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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

How Much is a New Tower?

william carnett (AH6FC) on June 30, 2007
View comments about this article!

How much does a new tower cost?

That was the question I was asking a couple of years ago as I planned a new QTH. After 39 years of being a licensed ham, I figured it was time to finally put up a decent antenna. Finally we were moving to a QTH without antenna restrictions, yes, it was finally time. I told the XYL, she’d learn to love it.

After a bit of research on eHam I read estimates of $3000 – 8000 for a modest installation. Ok, that’s not too bad. Maybe even a bit more for a more robust system. I wanted a tower that could safely support a big yagi, such as a big Optibeam or SteppIR…not a big gun contester, but a good solid station.

I figured for $10,000 I could get a pretty good tower up. Since I’m not fond of climbing, I figured I’d recruit some professional help. Again on eHam, others claimed paying $3000 for the professional component of their installation.

So what did it cost?

Tower $3,152.00
Step bolts $280.00
Rotator plate $175.00
Bearing plate $175.00
Thrust bearing $103.00
Anti-climb panels $650.00
Shipping $3,192.00
Mast $250.00
Crane $1,900.00
Installation Labor 1 $1,380.00
Installation labor 2 $6,000.00
Excavation $900.00
Rebar $600.00
Fittings, posts, form $477.00
Concrete $2,000.00
Engineering & permits $1050.00
Total $22,334.00

This does not include antennas or rotators, but does include crane rental to lift the single HF yagi and two small VHF antennas to the top of the tower.

Expensive? I guess that’s relative. More than I expected? Yep, sure was! Yes, this is a professionally constructed, high quality tower installation. Certainly much better constructed than what me and a few of my ham friends would have done on a Saturday afternoon.

What would I do differently if I had it to do over? The single largest expense was the professional installation labor. Worthwhile? Sure. These guys are experienced, competent, and will deliver a high quality product. If you have the opportunity, I suggest going with the pro who will rely on you and your friends for on-the-ground assistance rather than a hired crew. Everybody charges travel time...from the time they leave their house...when you’re paying for more than one guy it really adds up.

My tower is now up, tucked away behind a 70 foot Pine tree so the neighbors don’t have it in their face. The installation is neat and professional...no wires strewn about the yard. What does the XYL think? Not sure, our new house is still under construction but she’s really going to appreciate the view out of the dining room window!

I hope my experience will be of some value to those of you “tower neophytes” who don’t like to climb but would like to finally put up that decent tower. Yes there are a lot of less expensive alternative, this is simply on ham’s experience.

73, Bill
AH6FC/7

Member Comments:
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How Much is a New Tower?  
by K3TJ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Respectfully, I can agree to the hardware costs but some of the labor costs seem out of hand. You don't mention how big\tall the critter is, but some of the costs seem excessive. You also don't mention the antenna and cable routing involved.
Perhaps its me, but I'd use a $40 heavy guage flagepole for the mast, do my own concrete at $3 a bag (mix and pour yourself).
As for the anti climb stuff... well, if the zoning needed it.
When it comes to excavation, well, I am a true believer in using a shovel.
HOWEVER, anyway you look at it, you did well.
There are times I'd rather pay a kid to mow my lawn. Could I do it? Sure. Is it better to give a kid $20 to do it, darn right.
You did well my friend, hands off and done right is all that counts.
Now if the kid that mows the lawn will only show up when he says he will... lol

73 and hope to hear you on the air, ed k3tj
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W4DL on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like a top notch installation Bill; I work in the communications industry and professional tower work is not cheap, unless you end up with contractors who climb with rope belts and are an accident waiting to happen. You didn't mention the height or manufacturer of the tower, but I'm guessing it is top of the line. A properly installed tower-antenna combination should perform without issues for years; we demand it here in the hurricane belt. Personal preference for this qth is a crank up which gets promptly cranked down when the hurricane is offshore!

Good Dx from your new "shack".

Mike W4DL
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KI4UBD on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Did you take any pics of the process from start to finish? I always like to see how these projects go together.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N4VET on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, Bill I don't know where I went wrong but my total cost for my 40 foot crank down tilt over tower was $200.00 dollars.
It is an Easy-Way and I dug the hole for the post.
That was the hardest part of the installation.
Took me all of one hour.
That cost includes rotator, and coax to the shack.
The triband beam cost me another $80.00 dollars.
Tower has been up for 15 years at my QTH and I live in Tampa, FL.
The HAM I purchased it from had it up for 10 years in Clearwater, FL.
It has withstood 2 tropical storms and many thunder storms with high gust.
I have worked the world with it.
Sorry you had to pay so much.
This is a hobby and I never would have invested that much to have fun.
Hope you enjoy your set-up
Dan/N4VET
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N4VNZ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can certainly sympathize as I am moving into a new house this week (new to me). I just spent 10 grand on new hardwood floors and tile and 5 grand for painting the entire interior. The xyl wants a new room on the back and so I guess new ham stuff will have to wait. I do have room for some nice wire antennas, though, and a few decent trees!

73 and enjoy your new house.

Boog
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WT4K on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Frankly that last $200.00 comment was unnecessary, glad you got a $200.00 tower up and it has served you well, but in the grand scheme of things I've seen more $200.00 accidents than than success stories. Being frugal is fine but don't make a guy feel like crap because he did the job right, if you can do it for less, have the time and health, and can do it right God bless you. If you know you're in over your head,(and a tower is nothing to mess with if you are), hire a professional and get an installation warranty. The beer afterwards still tastes just as good.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N0AH on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sad.....................

Putting up your own tower might take time, but with the help of another friend, I put up my 75 foot rohn 25 tower in 2 days including guy', conceate, hardware,rotor, antennas, etc......total cost without antennas was around $1,100.....with two T-6's and a VHF/UHF AR270, add in another $1,500. Total cost $2,600.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by K4DTC on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I didn't see any detail on what kind of tower it was, and how tall it is. Could be worth the price, depending on what you put up. I put up a used 55 foot US Tower crank up for about $2500, but I did all of the labor myself. It wasn't that hard. I dug the hole, built the rebar cage, poured the concrete, and bit the bullet and bought the fixture to raise to nested tower using a winch. I actually enjoyed the experience. To me, one of the best parts of ham radio is to do stuff yourself, and to learn something in the process. In my mind, it shouldn't just be a check book exercise where you just sit in the easy chair and rag chew. You could do that on CB. But then, I opposed doing away with the CW requirement. I realize that putting up a tower is a little different. You can get killed doing that stuff. But the dumbing down of ham radio is not a step in the right direction.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AI2IA on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Many thanks to Bill, 73,AH6FC/7, and to everyone who posts on this subject. It has been a long time since a discussion of tower costs has taken place. For many hams budget restrictions make the cost of putting up a tower a once-in-a-lifetime event. You want to do the very best you can.

Site selection is, to use a pun, the very foundation of tower installation. If you can obtain a good location, it makes all the rest really worthwhile. Let the posts roll! This will be good reading.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AI2IA on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
One more thing to the readers:
Remember, when you are young and fast and strong, you can climb like a monkey. When you retire, you just can't do all those things as well any more. Sure there are those older hams who can, but the years take their toll on most of us, so it is wiser for us to pay for the work with some of our nest egg, than to risk injury or a less than quality result. Young or old, you just do the best you can.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AH6FC on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Good comments, thanks.

The tower is an AN Wireless HD 70. The cost of the tower was the cheapest, relatively, part, hi hi. By-far-and-away the labor was the killer.
I didn't mention antennas and coax in that that is quite variable, op to op. My tower is 500 feet from the house so I decided to spend the extra $$ and run 7/8 Heliax. When I planned the tower, my intent was to put up a large yagi, i.e. MonstIR or big Optibeam. Because of all the costs of a new house (ugh), I backed down to a 4 element SteppIR. Since I've had some problems with the SteppIR, I might return to m original plan, so the HD tower will come in handy.

I empathize with all you planning new towers and homes.....very painful!

73, Bill
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N6NKN on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the point of reference Bill. When I get ready to install a tower, I'll want to do it right, so that means I'll hire someone, as I do not feel capable of doing the job properly myself.

Others may "get lucky" doing it on the cheap. I, like you, prefer to have the work done by professionals.

As a sidelight: I find it interesting that some can expound there views on the removal of the code requirement, even when discussing the topic of new tower costs. Some folks never give up.

Rick
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N2EY on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
In order to get a better handle on the costs, I combined things I consider a single category, and figured out the percentages (rounded to nearest 1%)

Here's what I got:

Tower $3,152.00 (14%)
Step bolts, Rotator plate, bearing plate, thrust bearing, anticlimb panels, mast $1833.00 (8%)

(Tower and tower hardware are only 22% of the cost)

Rebar, fittings, posts, form, concrete $3077.00 (14%)

(Tower foundation stuff. Total tower cost 36% of total)

Crane $1,900.00 (9%)
Installation Labor 1 & 2 $7,380.00 (33%)
Excavation $900.00 (4%)

Cost of having the work done by others - 46% of the total)

Shipping $3,192.00 (14%)
Engineering & permits $1050.00 (5%)

(Unavoidable nonhardware costs - 19%)

Total $22,334.00

"Respectfully, I can agree to the hardware costs but some of the labor costs seem out of hand."

Tower pros who are experienced, licensed and bonded don't come cheap. Neither do cranes.

"You don't mention how big\tall the critter is, but some of the costs seem excessive."

I am really curious as to how much tower this is. Not just height, but how many square feet, wind survival, how many antennas it can carry at what altitudes, etc.
Those things make a *big* difference!

"Perhaps its me, but I'd use a $40 heavy guage flagepole for the mast, do my own concrete at $3 a bag (mix and pour yourself).
As for the anti climb stuff... well, if the zoning needed it.
When it comes to excavation, well, I am a true believer in using a shovel."

A lot depends on the size of the job, permit/inspection/insurance requirements and the reality of the situation.

For example, if the foundation requires several yards of concrete, how many bags will be needed to make it, and how many hours to dig the hole, transport all the materials and tools, mix and pour it? What if the soil is rocky or sandy? The price differential between DIY and ready mix delivered on site might not be that great once you add up all the costs and figure your time at $X per hour.

The author mentions that he is building a house, too. He might not have had the time to do the work himself and manage the house job too. Waiting until the house was built could raise the tower price because the job may be more difficult. Slowing down the house project, or making a mistake on it, could cost a lot more than he paid the tower pros.

"HOWEVER, anyway you look at it, you did well."

Agreed.

To my eyes there are few things so beautiful as a well-engineered and well-installed antenna installation. Particularly if it is an Amateur Radio antenna installation.

Every time a ham puts up a good tower installation, I see it as a victory for Amateur Radio. Sets a precedent and all that. Makes it a little bit easier for the rest of us to put up our antennas, too.

"There are times I'd rather pay a kid to mow my lawn. Could I do it? Sure. Is it better to give a kid $20 to do it, darn right."

Exactly. All depends on the situation. I do my own lawn, but that's because I have the mower, time, and gas - and a small lawn. Somebody down the road with an acre or two of lawn calls the mow-blow-&-go guys. If I was in a situation where the lawn really needed mowing but I needed to do something else, I might pay to have it done.

Another big unknown is local conditions. Labor and material prices vary all over the place. As the author mentions, you pay travel time, and in some parts of the country that is a considerable part of the job, if the pros are hours away.

In some areas, the soil conditions are good and the foreseeable wind not that high, (plus the ground doesn't shake every so often) so a relatively small foundation and relatively light duty tower are fine. Elsewhere, you may have to deal with poor soil conditions (sand, loam, rock), high winds, lightning, floods and/or earthquakes, which mean a much more involved structure and higher costs. Note that permits and engineering alone were 5% of the job.

But what I really want to know is how much tower that $22,334 bought, in terms of height of antennas, wind survival and square feet aloft.

--

If you're really into DIY, there are articles in old ham mags of the '30s-'70s where the amateur built his own tower. Wood, angle-iron copies of windmill towers, and welded pipe ideas all appeared. I wonder how they fared over time, and what the overall real costs were.

I always liked windmill towers. Maybe someday...

