- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Recycling Old TV Towers

Guy De Marco (NY0K) on January 18, 2011
View comments about this article!

With the recent switch from analog to digital, the days of the old-fashioned television aerial are numbered. This is good news for ham radio operators.

Many people are interested in getting rid of their old, outdated towers and antennas. Many times owners will give towers away if you help them to remove it. While the typical 30 to 40-foot Rohn-type tower won't beat a nice 70-foot crank-up, you can make up for height with quantity. If you have the real estate, a trio of towers with multiband antennas can help ease your tower envy.

A local radio station has a show called Swap Shop. I called in to list a few items, and on a lark, I asked if anyone had an antenna tower they weren't using any more. Within five minutes I had three towers purchased. One was a 30-foot, and the other two were sixty-foot Rohns. Total cost was $70 and loading them onto my truck, since all three were already disassembled.

Included with two of the towers were two large aluminum TV antennas. An hour with a drill to remove pop rivets, and I had a pile of aluminum elements for a 2-meter antenna.

An inexpensive listing in the local newspaper, networking with neighbors, or even turning to Craigslist or Freecycle can help the budget-minded ham get an antenna up higher than the roofline.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by TANAKASAN on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Within five minutes I had three towers purchased. One was a 30-foot, and the other two were sixty-foot Rohns."

Hang on, with the widespread use of both cable TV and satellite dishes who in their right mind would use a sixty foot tower just to receive a TV signal? Or am I missing something here?

Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K9COX on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Towers with TV antennas were very common 35+ years ago especially in rural areas. Many are still up.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W9PMZ on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"antenna up higher than the roofline"

and the cheap amateur below frost line...

used towers, unless the person is an expert in mechanical structures, such as towers, obtaining a tower seems a pretty risky endeavor...


carl - w9pmz
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by N8EMR on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Must be the area your on. I have yet to find a tower for free on craigslist. Most are old rust buckets still up in the air and the owner still wants money and you have to take it down or he wants close to new prices for a tower on the ground.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W8VZM on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
In 32 years of hamming I have had a number of used TV towers. The key is not to treat them like new 45G! If all you are looking for is something to hold a small tri-bander or as a vertical or support for wires then go for it. A GOOD inspection of the tower sections and some care is generally all that is needed. Don't expect to put up a stack of mono-banders or the mega contest array you saw on the web. If you live in town you may need to go to the country to find these gems. Usually 50 miles or more from the TV transmitters is where you start to find them. Not everybody could get a good analog TV picture using rabbit ears! My first 10 years as a ham was almost entirely funded by these towers. I worked for a TV shop with a ham owner. We installed and maintained these babies in our little town. After high school I painted them and did work for non-climbing hams (which I am now one hihi). Remember to hold any significant wind load they will need to be guyed.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KC8ZEV on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Danger lurks everywhere, old TV towers are no exception. Extreme caution must be utilized when recycling old towers. Rust never sleeps and what looks "good" can be one mm away from failure. Thoroughly inspect the insides of the tower tubes for rust and corrosion. Scrutinize every weld and brace. Vibration from transport can weaken a marginal tower significantly. What appears to be a bargain can easily put you in the trauma bay at your local hospital or make you a silent key real quick. I am not all gloom and doom, there are good towers out there. But don't be in such a rush to exploit your "bargain of the century", especially if you are not the climber. If you survive the fall, for what your healthcare bill will add up to, you could have 3 new towers! BE CAREFUL!

Safety First!!


RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by AD4U on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
There are numerous TV towers in my town. Most are the rivited Rohn Spaulding type from 40 feet to around 64 feet. They are rather light duty, but in every case the homeowner GAVE us the tower just for taking it down and removing it.

Dick AD4U
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K0BG on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Funny this should come up.

Just last December, a similar situation came up here in Roswell. A freebie Rohn 25g for the taking as they say. Someone was nuts enough to climb the 50 foot tower which was house bracketed at about 12 feet. They attached the cable from the crane, undid the house bracket, and started to lay it over. The tower buckled just about the house bracket connection. Turns out, the legs were full of water somewhat above the bracket point.

