the interference
for four weeks" and if more than one person complains, the cops
bust down the door and take the offending radio operator away to

Of course, I suppose expecting the average man on the street to
have a lucid understanding of EMI susceptibility in consumer
products is too much to hope for :):)

73 de Mike, W4EF.......................

> > >
> > > By KRISTIN GORDON, kgordon at nncogannett.com
> > > The Eagle-Gazette Staff
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > --
> > > ----
> > >
> > > Complaints from a group of neighbors experiencing interference on
> > > household
> > > appliances from phones and TVs to baby monitors have resulted in a
> > > case against a local citizens band radio operator.
> > >
> > > James A. Disbennet, 48, 427 Harrison Ave., is charged with operating a
> CB
> > > radio exceeding 4 watts, a first-degree misdemeanor, and two counts of
> > > operating a CB radio without certification, a fourth-degree
> > > Disbennet, whose handle is "Sugar Bear," answered a summons in
> > > County Municipal Court last Tuesday and was released on a recognizance
> > > bond.
> > >
> > > In August 2002, Lancaster City Council was the first in the U.S. to
> > > such an ordinance, allowing the city to enforce rules set by the
> > > Communication Commission regulating the strength of CB radios, said
> > > Assistant City Law Director Dave Trimmer.
> > >
> > > According to the ordinance, the definition of CB radio "includes all
> > > private, two-way, short-distance voice communications service for
> personal
> > > or business activities of the general public."
> > >
> > > In January, local residents began to log feedback problems they
> > > experienced,
> > > Trimmer said. Noise was reported on Harrison, Fifth and Washington
> > > avenues.
> > >
> > > One woman had problems almost every time she used her telephone. She
> said
> > > it
> > > interfered with calls such as learning a family member was in the
> > > hospital.
> > >
> > > Another woman heard interference over a baby monitor she keeps near
> > > husband who suffered from a stroke. When she heard calls from a CB
> > > operator named "Sugar Bear" late at night, she would have to turn off
> the
> > > monitor so it wouldn't wake her husband.
> > >
> > > "Complainants must have a log of the interference for a minimum of
> > > weeks and there has to be more than one complainant in order to file
> > > charges," Trimmer said.
> > >
> > > After a phone conversation with a woman on Harrison Avenue where he
> could
> > > hear interference himself, Trimmer went to the neighborhood to
> > > investigate,
> > > he said. He talked to a few individuals, including Disbennet, who said
> he
> > > was a CB radio operator but did not possess an amplifier to exceed the
> > > lawful power output.
> > >
> > > "It's a hobby," Trimmer said. "Sometimes these hobbies get in the way
> > > the
> > > rights of the neighbors."
> > >
> > > On April 10, Tim Deitz, assistant superintendent of the city's
> Electrical,
> > > Communications and Signals Department, used a relative signal strength
> > > meter
> > > in the 400 block of Harrison Avenue to determine where interference
> > > coming from. The signals he received came from Disbennet's home, which
> had
> > > a
> > > 40- to 50-foot antenna attached to it.
> > >
> > > A search warrant was performed the next day by Lancaster police, who
> > > seized
> > > four pieces of CB radio equipment worth more than $1,000 from
> Disbennet's
> > > home.
> > >
> > > "We're obviously treading on new ground," said Scott Wood, Disbennet's
> > > attorney. "He's not been given any type of option to defend himself.
> This
> > > is
> > > a big hobby for him, something he enjoys doing.
> > >
> > > "It has him concerned, of course -- he could be facing jail time."
> > >
> > > The maximum penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor is a $1,000 fine
> > > 180
> > > days in jail.
> > >
> > > Wood also is concerned about the case, which he's just begun
> > > investigating.
> > >
> > > "It's obviously a very interesting case -- this is the first ordinance
> of
> > > its kind in the country," he said. "But apparently, this ordinance was
> > > passed in August 2002 but was never published."
> > >
> > > According to the ordinance, No. 30-02, it was passed by council Aug.
> > > and
> > > approved Aug. 28.
> > >
> > > The city started looking into the problem nearly two years earlier
> > > neighbors on Talmadge Avenue started having problems, Trimmer said.
> > > city
> > > received a petition with 28 signatures and contacted the FCC
> > > about the problem of enforcement.
> > >
> > > Originally published Wednesday, May 21, 2003
> > >


Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 00:54:05 -0700
From: Jim Smith <jimsmith at shaw.ca>
To: "towertalk at contesting.com" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Combining ant elevation pattern data with
 predictionsto produce a contest bandplan
Message-ID: <3ECC821D.9090000 at shaw.ca>
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Wow, thanks for all the responses.