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by NO9E on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
To really understand the poster one must assume that he is a busy professional building a new and probably expensive house. One hint is that the lot must be > 150 feet long. Doing the work professionally was the only way available because there was no time to do it himself, and even less time to fix if something went wrong.

There are times when one has lots of time and little money. There are times when one can spend money but deoes not have time, and "saving" money can actually cost money. The worst alternative is when one has neither time nor money.

73,
Ignacy, NO9E
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AH6FC on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The AN Wirelss HD 70 is rated at 54.9 sf at 80 mph. The base is 5 ft x 5 ft x 9 feet. Certainly more than I needed now.

The engineering was done for an Optibeam 16-5, OB6-6, and OB 40/30, which add to about 30 sf, however once you put them on a mast, you rapidly reach 40 + sf. The engineer said all of this would stay up with a 2 7/8in mast. Having all of this aluminum/steel in the air made me nervous originally. Since putting it up and seeing how robust this tower is makes it much less stress producing.

I had looked at US Tower crank up and Heights tilt over, both looked great but might have had some difficulty with the bigger arrays.

There is no question you can get by with a lot less expense. The DIY requires the tools and expertise, which I don't really have. Well, I have more now, hi hi. I guess nothing is free and you get what you pay for.
At least I can sleep at night when the wind is blowing.
73, Bill
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA4DOU on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Having lived in hurricane prone areas and experiencing them first hand for much of my life, when it came time to contemplate a tower installation, I chose a guyed tower. They're the strongest and least expensive of all towers. (My county had an 80 mph official windspeed rateing thru the '90's but I understand that it has been raised to 100). I chose Rohn for obvious reasons and studied their engineering manual intensively for several months. I laid out the installation and rented a terramite to dig the holes and had the concrete delivered from a commercial source (If you think you're going to use several cubic yards and mix and pour your own at $3.00 per bag = 1 cubic foot to save money, I think the savings is inconsequential). I allowed the concrete to cure in the ground for 1-2 months before beginning building. Recognizing that volunteer labor is a finite resource and wishing to avoid having that resource availability to drive the project, I elected to build the tower on my own, slowly over the course of several weekends where I could think out every detail in advance and be prepared for any contingency including stopping if I ran into difficulty. I began the project with some feeling of trepidation but overcame my uneasiness, 1 foot at a time. Today I have a 52 ft. guyed Rohn 25 in the backyard that I'm comfortable climbing and that Rohn says I can depend on to withstand 110 mph wind as long as I don't exceed 8.2 sq. ft. total windload. Assuming antenna destruction before that windspeed is reached, it would likely remove a significant amount of that surface area and the tower may survive 120-125 mph wind(My house might not be so fortunate). Mine cost $3500-$4000 inc. antenna, rotator, etc. The bonus was that I got to keep the climbing belt, special tools, rope, pulleys, ginpole, guywire tension guage, etc.

Amateurs are known for taking liberties with good engineering practices and cutting corners to save money here and there. It has been my experience that these savings often result in greater costs in the long run and I try to think long and hard about how costly "saving money" can be ultimately.

I applaud the author's decision to do it his way. If I had it to do over, I'd choose Rohn 45. You may later wish, as I do, that you could put up even larger antennas! It's only money and you can't take it with you.

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KV6O on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Wow - thanks for the info! I bought my current QTH in August and would like to put up a tower once I get some other things out of the way. I live at 8600 feet in the foothills of the Rockies, and we have high winds and lots of lightning here – so it has to be done right.

I’ll have to carefully think about it – I too was thinking about $10,000 would do it. I don’t want to be naive – I might have to take a harder look at alternatives if the realistic price for a solid, quality install is going to be north of that!
I wonder what some other hams have paid recently? What is the “real” cost of installing a tower? And I am not talking about the hams that will proudly claim that they did it all for $200 – the coax and rotor cables are going to cost you more than $200 alone!

I have heard the expression, “A dime spent on your antenna is worth a dollar on your radio”, I guess you just gave yourself a $223,340.00 radio upgrade! Wow!

Steve
KV6O
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AH6FC on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
That's why I wrote this. When I was looking for info a year ago, all I found was "I put up a 100 foot tower for $100." Even where they used professional tower installation people "$3000," I wish!

Thought some current info might be of interest.
Bill
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K1CJS on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Bill, Congrats on your new tower. I hope it gives you many years of trouble free service. To those who say I did it for less, good for you--but I bet Bill's setup will outlast yours by a factor of at least ten.

Quite often you'll see where someone tried to cut corners and got exactly what they paid for. That reminds me of the new ham that figured he would put up a short tower--on top of his garage. he figured the roof was strong enough, but didn't figure in everything. He got the tower up OK, but when he climbed the thing to put up his beam, he 'installed' the tower into the back seat of his wife's car--which was parked in the garage at the time.

He found out the hard way that you get what you pay for, and nothing comes cheap. He makes due with mast sections now--his XYL told him 'NO TOWER HERE' quite emphatically.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KB9CRY on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For another perpective, I've installed three towers. All were purchase used but in good condition and required some refurbishing (wire wheel off some surface rust and cold galvanizing), had the concrete bases poured by a concrete contractor that I've given a lot of work to at work, and used volunteer help.

One self supporter at 56 ft (Rohn HBDX)
One self supporter at 72 ft (Trylon T-400)
One guyed tower at 120 ft (Rohn 45 with Polygon guys)

Total cost was around $5000 each including rotators, antennas, and cables.

So as stated, if you can do a lot of the labor yourself and/or get volunteers, it can be done, very professionaly, for less.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA8MEA on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've had some pretty rotten crap happen in my life. But it's usually balanced out with something really good. Example: First wife; bad. Second wife; good!

Same goes for ham radio. Like the time I accidentally "washed" my newly acquired 830S with what I thought was non-petroleum based contact cleaner. WRONG! It had plenty of petroleum in it! And that equated to one messed up rig that was literally beyond repair.

But that was balanced out one day by a real estate agent friend of mine who said he had a property for sale. It was loaded full of ham radio "junk" and antennas. And he wanted it off the property as soon as possible.

What a Field Day....I mean Hamfest! Not only were there parts, tools, rigs and accessories in the shack itself, but this guy had FOUR big-butt towers on the property! I mean the tilt-over, three section crank up variety! They were mine for the taking!

I could only get two. But that's all I really wanted/needed. The others were out in a wooded area that had grown over with trees. No way I could have taken those towers down without clearing a forest first.

But those towers sure are nice! And the only money I had to put into them were for a couple of coats of paint and some new large bolts/nuts to connect the tower to the tilt-over base.

Good things come to those who wait....

73, Bill - WA8MEA
http://HamRadioFun.com
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KF4HR on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Bill. Well... yeah, you could pay someone to do everything for you, and buy everthing new. I'm sure a small percentage of hams do just that; a very small percentage.

How about this idea?

1. Buy a name brand "used" tower - $800-2,000
* If you do your shopping right it may with all the goodies, thrust bearing, mast, hardware, and power wrench.
* Heck maybe the seller might even throw in a rotator and antennas; which you can use, or sell to help pay for the project
* Buy a name-brand used tower so you can obtain the engineering drawings from the buyer or manufacturer)
2. Dig the hole yourself $0 (Or rent a backhoe $300)
3. Buy and weld the rebar cage yourself - $100
4. Order cement yourself $80-125 per cubic yard
5. Submit your own permit <$500
6. Submit the balance of the $22,334 to KF4HR

KF4HR
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by K7SU on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This article reminded me of another story I heard once regarding the true cost of a wood burning stove to save money on heating so you can buy more ham gear. I'm not saying your tower costs are not legitimate...although as mentioned in some of the other comments, some did seem a little excessive. But I live in the country so some of the "zoning" issues don't apply here. In case you want to know the true cost of a wood burning stove...here they are. Sorry to be off topic on this but I did find it humorous.

wood burning stove: $500

Chain saw: $300

Fine for not having spark arrestor on the saw in the forest: $250

Deductible on insurance after trip to emergency room from cutting yourself with the chain saw: $500
(Even MORE if you don't have insurance!)

Parts and tools for self-install: $450

4x4 pickup to get to where you cut the wood: $30,000

Hydraulic log splitter: $800

clothing and safety gear for cutting the wood: $400

Cost to rebuild the house after it catches fire from the stove and your insurance won't pay because of the fine-print that says fires caused by wood burning stoves won't be covered: $$350,000

Cost to replace furnishings including ham gear! $80,000

True cost of the wood burning stove: $463,200

73 and thanks for the article!
Kelly, K7SU
www.K7SU.com
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N3JBH on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NO9E said
"To really understand the poster one must assume that he is a busy professional building a new and probably expensive house. One hint is that the lot must be > 150 feet long."

I am not sure what lot size has to do with the cost of some ones home. my last home had a lot well over 700 feet long and every bit as wide. yet my house was very modest 2 bedroom home. shoot my pick up cost more then the house did. so i doubt lot size has much of a hint. as wb2wik would say it is all location location location. mine was in forest county Pa. a county that has less then 2500 folks No trafic lights. and only 21 street lights in whole county,

jeff n3jbh
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by K9ZF on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting article. There is actually very little ham literature on erecting towers. At least as compared to building other ham equipment. I guess most folks are afraid of the liability involved with do it yourself tower projects...

Keep up the good work,


73
Dan
--
K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at: <http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N4FOZ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I am not sure why the article was written. Is it to show how much someone can possibly spend for a 70' tower? Some people spend a lot of money on a car and spend a lot of time bragging about how much it cost. Seems like the point of this one.

That pricing and outlay will no doubt get one a good tower, and, regardless of how much you spend, you just hope the installation was correct.

Pushing the point of extravagance does not provide the average Ham with incentive. In this case, it might cause many Hams to believe they could never afford it.

Hiring labor to dig a hole does not cost $900. I have never seen any home installation that takes $2,000 in concrete. Most folks rent a mixer, get $3./bag concrete and have the afore mentioned labor mix it and pour it. It is not too hard to make sure the first section is level.

Local Hams in the area are usually very happy to make a party out of putting up a new tower. It is a tradition where I come from. Cooking some Hamburgers and Dogs for the troops make the effort all worth it.

Writing these kind of articles just slings "Elitist Mud" on people of reasonable value.

Then again, some people drive economy cars with appreciation, and some people just have to announce their new Porsche.

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by WY3X on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm in the market for a new tower right now. I called and got quotes from three manufacturer. My "basic specs" were 60+ foot non-guyed tower, power electric tilt/raise, heavy duty enough to support a Steppir 4 element Yagi, a pair of 6M, 2M, and 432 Yagis above it on a 24 foot mast. Here are the quotes I got (not broken down by parts).

U.S. Tower
72 foot $14,218.90 ($1,100 freight)
89 foot $17,256.10 ($1,100 freight)
55 foot $9,644.30 ($1,100 freight)

Height's Tower
66 foot $13,302 (includes $1,485 freight)

AlumaTower
Does not make a 60+ foot tower unguyed, and nothing they manufacture will support a 24 foot mast, but a
50 foot tower was about $7,000 and would be delivered
free if I was patient enough to wait for a load "going
my way".

The salesperson from AlumaTower was the most personable and willing to go out of his way to make a sale of any tower company I spoke with. I really want to do business with them, but their tower can't support the load I need to hang off of it.

Interestingly enough, freight to South Carolina from California (U.S. Tower) was much cheaper than freight from Florida (Height's Tower)! (Almost $400 cheaper!!!)

So- all manufacturers have priced themselves over my budget and/or do not make a tower that meets to specs I need.

I'm still in the market, but obviously I'm going to have to buy a USED tower to keep within my financial restraints I've set for this project. If anyone knows of a motorized crank-up/tilt-over steel tower 60+ feet unguyed that will supports a heavy load that is for sale in Georgia, South or North Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia, shoot me an e-mail!

73, -KR4WM
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W4VR on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
....and that is one of the reasons why for the past 45 years I have been using a Walmart sling shot and Zebco casting reel with a 1.5 ounce sinker to install wire beam antennas in trees. I never have a problem being heard...in fact breaking pileups is rarely a problem. To do this, of course, you have to be blesssed with nice tall oaks or pines.
 