You just have to ask yourself, what would have happened if it had failed with the dude on the tower?

Used towers? Not such a good idea in my opinion, even when they're laying on the ground!

Alan, KBG
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K0BG on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Guy, what's wrong with your web site?

Alan, KBG
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KC9NVP on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Picked up two towers this year just for taking them down. regarding outside antenna for TV - I still use a large (90 - 110 model model) on my house with digital TV tuners. The cost of using cable for a couple of years paid for the antenna, tuners and lead in cables. In my current location (Northern IL) I have four locatal stations plus 6 - 8 long distance stations.

So do not give up on outside antennas for receiving TV signals over the air.

David Stein
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K1CJS on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
All too many of these old towers have been up and not maintained for too long, some in excess of forty years! If you can get them taken down WITHOUT climbing them, and then give them a good inspection, there is nothing wrong with using an old tower--to about the thirty or forty foot level. Above that, the tower may not stand the strain of disassembly, moving, reassembly and use.

One acquaintance did put up an old TV tower, attached to his ranch style house, to support a small HF beam. He had it up around the seventy foot level. One morning, he was awakened by a crashing sound and found that his tower had relocated itself--into his living room. He was sorry that he use an old tower, because with the cost of repairs and the cost of putting his antenna back up (on the roof this time), he could have gotten NEW tower sections and did the job the right way from the beginning.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KE7FD on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
As with anything used, "Your mileage may vary", so whether it's free or for a price look at it before you commit. Alan makes a good point about the dude climbing a death trap. I got a used Rohn tower once that had been on the ground. I looked it over first and decided it was OK even though it needed some work. I got it home and sanded it down in places, re-coated the bad spots with a high quality product recommended by experienced tower professionals then gave the whole thing a head to toe repaint, again with a good quality paint. All in all it saved me a bundle but if in doubt, don't. If you're not sure, take someone with you who does know what they're doing. Remember, this is a hobby and no one should be literally dying to get on the air.

Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W2NK on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Last spring I picked up a Rohn45 64' tiltover with a tail-twister rotator and Hygain Ex.14 yagi for $250 off of Craigslist. The owner had passed and the daughter just wanted it gone. Excellent condition.
Once gone, a week later she called and asked if I wanted more as she had a couple of friends that wanted their towers taken down. Both were crankups of 50' and 70', but I passed on them as both looked pretty rusted. They were both used just for TV. They were located out in the country and put up before cable had come their way.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by N8NSN on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think I should stay out of this one... Hahaha

Here is a link to an eham article posted a couple years back, by myself, on using - used tower. Kinda started a fire storm.

Good part was: I learned A LOT from the experts. I will NEVER put up another used tower... too many risks for anyone without a long scope to inspect the insides of the tower legs. Also, having a metal x-ray machine to inspect every weld for fractures would be of excessive cost, even to rent.

However, The tower I put up cost very little. The concrete being trucked in was the most expensive part (1.5 yards for 168 bucks) It survived Hurricane IKE (70+ MPH winds SUSTAINED for 6 hours). The tower stayed up till I took it down when I left that QTH in June 2010.

WORSE tower to put up is one that was "dropped" to take down. DO NOT EVER try to re-erect a dropped tower. Welds fracture and even a minor bend in the structure can cause catastrophic failures under minimal loads.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by AJ4EM on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I won't attempt to address the sanity of using old towers, but TV over the air is better by far now. Most of the standard stations have one or two added like 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and so on. They have channels similar to AMC or TV Land on a lot of them.

When I had cable, it always bothered me that I was forced to finance several channels I would not watch, and when I did watch it usually ended up being the local broadcast stations, or repeats of something interesting on History or Discovery or something... and I should have been doing something constructive instead of wasting that time anyway.

