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Author Topic: "Plumbing" a Heights Tower  (Read 610 times)
KO8S
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Posts: 39




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« on: July 08, 2004, 07:24:41 PM »

Fello Hams:  The concrete base for my 64' Heights tower over the past 30 years has has tilted toward my house throwing my tower out of plumb.  I suspect that this has happened do to the settling of the soil from my basement excavation years ago; the tower is about 3' from the house.  I am wondering if anyone has designed a base mount that would allow for some "adjustment" in this event?  With the original Heights system, no adjustment is provided.  In the meantime, I am trying to think of something that I can fabricate to eliminate this delema.  Any ideas?  Thanks to all in advance that respond.
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KB3KYO
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2004, 09:51:28 PM »

Like, is it only slightly off-plumb, or is it noticeably angled toward the house?

Two solutions I can think of.  One, build a support at the uppermost point of the house to anchor the tower to (that would have to be very well supported inside the house).  The other (probably better, but more work) would be to dig holes and pour two anchors 90 degrees apart but 45 degrees from the angle of tilt, then run guy wires with turnbuckles from each anchor to a point near the top of the tower, to gently pull it back plumb.  If nothing else, that would keep it from moving further.
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KI4BUM
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2004, 10:40:28 PM »

contact a cement "lifting" company. They'll be in your phonebook. They normally do walkways, driveways, foundations, etc...but they would probably be able to put the base right.  Might be worth having one of them come out and give an estimate.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2004, 08:33:42 PM »

Invite tourists to come look at it :-)
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KB3KYO
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2004, 12:01:18 PM »

idea yet!
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WB1GOT
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 12:09:43 AM »

Unfortunately, you have a "disturbed earth" situation and will probably have to either bracket the tower or do the unmentionable.

Concrete tower pads are intended to be dug and poured into undisturbed earth to prevent just what you are experiencing.  Once the earth is disturbed, the tower will invariably begin to tilt in the direction of the disturbance, compressing the disturbed soil as it travels.

An alternative and NOT RECOMMENDED solution to the unmentionable would be to pull the tower "back" with temporary guys (guys to poles - NOT earth anchors which pull down and could make matterd FAR worse...), which may later become perminant, and either back-fill and compact the soil on the disturbed side (assuming there is room for a vibrating roller) or CAREFULLY - Hire a PRO with liability and workman's comp insurance - dig out, frame and pour a reenforcing concrete base.  Done right, this is a NASTY and potentially DANGEROUS job involving extensive hand excavation BENEATH your tower, drilling into the existing base and pouring  void free.
Oh - and the tower should have ALL load removed first - a quandry given it's present unsafe-to-climb condition.   Got crane?
Better yet, yank the tower and then fix the base.

Just how big is the base anyhow?  
Is it worth the effort?
Sue the contractor that did the work on the house?

Good luck,
Bill - WB1GOT
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