Rain on his parade...  
by WB4M on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
OK, so most of you would not (or cannot) spend that much on a tower/beam etc. So what is it to you if he spends $20, or $50k, or whatever? He may be a multi-millionaire and his interest income will pay for his tower in one year. Years ago, I bought my tower and beam and rotor at an estate sale for about 16-cents on the dollar. Otherwise, I could not have afforded it. BTW, "elitism" is an attitude, not your bank statement. I hope the author has a blast with his new tower and beam.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by ONAIR on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The cool way to do it is to mount your stuff on top of a tall tree! Save the $25K to buy property on top of a mountain.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KF5ER on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Two years ago I had a 55' crank-up, tilt-over tower
installed. Ordered, put together and installed
a Optibeam OB6-12 antenna.
Total cost including tower, antenna, coax, rotor,
base, concrete came to $7500.00.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by NA0AA on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, bunch of sour grapes round here. I don't understand anyone wanting to piss on this man's parade. He's lucky enough to have a site and the bucks for the project. I think he's presented us with a realistic view of what it costs to have a tower professionally installed.

I don't think HE made any bones about not doing the work himself. Nor does he seem to take anyone to task for DIY. I for one am glad to know a realistic cost in current dollars because given the risks there is no way I'd really want to go with anything but a professional installation.

Since I can justify neither the space or money, I use wire antenna and don't complain. I'm just jealous.

your mileage may vary.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA4DOU on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If you can buy 1 bag of concrete mix for $3.00 and that equals 1 cu. ft., how many bags equals 1 cu. yd? Answer: 27 bags @ 80 lbs. each. If I remember correctly, the author said he used between 8 and 9 cu. yds. which equals about 225 bags. The going rate of commercial concrete delivered to the site where I live is anywhere from $94-$116 per cu. yd. these days. If you can buy 80 lb. bags of concrete these days for $3.00 per, it will cost you $81 per cu. yd. + sales tax, before you even load it up. I have no intention of purchasing 225 bags of concrete, hauling 18,000 lbs. home, mixing it up and pouring it just to save $13 per cu. yd. I don't think anyone else in their right mind would either. I only live a few miles from the concrete plant. Who knows where the author lives in relation to a concrete plant, what it costs per cu.yd. and whether he did it himself or had a contractor do it. It really doesn't matter as its his money. There is nothing in the story that suggests he is bragging in any matter. One has to wonder what part envy plays with those who are otherwise critical.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AB5Q on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Spending $22K is really not that unreasonable considering the scale of the installation and professional contract labor. I think that those who cast stones don't realize the risks associated with labor in today lawsuit ridden society. One unfortunate accident with "cheap labor" and your faced with a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit. Since obviously you can afford professional/bonded labor, you took the right approach.

It's been close to two decades since I've installed my tower with help from friends. However I would never take the same risks again. Knowing what I could be faced with, or my family for that matter if I were killed is not worth the risk.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N3JBH on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
honestly one 80 pound bag of ready mix only yeilds .6 cubic feet. so you need 45 bags to make a cubic yard then.so for 9 cubic yards we now looking at 405 bags.

at a cost of $1215.00 for just the ready mix. not to mention how your going to get 32,400 pounds of this crap home to mix it.

now let's see 9 yards brought in on a mixer and poured equals $720.00 dollars. hmmmmmmmmm. lets see here i think i best spend all day busting my back flipping 80 pound bags in a cheap lil mixer. NOT !!!
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W9PMZ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Does this belong on "myth busters"?

One myth it does somewhat invalidate is when advice is asked by new hams on first station installations you always hear, "put the money into antenns and skimp on the radio".

Considering the apparent costs of erecting a new or even a used tower the prospective new (on the cheap) ham in all good conscienous should be directed at cheap effective antennas (dipole, verticle, etc) and purchase the best radio for the buck; and maybe a SB-220 to boot......

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by W2WO on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
FWIW. My 55-foot crank up/crank over UST, with 3-element SteppIR and HAM-4 rotor cost about $5000 three years ago. Hole digging, concrete pouring was by a relative; otherwise the total cost would have been about $6500. Tower is 40 feet from shack and I dug the trench myself, etc.

With new materials I doubt that you could get away for much less than that.

I thought about a higher tower. However, I am not growing younger and I dislike climbing these days. The crank down/crank over scheme appealed to me and I decided to let the ease of maintenance outweigh the desire for a 80+ tower.

It seems that UST shipping costs are much higher than they were a few years ago. I had to wait several months to catch a "load going my way" but that worked out well.

Bill - W2WO
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K3EY on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The ham mentality never ceases to amaze me. Spent the least amount you possibly can and you are the man, according to this twisted mentality you read in topics like this one.

Who cares if he spent 20 grand or 100 grand, what does it matter? This is a democracy where the rich live on the hills and the poor in the valleys with everyone shopping at the same local food store, like Wally World. SO WHAT!?

Like the guy who brags how he never buys a new car only buying used because it's a poor investment. Guess what, we all are going to die, it's guaranteed 100 perfect therefore do what you want as long as you can afford it and you stay out of jail and don’t hurt anyone in the process why should anyone else give a rip!

Mostly people who try to bring down others for whatever reason have issues themselves. For Example the Guy who Says: I built my tower system for twenty five dollars because I didn’t have a wife telling me how to do it because after seven marriages I am single therefore can do what I want no matter how terrible it looks or unsafe it is, because saving every cent is what really matters. So goes the twisted mind set of some hams.

73 & Happy Hamming and safe tower climbing for the ones lucky enough to even have a tower.

I don’t own one because I don’t want one, but I do buy a lot of new and never used cars, guess I am insane.


Curt/k3ey
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA4DOU on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"honestly one 80 pound bag of ready mix only yeilds .6 cubic feet. so you need 45 bags to make a cubic yard then.so for 9 cubic yards we now looking at 405 bags."

Now that you mention it, I think you're right. I seem to recall that a cu. yd. of concrete weighs roughly 4000 lbs. No way that an 80 lb. bag of concrete mix could be equal to 1 cu. ft.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AA4PB on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It depends on the tower and the required base. For example, a guyed Rohn 25G only requires 0.41 cu yds (11 cu ft) of concrete. That's 19 bags of mix (80 lbs bags). At $4.00 per bag that's only $76 for the mix.

A 25G can be put up with a gin pole, one section at a time. There is no need for a crane. I wouldn't want to tackle that climbing at my age now but 20 years ago when I put up the tower it was no big deal. My 11 year old (at the time) daughter handled the ground work and I did the climbing. The two of us put up a 55 foot Rohn tilt-over by ourselves.

For the new guys out there, the majority of hams do not spend $20,000 on their tower installation so don't let this article scare you away.

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N0AH on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Its' not like this a big secret, but you can pretty much go to any small town and look for old Rohn 25 next to a house and offer to remove it for free.

Spend a few hours in the pan handle of Oklahoma or north Texas. These people used to have to have 20-30 feet of Rohn to put their TV antennas on which has now been replaced by cable, etc.....these waters have been fished before but trust me, we still have a lot of tower out there.

Rural America grows used Rohn 25 like corn- It's worth the drive to you local grain tower community!!!!

Be careful and don't get killed!!!
 
It's much cheaper than you think  
by AB0TA on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Back in 1992 I put up a 45 foot Rohn with a Mosley Classic 36 beam.

Tower,beam,rotor and cable from widow of SK.. $200
Friends to help take down ......... Beer money
Construction permit................. $25
3 foot cubed size hole in ground....elbow grease
Rebar and concrete form setup....... $30
Three quarter inch X 2 foot bolts... $50
Concrete plus delivery.............. $200
Labor to pour concrete..............Beer money
Winch to raise tower by myself......Borrowed
Working DX with 100 watts...........Priceless

Total cost... $505.00

I always suggest using your ham buddies to help. You will be surprised how much of a good time you will have
with your friends.

 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W0IVJ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It depends on the tower and the required base. For example, a guyed Rohn 25G only requires 0.41 cu yds (11 cu ft) of concrete. That's 19 bags of mix (80 lbs bags). At $4.00 per bag that's only $76 for the mix."

I've always wondered why a 60 to 70 foot, guyed, Rohn 25G required concrete for the base. I have always just dug a hole 2 or 3 feet deep, stuck a flat steel plate in the bottom of the hole to keep the tower from sinking, and filled in the hole with hard packed dirt. If you consider the forces on a guyed tower, the tower would shear at the base before it would kick out. Am I missing something here, or is the Colorado soil just so hard that concrete wasn't needed? I have constructed several towers in this manner in Colorado and Chile. They have withstood 100 mph winds with no difficulty.

73, Tom W0IVJ
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W0IVJ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Interesting article. There is actually very little ham literature on erecting towers. At least as compared to building other ham equipment. I guess most folks are afraid of the liability involved with do it yourself tower projects..."

A few years ago, I researched building an unguyed tower. The QST articles discussed engineering in the 60's, legalities in the 70's and 80's, and covenants in the 90's. I guess that shows the trend. BTW, I ended up constructing a homebrew, 40 foot, unguyed, foldover tower out of 55000 psi drill pipe. So far, it has withstood 90 mph winds (it is designed for 112 mph). It moves around alot at the top like a tree, but has held up well. My feeling is that since it is made of steel, it will show a bend if it is overstressed before it will break.

73, Tom W0IVJ
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA4DOU on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I have always just dug a hole 2 or 3 feet deep, stuck a flat steel plate in the bottom of the hole to keep the tower from sinking, and filled in the hole with hard packed dirt."

Thus begins the unending saga of how to do it on the cheap and defy every convention in the process.

I have a question. How do you employ this method and keep the tower legs open and free to drain condensation so that it doesn't stand in the legs, freeze in the winter and split the legs? The legs should be in a layer of crushed rock to provide adaquate drainage to prevent this problem.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KW6LA on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Bill ,

Thanks for a wonderful article on E-Ham. I was going thru the same drill some years back with the cost of a Tower / Yagi Beam.

After the same sticker shock, I decided to re-engineer the whole concept to a roof tower . This eliminated 30 ft. of tower, 3 yards of cement

and all the other coast associated with tower installations. I built the 10 ft. roof /tower out of EMT conduit and it cost me about $ 30.00

all said and done. I am a machinist by trade , so all the brackets are custom and cheep to make. At this point a lot of readers are shaking

there heads and saying yeah now comes those ugly flimsy guy wires ! Nope…… I use 1 inch EMT pipe for the guys and brace it 2/3 the way

up the section. The home brew tower is triangular in shape so 3 pipes works just great. Now for the best part…… even a " out of shape '

52 year old man like me, can climb 10 feet of tower with out much of a problem. I am lucky , the roof is 33 ft. high on my two story home, so

add in the 10 feet of tower and a short mast , the total height is about 46 feet up in the air. It has proven to be a solid performer over the last

3 years of California weather, which is mild compared to the rest of the country. If not hell bent on a Yagi , why not put up a loop antenna .

I think the cost and installation would be a lot less than the Yagi !

Best of Luck , Tony

Kw6LA
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N9XCR on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Very good article, Bill. I enjoyed reading it and found it to be quite informative.

Chris
N9XCR


Side note:
I'm still bewildered as to why someone felt the code/no-code debate was even relevent to this topic.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/whiners
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W0IVJ on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I have a question. How do you employ this method and keep the tower legs open and free to drain condensation so that it doesn't stand in the legs, freeze in the winter and split the legs? The legs should be in a layer of crushed rock to provide adaquate drainage to prevent this problem."

Drill a small hole near the bottom of each leg, or drill a hole in the steel plate beneath each leg for drainage. There won't be very much water in there anyway since the tower legs have no openings except around the bolts. That small amount of water will probably drain into the soil. Besides, the water isn't under pressure. If it froze, it would push the ice up the leg, not split the leg.

Tom W0IVJ
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AB7E on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

Boy, there are some really dumb criticisms of AH6FC in this thread. Deride his choice of how he wants to spend 20 grand if you want (versus on a ski boat or a motorcycle or a safari to Africa), but comparing his installation to a 40 foot flagpole stuck in the ground and similar comments is just plain silly. Not many freestanding towers out there with the weight or windloading ratings of his HD-70 (check out www.anwireless.com to see the specs), or that will give as many trouble-free years of service that his will.