I'm very happy with OTA television for the 5 hours or so I actually watch it a week.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W8AAZ on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
My grandfather used to have a 70(?) foot three sided steel tower in a rural setting. For TV. Tapered and wide at the base like a BC tower, no guys. Not like the common newer straight sided. MY summer fun included seeing how high I could climb it. Solid as a rock. Then go inside and do some TV DX. Swing that big array around and pick up stations for 100+, or with tropo, hundreds. Wish I had something like that now!
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KB5ZXM on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have to ask, "WHY would a commercial two way shop spend so much < customers> money on a New, professionally installed tower "?
There must be a reason?or three.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K0IC on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Towers still are needed in some areas as they can pay for themselves when CATV systems charge over $60 a month. I was going to go CATV until I found that out. Using a modest tower of ten or twenty feet with rotor and high gain antennas and pre-amps can go a long way. Also there is such a thing as Free-To-Air-Satellite TV which is about the same thing as CATV if you can get it to work. That antenna can be put on a building on in the yard. If done wrong towers will be death traps.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KH6DC on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
We have a local CBS affiliate KGMB dismantling their 300 foot tower. Don't think I'll be knocking at their door to buy their tower or part of it :)
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K1CJS on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Free to air satellite TV isn't the same as cable or paid satellite TV, not by far. All you usually get for 'free' is shopping channels, religious channels, a couple of science channels (if you're lucky) and the NASA feeds. With all the required equipment--which is NOT cheap, free to air satellite TV is great for experimenters--but not for regular viewing.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by NY0K on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the comments. Of course, safety does come first, and a good inspection goes a long way when considering raising a used tower. The two taller Rohns were barn-stored, and had no rust. I've since picked up a commercial free-standing tower in perfect condition (needed a trailer to get this freebie) from a mom-and-pop cable TV outfit that folded. It will have a stacked tribander when I put it up. The Rohns will support wire antennas and a small 6-meter and 10-meter yagi. There are plenty of bargains, just make sure you inspect and follow safety precautions.

RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K8QV on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Danger! Danger! It lurks everywhere!

Buy new and have it professionally installed. Stations should only be wired by a licensed electrician. Don't forget to buy extra insurance and chew 30 times before swallowing.

Good luck!
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K1DA on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
UHF digital TV , despite what the technogeeks told us, does not provide coverage the way channels 2 through 6 did, and I am seeing UHF antennas propping up again for folks who want the local stuff without selling their birthright to the cable carriers.
In areas where the cable boys are going after every last cent in profit and doing "deferred mantainence" the "outages" are more frequent than you might think. With a decent UHF antenna the over the air stuff is still there to watch.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K1CJS on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, no kidding on the deferred maintenance. In one small city, a 2 meter repeater was constantly being interfered with by a signal that was very close to its receive frequency. Even a PL tone made no difference--except to stop unwanted transmitting.

It turns out that a major cable junction about a couple of blocks away was leaking--and badly. The cable company refused to even look at it because their system wasn't experiencing problems. It took several letters to the FCC before they informed the cable company something had to be done--and the cable company still took their sweet time getting it taken care of.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K1CJS on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Re: "Danger! Danger! It lurks everywhere!"

Yep. And be sure when you need to have your nails cut that you don't attempt it yourself. Go to a professional salon, because that's the only place it can be safely done! ;-)
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K9FON on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The sky is falling the sky is falling!!!
Hams worry too much.
I have a used American tower up that i have had for almost 20 years, and it has been up and down and up and down and up again. it is in great shape and has little or no rust. One thing, is i NEVER climb it. I use a bucket truck. Im too chicken to climb!
The first time it was put up i was into the CB thing and there was about 5 of us installing the tower and beam. When we were done i dont think one of us was sober from all the beer we drank, LOL.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K9FON on January 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Not all of us hams are rich and can afford a new tower professionally installed. Heck, i can barely afford nice used gear let alone a new tower!!!!!
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KB1GMX on January 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
There is nothing wrong with a used tower so long as you can give it a good look.

