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Author Topic: Hygain HG52SS information  (Read 3137 times)
KC7MM
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« on: November 07, 2003, 05:13:39 PM »

I am going to check out a Hygain 52' self-supporting crankup tower tomorrow.  It really sounds like a nice deal for me, but I have never had a crankup tower before.

Does anyone have any experience with one of these?  I imagine the various sections must move up and down in channels of some type.  How does one lubricate these?  

What else should I look for/look out for?

Thanks in advance.

Dale KC7MM
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2003, 05:54:43 PM »

The HG52SS is a nice medium-duty tower and was well made.  It's a shame they discontinued it several years ago.

It uses three sections (base, mid and upper) of webbed triangular tower section, with the largest cross-section at its base and the smallest cross-section at its "top" (which is actually the tower's "center" section, when it's nested), and "nests" at about 22 feet, and extends to 52 feet when fully "cranked up."  Almost a carbon copy of the Tri-Ex model W-51, except the webbing is a bit different.

There are only two pulleys, and one winch with a hand crank and drum, on the HG52SS tower.  Other than keeping those parts lubricated (maybe once per year), the tower should require no maintenance whatever.  If the galvanized steel cable, or any of the galvanized steel legs or webbing, starts to rust or show signs of corrosion, the cable should be replaced and the tower should be re-galvanized (which of course can only be done when it's "down," with nothing mounted on it).  But since most HG52SS's were probably sold in the late 1970's and early 1980's, they're really not that old, so I would think that most of them are still in good shape.

If you cannot get an original Hy-Gain base (foundation on which to mount the tower), you'll probably have to have one fabricated.  This tower can only be safely installed on a precisely matched base, which must be anchored in two cubic yards (minimum) of concrete.  Thankfully, almost any good welder who has any experience with towers can fabricate a new base in a couple of hours.

WB2WIK/6
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KC7MM
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2003, 06:19:59 PM »

Hello again Steve!

Here's the wonderful part of this deal.  The present owner (a very nice fellow)purchased it from the original owner . It wasn't up that long, maybe a couple of years.  The present owner never installed it.  He says he has the base, and thinks he has the three offset arms (hold the coax away from the tower).  I may even get a rotator with the deal. It's located in northern ID well away from salt spray, etc.  Another friend who knows the owner says it is in beautiful shape.  Oh, he even has the original manual.

I have nearly perfect ground for the tower.  It is glacial outwash and til.  You can't dig anywhere without hitting rocks and boulders.  So I believe a 3' x 3' x 6' hole and 2 yds of concrete should hold it pretty well.  I will need a friend to build a rebar cage for support and strength in the concrete.

Nice picture on this site, btw.  Do you work the Spartan Sprint?  Did my first one on Monday.

Dale KC7MM

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KC7MM
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2003, 09:11:15 PM »

Here is the conclusion to this story.  I went up and bought the HG52SS this morning.  It is in really good shape, in fact, it is in better shape than my present Rohn 25G tower! It is rated at 9.5 sq. feet at 50 MPH.  My Lightning Bolt two el quad is about 6.5 sq feet so I have a lot of safety built into this.

It comes with a new base that needs a bit of rewelding to make it work, three of the long bolts, with two nuts each, that hold the base in the concrete, enough Rebar to make the cage for in the concrete, and a brand new Hygain HG-TB thrust bearing in the box! I even got the original manual with a set of engineering blueprints that discuss the tower and base. The only things that are missing are six galvanized bolts to attach the tower to the base. I can't figure out how the rotor plate is held in place, or if it relies on the weight of the rotor along with the mast and antenna to hold it in place.  Does anyone have any experience with that?  The cable, pulleys and crank don't have a bit of rust on them, it is just amazing.

This is like finding the proverbial low mileage '63 Corvette in the barn story.  Total price $435!! I asked the owner if that was he was truly satisfied with that price and he said yes, so he is happy, I am happy, and the tower will be up in the air next spring.

Steve, thanks for your help with this.  I really appreciate it.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2003, 01:13:08 PM »

The rotor plate may well be held in place by nothing more than gravity, I don't remember -- but that's pretty common for rotor plates in crank-up towers, because there's no room (between the overlapping, sliding tower legs) for U-bolts or other hardware.

The rotor plate in my Tri-Ex crank-up is a "gravity" hold, for sure.  The weight of the rotor, etc, simply presses it down; it cannot slide past its point of installation, as the tower webbing prevents that.  The plate also cannot "rotate," as it is notched in three corners to align with the tower legs, which hold it in position.  

Probably the HG52SS is the same.

Sounds like you got a good deal!  That tower was, I believe, about $1000 new back in about 1980, and would probably sell for $1400 or so today if it returned to the market.

73,

Steve WB2WIK/6
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WB4M
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2003, 12:32:52 PM »

The rotor (Ham IV) on my 52ss is held in place by 3 bolts that run through the rotor plate and into the bottom of the rotor.
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WB4M
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2003, 12:36:05 PM »

The rotor PLATE simply rests on 3 "stops", and not bolted to anything, and it is a snug fit too.  There is no way the rotor plate is going anywhere.
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KC7MM
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2003, 08:47:33 PM »

F.R.,

Thanks for the information on your HG52SS.  I was a bit worried at how I was going to keep the rotor in place, but evidently that is not a problem.

How do you like your tower?  I can't wait to get mine up and going, but it will probably have to wait until the spring. The ground is frozen and the snow can start falling at any time.

I have a 35' Rohn 25 up at the moment.  It's bolted to the side of the house.  I will probably keep it for 2m and 440 fm and SSB antenna deployment.

73 & DX,

Dale KC7MM
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W2OE
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2003, 08:21:05 AM »

I've had this tower up for 20 years and love it.  The only problem is that it does not have a positive "pull-down".  This means that when you start to lower it, it could be stuck and allow slack in the cables.  This happened to me once with the result being that when it let go it snapped the cables and came crashing down. Fortunately no one was hurt - just be careful when you lower it.

Merv
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KC7MM
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2003, 09:22:37 AM »

Merv,

Is there any way to lubricate the points where the tower sections slide past one another?  

Dale KC7MM
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W2OE
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2003, 12:31:05 PM »

Dale, I don't know if it does any good or not but every time I crank it up or down I spray with silicon.  Aside from that I just bang it pretty good when I start down to make sure it isn't caught.

Merv
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W4WQ
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2003, 10:17:10 AM »

I have an HG52SS base in the ground without the tower (don't ask why). Is there any current towers available that would mate with the Hy-Gain base legs?
I live about 70 miles southwest of Washington, DC.
Thanks and happy holidays from Sam  W4WQ
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K4KAL
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2004, 06:44:26 PM »

Looking for a source for repacement cables for my HG52SS Tower.  Have written Hygain, but no response.  I was told they do have some parts, and a few base's.  Thanks, Keith
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