AH6FC made a typo in his follow up message, by the way. The required foundation is 9ft by 9ft by 5 feet deep. That's 15 cubic yards of concrete, which in most places is going to cost darn near $2K delivered ... or put the fool in the grave who tries to mix it by hand fast enough for one continuous pour (I calculate 675 bags of premix).
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W6TH on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.
I was very lucky that I bought a 65 foot crankup/tiltover tower from a friend in the same town, took it down by myself, loaded it on my Ford truck. The next day set the 4x4x4 foot hole and put the mix cement in and set my base plate for the tiltover tower. Kept spraying water over the cement base for a day or so and with our very high temperatures in the Mojave desert in August was ready for the instalation of the tower in two weeks. Repainted the tower and a complete check inspection looking for any damage, none found. Mounted the base, put a 2 element quad on the top, set four lengths of guy wires broken with insulators and ready to raise the complete down sections of 22 feet. My truck, I installed a pipe across the back of the pickup and placed the quad and top section on the pipe and backed the pickup to a backstop behind the tower, bolted the tower to the back stop. Held it in this position and finished with the setting of the guy wires. Raised the tower to 65 feet and ran the RG8U from the base to the shack of 75 feet. Hooked the coax to the rig called CQ and started to work the world.

This was a one man job which was done by me alone and no other help, the total cost was $50.00 for the guy wire, coax which I had, concrete mix which was $1.10 a bag, forget how many I used and the quad which was thrown in with the tower, the cost of the 65 foot tower and Quad was $250.00 and take it away.

.:


 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K9KJM on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
These articles point out how the price of a tower can range all over the place.
I have seen very workmanship jobs done with a low price used tower from a SK estate for around 500 bucks also. But those are the exception.
A ham who can do some of the groundwork himself can expect to erect a 100 foot Rohn 25G for under $3,000.

As follows:
9-25G straight sections @110.00 990.00
1-25G top section 180.00
Rotor plate 60.00
Anchors 120.00
3/16" EHS guy wire 240.00
Grips @5.00 90.00
Turnbuckles 135.00
Redi-mix 4,000PSI concrete-3 yds @85.00 255.00
Labor, Dig holes 100.00
Labor, Pro to stack sections 750.00

This assumes the owner is going to do much of the ground work of cutting guy wires to length, Running the tag rope line, etc etc.

There will be other costs of course. Coax feedlines, Mast, rotor, copper ground wire and rods to name a few.
I would NEVER consider using the "premixed" sacks of 1 cubic foot of concrete sold at the home improvement centers! Not only does it actually cost MORE to do it that way, That stuff does not come out to the 4000PSI rating!!!! It is much easier and actually cheaper to call up the big truck to deliver it.
Astute hams will also be fast to point out that the concrete can be had for close to free many times. Those big trucks go back to the shop many times with partial loads that will just be dumped otherwise. IF you can be ready to pour on a moments notice, I have gotten this concrete for little more than a case of beer!

The first section of tower must be placed in gravel for drainage. Water in the legs WILL expand and crack the steel! It does NOT all simply expand upward!

Bottom line: Expect to pay somewhere between about 500 bucks to 20,000 for a tower..............
(The county I live in (Door County Wisconsin) Has an exemption for ham radio towers (Under 200 feet) NO permit of any type needed!)
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AD7DB on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"

- Luke 14:28

 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by G3LBS on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have built a 5 band spider quad and suspended it from a catenary (rope) between 2 poplar trees.
I don't need a lad to mow the grass, but if any of you hear of a helper, with keen hearing, to stand in the snow all Winter to turn the quad on request please let me know.
Buffalo Gil W2/G3LBS Western New York
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by VK2GWK on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My tower was 25 years old when I shipped it in our household goods container from the Netherlands to Australia. It is a Versatower BP60 (60' high and base plate crank up tilt over telescopic tower) which costs me about $ 2500 (todays prices).

I had the concrete base dug and made by pros (about 6 m3 - dont know how much that is for those still on an antiquated system but might be about 9 cubic yards) - including steel reinforcement and mounting bolts.
Cost: $ 1499 ( :) )
My mates helped me lift the base plate on the foundation and lift the tower on the hinges. (Cost: case of beer). Rest I could myself.

So a 60' crank up, tilt over tower for $4.500 + a case of a good brew, incl. everything. Carries a 3 el SteppIR. No guy wires. withstood a 70 mph storm recently without problems.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K5UJ on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for telling it like it is and exploding the cost myths that all the cheap hams like to put out. Your expense sheet is one of the reasons why I'll probably never have a tower, or a tall tower at least. One thing you left out was all the grounding hardware. I'm sure you have some money in ground rods, and buried copper strap in addition to everything else, plus feedlines and hardware. Can't remember if you listed a thrust bearing or not. Yep, the tower itself is just one part of the whole picture and it's very misleading when hams talk about how a tower doesn't cost very much and give the price of used R25 sections as an example.

The only way I'd put up a used tower is if it were so short, I and some friends could walk or crank it up.

Re labor, I've helped with ham tower "parties" and trust me, you don't want hams putting up a tower. If you're lucky, you'll have maybe one guy who sort of knows what he's doing and 30 guys who are in the way.

For many hams the best tower is wires in the trees, or 40 foot tilt over crank up masts.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W4LGH on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AB0TA said.."I always suggest using your ham buddies to help. You will be surprised how much of a good time you will have with your friends."

Sounds like a good ole fashioned "Antenna Party" to me. Had a few of them myself over the years, and been to many others. Actually went to one last evening. Didn't put up a tower, but did build a G5RV and suspend it between two Cypress trees @ 55'. Should work pretty good for the guy.

Towers are a dangerous thing here in Florida. Being the lightning & hurricane capital of the south. Extra care in installation and grounding MUST be figured into the mix.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com

PS: A yard of concrete can weigh between 2000 and 4000 lbs, depending on the mix, with the avaerage mix being 3000 lbs.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by W4WGA on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I can't even contemplate that league. Just finished installing a 43' crank up/tilt over. After visiting several installations and measured everything I decided it wasn't rocket science and would be a great application for my MIG welder. For the design I took the basic dimensions of the first two sections of a Tashjian 51 and added a 6' rotor cage. To make up for not having precice jigs I increased the base dimension by 20%. Had a local CE check the design and had no trouble getting a permit. The tower and tilt base took 3 weekends to weld up. Digging the hole took another 3 weekends and several gallons of ice tea. Other than the ready mix driver I did the whole installation solo. The only scary part was hauling the whole thing 120 miles to the galvanizing plant and back.

Total cost including steel, 3 yards of concrete, two Fulton winches, hot galvanizing, rotor plate, thrust bearing, wiring box, 4 cadwelded ground rods and 80' of 9913 came out to $1,585.00. That does not include the Ham IV or the 12' 2" stainless mast that I have had so long that I don't remember what I paid for them.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WY3X on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Drill a small hole near the bottom of each leg, or drill a hole in the steel plate beneath each leg for drainage. There won't be very much water in there anyway since the tower legs have no openings except around the bolts. That small amount of water will probably drain into the soil. Besides, the water isn't under pressure. If it froze, it would push the ice up the leg, not split the leg. Tom W0IVJ"

The problem is that some folks just bed a section of tower down into the concrete to form the start of a tower. Here along the coast, the water table is about a foot down! We have to line our concrete base holes with plastic to keep the water from diluting the concrete! Then it's pretty much mandatory to use a base plate to mount the tower on TOP of the concrete pad.

I've seen gravel around the tower legs when they are encased in concrete, but that won't work around here. Also, if the legs are down in the concrete, drilling a hole at the base of each tower leg will not allow the water in the below-grade part of the tower to drain. And if you think freezing water inside tubing won't split it, may I interest you in a few satellite dishes with split LNB support arms? I'm no physicist so I don't know scientifically how it happens, but it does! And it doesn't push the ice dam up the tubing! (Although I admit that tower tubing is a lot stronger, and may be able to withstand that type of stress.)

BTW, all you guys who have put up towers for less than $1000, I did the same thing with my LAST tower. Used U.S. Tower MARB-40, $300.00. Shovel to dig the tower base, $16.00. Sump pump to keep water out of the hole, $60.00. Concrete, free (leftovers from a friend who drives a concrete truck). Incidentals, about $300. Two cans cold galvanizing spray, new cabling, saw off the rusty part of the inside pipe and repair the cable attachment after the tower went into auto-retract mode when the cable broke loose and bent all the elements of my Hy-Gain TH6-DX, $100.00 and a week of bending the tubing back into shape. But- this article was titled "New Tower", not "USED".

73, -KR4WM
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by NY0K on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you, I enjoyed your article. Your antenna system sounds like quite an investment, the kind I hope to build someday. I rarely see the costs broken down, and it was a real eye-opener.

I see lots of grumbling on the replies, hope you have a thick skin, hehe. I'd have to hire someone to do a lot of the work too, so having those hidden charges laid out is sincerely appreciated.

73, and thanks for an informative article.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by NY0K on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you, I enjoyed your article. Your antenna system sounds like quite an investment, the kind I hope to build someday. I rarely see the costs broken down, and it was a real eye-opener.

I see lots of grumbling on the replies, hope you have a thick skin, hehe. I'd have to hire someone to do a lot of the work too, so having those hidden charges laid out is sincerely appreciated.

73, and thanks for an informative article.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W0IVJ on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I've always wondered why a 60 to 70 foot, guyed, Rohn 25G required concrete for the base. I have always just dug a hole 2 or 3 feet deep, stuck a flat steel plate in the bottom of the hole to keep the tower from sinking, and filled in the hole with hard packed dirt. Tom W0IVJ"

"Drill a small hole near the bottom of each leg, or drill a hole in the steel plate beneath each leg for drainage. There won't be very much water in there anyway since the tower legs have no openings except around the bolts. That small amount of water will probably drain into the soil. Besides, the water isn't under pressure. If it froze, it would push the ice up the leg, not split the leg. Tom W0IVJ"

I would like to clarify a couple of posts that I made earlier. First of all, the tower base must be placed in concrete below the frost line in some parts of the country to keep the frost heave from moving the base around. We don't have that problem in Colorado, but the north east does.

Secondly, the tower legs will collect water either from leakage or condensation, and the water will freeze and split the legs, so the bottom of the legs do need a good drainage path.

It looks as if different parts of the country require different installations.

I just wanted to clarify my comments that would lead to wrong conclusions.

73 Tom W0IVJ
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N1QOQ on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
check out used towers.com they have alot to choose from
I think they had a 60' trylon used for like $1,500
73
paul
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N1QOQ on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
you forgot the most important reason not to do a tower base like that esp if you have a self supporting tower.

When you mix by the bag you are installing concrete in layers, if these "layers" start curing while you take a break they become weak spots, and your foundation can shear off in the middle. the concrete isn't one solid mass it is a bunch of seperate layers held together by rebar.

73
paul
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K6TPL on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
That must be one heck of a antenna system! I have a Rohn 25 it is 45 feet high has a TR 33 JR and it was put up about 17 years ago has trust bearings and a CDE tailtwister rotator. Works fine has lived through several bad wind storms! I live on the Columbia Gorge.
Friends helped me do the concrete, and put it up. Total cost for everything was about $1000. Tower and rotator were used! So we retired folks if we give it thought can get a beam in the air for less!
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AA4PB on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, you don't take a break when mixing concrete. Once you start you have to keep going until the job is done - that way you don't have it cured in layers. Using 80 lb bags of Sacrete is probably not something you want to do for a large base for a free-standing tower but you should be able to handle 20 bags without worrying about curing.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AH6FC on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've quite enjoyed the varied perspectives this piece has generated. Though there is no question that one can put up a tower for less money, some of these sort of comments, like those of KF4HR (below) created unrealistic expectations in my journey to a new tower. I initially thought I'd get this thing up for a lot less....not true. So, let me bore you with my comments on these comments, hi hi. Please note that I'm using CAPITAL letters just to differentiate from the original comments...I'm not shouting (sorry, can't figure how to use colored or a different font, hi hi) This is actually fun!