Learn the different tower types as well. Once at a flea
I passed a guy hawking a rRohn20 as 25G, they are the same size but not the same strength and should not be mixed for obvious reasons.

I've also seen some real hack installs like 3 sections of unsupported Rohn25 above a house bracket, without guys! It may stay up but it's an unsupported hack and begging trouble as well as completely unsafe to climb even if it were all new. Read the manual for Rohn25
and others you may collect know their design limits and recommended installs.

Another the bottom was just burried 3ft in the dirt
and bracketed to the house. Rust got the first 3ft
but fortunately it was taken down be for the rust went all the way through.

Inspect, you don't need a borescope to evaluate a tower or a section. If it doesn't look right pass
on it. External rust is a bad sign, internal rust
is likely worst at joints but watch for rust that falls out when a section is stood up!

Also, tower sections that have been free standing for a while may have enlongated holes look for that and other damage. Stuff like Rohn25 will do 50ft with out guys but it's under stress and not rated for that so towers that were installed that way do not live as long. If your taking one down I'd install temp guys on the way up too!

Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K1CJS on January 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
One club I used to belong to had a 160 foot high Rohn 25G series up for over twenty years for its repeater. When it was finally taken down by crane (harnessed at about the 100 foot level), it was raised off its base and laid down in one piece, and it did not buckle at all.

It all depends on the care taken at installation. If it is done correctly and the tower is not subject to rusting and excess stress, it can stay strong enough to withstand quite a bit. But still--don't bet your LIFE on a USED tower.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by NZ4O on January 20, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Have all men in our society become scaredy cats and overly cautious sissies? Good grief grow a spine.

I've been rehabilitating Rohn telescoping push up masts as tall as 50 feet for years with no problems. All that is required is a little common sense, Something sorely missing in our society these days.

I think that the author of this article was mainly thinking push up pole not Rohn 25 or something.

Thomas F. Giella, NZ4O
Lakeland, FL
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W8JI on January 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Every tower I have is a used tower. My 300 foot towers are used. My rotating tower is used. Even my TV tower is used.

Even my wife is pre-owned.

My last new tower was in 1970 or so, about 40 years ago. My last unused wife was about the same time frame. Neither one lasted any longer than used ones, which makes me think new is over rated.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KB1GMX on January 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
NZ4O, being a crazy lady helps then!

Really though, like anything a brand new 30ft Rohn can kill you as fast as a 30 year old one. The difference is you paid more. In either case the tower should not be handled/installed in a way that can kill you.

Most towers sold were designed for very long service life if installed as directed and maintained. If you fin one for free ask about it's history (how old) and examine it's installation if still standing. The story
often can tell itself if your willing to listen and observe. If you take it own or it's already down
mark the sections if possible as to bottom or it's place in the stack. It may make assembly easier
or expose lower sections that have been rusted or stressed greater.

If you get it for free or dirt cheap it's no big deal to examine it and reject parts that are suspect. However if you take reasonable care and install it correctly it should be fine.

The other thing is the Rohn catalogs with engineering and installation data are on the net, read and heed.
It doesn't have to be expensive to put up a modest
tower but being careless or stupid will be costly.


RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K8QV on January 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"My last new tower was in 1970 or so, about 40 years ago. My last unused wife was about the same time frame. Neither one lasted any longer than used ones, which makes me think new is over rated."

Sweet! Thanks for the laugh!
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by AD7DB on January 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"With the recent switch from analog to digital, the days of the old-fashioned television aerial are numbered."

You've got it backward. The digital ATSC system is less forgiving than analog, and now in most areas indoor antennas won't cut it anymore. You need an outdoor antenna to get good signals on all the channels.

Probably a reason to find bargains is because a lot of people have decided to just go with satellite TV or cable. That's odd because you can actually get a better uncompressed picture over the air, often in HD, completely free, and there are many more channels to see now than in analog days.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W8GX on January 22, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I cut the cable last year and put up a TV antenna on a mast, about 24-25 feet up. I guyed it with some rope and it's been withstanding gusty winds so far. I do use a preamp. I bring the coax in through the cable box on the outside (Hey--it's my house and they left it there, so it belongs to me now).

