[TowerTalk] [Tower Talk] Anti-climbing technology

Roger (K8RI) on TT K8RI-on-TowerTalk at tm.net
Tue Jan 21 17:03:41 EST 2014

I've been following this thread and wonder at the usefulness and 
practicality of these anti climb devices, regulations, and liability.

A 5' barrier would stop little kids, but not teenagers. I can reach, 
rather could reach, high enough at 65 and had the strength to pull 
myself up over 5' climb panels.  I'd go for at least 8' (Just the length 
of a plywood sheet- Waterproof with lots of paint.). For a guyed tower 
that's no biggie as they fit tightly against the tower. Easy to take 
off? That means even a 10 year old could probably do it, although the 
average mechanical ability from our overly protected kids is in doubt so 
it might be beyond the ingenuity of most teenagers. My apologies to 
those who do have a few smarts left despite our educational system.

So that means some sort of locking device.  How about cable locks 
similar to those used for bicycles and firearms? One at the top and one 
at mid level.  Use fasteners similar to my tool boxes and gun cases to 
join the panels.  They are simple and easy to use and as you have the 
cable locks they only have to hold the panels in place.

Crank up towers present a problem as the crank, or cranking mechanism is 
usually at a handy height which gets in the way of anti climb panels.  
Leave a cutout for the motor? That just created a handy step about 4 
feet off the ground. Better add 4 more feet to the panels. Put the motor 
inside the panels. Now they have to be structurally sound in high winds, 
or with someone pushing against them.

How about permanently attaching them and use a ladder to get over them. 
Just don't forget and leave the ladder unattended.

So far we've looked at a simple approach that will most likely keep the 
neighborhood rug rats off the tower, but nothing structurally sound 
enough to keep a vandal, or determined teenager off.

The next step involves a bit more money as the price of steel is now 
ridiculous when you can get $350 for a junk car.

A simple, rectangular frame of steel angle covered with 12 to 16 gauge 
or 1/16th inch sheet steel with substantial hinges at each junction 
(with the pins on the inside). A good support and a couple of padlocks 
in hasps, would allow one side to open. Yes, it's heavy and expensive, 
even if you have a welder and build it yourself. The same thing could be 
done with a 8 or 9' chain link fence installed in panels, or two sides 
contiguous with a panel on the 3rd side that could be opened for 
access.  Forgo the razor wire on top. That reads liability and 
attractive nuisance in bright red capital letters, although wires on an 
outward tilt are good.  Of course this can be expanded to a fenced in 

For a remote station, I'd vote for the steel panels and a 
monitoring/alarm system. Wire or bolt cutters will make quick work of 
the chain link fence and/or padlocks.  The panel that opens could be 
positioned to allow the tower to tilt through it.  It's a fine line 
deviding rugged anti climb panels and an enclosure.

I'm sure there are many on the reflector with more practical ideas.

No enclosure or anti climb panel  is 100% effective, but they do serve 
as a deterrent with some being more effective than others.


Roger (K8RI)

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