"How about this idea?

1. Buy a name brand "used" tower - $800-2,000" (THE AN WIRELESS "TOWER" WAS ABOUT $3100, NEW" STILL NEVER SAW A REAL MAST FOR LESS THAN A COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS...I GUESS YOU COULD DRIVE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SIDE TO FIND THE PARTS...HMMM $3.96 PER GALLON?
* If you do your shopping right it may with all the goodies, thrust bearing, mast, hardware, and power wrench. (MAYBE BUT I WANTED EVERYTHING TO FIT PROPERLY AND BE OF HIGH QUALITY, I.E. NOT BREAK IN 1 YEAR)
* Heck maybe the seller might even throw in a rotator and antennas; which you can use, or sell to help pay for the project (I SURE LOOKED AT ROTATORS BUT SAW LOTS OF PROBLEMS WITH EVEN THE "NEW" HAMIV, ORION, YAESU....YOUR RIGHT, I COULD HAVE SAVED SOME NOW, BUT THEN MIGHT BE LOOKING FOR A REPLACEMENT IN A YEAR OR SO...PARTICULARLY WITH A BEEFY ANTENNA ON TOP i.e. PAY NOW OR PAY LATER :)
* Buy a name-brand used tower so you can obtain the engineering drawings from the buyer or manufacturer) (NOT AN ALTERNATIVE, YAMHILL COUNTY REQUIRED STAMPED PLANS, I.E. STAMPED BY AN OREGON LICENSED ARCHITECT/ENGINEER. I COULD HAVE BOUGHT THEM LOCALLY FOR $1100, BUT WAS ABLE TO GET THEM THROUGH AN WIRELESS FOR $850...WHAT A DEAL EH?
2. Dig the hole yourself $0 (Or rent a backhoe $300) - YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT ON THIS ONE, AT LEAST ON THE BACKHOE. IF I DID THE DIGGING, THEY'D HAVE TO JUST PUSH ME OVER INTO THE BOTTOM AND FILL IT IN....RIGHT OR WRONG, I'M NOT A BIG HOLE DIGGING DIY MAN'S HAM.
3. Buy and weld the rebar cage yourself - $100 - RETAIL COST OF REBAR $600....EXPENSIVE YEP, DON'T KNOW WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY THERE. REMEMBER THIS HOLE IS 5X5X9...LOTS OF REBAR AND CEMENT. TRIED THE WELDING IN HIGH SCHOOL METAL SHOP....WE DIDN'T GET ALONG TOO WELL...I DID BETTER WITH INTERGRAL CALCULUS THAN ACETYLENE AND OXYGEN, UNFORTUNATELY.
4. Order cement yourself $80-125 per cubic yard - I BELIEVE I PAID ABOUT $90 PER CUBIC YARD
5. Submit your own permit <$500 - DID THAT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
6. Submit the balance of the $22,334 to KF4HR NICE TRY

Like alot of guys out there, I thought I could get a deal here and there and save real money. Unfortunately, just like that monthly credit card bill, it all adds up pretty fast :)

Through life my experience has always been that you either spend a little more and buy it (whatever...antenna, car, radio, etc) once or spend less and buy it twice. It's pretty tough to really find a "great deal," without significant trade-offs. That ought to generate some comments eh?

With all sincerity, I do thank everybody for their comments. I've learned quite a bit. Thanks guys.

73, BILL
AH6FC/7
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA4DOU on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Bill,
I'm glad you're able to take the flak and not even let it faze you. Hopefully you'll get to enjoy your tower/antennas for a very long time. If I suddenly won a huge lottery, I wouldn't flinch at the thought of spending millions building an antenna farm that would make the VOA proud.

There is a lot missing from the comments of those who have been critical. 17 years ago is ancient history compared to what things cost today. The tower I built 8 years ago would probably cost 30% more to build today and can't support but about 20% of the loading yours can. Champion Radio reveals in a document about mistakes made in building towers, that something like 95% of guyed ham towers have never had the guys accurately tensioned. I did mine by meeting or exceeding every standard Rohn stated, implied or published. BTW, my engineering manual from Rohn called for .7-1 cu. yd. of concrete at the base of the tower, not .41 cu yds.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N6NKN on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For those who haven't yet. I suggest you check out the AN Wireless web site. And get a lesson on how to put up a tower properly. When I get ready to put up a tower, the folks at AN Wireless just might get my business.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W4LGH on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know what kind of tower the author put up, but the price of $22K sounds very high to me. I realize its been sometime since I put up towers, but I used to install 150' Rohn 25G with base, 12 guys and anchors for a cost of around $3K. Granted it was not a fancy install, and it didn't need to hold a high windload beam, and this was back in the 1980's.

Even with inflation, I would certainly think one could put up a nice 50' crank up for under $5K! I am going to have to do some research on this, and again the author didn't say what he put up.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WA1WIG on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The article's topic "How Much is a New Tower?" is a very general statement, I sure hope $22,334.00 doesn't scare off hams with budget constraints. It wasn't titled "How Much is a New Tower High End Professionally Installed Tower. Thus negative feedback should be expected.

I have no dispute with the post, just the context was not qualified as high end very early.

We all know getting an antenna up as high as reasonable helps, big antennas wit high wind loads help as well.

Perhaps a companion article on budget antenna masts might be in order, preferably from somebody with experience with such. An evaluation of some published ~40' pipe masts would be nice since they are not "engineered".

Many hams have a significant issue just purchasing a modern rig! Many hams can't climb towers. Don't discourage them with a suggestion they need $22,334.00 to "put up a decent antenna"! Rather qualify it as what it is, what some can afford.

73, gerry
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W3LK on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AD7DB:

< "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"

- Luke 14:28 >

I assume that is from the New International (Ham) Version? :)

Nice paraphrase!

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N7GCO on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I very much want to thank you for sharing your information. I hope to put up a tower and antenna when I retire and your information was helpful.

I so appreciate hams who are willing to share their experiences and even costs. I also appreciate the questions you asked yourself and the process of making a finial decision. For planning, this is very helpful.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W3LK on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
LGH:

<< I don't know what kind of tower the author put up, but the price of $22K sounds very high to me. I realize its been sometime since I put up towers, but I used to install 150' Rohn 25G with base, 12 guys and anchors for a cost of around $3K. Granted it was not a fancy install, and it didn't need to hold a high windload beam, and this was back in the 1980's.

Even with inflation, I would certainly think one could put up a nice 50' crank up for under $5K! >>

Sir, I think you are dreaming.

Six years ago the Baltimore ARC put up a 40' Rohn SSV behind the meeting and training facility. Cost came to over $12k then - and the tower itself was less than a third of the cost.

He was NOT putting up Rohn 25 - a fact some of the posters seem to be forgetting. For the size tower, high wind load capacity and installation, $22k is about right.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
(formerly of Baltimore, MD)
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N3JBH on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The article Bill AH6FC posted here about his tower is a very good one.
And indeed the cost he explained where of the more expensive. But then he also had the majority of all the work done by skilled craftsman. He also did not spare much in doing a top notch installation.

Now I see a lot folks here saying hey I done that with a rohn 25g for far less money. Well you most likely did. But lets be honest here the AN-HD-70 is in no way in the same category as the good old rohn 25g tower. That be like saying a Yugo is in the same category as Rolls Royce silver Spur. It just is not so.

Maybe I am fortunate enough to live near Somerset and seen these tower units in there lot. But I can tell you if you ever seen the tower he installed you would never have made the comparison to the rohn 25 g. sure rohn is good stuff and has made many of applications possible for fairly decent prices.

But keep in mind that it needs guyed. It doesn’t have near the strength. Is a heck of a lot smaller? And weaker too. If you were to compare apples to apples instead of apples to raisins you see Bill really did not spend a whole lot of wasted cash here.

Ok sure he could maybe save a few dollars. Such as step bolts for $280.00 or the anti climb panels for $650.00. But I don’t see where that made much sense. With out step bolts. Future work on tower is far harder and he spent way more then that cost just to cover the cost of getting a person to work on it.

And the anti climb panels he probably need’s them for code where he is. And wow he could have rigged some thing there too I am sure. Why would he after spending that kind of money for such a great job botch it all up by jury rigging some junk on it?

Nope my friends I am sure he has a tower there he be proud of and will never be judged on the same playing field as a 25g tower. Great job Bill.

Jeff N3jbh
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N2EY on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The AN Wirelss HD 70 is rated at 54.9 sf at 80 mph."

omigosh, that's a monster!

>The base is 5 ft x 5 ft x 9 feet.

lessee, that works out to 225 cu ft or 8-1/3 yards. Say
9 yards of readymix because they usually charge you for the whole yard, and better to have extra than not enough.

If he paid $2000 for 9 yds, that's $222.23 per yard, delivered and ready to pour.

If he could get bagged DIY concrete in 0.6 cu ft bag, he'd need 45 bags per yard. At $3 each that's $135 per yard just for the bagged mix. Add in delivery cost (either gas for his vehicle or delivery charge from the supplier) and renting a mixer and other tools, and the savings disappear really fast, even if he doesn't count his time and labor as being worth anything.

"The engineering was done for an Optibeam 16-5, OB6-6, and OB 40/30, which add to about 30 sf, however once you put them on a mast, you rapidly reach 40 + sf."

NICE!!!

---

What bothers me about this whole thread is the apples-and-oranges comparisons being made.

Obviously AH6FC's project is a big one. Top of the line all the way, professionally installed.

A 70 foot, self-supporting tower capable of holding over 50 sf in 80 mph winds is a completely different thing from, say, a 50 foot guyed tower holding a couple of sf worth of tribander. Not even in the same league. The requirements and costs go up exponentially in this sort of thing.

It's good to hear inexpensive-tower success stories, but they are not the only stories that should be heard. When it comes to towers, mistakes aren't an option.

For example, one local ham went the used-tower route. The used tower *looked* OK, but it collapsed while being put up because of corrosion inside the tower legs. Fortunately nobody was hurt and the ham's house wasn't too badly damaged. But it was no bargain, in money, time, lost follicles or BP numbers!

Sure, $22k seems a lot to spend on an antenna system. But look at what a new car costs, or a new kitchen or bathroom, particularly one that isn't small and uses upgraded components.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by NORTHCOUNTRY on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
while the delivery and crane seem a little high, its probably about right for a total hands off job.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AA4PB on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
No problem at all with what he had done or what he paid for it. He seems however to dispute the claims he read on e-ham that a modest tower installation can be had for $3,000 to $8,000. I suppose that depends on what you consider a modest tower installation.

I just wouldn't want a new ham to get the idea that he should forget about a tower because he doesn't want to spend $22,000 on it. I'd say the vast majority of amateur tower installations indeed fall into the $3000 to $8000 range.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N7VR on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Bill,

Sounds similar to my costs.

Enginnering Report for Building Permit - 350.00
Building Permit - 250.00
72 Ft USTowers MDP - 7,500.00
3 Cubic Yards Concrete Delivered - 2,250.00
Rebar Cage pre built - 150.00
25 Ft Chormaloy Mast - 459.00
Shipping for Tower and Mast - 1,528.50
Cable holders for tower - 150.00
Raising Fixture - 175.00

Rent on Back hoe - 150.00
Rent on Man Lift - 200.00

This is 13,162.50

The labor was done by myself and some friends and neibours. The figures above do not include the antennas, etc.

Qubex Mantus II +4L5B Band Quad with Feed Lines, 30 meter addtion, and Switch Box - 3,225.00
King Bee II Quad - 265.00
440 Yagi - 185.00
Orion M2 Rotor - 1,540.00
Cable - LMR400 - 590.00
Cable - RG213 - 380.00
Rent on Man Lift - 600.00
Cable Rotor - 225.00

This is 7,010.00 for antennas.

Totla for the system 20,172.50 plus food and drinks for serveral meals. The friends and neibours really kept the costs down.

Bill your system seams to run in the normal range, as far as I can see.

Jim Fuller - N7VR
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WB2WIK on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Didn't have time to read all the comments, but appreciate the article.