I have been impressed with the increasing number of OTA digital subchannels. Seems like there is a new one added every other month by one of the stations --- while cable, on the other hand, would eliminate a channel from the Basic Limited and up the cost!

My plan is to install a 40-foot tower with a tribander up at about 45 feet, and a TV antenna (I don't need a rotor for it because the stations are mainly east of me -- nothing north or south, and Lake Michigan is west) at about the 35-foot mark. I'm guessing there will be no interference at that distance (10 feet from the TV to the tribander). Then I will put my 80/40 fan dipole off the tower top (40 foot).

I can't afford a new tower, so I will be searching this spring for a used one. Any advice?
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by AD5TD on January 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Before you commit, take a small hammer and give each leg a few taps. If you hear rust falling to the bottom inside the leg. RUN don't walk away!
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KG4YMC on January 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
a good used tower could outlast a wife? I'll have to remember that next time . kg4ymc lol
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by N7WR on January 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
DON'T! Too many risks and dowsides. Too little chance that the tower will be worth the risky effort
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by WA2JJH on January 24, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Nice HARD CORE Homebrew!!! I have roof rights, however it is against some code to dig a nice 4-6 foot deep hole in any NYC roof.
Yup, you can picture this. If I did the person living on the top floor would be real mad.
Because I would be smack dab in his apt. All sortsa
building material would be under me.
I would be half in the persons ceiling upside down.
The other shoe would fall, the my tool belt would drop from the ceiling.......30 seconds of awed silence. I could feel his rage buiding.. Trying what to say first.........hmmmmmmmm........Hi, I am WA2JJH...Name here is Mike.QTH...AND..AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...()1 the FCC G Gordren enforsed SSB of dah-dit,dit-dah 2)How real hams(((Well.......I was wondering
if you were interested in "The exciting world of amatuer radio........FADE TO BLACK//

Point that was a tad effucive,obtuse. My first tower I could only dream to have is the 18HT. The price back in the Lafayette Radio catalogue had tons of high quality Ham radio. The Drake B line and TR-4 was THE HOTTEST items on display at the 17th street in Greenwich Village.
The cost was shocking. Very few hams would plunk dowm the 1968 price of a tad umder $389. For the 40 feet of real towrer meat. The AD said.......only 4 f00T deep hole in the ground. The old wind loading factor.
Looking back, It was the lazy easy way to start a nice antenna farm. Topside of the red and white aviation syle paint sides was a 160M-6M almost a 1/4 wave of of counterpoise radiator for 40M. 80M and `60M were tranp and cap hats. Correct me if I am wrong....10-20M were full 1/4 wave .
It was antenna mast and feed system. So one had a efficiant deluxe version of an 18AVQ. One even got the FAA approved red cherry light on the top of the vertical. Seemed to be the best or most expensive.
However, if I ever got a QTH with a kilomteter of yard, I would use it to hang slopers and invertef Vs
from that totemic tower. Be great for RX only to diode switch thru all the slopers and v's.

In my neck of the woods, unless I am willing to be fried by 50KW from WOR-9 xclear channel coast to coast.(at night)
Lets do the math, tongue in cheek.. If I steal the tower, I could make a nice 3 way array for 80M and have enough for for a 20M 1/2

lets see 1mhz/3 is 3.3mhz. NG. fer X-TRA slice fer CW Sasme swamp `1560/3.
You folk really are lucky. The folk in NYC through out tons of SVHS/DVD combo units. Lots of Bio-medical stuff. I Got a fgew ,TENS, osteoblast for faster bone go tegroth stimulator.
Heck, one dude I know of sells $400 bucks of garbage he find folk through out!!!! NYC----streets ARE NOT PAVED WITH GOLD. lOYS OF 2 YEAR OLD Lptops are around.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W5XJ on January 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Great suggestion. I recently got a WT-51 crank up in good shape for free as well. Here in the Dallas, Texas area I often see homes in the country with 30 - 40 footers that WERE used in the past for analog TV reception. Now they are unused since everybody uses sats instead. Many businesses also have decent towers up that were used for business band comms that sit unused now since they use cell for dispatch now.

