[TowerTalk] Advice on crank up winch problem

Doug Turnbull turnbull at net1.ie
Sun Sep 7 14:26:50 EDT 2008

     I have replaced winches and wire rope on a fully extended tower before.
My winches were in such bad condition that I did not trust them.   Does your
tower have a mechanical brake mechanism independent of the winch?   I
suspect this may not be useable if you can not lower the tower.   I suggest
that you get sections of steel and insert them between any heavy flat cross
braces you may have on the tower so that the tower can not guillotine.   I
then go somewhat wild tying sections of the tower with heavy duty rope in
many places - you might also use some chain.   I replaced all the wire rope
on an 88 foot tower capable of 120 feet which was made of three sections
using this method with no problem.   

      I found it helpful to mark the sections of the tower where the wire
rope passed with 'Tipex' or 'White out' correction fluid.   It is easy to
apply with the small brush and I find stays on the tower for years. So much
for safety first and dying in ones bed - things come back to haunt one.   Be
very carful and please use a climbing harness with two separate belts
attaching you to the tower - see Champion for this if you can not borrow.

      Good luck my friend and remember your family needs you.   This job can
be done safely but you need to use your head!   I am sure that what I have
done many would condemn but you need to look at each situation individually.
Your tower may be considerably different from mine.   Safety first!!!!

               73 Doug EI2CN   

-----Original Message-----
From: towertalk-bounces at contesting.com
[mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jon Casamajor
Sent: 07 September 2008 18:44
To: Towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: [TowerTalk] Advice on crank up winch problem

I recently completed a major upgrade of my antenna stack. My tower is a
Tristao HDX-572. It has the original 1500 lb pull strength winch which I
probably should have replaced while the tower was down for the work.  The
only thing I have done to the winch is to lube the exposed gears and inspect
the cable carefully.  In the 20 years it's been up, the raise lower duty
cycle has been minimal, probably less than 15 cycles.

The winch has now locked up and will not lower. It will raise and feels
normal but will not lower.  A friend who has had several crank up towers
suggested hot soapy water bath for the winch and a good rinsing after that
allow to dry and pray. :-)

What do my options look like? Can the tower be supported somehow and the
winch replaced in it's current position?  Are there any experts who do this
type of tower work?

The tower is up maybe 40 feet of its max 72 feet. The pressure on crank up
feels normal.

Any experience or expert opinion will be greatly appreciated.



Jon- K6EL

k6el at comcast.net



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