Tower progress

My tower, thrust bearing and rotator arrived on a truck from Dallas today, right on schedule.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I had been planning to buy both the tower and the installation labor from Ken Lovett KF5KLW of East Texas Towers but an ongoing exchange of phone conversations and emails has resulted in me dropping him like a bad habit.

A few months ago, he gave me an estimate for a 50-foot Rohn 25G tower installation of $1600 – parts, labor, delivery – the works. Seemed pretty inexpensive to me but who am I to argue ;-)

That’s back when I was testing the waters and as yet undecided about even getting a tower.

As the tower morphed from fantasy to reality, Ken’s estimate became $2625 for the same tower. Still, I was willing to spend it as it seemed more realistic than the original quote. But for that amount of money, I expected a professional job and started asking detailed questions regarding the installation, foundation, etc.

Upon questioning Ken of those particulars – and only then – I learned that this would be a used tower, disassembled from some other QTH!

“But it’ll be like new!” he says “It won’t be rusted!”

Its history, age and conditions of prior installation would be unknown to me and likely unknown to Ken as well.

This info wasn’t volunteered and was only told to me under questions that most folks wouldn’t even have reason to ask.

If you’ve arrived here via a search engine result for this guy and are considering a tower from him – caveat emptor! Ask many questions.

The Rohn 25 now stacked in my garage is brand-spanking new and all the other details have been worked out. They include labor to dig the hole for the foundation, concrete delivery and bucket truck rental to install the three upper sections.

I’ll save $1100 over Ken’s price for a used tower. This leaves more money to spend toward an antenna than I’d previously budgeted.

That antenna is still undecided and I’m in no rush to make a decision. I think I’ll leave the tower bare to let the concrete solidify for a few weeks. No rush, as I’m still waiting for the Hazer to arrive anyway.

But I am leaning toward a Force 12 C3.

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  8 comments for “Tower progress

  1. July 3, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    UPDATE: The Hazer just arrived via UPS.

  2. July 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Hi John, I’m following your posts about the mast with interest. As I still have my tower down in the grass like on your photo. Btw I had a HAM rotor in the past as well but didn’t like it. Hopefully yours is better. Switched over to Kenpro now. The hazer sounds as something to get. Although it would not work with a telescopic tower like I have. 73, Bas

    • July 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      I remember reading about your tower coming down, Bas. Two advantages of the Hazer are that I can work on the antenna without climbing and I can lower it if we get a storm with high winds. It allows me to have some of the advantages of a telescoping tower but without the expense.

      I’ll be getting the hole dug Thursday for the concrete.

  3. July 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Yeah, you need to let the concrete cure for a month. Keeping it damp during that time is worth the effort, especially if your area is hot and dry.

    Sounds like some QSO’s are heading your way!

    73 de w4kaz

  4. Kenny KF5KLW
    September 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Tell all the facts first before you run your mouth. The reason I was unavailable was because I drove a truck and was out of town. 2nd I gave a estimated cost, a price over the phone without looking or driving 4hrs to come look at the site, how can you say my work isn’t good without seeing my work. Don’t forget to mention on that “high” estimate was also installing antennas and rotator. No, you wanted to get information on installing towers because you had no clue, so you called me up and asked 20 questions on how to do it. Hey that is ok I’m glad I could help.

    • September 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      My issue wasn’t with your availability or your price – it was with you trying to sell me a used product without making that known until I started asking my “20 questions”.

      Do you agree that you should have made that known up front at the time the estimate (either of them) was given or is that expectation unrealistic?

  5. Kenny KF5KLW
    September 10, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Listen I’m not going to beat a dead horse here, For you to slander me over something stupid is beyond me. My towers are just as good as OVER PRICED new ones, and yes I know everything about my towers and where they come from. I told you that from the beginning. You asked me about rust and condition ,and I told you. I wouldn’t sell you or anyone else a tower that was unsure of or had any defects whatsoever. I have been working with towers for years commercial and residential. But hey life goes on, right?

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