It would be great to have some 30 footers to hang a square or delta loop on for 160!

73, W5XJ
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by WA2JJH on January 25, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Very true what the O.M. said about cell phone towers explosive growth.

Our family owns some property in NYC. We turn down many offers per year.

They want ANY buildings roof that is 50 feet or above sea level. At first sales pitch it sounds great!!!! Free paasive income. Yes, you too can make over $1000/month, no fuss, no muss, and we will even direct deposite your windfall.

Seems good. It might be worth finding an old piece of tower chunk, if you do not have a building. The CELLCO's will build the equipment shack just off to the side of your recycled tower.

You are thinking GREAT! I have a nice 60 foot tower and a little aux shack/storage space/base antenna tuner. I get 1000bux/month to boot.

There is A REASON why their Lawyer is present for everything.
THE SMALL PRINT............1)This is a 99 year lease.
2)All said vertical and horizontal space that is that encloses all cellco's antenna's and everything else is for cellco's exclusive use.
3)Cellco can modify and use increasing space as needed.
4)Cellco has the excusive right to 24/7 access without any advanced notice.
5)This agreement is valid for the next 99 years!!!!!

Tower space and rights is big money. Every Cellco corp has approached us about a few spots. IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME DEAL. The answer is always no as to if our engineer can have acess. NO!!!!

You cannot negotiate for better. They always say....If you will not take our offer, the dude across the street will.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by AD4U on January 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The local school board "pushed" through spending some $50,000,000 for new school buildings at new sites. Each of the two deserted school building sites has an (approximately) 120 foot tall, EXTRA HEAVY DUTY self supporting tower, about 6 feet wide at the base, tapering to around 2 feet wide at the top. There is a microwave dish on top. These towers are galvanized steel and IMO will easily support a full size 3 element 40 meter beam and other monoband large beams without guys.

I understand that these towers are offered free to anyone who will remove them from the sites. Of course you must show where you have adequate insurance and a crane large enough to lay the towers down.

If you have the crane and the insurance and the "know how", I (being the city administrator) will try to arrange to get the towers given to us.

You do the work and get them down and you get a complete 120 foot tall almost brand new 120 foot tall HEAVY DUTY self supporting tower.

I get the other tower for arranging everything.

Anybody interested??

Dick AD4U
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KC9V0 on January 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Are you missing something? Oh, about $600 to $1400 every year. It kinda' ads up, you know. Great if you can get by with a decent tower. More money to spend on the hobby.

Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W6MRK on January 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
There is a danger here, and that is if all old style tv antennas and the towers that supported them dissappear, the area could maybe go CC & R's with antenna restrictions in place and no one could put anything else up, except for satellite dishes, so even though it great to get this old equipment, it may not go back up again.... due to new cc&r's :( !
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KI6DCB on January 31, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Tapping the legs with a hammer and looking for rust...

...Is that for towers or for wives?
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by W8VHO on February 1, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Recycling Old TV Towers Reply
by TANAKASAN on January 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Within five minutes I had three towers purchased. One was a 30-foot, and the other two were sixty-foot Rohns."

Hang on, with the widespread use of both cable TV and satellite dishes who in their right mind would use a sixty foot tower just to receive a TV signal? Or am I missing something here?

