Tower Installation

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:

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Top of tower showing Hazer, mast and several elements including the feedpoint balun.

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22 September 2012

Back to work after a long trip.

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23 August 2012

A few photos while I wait for delivery of other components:

Hazer at roof level with Ham IV, thrust bearing and 5-foot mast installed.

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Spring-loaded safety latch. I have mixed feelings about this…if the cord ever breaks or the movement of the latch becomes corroded I’ll have to climb the tower to release it. (Yes, I’ll tie a real knot before raising the Hazer).

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Another view. Awaiting rotor cable & RF cable.

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Pulley at the top for raising/lowering Hazer

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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.

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16 August 2012

The tower is up – click here.

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10 August 2012

The crane will be here for final tower installation in 6 days.

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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.

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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…

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29 July 2012

Hazer with rollers

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.

Looking down the Hazer. Click for larger

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.

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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…

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This is not mine – just a photo of the antenna I ordered.

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.

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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).

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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.

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  22 comments for “Tower Installation

  1. July 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    did you compare this one ? http://www.cycle-24.com/tx38.html

    • July 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      I’d never heard of that company before, Hector – thanks for passing it along.

  2. Bill
    May 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    If I was you on that hazer I would be changing out that top aluminum pulley before it gives you major headaches

    • May 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      I wish I’d installed a better marine-quality pulley from the git-go – I’m not looking forward to that job.

  3. Charly
    June 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    A painted tower sometimes hides rust. Pro towers are inspected often.

    Did you cameo the yagi too?

    • June 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      No, I didn’t. And in the Navy we were taught that paint ‘prevented’ rust!

  4. john
    June 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    what is the make/model of the tower? thanks

  5. john
    June 15, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    OK…great job, are you happy with the Hazer till now? Thinking seriously about one myself.

  6. Dave W0DLR
    July 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I notice you left out the three bolts that hold the three sections that hug the triangle tower at the top and bottom of the Hazer. Why did you not put these bolts in? Without them you only have the little strap at the joints that hold them together.
    Just curious?

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Good eyes, Dave. I had forgotten to place those bolts and didn’t notice till 2 days later. I put them in at that point but didn’t bother to snap an updated pic.

  7. Dave W0DLR
    July 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Ok, kinda thought those ought to be in there. I am just99% complete with my homebrew one. Looks just like the real one. Drilling the rotor and thrust bearing plates and its done. Been a long time in coming. I could have bought a fabricated one just as cheap. Small parts are really expensive.
    73 Dave W0DLR

    • July 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      I love having mine, Dave. It offers the convenience of a telescoping tower without the expense. If I had one thing to do over again I’d have upgraded the pulley from the one that came with the Hazer to a heavier duty marine-grade one. I’m sure mine will last a while, but if anything ever goes wrong with it, there’s no way to fix it without climbing.

  8. Rick
    September 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Where did you put the guy wires? On the tower or the hazer? Just curious….I debate back and forth on what works best…..

    • September 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      On the tower just below the Hazer. I know they can go on the Hazer but I think any force that might topple the tower w/o guy wires would be strong enough to pull the Hazer apart if the guy wires were there.

  9. Dave W0DLR
    September 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I thought about putting the guy wires on the tower elevator, however, I believe the constant pulling and tugging on it by the wind and weight of ice, etc. might put it in a bind. It looks like it might be easy to bind it up, so I didn’t want to take that change. Guy it from the very top and then drop them down when you move the elevator up and down. I’m about ready to pour my base, but we have had real hot weather and now a ton of mosquitos.

  10. Dave W0DLR
    September 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    John, I put a reply on here before I read yours. I didn’t mean to be argumentative about the location of the guy wires, but did you mean above or below the hazer?

    • September 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Dave – they are below the Hazer for the same reasons you mentioned.

  11. Rick
    September 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    I put my guys on the bottom of the hazer initially…but decided I didn’t like that approach so I’m going to move them to the top of the tower above the hazer…and as indicated drop a couple of them when I need to lower or raise the hazer. I still don’t have anything on the tower so they are easy to move now.

    John with your guys below the hazer you have to climb up and remove them if you want to lower the tower….climbing unguyed Rohn 25 is a little scary to me!!

    • February 25, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      I’ve since moved them to above the Hazer!

  12. Eric
    February 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    John,
    I have a favor to ask… can you please take a few close up pics of how you have your feedline on your hazer ran. I cant figure out how to do it properly mine is just hanging in the wind right now. I would sure appericate it.

    thanks
    Eric
    kb9vve

    • February 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      I have the catenary line from Glen Martin and just have the feed line and rotator cable tie wrapped to it. On the Hazer itself I just tie wrapped the cables to the nearest aluminumaluminum braces.

      I’ll take some detailed photos next time I lower it but you really need the catenary line to support the cables’ weight.

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