Not too far out of the realm.

The crane and labor costs are more than I pay here in L.A., but then here there's lots of competition and I can "shop around" pretty well. I can hire a sign crane for two hours for about $240, and I've never needed one for more than two hours.

No question that the place to invest the bucks is in the antenna system. I'd rather have a 40 year-old $200 rig connected to your antennas than a brand new $3500 rig with dipoles and verticals. No comparison.

Overall, I think a reasonable summary.

WB2WIK/6

 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AH6FC on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AA4PB,

Good point, thank you. Not meant to discourage at all. No question you can have a safe good installation for a reasonable amount of cash. The big cost drivers, in my experience, were 1) labor, when you don't do most of the heavy lifting and 2) the tower that will hold a sizeable array. A modest tower can hold a modest yagi that will thrill any ham with good performance, no question. The big problems, safety wise, are the big arrays on the not-so-big towers.

N7VR has some good numbers that show the cost of a similar system with "armstrong" labor.

Good discussion from all!
Bill
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W9PMZ on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Even $3K is a lot of money to sink into a hole with concrete (I'd never use cement) and steel.

Most new hams that I have run across want to get on the air. Spending even $3K on an tower antenna system is a daunting task to someone who is new into the hobby.

And as for a $200 HF radio it may have more problems than it has age spots........

If I were to recommend to a new ham what to purchase, I'd be recommending an inexpensive HF transceiver and a dipole or an inexpensive vertical.

This setup would get the prospective ham on the air and after some time operating then they could make an educated decision if they want to shell out $3K for an extensive HF antenna system.

Also should they decide that HF isn't for them selling a $200 aged might be more difficult to sell than a rig such as an ICOM 718.

It is easy to say put the money into receiving systems systems, but for the newbie?

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KA8YLY on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
wow, I guess how much you spend on something like this just depends on how much time you spend in the shack.

my new tower installation has cost me about 500 bucks. but I did it all myself and found a great deal on American Standard tower here locally. plus I can only go up 35 feet in my neighborhood. If I could go up higher, I probably wouldn't, I have developed a slight fear of heights in recent years.

it's not a big-gun set up, but it gets the job done on the bands I use.

when I was younger, my dad put up a nice 50 foot Rohn 25 tower with all the fixin's. that cost considerably more.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N4VNZ on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
1/4 mile of 17 guage aluminum electric fence wire at Rural King...$25

Zebco fishing reel and wrist rocket slingshot at Wal-Mart...$20

Comments from cheap, miserly, skinflint hams about Bill's incredible antenna project...PRICELESS!
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WR8D on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Costs seem to be better or worse depending on what part of the country one lives in. I had a us crankup shipped in from CA a few years back and we had it out over the shipping costs. After my redneck bickering they cut it in half but it was still several hundred dollars to get the thing shipped in here. I rented a backhole and dug the hole myself and got a buddy to help with the concrete "6 yards". Here 6 yards ran me a little over three hundred bucks. I put my quad together at the top of it myself but had it cranked down to 20 feet or so. Thinking along Rays comments about older folks helped me decide to go with a crankup. I figure if i make it to 80 i can still get myself 20 feet off the ground to prank with the antennas. "lol". We don't have to worry with permits here in the rural part of the country. The thrust bearing was very expensive if bought from the tower company...i bought a huge one at a local mine bearing supply company, cost was under fifty bucks and it bolted to the bracket like it was made for it. I went to lowes and bought angle iron brackets to bolt on for coax arms and saved myself a few more bucks...so it was'nt to bad a deal for me. It seems though each year the tower prices are getting higher and higher.

Do what you can with what ya got in your area.

73 John WR8D
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by W0CBF on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think I will stick with my G5RV and just tough it out.

73's
WØCBF
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by G3LBS on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
'RE: How Much is a New Tower? Reply
by W0CBF on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think I will stick with my G5RV and just tough it out.'

Well if you look at the gain of the main lobe of a G5RV on say 10m you may have a surprise and may do better with it than a tower and beam, though the lobe is narrow! Particularly better if you put up a few G5RVs at different angles! That's what I do. The best piece of equipment I have is my tennis ball launcher.
Gil

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by K4FX on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Boy I was always proud of just how little I have in my 75' Rohn 25G tower and A4S with rotor, but I guess I saved a lot more than I realized!

Unless you just have money to burn there is no need to spend the kind of money a new tower costs. Even if you doubt your ability to do the install yourself, most communities have experienced hams who will gladly help you for lunch and a few beers after the job is done.

I doubt I have 1000 dollars in my entire installation, a new in box A4S for 350, used 25G sticks in like new condition, a Ham M rotor from Ebay for 100 bucks. Guying materials for free from the power company, they have short runs of cable that really are of no great use to them that will work perfect for guys, and you can get them for free you ask the right person, they even threw in 3 heavy duty 10' screw anchors and all the preforms I needed, so the guying hardware was 100% free!

The savings really starts to add up if you shop around. I installed this one on Dec 8th 2001 and that 100 dollar rotor hasn't missed a beat. The towerhas withstood 80mph winds, heavy ice loads, and it's still as straight as an arrow.

And a tower and directional antenna are indeed the most important weapons in your arsenal. Going from a vertical or dipole to a yagi is an amazing difference, you will hear things you never heard before!

Also in my 30 years of hamming I have gotten more than a few towers for free, and on one occasion I've been paid to take down one and keep it. Find a property with a tower standing that's not in use. Sometimes the owners will pay you to remove that eyesore. All will at least give you the thing to remove it, in fact I have a 40' 25G right now that's not in use at a local law office that has been given to me, all I have to do is go get it.

73

Bill K4FX
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KC9DNI on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Has anyone had a wooden utility pole installed, rather than a tower? My grandfather had one about 50ft tall from ground installed many years ago. I was wondering about cost, loading, and other experiences.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by NO9E on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
One wants something best for the price one can afford. Below are costs of my antenna installed ten years ago, when I could not afford much. All new parts except some
cables.

8 ft roof tower - $220
G450 rotor - $220
Yaesu thrust bearing: $60
8 ft 2 inch water pipe - $10

2-el 5-band Cubex quad - $300
5-band switch+ 1/4 wave cable+decoupling toroids - $300
Painting by my wife - free (in the short run)

A total of $1200 at a time. No mechanical problems in 10 years. I opted for a water pipe because I prefer the mast to go down first, before the roof.

This antenna beats all dipoles and verticals hands down, usually by a large margin. It does very well in contests on 10m, pretty good on 15, and so so on 20m. According to electrical height. I would prefer a higher antenna. However, the backyard is 10 ft lower, and anything substantially better would cost at least $4000.

Ignacy, NO9E
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N5YPJ on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I guess at these prices I'll be using used Rohn 25 G and 2 7/8 inch oilfield tubing for a while to come. Gosh, I knew when you went professional grade things were expensive but $22,000 for a tower; that is more than we spend on a new pickup truck every six or seven years!
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by N5RNY on July 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
$22,334? Lessee, if you make 50 HF contacts per week, thats 2600 per year, and if the tower lasts 25 years, thats 65,000 contacts, divided into the cost of the tower, comes out to just over 34 cents per contact over the 25 years.

Seems cheap to me!!!

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by K5RT on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats to Bill on his very FB installation! Bill, please post a link to pictures for your installation for us to enjoy.

I never cease to be amazed at how people can't keep things in context.

Bill went with a top drawer SELF SUPPORTING tower that will outlast him, and one that he can install just about any array that he would ever like to.

Bill's installation is all done in keeping with local ordnances and engineering practices. Its not a risk to his or his neighbor's property.

I'm shaking my head seeing comments comparing a Rohn 25 installation with Bill's. The aren't the same. Not even close. Not a slam on Rohn 25 (I have 100 foot up of my own), but it will never SAFELY support the load that Bill's tower can.

Its also clear to me that many responders have not priced steel recently. The price of steel has more than doubled over the past 3 years and goes up by the day. $600 for rebar is not out of line at all. How many of you have ever built a large rebar cage? That takes time (plus its no fun!)

DIY concrete for a tower installation of any consequence is just plain stupid. How do you control the slump of the mix? How do you insure uniform curing and the load factors associated with it? Maybe on a low risk job like a 40 foot Rohn 25, but not on any self supporting tower!

Some of you guys second guess the labor costs and crane rental. How much rock was encountered during the excavation? We don't know Bill's location - maybe a smaller crane could not get into the construction site and he needed a long reach because the tower had to be lifted over the house or trees. Maybe there were weight/reach limits that his contractor and the crane company had to take into consideration.

While he didn't specifically say so, it appears to me that Bill's job was TURN KEY. That means his tower contractor handled EVERYTHING. This means all engineering, permitting, overseeing excavation/rebar/concrete, plus assembling the tower and installing it. That adds up to a lot of hours that someone has to get paid for!

A commercial 2 man tower crew typically goes for around $160/hour for 2 men and a truck (with all the tools to do the job). Rate may vary depending on travel and living costs. Other cost factors will be added in (such as working in a downtown environment, if a union has to be included on the job etc.

Can you install a tower cheaper than Bill did? Sure you can! But you get what you pay for. Keep it apples to apples when comparing installations.

Vy73
Paul
RT Tower Services
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KD7SRC on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Good information Bill. I needed to take a less expensive approach (two kids in college) and ended up with the following:

Military surplus AB-621 - @$1,000 including shipping.

Alpha-Spid rotator - @$1,000.

Lightning Bolt Quad - @ $500.

Cable, etc - @ $500.

It has done well for me.

Thanks for starting a great thread.

KD7SRC

Greg
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AB8AL on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Can we get a detailed breakdown on what the Labor cost actually included? I can't see this being more then a 2 day job. 1st day for rebar, forms, concrete, and setting base. After a week for concrete to dry a second 8 hour day to install 7 sections of tower. using a crane seems a pretty easy
day at that. At RT Towers rate example of $160 for a 2 man crew 16 X 160 that equals $1960. What did you get for the other $5420? I hate to think this was the mobilization cost. RT tower brought up the excavation but I would not consider that a part because Excavation was a seperate line item. This makes sense as finding someone to dig a whole is easier then finding a Tower installer. The moral of the story I guess is in Tower installation the more elbow grease the better the price.

I disagree with the people saying you get what you pay for in this case. This is not rocket science just alot of work. Those not willing or physically incapable of doing it pay the long dollar.


Terry
AB8AL
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WB2WIK on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>How Much is a New Tower? Reply
by AB8AL on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Can we get a detailed breakdown on what the Labor cost actually included? I can't see this being more then a 2 day job. 1st day for rebar, forms, concrete, and setting base. After a week for concrete to dry a second 8 hour day to install 7 sections of tower.<

::Do others here wait only one week for concrete curing? I always wait four weeks (28 days), as prescribed by the cement yards...

-WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Rain on his parade...  
by KC8UNY on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
the cost he might be abletake but to steep for me tower free 40' antenna t8 tenndyne lpda $6.00 (cost of entry to hamfest and win grand prize) coax 37.50 rg8x hard work to dig hole and convince xyl that it looks smaller when it's in the air priceless 73 John
 
RE: Rain on his parade...  
by WA4DOU on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Did I miss something? I don't recall seeing anyone post that a Rohn 25 was anywhere near the league that the authors tower falls in!
 
