[TowerTalk] winch for tower

Richard (Rick) Karlquist richard at karlquist.com
Tue Jan 7 19:08:14 EST 2014

On 1/7/2014 2:22 PM, KJ6Y at aol.com wrote:
> Just wondering?  How often do you tilt it over that you would need the
> electric winch?

> Skip,  KJ6Y

This question somewhat oversimplifies the decision.

First of all, I have a MonstIR on a tilt plate.  Thus
all antenna work is done with the tower tilted over,
never in the upright position.  The tower has been
up and down many times to:

1.  Debug the MonstIR when initially installed.
Dozens of times up and down.  I will say that
once I got the MonstIR working, it has never
2.  Develop the homebrew tilt plate by trial and error,
now you can just buy one.
3.  Fix the antenna to keep it from slipping on the mast
4.  Diagnose and treat an insidious intermittent coax
connector on RG-218.  Multiple times.
5.  Fix an element that fell off (my bad, I forgot to
tighten the clamps).
6.  Develop a modification to the MonstIR to use the
reflector and 2nd director as an 80 meter receiving beam.
A lot of trial and error here.
7.  Periodic inspection and maintenance several times a
year for cable lubing etc.  Replace cables "every 3
years" (right).
8.  Make an emergency repair right before a contest
(Murphy's timing was impeccable).
9.  Perform experiments like putting up a 130 foot
high 80 meter inverted vee.

Having said that, the supplied K2550 winch was
undercapacity for even the empty tower, not to mention
the MonstIR on top.  The brake severely overheated
and I never trusted it.  A replacement W3000 winch
had different but equally bad problems.  I never trusted
it either.  Either winch was like an athletic event
to turn using both hands.  To me, the answer to how
many times a year is OK to hand winch the tower over
became zero.

Rick N6RK

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