30 September 2012
The tower/Yagi installation is now completed. A few details of its initial on-the-air results are here. The past two days have been spent mostly comparing what I had (dipole) to the new antenna on various bands with a variety of DX stations from around the world. Those thoughts will be posted in the blog section of this website at some point in the future.
Here are photos of the finished installation minus the guy wires:
22 September 2012
23 August 2012
A few photos while I wait for delivery of other components:
19 August 2012
Installed the Hazer onto the tower and the rotor and thrust bearing onto the Hazer. The Hazer’s pre-drilled holes perfectly accepted both the Ham IV rotor and the thrust bearing…plug & play. I had imagined a back & forth, trial & error routine of getting the Hazer onto the tower and aligned in such a way as to allow free travel up and down the tower on all 6 roller wheels but simply bolting it all together resulted in perfect alignment.
The Hazer wheels fit snugly against the tower legs and movement across the tower sections is smooth.
Further updates are awaiting arrival of coax, rotor cable and lightning protection components.
16 August 2012
The tower is up – click here.
10 August 2012
The crane will be here for final tower installation in 6 days.
7 August 2012
I’ve spent the past three days doing what I’ve never seen done before…painting my shiny new tower. Many commercial towers are painted orange & white to increase their visibility to aircraft.
I’m taking the opposite approach with the intent of being a good neighbor – my tower will be coated in an irregular painting of brown, black and olive drab to match the surrrounding foliage.
The 20 feet of tower currently standing is now darn near invisible against the background (and foreground) of oak, sweetgum and pines.
30 July 2012
Will the proper crane please step forward…..
After shopping around I located the right kind of crane at the right price. I was quoted prices that ranged from Reasonable to Bill Gates Only. Two hours, with operator, travel time, tax, etc – $218. I’m good with that.
The plan is to assemble the remaining 30′ of Rohn on the ground, then have the crane lift that up and onto the 20 feet of tower that’s currently mounted. I’ll be there at the 20-foot level with bolts and tools. Then it occurred to me – after the crane is finished, the last step will be to untie the rope from the top section that will now be 50 feet high…
29 July 2012
The Hazer is now completely assembled, about a 2 hour job. Instructions are lacking but it’s not that complicated. After assembling the Hazer, I installed the roller bearings which are offered as an accessory to allow the Hazer to more easily be raised & lowered. I can’t see anyone using a Hazer without these but I guess some folks do.
Another accessory I ordered was the “messenger line kit“. This is simply a steel cable that is attached to the Hazer up top and the tower based below. Rotator and RF cables are fastened to it for strain relief.
My plan for now is to install the Hazer over the existing mounted section of tower. This will be done with all bolts loosened to allow alignment and squaring (triangularing?) of the Hazer onto the tower and alignment of the rollers. The way they are attached to the Hazer, there is room to adjust ensure the rollers track with the tower tubes.
26 July 2012
The big truck brought 3200 pounds (1450 kg) of concrete today and the driver confirmed for me what I had been hoping was paranoia – that the truck was so heavy that I’d have to sign a waiver for him to pull into the driveway to a location where the concrete could be poured directly into the foundation hole.
Not wanting my driveway to break up under the weight, I hauled the concrete in 12 trips of the wheelbarrow. For the 75-foot distance, I felt the entire benefit of each of those 260-pound loads, feeling and working like a rented mule as I pondered the solidity of the foundation and the age of my spine.
Any thoughts I’d entertained of making final adjustments to the tower once the concrete was poured quickly evaporated – even with the concrete still wet, that tower ain’t going anywhere! Solid as a rock, it would take a winch to move it an inch. Fortunately it’s as straight as an arrow, verified by plumb line and bubble level.
And now she sits, curing, waiting…
9 July 2012
After reading numerous reviews and comparing cost, weight, performance and wind load ratings I’ve ordered an antenna to top the tower – a Force 12 C3.
It has no traps, works (in a pinch) on 12 and 17 meters and only weighs 32 pounds with a 5.5 sqft wind load. Force 12 builds these antennas to order, then assembles and finally disassembles them prior to shipping. Delivery time was stated as being 3 weeks.
7 July 2012
Much to my joy, the TowerTalk email reflector is filled with geniuses. A solid and email in-box filling collection of better-than-I-had ideas, tips and anecdotes is available for the mere price of asking.
My house (garage, in my case) bracket is up and backed with 2X4′s adding extra oomph to the interior studs that support it. Two tower sections + the base are together and bolted.
Everything is a tad more difficult than I thought it would be but that’s okay. It’s a fun project and I’ve started thinking of it as my latest “kit” to be built. Tools have been bought that I wouldn’t otherwise have an excuse to buy: new “magnum” drill bits, a file, a nifty level (though I plan to plumb the tower in another way, the level will be the back-up 2nd opinion) and a come-along.
A solo performance of assembling tower sections on the ground is a comedic event, trying to line up and insert three legs of each section. I should have charged admission…but no cameras allowed.
I’m shooting for having the concrete poured on Thursday (12 July).
5 July 2012
Tower, rotator, thrust bearing and Hazer have been delivered. Today the 3x3x3-foot hole was dug for the foundation and a contractor was arranged for delivery of the concrete. The hole was dug in two hours for a price of $50 con bebidas y comida - gracias a un hombre se llama Casi, si me entiendes.
Next up is to install the house bracket and stand/level the bottom 23 feet (2 sections + 3-foot base) of tower. That will begin tomorrow.
Also today I’ve filled the bottom of the hole with 4 inches of drainage rock so that any condensation inside the tower legs will be able to drain.
Trivia note: One cubic yard (3x3x3 feet) of concrete weighs 3400 pounds.