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Author Topic: US TOWER WINCH FAILURE!  (Read 1294 times)
KR7Q
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« on: December 11, 2006, 12:58:10 PM »

Beware of the 1550 series winch that US Tower uses on the TX-455. During heavy snow I tried to lower the tower. I did not know that the brake was seized - (still not sure) -But as I turned the handle, the Pawl popped out of the gears and I had no breaking system at all! I had to muscle the tower down. This is a serious engineering flaw in my opinon. I wrote to US tower - their response was - Hmm we've never heard of that - will give you 10% off on a new winch! I will not put another hand winch on this tower - I will put an electric winch on it and never deal with US Tower again!
kr7q@arrl.net
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3722




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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2006, 04:50:47 PM »

hi,

how old is the winch and is any PM recommended ?

could freezing rain or water been a factor ?

73 james
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KR7Q
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006, 07:08:27 PM »

James
The winch is a little over 3 years old. There was no freezing rain but I was
lowering the tower because of heavy, wet snow.
I had no recommendations or even any intrest from US Tower on why this
happened.  I did not see anything in  documentation that cautioned or warned
of this condition.  The only warning is  when lubricating the gears - not to
get any on the disk brake.
I am afraid of this winch design.  That's why I'm  looking into a oversize
power winch that is power in  and power out, with a full load mechanical
brake.
Thanks for your intrest - pass this on to others so they can beware and
aviod  certain injury and destruction of their antenna systems!
73 Dennis Lane
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W5GA
Member

Posts: 430




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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2006, 08:13:59 AM »

The only truism of any mechanical device is that sooner or later (sooner in your case), it will break in some fashion.  There is absolutely no substitute for eyeballs prior to operating something like this.  Glad you and your antennas/tower didn't get hurt!!
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3722




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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2006, 04:27:51 PM »

hi dennis,

you could try talking to another person at ust,
they should be interested in why the unit failed
so quickly.

is there a mfg plate or info on the winch,
it could be from another oem.

73 james
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K3CB
Member

Posts: 6


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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2006, 05:53:02 AM »

Dennis, may I suggest Superwinch?  I had to replace both winches on my 2 Heights Tower Systems telescoping towers because what they sold me was - in fact -  trailer boat winches for small boats.  The model Superwinch I obtained is their AC version, with reversible motor and is "positive up" and "positive down", i.e full braking in both directions.  Their brake design is a magnetic set of shoe brakes inside the winch drum, very effective.  BTW: I released an eHAM review of Heights to today, you can see why at http://www.qrz.com/k3cb.  I've been fighting with them since the tower folded over on 2 June '06.  Good luck.  Owen, K3CB
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Owen Wormser, K3CB
k3cb@earthlink.net
410-745-0138
WB6MMV
Member

Posts: 97




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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006, 06:41:37 PM »

Dennis:

you might want to look at the Thern model 4WM2 worm gear winch with builtin brake.  It can be driven by hand or with a drill on low speed (300RPM).  I also have a TX 455 and while my stock K1550 winch works just fine, I wanted to experiment with power winches.  The Thern is one that I used and it works great.  Its a bit pricy, but much better than many of the standard boat type winchs (the K1550 is one of those).  Its sealed from the weather and can be mounted on the standard winch plate that comes with the TX455.  Its brake is internal and quite strong and adjustable.  I removed the manual crank handle and use a power drill with a deep socket to crank the tower up or down. The drill is then removed until I want to use the winch again.

Ken
WB6MMV
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