RE: Rain on his parade...  
by KI4WCA on July 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WOW! What a tower!You are the king.Over 20k seems ok for the huge capacity and years of service you will get!My backyard is a graveyard(undisclosed to me when I bought it)so large scale excavation for a tower footing is out.(aside from the fact 20k+ is hugely out of my leaque!!!)I would have to use a utility pole here...and be VERY careful where I dug the hole.Anyway good job OM!Enjoy the tower!
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by M1WML on July 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
HELLO BILL..
just read your topic on how much is a new tower.. and yes the cost soon add,s up.. i have just put up a lattice tower at my qth. it is now finished with a total cost of about £4500.. ($9000) the question i have been asked is would i do it all again. to right i would.. as before i started the prodject i realised this was not going to be cheap i think it,s the small bit,s and peices you forget about till you get to that stage like reinforcement for the concrete. nuts bolts washers and so on.. but now it,s finished after 7 months of hard graft i are now the proud owner of a 60ft tower with a 3 element steppIR.. i can now work every where. if i can here them i can work them..
if any one would like any pictures of my instalation of this prodject just e-mail me and i will be only to happy to send you some pics from start to finish.. my e-mail adress is on www.qrz.com under call sign m1wml
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by G3LBS on July 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe I am unconsciously jealous, but I have had towers in England and I swiftly became bored. Now I realize that finished products leave me cold.
I find unlimited pleasure if something goes wrong with the rig or antenna and I now have a policy of one technical or cosmetic improvement to my station every day. I do not have anything permanent or inaccessible. I cannot publish my station on eHam because there are tools on the bench. Thank God my Dad taught me how to use them.
I have a 706 driving a homebrew retrofitted 8877 in an old Drake L4 chassis, with a separate homebrew 4000V 2A PSU. I have two G5RVs at 30 degree horizontal angles so I can usually steer into a main lobe. My homebrew spider quad is suspended from a catenary between the poplar trees. I can get it down or rotate it in under one minute. It has optimum spacing on all bands - does your SteppIR?
My experiments have led me to 10 Ham Commandments which now include no baluns and no coax. Tuner is Johnson Kilowatt Matchbox.
Every day I make contacts on most bands and wake up with some improvement to make, preferably to somebody else's rig, or if not to my own.
I worked Peter I Island on 17 at 59 both ways on one of the G5RVs on my 50th Ham Anniversary.
It is a privilege to live and work and operate in your country.
Gil W2/G3LBS
 
RE: Rain on his parade...  
by N2EY on July 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WA4DOU wrote:

"I don't recall seeing anyone post that a Rohn 25 was anywhere near the league that the authors tower falls in!"

What I have seen is several posts saying the job could be done for much less than $22K. But the examples given do not match what AH6FC put up, particularly in height and wind loading capability.

In all that AH6FC has posted, I have only one small criticism: that he did not state, in the very first post, what it was that he put up: a 70 foot tall, freestanding tower capable of holding 50 square feet of antenna in 80 mph winds. And it was all done by pros and only new materials were used.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Rain on his parade...  
by WA4DOU on July 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Jim,
This article is entitled,"How Much is a New Tower?" The author went on to write about his particular experience building a large capacity tower. Others chimed in with their experiences with smaller capacity towers. Their comments rounded out the discussion and made it relevant to a majority of amateurs who have or wish to have a tower. It is very revealing to consider costs today versus yesteryear. Clearly our money isn't worth what it once was.

Having been licensed for 38 years when it became possible to have a tower, I was in no mood to begin a long and laborious process of finding every possible way to cut costs to have one. I had the means and I purchased everything new and built mine. I did it right and I only wanted to do it once. Clearly, the author pursued his objective with the same end result in mind.

A Rohn 25G tower is in no way equivalent to or in the same league with the author's tower. I saw nothing in the article followup that led me to believe differently.

The following is a common description of a Rohn 25 tower:

"The Rohn 25G tower is a popular choice for large VHF/UHF antennas and medium sized HF antennas."

To fully appreciate the forces that towers are subject to, it used to be thought that the force acting on a tower from wind was equivalent to the square of the windspeed. Thus:

10 X 10=100........20 X 20=400.......30 X 30=900
40 X 40=1600.......50 X 50=2500......60 X 60=3600
70 X 70=4900.......80 X 80=6400......90 X 90=8100
100 X 100=10,000...110 X 110=12,100

However, in recent years it is giving way to new thinking that says that wind force is more accurately characterized by the cube of the speed. Thus:

10 X 10 X 10=1000.....20 X 20 X 20=8000
30 X 30 X 30=27,000...40 X 40 X 40=64,000
50 X 50 X 50=125,000..60 X 60 X 60=216,000
70 X 70 X 70=343,000..80 X 80 X 80=512,000
90 X 90 X 90=729,000..100 X 100 X 100=1,000,000
110 X 110 X 110=1,331,000

Either way, the forces that act on towers are formidable and must be considered and accurately allowed for if you wish it to survive. A margin of safety must be included.

Published Rohn engineering drawings rate their towers according to windspeed at 70, 90 & 110 mph and recommend specific maximum windloads at various heights. 25G can be used up to 190 ft. high at speeds up to 90 mph but are not rated to go above 100 ft. height at 110 mph. My 50 footer is rated to handle 8.3 sq. ft. of windload (projected, not flat plate)
at 110 mph. That includes antenna, rotator, mast. Even then, in a hurricane I'd be inclined to "park the antenna" in its most likely survivable position.
At 70/90 mph mine is rated at 17.5/10.6 sq. ft. respectively. 80 mph isn't specified so I'd have to interpolate. My guess would be 12 or 13 sq. ft. maximum. The author not only built for 40 sq. ft. windload @ 80 mph, he allowed himself a margin of safety above and beyond the manufacturers built in margins. I call that smart.

Knowing the facts regarding the rateing difference between the author's tower installation and a Rohn 25G, who can rationally advance the arguement that the two are similiar, close or even comparable?
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KC2QQF on July 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Tower - $Free (60' Rohn 25) given to me by a friend
Step bolts - $Free (Friend & Elmer)
Rotator plate - $Free
Bearing plate - $Free
Thrust bearing - $80.00
Anti-climb panels - $N/A
Shipping - $75.00 (Truck Rental)
Mast - $50.00
Crane - $N/A (I lifted myself with some assistance)
Installation Labor 1 - $Free (me)
Installation labor 2 - $Free (Friend)
Excavation - $Free (2 hrs, hand dug 4'x5' hole)
Rebar - $60.00 and had some around
Fittings, posts, form - $60.00
Concrete - $60.00
Rotor & Controller - Free(Elmer & Friend)
Total $325.00
Good friends - Priceless

I was blessed to have been helped by my Elmer and friend N2IXA. He has helped me greatly in achieving my dream of having a tower set up. I will always be in debt and the friendship to me is priceless. Having said this if I had to do this on my own it surely would have been close to $10,000. Good luck with the new set up.

73 God Bless
KC2QQF
 
Terre is a solution at any price point  
by W4TI on July 4, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My financial situation is not such that I could afford the $22K for the wonderful setup shown here. However, I wanted a self-supporting (guyless) tower which would last a long time and require absolutely minimal maintenance. After talking to the local building department, I settled on having a utility pole set in my back yard, and using that as an antenna support. One nice thing about the pole is that the building department already had all the data on poles, and did not need any calculations, which saved some cost. Additionally, the pole was set in a drilled hole, and did not require rebar or concrete, which saved more money. All totaled, it cost right at $1,000 including installation. The entire story in pictures is shown here:

http://w4ti.net/newpole.html

With the five band hex-beam installed on it, the wind does not appear to move it much at all. In very heavy straight-line winds (80 MPH +) is just sits there with less than an inch of deflection at the top. There are no guys, and it has a very low visual signature. This is not the perfect solution, but for my use it does exactly what I expected, and does it very well.

 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by W9RPE on July 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It's just a hobby...It's just a hobby...It's just a hobby...
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KB6QXM on July 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The problem I have is the attitude of new hams.

In the good 'ol days, if you mentioned that you were having a tower party, you would have hams lining up to help you.

Now I cannot seem to even pay these new hams. As a matter of fact, these new "no code" hams carry their entire station on their belt, therefore do not have the knowledge or concern about having a tower. "It's that low-frequency stuff"

That is why I have 2 towers that I still want and cannot get installed. I have send e-mail out to 2 ham clubs, no response..

This is called progress with the new licensing system.

 
Permit vs No Permit  
by K6GEP on July 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
(I resisted using the title Code vs No (Building) Code)

An Elmer recently told me that in our county (Orange Cty CA) that they pretty much require a new tower in order
to get the permit. He said they require blueprints
which are only available for a new tower, not a used
one.

If anyone would like to share a story about run-ins
with Code Enforcement on a non-permitted tower, I
would be interested in reading it.

Tim K6GEP
 
RE: Permit vs No Permit  
by KB6QXM on July 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Code-enforcement. Well I live on a ridgetop in the Santa Cruz mountains. Noone will ever see the tower, therefore, I am not concerned with a permit, especially for a 40-60 foot tower with no buildings within an acre or so.

It is a shame that ham radio and some of the new blood do not have the brotherhood feeling as they once did.

I will have to do the tower installation myself, by either using a tower trailer or a hinged base and a crank to raise the tower.

That is my solution to the Brave new world of ham radio
 
RE: Permit vs No Permit  
by KC8WUC on July 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Although I haven't put up a tower, I have done rather extensive "investigative" work (as I do with all of my home improvement projects)and found that this was cost prohibitive. Instead of putting up a tower, I opted to go the minimalist route, putting up a set of Isotron antennae on my roof mounted mast. At my present QTH, I have decided to go with a more inconspicuous High Sierra antenna to cover HF and a Ventenna VT-27 for UHF/VHF. This may not be as powerful as a beamer, it serves my purpose well. For this installation, I still spent about $2,000 for the antennae, grounding rods, flat copper 1 1/2" ribbons for the whole house grounding, lightning protection devices, single point grounding panel, soil conductivity amendments, and the services of an underground utilities locating service (my perimeter grounding would come into close proximity to underground water and natural gas lines). Even though I went what I thought was the "cheapy" route, it wasn't inexpensive for a good system and ground. It's not that hard to rack up a big bill for a simple antenna system.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KI4WCA on July 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If you were close to me I would show up.Im sorry you have had no offers of help.The guys that gave me the test offered me a tower party unasked.But I have the graveyard problem.They were disapointed.Me too!KI4WCA
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by G3LBS on July 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Has anybody bought a bucket truck cheap on ebay and used that instead of a tower - makes for a quick getaway if snooping bureaucrats appear on the horizon?
Buffalo Gil W2/G3LBS
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by WB4TJH on July 8, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My last tower was given to me...50 feet of Rohn 25. Getting it up was a bit more expensive. It cost me a new shovel, a new post hole digger, (I dug the hole by myself),25 bags of sackcrete, house bracket, three six packs of beer and some ham sandwiches and a trio of willing ham friends who could be bought off for three sixpacks of beer and some sandwiches. We had a good time, tho sweaty time, putting it up. I already had the Moseley tribander and rotator. Not too bad, eh?
 
It aallll depends  
by K1PGV on July 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
As somebody previously said, one of the most interesting things about this thread is the vast variability in solutions and costs.

I've done a ton of serious investigation on this issue over the past two years. My conclusion: It's almost impossible, cost wise, for a ham to install a big tower that's actually to the proper specifications these days.

Did you all realize that as of Jan 2006, the ISO standards for tower installations have changed? Yeah, they have. So, if you care about proper engineering (or your local building codes are aligned with the latest rev of the international standards) -- and you live in a place where you can expect ice loads and wind in the winter -- you're going to have a big surprise in store when you do your designs. Makes it damn near impossible (cost wise) to put up a 100' tower with a big array and a heavy rotator at the top. In fact, the specs are now so stringent that even $20K would be a major bargain for the required level of engineering for anything but a trivial antenna.

You can do your engineering on the back of an envelope, dig a hole, throw in some rebar and concrete, get your buddy to help you lift the tower, and hope for the best. In this case, I'd suggest you locate your tower well away from from any structure. If it falls, oh well: You're out the cost of a few tower sections and maybe your beam. But you've been on the air for a few years.