Don't be too hard on me for things like saying SFI instead of SSN and
suchlike.  I know virtually nothing about propagation and the terms
associated with it.

A number of issues were raised

1.  The models used for predictions contain statistical data, thus there
is no possibility of guaranteeing that a particular path's predicted
characteristics will be accurate or even that the path will exist at all.

I understand and accept this.  However, it's kind of like reading
semaphore signals in the fog.  If the fog is too thick, you won't see
the signaller.  If it's somewhat thick you may be able to see him but
not make out 100% of what he is sending.  No fog, no problem.  BUT if
you're facing the wrong way you will never see the signaller, fog or no
fog.  I'm looking to the predictions to tell me which way to face.

2. The models are based on smoothed numbers.  The daily SFI/sunspot
numbers you get are not smoothed so aren't the right values to use.

On a 6 hourly basis you can get Effective SSN based on real time FoF2
observations from

The USAF provides forecasts about a month ahead of K and SFI values.
Presumably these forecasts improve on the model, else why would they
bother.  I think the forecast is for a longer period than the 27 day
rotation period of the sun.

IPS in Australia provides Hourly Area Prediction charts centred on any
location you choose.  It shows what I presume to be Optimum Working
Frequency (it tells you on their website) to any point on the chart.
Why are they doing this if it doesn't mean anything on a particular day?

What I'm trying to say here is that it looks to me as if people are
doing meaningful path predictions (and others are buying them).

3.  What's the point?  No matter how good the prediction, a CME can blow
it all away.
See fog above

4.  The models are guides only, openings may begin or end earlier or later.
I understand this.  Just means I have to keep an eye on things.  At
least I'll know where to look and what to look for.

5.  Just because a path is open doesn't mean that there are Qs to be
made because a) there's no one there  b) they all have their beams
pointing sideways to you working a different opening
a)  I didn't mention it because I was trying to keep things simple.  The
FOM includes the number of stations reachable via that path who entered
the contest last year.
b)  Sad but true.  I guess experience is the only teacher here.  Say, I
could also plot paths for each location I'm trying to reach to see what
they're likely to be working.... oops, sorry, got carried away there.

6.  What style of contesting do you engage in?  It makes a difference in
how you approach this stuff.
At home I'm typically SOAB LP with very limited antennas.  However, I
also want to use this for Field Day to help select antennas to use and
also generate band plans for each op position.  A lot of our ops' only
exposure to HF is on FD so have no clue what band they should be on, let
alone what bands exist.  I'm hoping this will give us info based on more
than hunches.  Obviously, we have to be prepared to modify the plans
based on what is actually happening.

7.  Forget the database stuff, put the work into antennas and have fun.
This may well be the best advice of the lot.  However, I'm a stubborn
old fool and have trouble letting go of things.  Besides, I'm horrified
to see how badly atrophied my Access skills are so this is a good
exercise for me.

8.  Do a little work to get that feminine side happening better.
Don't know what to say to this.  ROFLMAO?

9.  A number of programs were suggested which may either do what I want
or help me get there.  Also, several referred to N6BV's work on arrival
angles.  Thanks for the great suggestions.  It will take me a while to
try them all out.

Thank you all very, very much for taking the time and trouble to help me
out. I know very little about any of this stuff but this project is, if
nothing else, a great learning experience.

73 de Jim Smith    VE7FO

PS Look for my trainee calling CQ at 10 wpm in WPX, Sat, between about

Jim Smith wrote:

> I've been having a lot of fun trying to come up with a way of deciding
> what band I should be on at what time in a contest.  I'm sure many far
> more successful contesters than I do it from experience and intuition.
> Not having a strong feminine side (anal, she called me) I try to use
> logic and science as much as I can.


Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 10:34:09 -0000
From: "David Robbins K1TTT" <k1ttt at arrl.net>
To: "reflector -tower" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] CB operator charged under new city law
Message-ID: <002201c3204d$ae050100$0800a8c0 at k1ttt1>
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I also think its great and hope it stands up to a court test.  If only
more areas had laws like this.... unfortunately we probably won't see
much local action on this front as it most areas it is a relatively
minor threat to the public and the towns are just going to push it back
on the fcc.  It could also become a headache for hams when the local
cops who don't know about ham radio try to enforce it... I would think
it would be very important for hams in an area that adopts a law like
this to help instruct the local police on the difference between legal
cb, legal ham activity, and illegal activity.

> Thanks for passing this on...I think it's absolutely GREAT!
> Note that actions were taken against this guy because he was operating
> outside the law, and thus had no foot to stand on.  Similar complaints
> against licensed amateurs operating within Part 97 requirements are
> routinely dismissed, and hundreds of such cases have been dismissed
> the
> years.  I was involved in one such case.
> >
> > This may not have much to do with antennas, but it could be a
> for
> > all hams in the future.
> >
> >
> > CB operator charged under new city law

David Robbins K1TTT
e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net
web: http://www.k1ttt.net
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net


Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 07:14:28 -0400
From: Pete Smith <n4zr at contesting.com>
To: K7LXC at aol.com, kb9mci at qsl.net, towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] EHS Guy wire (3/16)
Message-ID: < at mail.adelphia.net>
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At 07:51 PM 5/21/03 -0400, K7LXC at aol.com wrote:
>     Yep. The breaking strength of EHS (extra high strength) is 3900
>Some galvanized and SS wire rope cable are in the same range so they'd be
>just fine as long as they meet the strength spec. OTOH a lot of cables
>so just make sure you know what you've got.

Shouldn't he also make sure that the guy grips he's using match the lay-up
of this cable, whatever it is?  Or is EHS by definition 1X7 right (or left,
I don't know) twist?

73, Pete N4ZR
The World HF Contest Station Database was updated 9 May 03.
Are you current? www.pvrc.org/wcsd/wcsdsearch.htm


Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 07:41:02 -0400
From: Pete Smith <n4zr at contesting.com>
To: "Billy Cox" <aa4nu at ix.netcom.com>, towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] grounding
Message-ID: < at mail.adelphia.net>
In-Reply-To: <021501c32014$4b7ca300$6501a8c0 at rthfrd01.tn.comcast.net>
References: <Law14-F103n9JntYnHC000075e4 at hotmail.com>
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At 10:43 PM 5/21/03 -0500, you wrote:
>There's another side of this ... try living in a nice wide open area, one
>where your towers are the highest points ... and being hit several times
>with varying amount of damage ... and filing such with your insurance
>company. Been there, done that, and was canceled after many years
>with the same firm. THEN try to get 'reasonable' insurance ... <sigh>

It would be very interesting to know what measures you had in place when
you took the hits, and how the damaging voltages got into the shack.  Can
you elaborate a bit, Billy?  My problem is that I can't "do it right" (2nd
floor shack) and need to assess whether I can improve what I AM doing.


73, Pete N4ZR
The World HF Contest Station Database was updated 9 May 03.
Are you current? www.pvrc.org/wcsd/wcsdsearch.htm


Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 08:50:44 -0400
From: "Paul Christensen, Esq." <w9ac at arrl.net>
To: "Tower" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Stacking Distances
Message-ID: <01b501c32060$c2dcb7e0$7601a8c0 at se1.client2.attbi.com>
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Message: 9

What is the most common stacking distance for two Yagi arrays currently in
use at the premier contest stations?  Full-wave spacing would produce the
most forward gain, but I continue to see references to 5/8-wave spacing.

Question:  Is 5/8-wave used as a compromise spread in that the difference
between 1 w.l. and 5/8 w.l. is relatively small but closer than 5/8 w.l.
produces quickly diminishing forward gain?  Or, is there a benefit of 5/8
w.l. that minimizes an unwanted lobe?

-Paul, W9AC


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