[TowerTalk] When To Replace Tower Cable???

Julio Peralta jperalta4 at verizon.net
Fri Jun 14 17:26:36 EDT 2013

Steve I wonder how close to a salt water environment you are. Here in the
Tampa Florida area I've seen several very rusted cables (including guy
wires). Many years ago I had a 72' UST fall due to a rusted cable that was
about 5 years old. That tower was installed about 30 miles inland from the
Gulf of Mexico. The reason I didn't notice the cable was in such bad shape
is that only the two upper cables were badly rusted and only on the side of
the tower that faced the Gulf which was the opposite side of where I stood
when I operated the switch to lower/raise the tower.

I also have worked on a UST on the East coast that fell for the same reason.

Julio, W4HY

-----Original Message-----
From: TowerTalk [mailto:towertalk-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
K7LXC at aol.com
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 4:08 PM
To: towertalk at contesting.com; fred.hurd at cox.net
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] When To Replace Tower Cable???

>  This seems to be a constant question for those of us who  have 
> crank-up
towers. How can you tell when it is time to replace the cable?  Some say
that it's too late when rust appears as the cables  weaken from  the inside
Is that true? Others say if you lubricate the cable twice a  year it will
last forever? Is that true? Does anyone know the  truth?
    You bet. There is an excellent chapter in UP THE  TOWER on crank-ups and
their related topics.
    There are 3 conditions that determine whether the  cables need
replacing. 1) Excessive broken strands. Out of a 7x19 typical wire  rope,
you can have up to 6 broken strands and 3 in the same bundle and still be
within spec. 2) Damage where the cable has been flattened or kinked. 3)
Excessive rust. Not everyday simple surface rust but the real cancerous
    My experience has been that I've only seen one  crank-up with cables
that genuinely needed replacing so if you are a crank-up  owner, chances
that you have to replace the cables are slim to  none. 
    I've seen really mature crank-ups (20-25 years+)  where the cables were
just fine and didn't meet any of the aforementioned  replacement criteria.
    Replacing cables that don't need it (besides being  time-consuming) is
analogous to folks who buy chromoly masts when they don't  need them. Both
are basically a waste of money.
Steve     K7LXC

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