If you want to do it "right", you're going to have to get serious structural engineering done -- with all the assumptions and math that entails. It won't be cheap, but the plans will be stamped, the grounding will be tested and known to be good, and the installation will be top-notch. You won't have to worry about it in the next ice storm. Of course, it'll look like a cell site and cost just as much to install. And few of us can afford that.

de Peter K1PGV
 
RE: It aallll depends  
by K9KJM on July 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A recent ad right here on Eham:

"Date Posted by Category
Jul 09, 2007
K1ST
HF Antennas

Free 80' Rohn 25 Tower & Antennas
FREE 80 Foot Rohn 25 Tower with flat top section, dual TB-3 thrust bearings, rotor shelf, 3 sets of torque arms, single pin bottom plate, all guy wires with break up insulators. Includes 24 foot aluminum mast with 3/16 inch thick wall, tailtwister rotor with Rotor-EZ computer control, Top Ten Devices remote coax switch wired for PC control, Mosley PRO-57B 20-17-15-12-10 Meter 7 element Yagi, Force12 EF-130 30 Meter Rotateable Dipole, Hy-Gain Discoverer 7-2 two element 40 Meter Beam. All in excellent condition. Take it down and it's yours. Contact via e-mail: stolf@comcast.net
73, Steve, K1ST, Hopkinton, Mass

Phone: None entered Email: stolf@comcast.net Email this to a friend "

 
RE: It aallll depends  
by K9KJM on July 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
And yet ANOTHER recent ad right here on Eham, A 90 foot Rohn 45 for UNDER one grand!


Date Posted by Category
Jul 09, 2007
W8PT
Towers & Access

Rohn 45
PRICE REDUCTION!! For Sale: Rohn45 tower. Excellent condx – purchased directly from Rohn in 2002 (via Dayton). Flat top section 45AG4 and 8 mid sections. 2 each 6A45GD Guy Assemblies. 1 rotor mounting plate. $950. Phillystrand guys and hardware available. Pickup in Western Maryland – delivery possible. See my other classifieds for antennas and tower hardware.


Phone: None entered Email: w8pt_rich@yahoo.com Email this to a friend!

 
RE: It aallll depends  
by K9KJM on July 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
OR, How about 100 feet of Rohn 25 for 400 bucks!!!!!

The actual cost of a tower project depends on how hard you shop, And watch for deals.


"Date Posted by Category
Jul 09, 2007
W8PT
Towers & Access

Rohn 25
PRICE REDUCTION!! For Sale: Rohn25 tower. 10 mid sections in excellent condx $400; 5 mid sections in very good condx $175; 1 40” base section (never used) $40; 1 hinge-base assembly $50. 2 flat top sections $100. 3 each 6A25GD Guy Assemblies $100. 2 rotor mounting plates. $60. Phillystrand guys and hardware available. Pickup in Western Maryland – delivery possible. See my other classifieds for antennas and tower hardware.


Phone: None entered Email: w8pt_rich@yahoo.com Email this to a friend!

 
RE: It aallll depends  
by G3LBS on July 10, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
What do you give to the man who's got everything?
Penicillin
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K1CJS on July 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>The problem I have is the attitude of new hams. In the good 'ol days, if you mentioned that you were having a tower party, you would have hams lining up to help you.

In some places, that is still the case, depending.

>>Now I cannot seem to even pay these new hams. As a matter of fact, these new "no code" hams carry their entire station on their belt, therefore do not have the knowledge or concern about having a tower. "It's that low-frequency stuff"

I am also a "new 'no-code' ham". I have a complete home station. Don't make generalizations--your rants sound like a bad case of sour grapes.

>>That is why I have 2 towers that I still want and cannot get installed. I have send e-mail out to 2 ham clubs, no response.

Pardon me for saying so, but with your attitude you may well have a hard time finding help. How you may ask for help makes the difference. You sound like you want everything done for you.

>>This is called progress with the new licensing system.

In case you didn't notice, this is going on everywhere, not just in ham radios 'new licensing system'. Today, compared to the past, people have less time for the helping hand activities that used to be quite common.

I'll agree that it would be nice to be able to get a 'tower party' together, but with the demands of the day, having to work overtime or a second job just to make ends meet, fees or taxes for the items or activities that used to be free and everything else that has changed from the 'good old days', some people just don't have the time their parents used to have. Their days off are filled with everything that has been put off from during the week--everything that has to be done to keep things going--everything that used to be done after work during the week.

Don't blame the 'licensing system' for the ills of today. Blame the people who pushed and complained and made today what it is--and that includes just about everybody.
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K1CJS on July 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It's just a hobby....."

Too bad so many forget that and make it into an obsession......
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by K1CJS on July 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>As a matter of fact, these new "no code" hams carry their entire station on their belt, therefore do not have the knowledge or concern about having a tower. "It's that low-frequency stuff"

Low frequency? If I'm not mistaken, HF bands are low frequencies than 2 meters and 70 centimeters.

Gee, I thought long time hams knew the difference.
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by WB6YTE on July 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is a very thorough analysis of he cost of a tower/antenna installation. I fear, though, that the costs shown would discourage many from considering the possibility of putting up something more substantial than a wire antenna or a vertical. To counter that I would like to share some of my experiences with tower installations to show some of the newer hams that options other than a new tower and commercial installation can be found.

My first tower (1975) was a 20', homebuilt, wood structure that was mounted on the roof of our first house. The 2 element quad antenna ($60) was close to 35' above ground level and the armstrong rotator was not fast or convenient but I was able to work Europe from down in a valley in southern CA.

My second installation (1978) was a 2 element beam that came with a rotator ($75) on a 10' mast on the roof. With this antenna and 65 watts I was able to work central Russia.

The third installationn (1987) was a 3 element beam ($15) and a 40', tilt-over, crank-up tower ($100). A few years ago I passed up the opportunity to install a 55' crank-up tower that was given to me since it was larger than what I wanted in my yard and required guy wires.

After 20 years I have decided that that tower needs to be replaced due to a little more corrosion than I am confortable with. While looking at ads in a local ham radio store, I found a local ham that was moving out of the area and was selling his 40' crank-up, tubular tower and all of his antennas, including a tri-band beam with an additional 2 elements on 40 meters, rotator and other odds and ends for $200. It has been quite a few years since I built the first tower so I am much slower about getting this one installed but am convinced that if I put more thought than muscle into it, I can still do it myself.

It would be very nice to be able to order a new tower and antenna and have someone else install it but I think the hams that are able and willing to spend that much on this hobby are a very small percentage of the group. I offer my experiences to encourage newcomers to the hobby who just want to try it to see if they like it.

Ed
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by KD7DCR on July 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I waited until now to comment on this issue since my re-install of a tower after a move is just now finished...7/12-07.

I can imagine what this install looks like..first class, neat, and solid/tough...if you pay top dollar you should get 1st class result, eh? Many happy days of DX and rag chewing to you.

Now, for my observations and hints for someone else trying this...

Original purchases were: (2000/01 era)
Force12 c-4 used w/coax switch $550
5 sec of R25G, 1 A-2 top, Drive plate mount,
1 guyline mount, short torque arms, 5/16th
EHS guys, 2 junk turnbuckles, Ham-4 rotor
with 2 control boxes.....$650 (800mi RT to p/u)
3 BIG screw anchors......$67
200 5/16th EHS WL Clamps....$145 +/-
Custom roof edge bracket for one guy...$85
Extended Forklift rental...$270
Put it 42ft in the air and it worked FB
It stood a microburst over 80 MPH, twice.

TAKE DOWN for move:
Got trapped by time, hired Scandia Co...$900 !!!
(Felt this was useary to the max!)
All they did was lay down the 4 jts of tower, cut
the guys, and laid the antenna in my driveway!
I did the antenna disasembly myself..drill rivets.

Decided to try and get things higher this time:::

Bought new:
3 jts of R25G $297
2 guyline mounts $107
3 GAC30 (ref) mounts $174
550ft Philystran #4001 $495
240ft 5/16" EHS $55
9 ea 1/2"x12" turnbuckels $87 (special deal)
45 ea 3/8" WL thimbles $28
50 ea 3/8" Shackles $38
4 ea 300mm Pully's $44
8 ea 5/8" Gnd Rods $130
Clamps, wire, etc. $200
Coax, window wire, antenna wire, etc $188
Rotor control wire $90
PVC pipe for coax run $55
Long Radius Turns, PVC $24 (2ea)

I am over 60yr old now...could still climb, but XYL would rather hire it done...so:

Hired:
82ft Sign Crane (pole truck)... $100/hr
Travel time = 2 hr +/-
Included 2 men, one of who worked up high.
Total bill was $1,100

Lessons learned:
DON'T try anything fancy when lifting...we tried to get 86ft overall by side lifting the last lift of 30ft overall.....disaster...almost lost the lift! I ended up leaving off a section of the intended height, but it is up and safe...no one hurt.
This effort cost me about 3 or 4 hours while we yo-yo'ed the last lift 3 times trying to streach this crane... Weight is not the issue, balance and overall height is!

The "finish work" on the tower took about 2 hours extra to what I thought it would. The high man had never done a tower/antenna job before, but he was experienced working high...15yr++. I had given him an FRS radio...it saved us about 4 or 5 trips up and down the tower! and, I used a spotting scope from the ground to look over his shoulder while telling him how to do something.

All in all, happy with my new install.
Suggestion to someone doing it for the first time:
Join the TOWER-TALK reflector!!! Ask Questions...!!
There is a wealth of info there in the archives.
Join a local club and ask for their help!
Look for a sign company for a light lift crane at a fair price, compared to any other source!

Best of luck and see you on the bands!
de - MEL
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N1EY on July 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
:That's why I wrote this. When I was looking for info a
:year ago, all I found was "I put up a 100 foot tower for
: $100." Even where they used professional tower
:installation people "$3000," I wish!
:Thought some current info might be of interest.
:Bill

I really want to know what you got for the permitting. $1,000 is way to high for the fellow to look at the concrete and say it is ok. The guy can come back and look at the tower, but do you think that local building inspector knows squat about a tower?

N1EY
 
How Much is a New Tower?  
by AC2Q on July 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My my my, the "Little Green Monster" of jealousy is having a hay-day here?

Admittedly, I could not afford such an installation, but I am happy for those who can.

But to provide an alternate example, I have a 70' Sycamore tree in my yard that has been untouched since planting 40+ years ago. The cost of having it professionally pruned was $1100. A friend who has a bucket truck offered to come over and help me do it for basically nothing.

I thought about that, compared the $1100 to what even a minor screw up might cost me, and decided to hire it done.

The same applies here, this mans income is supporting the debt required to build the home and support his family, as such I beleive he did the smart thing in sticking to what he knows and hiring out what he does not.


 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by AC2Q on July 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KB6QXM writes:
The problem I have is the attitude of new hams.

In the good 'ol days, if you mentioned that you were having a tower party, you would have hams lining up to help you.

As a matter of fact, these new "no code" hams carry their entire station on their belt, therefore do not have the knowledge or concern about having a tower. "It's that low-frequency stuff"

-------------------------------------------------
I would submit that your condescending attitude might be part of the problem?

I have been licensed in 1983 as a Novice, upgraded to Advanced in 1993, so I guess I'm not a "New Ham"

I use wire antennas for HF, attic antennas for VHF/UHF.

Several of the Dreaded "New Hams" in my area are sporting 50+ ft towers, one this weekend upped his from 50' to 80', well guyed. Yes thay all have VHF/UHF antennas at the top, but most if not all also support at least a G5RV.

Lighten up a little bit!!
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by KB6QXM on July 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hello,

Just call it frustration from the lack of brotherhood.

Here was my solution. I purchased a commercial grade tower trailer that supports 15sq foot of windload at 70MPH. Noone needed to

Now my only issue is this. I want the tower to have a 40 Meter rotatable dipole, a small tribander, a dual-polarization 2M antenna. A 220 and 440 beam all on one mast. Can this be done without reflections or signal distortions.

If anyone has done this here, please let me know what the minimum spacing should be between antennas.

Thank you and 73
 
RE: How Much is a New Tower?  
by N7YA on July 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>"It's just a hobby....."

Too bad so many forget that and make it into an obsession<<


Obsession is forgivable (im sure a few xyl's would disagree), but using ham radio as an avenue for condescending attitudes and verbal weaponry is not.

I have a basically peaceful message so im sure it will go the way of the Dodo bird and the Tasmanian Tiger, but who really cares what you do to get on the air, granted it was legal. If you want to spend a gazillion dollars on your system, go for it! If you want to build your entire rig, key and antenna out of tuna tins and old transformer wire and run only milliwatts at a cost of barely $20, have at it.

If any of the above mentioned setups make you happy when you use them...now youre diggin where theres taters!!

73...Adam, N7YA
 
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