HEY in the Ohio valley they use to put up 100 foot towers just to get 3 channels, and they would be fuzzy!!! But I would think that HDTV would be bringing back the use of those towers, to get more channels,, now instead of 3 channels analog with HDTV you get about 20 to 30 channels..
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KA5PIU on February 6, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
First off, FTA, Free To Air, can be just that.
Egypt had a deal a while back, they would GIVE you a FTA setup for the cost of shipping.
The US did very much the same thing in Vietnam in the 60's but that was AM radios.
And, yes, tower work can be a danger.
I work with a corporation that rents tower space on rooftops in Texas and we require a new drop shipped tower/antenna onsite or a certified used tower.
Since there is a given minimum cost for certification it is ALWAYS cheaper to have new shipped.
What happens to the old? frequently less than 10 years old?
you can buy it for scrap, and you have to buy it as scrap, liability reasons.
As long as it is up in the air it is fine, that is all of the towers.
But once it comes down, scrap.
And, where do you find good commercial towers?
Remember that big push to invest in cell towers?
Guess how many were never rented out.
And, there are always old utility poles, same rules apply, once a pole is out of the ground it is not reused.
So, from short sections on a rooftop to something that requires a full crew and a crane to take apart, and everything in between, take your pick.
you may need someone with liability insurance so keep in touch with a contractor.
73 KA5PIU.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by WA2JJH on February 7, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Gee, should we all just use airforce surplus WX ballons. Do not spend the bux and Helium.
Make almost free Hydrogen. Simply desolve Aluminum foil in LYE(potAssium hydroxide) in a 2 liter soda bottle.
Fill the WX ballons from the caustic solution that is output at enough pressure to fill ballon with the hydrogen.

Use 60-66 feet of #26 guage wire to act as vertical/balloon teather???
Just pull down balloon for lightening storms. JOKE-HI HI g
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by KB4MB on February 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Following the advice (and something I had lingering in the back of my mind for awhile), after pestering the xyl for a year and a half, she caved, and now I have a brand new, surface rusty US Tower made tower.

Will be spending the next few months sanding and painting, getting my zoning/permit, digging a hole, and trying to find a good rotor for the intended moxon or hexbeam I will put up at 30ft. Killer setup, no, but for most of us, having something we can steer is a big improvement over those that can't.
RE: Recycling Old TV Towers  
by AA4HA on February 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If the tower is rusty you may want to make sure it is just surface oxidation and not true rust. Galvanized structures will oxidize and you would not want to sand them (removes the sacrificial zinc coating). Painting a tower on the ground is much more fun than painting one up in the air.

I once hand painted a 100' tower from top to bottom with a painters mitt. That is not an experience I ever care to go though again. It was all silver in color and looked really pretty from a distance. I even managed to paint the guy wires by taking an old towel and soaking it in silver paint, wrapping it around the guy wire from the top with a weight (paint can) and letting it slide down the cable to the bottom.

If the antenna was manufactured correctly they would place the entire tank section into a zinc bath so the internals are galvanized as well. Some are not and they just put surface galvanization (or silver paint) on the tower. I would stay away from the cheaper towers like the plague. Those will rot away and you may find yourself climbing the tower and finding that one of the cross braces snaps off under your foot (really bad thing if you are not wearing a harness that is clipped to a GOOD cross brace).

I still own my like-new climbing harness with all sorts of fall limiters, hooks, etc... but I will never climb a tower again. The older I get, the shorter the tower is before I say it is "too high". Right now that is about 20 feet. Beyond that and I will rent a lift.
Recycling Old TV Towers  
by K0VH on February 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
How about recycling old HAM towers?

In 1998 I put up what I thought was a used MA40 rotatable mast tilt over tower I got from my step dad's estate. Then I found out it was a Wilson 45' crankup, very similar to the US Tower MA40. After putting on a new crankup winch & cable in 2006 this is still working fine. So I have an almost 35 year old ham tower capable of 10 SF wind load (I have a TA33WARC with about half that), but no rust and with a new winch it's like new.
See my eham writeup in the tower review section and I have sent my recabling note / photos to many. 73 K0VH
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Related News & Articles
Bring Ham Radio into DMR
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Is FirstNet a Real Threat to Ham Radio?

Other Antennas Articles
Bringing the K6AER HF J-Pole to Life