[TowerTalk] Crank-Up Tower Base Question

Larry WA9VRH wa9vrh at dishmail.net
Sun Dec 2 20:00:34 EST 2007

Hi Roger,

We built a new house out in the country about 15 years ago. I did some dumb 
things like deciding to wire the whole place by myself. It was the project 
from haties as it seemed like it would never end. However with my notes I 
know where everything goes.

I told my wife I want a crank up tower and about 55 feet. Her reply was I 
don't care what you put up as long as there are NO guy wires. Well I should 
have gone for the 72 footer but I also chose the HDX555 and I could have not 
been more pleased.  Remember this was 15 years ago and I decided I would dig 
the 5 X 5 X 7 ft hole myself.

The end of the house was the garage end and there was a bunch of backfilled 
dirt. I was about two feet down and ran into this water melon size "thing" 
that was like a rock. I finally got it loose and rolled it up a plank to get 
it out of the hole. It must have been a chunk of clay that laid in the sun 
all Summer when the house was being built.
I learned a lot from that hole digging... Mainly never do it again! It took 
about two weeks working on the weekends and in the evening. The cost of beer 
was never really recorded but the sides of the hole were pretty darned good. 
My neighbor came over and said well that doesn't look that deep. I told him 
to hang on while I got off the ladder. He about fell over when I hit the 
bottom and my hand was barely above the ground level.

I built the wire cage and lowered the sections into the hole then went down 
and wired them all together along with the J bolts. The night before the 
concrete was supposed to show I noticed two intersecting rebar's that were 
not tied together. I lowered my ladder into the hole and went down to wire 
them together. I was sure if I didn't the whole thing would collapse. I 
finished tying them together then started up the ladder that was pretty much 
straight up. Something in my shirt pocket got caught and I could not get it 
loose. So I took off the shirt and threw it out of the hole. Next something 
in my shorts back pocket got caught and would not let go..... So now I had 
the issue. Do I leave my shorts behind and get loose and maybe embarrass the 
neighbors or don't give a rats buns and go for it. I chose the latter and 
threw the shorts out just as my wife and the neighbor lady were walking 
towards the hole. Upon seeing the shorts and no Larry they decided to go a 
different direction A wise move on their part.

The end of the story is the HDX555 is up and has served me well for 15 
years. It has a triband vertical for 6m,2m and UHF on top, a 6 element 6 m 
beam below and a TA-33 below that. Also has a sloper for 160, 80 and 40 on 
the side.  It has served me well even though it was a great project to put 

Good luck on yours!
73 Larry WA9VRH
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "res1q6fs" <roger.white at verizon.net>
To: "towertalk" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 6:06 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Crank-Up Tower Base Question

> Last month, my son dug a specified 5 X 5 X 7 ft. hole for my HDX555. It 
> ended up being more like 6 X 6 X 8, but a bigger hole is never worse in 
> this case. It only hurts you in the pocket book (I had to pay $85 /yard 
> for 3000 psi concrete delivered and the hole gulped up 9 of the 10 yards 
> delivered).
> We used a small diesel powered digger that you rent at the local rental 
> place. It had a 24 in. wide bucket. Our only problem was it was straining 
> hard to get much over  the 7 to 8 ft. depth, but it did the job. The 
> overall cost was less than $300 over the weekend (always do that, as you 
> most always get a free day in Sunday). We only had to touch up the sides a 
> little with a shovel to make it look pretty.
> Tower is up and looks pretty!
> Roger W5RD
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