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Author Topic: Picking a tower....  (Read 3571 times)

Posts: 42

« on: December 04, 2012, 08:25:49 PM »

There's lots to choose from....where do I start ?

Theres Straight / Tapered towers
Steel vs aluminum
Riveted vs welded

I'm in Minnesota and have to comply with rev G.
I'd eventually like to  get into HF work (larger antenna's)
I'm not crazy about climbing so I thought a straight tower with the potential
to put a hazer on it would be a good idea.

I have a used Rohn 25 but I can only put up a couple sections, and I dont want to
put in a slab and not be happy with it.

Thought I'd ask those who have gone before me and lived to tell about it.

Posts: 57

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 05:47:07 AM »

RE: I'm not crazy about climbing so......

You might also consider a crankup / tiltover tower.    With the right setup you can do all your maintenance from the ground.  Here is a forum you might find helpful.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ


Posts: 2566

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 07:17:31 AM »

A Rohn at any sort of height will not be '222 rated unless it has lots of guy wires. Also they are not very fun to climb as it is narrow and the braces make my feet hurt.

I have a preference for Trylon free standing towers with a safety cable system and climbing pegs. They can come with pre-engineered drawings, meeting ANSI 222G and at some pretty decent heights. I have put up a few dozen of them for commercial apps over the years and have been quite pleased. (no affiliation with them)

If you are willing to do your own excavation, foundation work and rent a crane you can get something decent in the air at a fairly reasonable price ($2-4K). They do take a-lot of concrete (a few cubic yards) but I have not had them budge in tropical storm conditions.

Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f

Posts: 33

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 07:25:41 AM »

You need to work backwards a little.... Determine your dream antenna set up that you would want to have. Now do the wind loading and ice loading calculations for the entire entire antenna stack as installed. From there, you can now narrow down your choices to appropriately rated tower sizes according to whether you want to go with a free standing or guyed tower. At that point, you can start playing with site information and construction requirements based on your location, and select a particular model based on all of the data. Be sure and run all the traps on permits/zoning/covenants etc. prior to spending the bucks to order the tower.

Prior planning with the max set up taken into consideration may expend a few dollars more in the short term, but save megabucks in the long run.

Posts: 21764

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 10:07:35 AM »

I've installed a lot of towers, for myself and others (and commercial entities) and always consider:

1.  Budget.  How much can you spend?
2.  Local ordinances.  What is allowed?  Is a permit required?  If so, what documentation does the zoning/building office need?  Is an inspection required?  Are there regulated setback provisions?  It's really important to know all this before you start, otherwise "starting" can be too late to revise plans, get permits and inspections, etc.
3.  How high to you need to go to be well above local obstacles (buildings, trees, utility lines, whatever there is)?
4.  When will it be installed?  If you live in a place where the ground freezes, once that occurs is a lousy time to excavate for a tower.

Rohn guyed towers are often a really good choice if you have room for the guys, IMO.


-All the engineering documents are available, and most are on line for free download.  They've made the same models for decades.
-They're a lot of bang for the buck, as they're not expensive considering their materials and quality.
-They are capable of upward expansion, easily -- based on how much room you have for guy anchors.  You can make a 40' tower into a 100' tower by buying six more sections and adding two more sets of guys, spaced out accordingly; and that is really only a one-day job if and when you choose to do it.

Tapered self-supporting towers cannot be "added to" after they're installed.

Telescoping towers can be a great choice but cost more per foot of height and require very substantial foundations.  If you have the budget, and especially if you don't have room for adequate guys for a tall tower, this can be a brilliant solution -- but not many telescoping towers will meet 222G.

Posts: 9930

« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 10:59:51 AM »

I have nothing but happiness with my 40 foot of rohn 25 and a Glen Martin Hazer.  I am quite happy with it. I put in a 3x3x3 slug of concrete with some iron in it. It was done with help from a lot of my friends, and I have 1 set of really good guys hooked on the hazer, and it is bracketed firmly to the house at about 15 feet.  solid as a rock and just went some 40 mph winds with gusts to around 60 and never even wiggled.  I have a 3 element steppir on the top. Do it.  if you ever decide to take it down , just make the  area where the concrete is into a raised bed with flowers.

Posts: 42

« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 03:57:32 PM »

I should have also mentioned,  really dont have any issues with restrictions, I just cant put in any guys for the tower.  That is a personal choice- trying to keep neighbors from complaining (not that that will help).

Posts: 302

« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 07:32:32 PM »

 Everybody's needs are different and do change, I have a 30' aluminum
  Universal tower with a small TMG 26s mini beam on it at 36'  it fold down and that works for me. The TMG 26s hears well and has a great signal to noise at that hight. Use a 43' vertical for 10-160 and two inverted V to complete my HF needs. Am 72 now an completed all my antenna systems this year, tried to make the antennas as low maintenance as possible so would not have to go in the air very often, so far so good, time will tell if I got it right or not..............KB6HRT 

Posts: 21764

« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 10:11:01 AM »

I should have also mentioned,  really dont have any issues with restrictions, I just cant put in any guys for the tower.  That is a personal choice- trying to keep neighbors from complaining (not that that will help).

Well, without guys your Rohn 25G would be limited to a height of thirty feet (if there's any antennas on it -- it's rated 40 feet with no antenna loading).

Even with no restrictions, you need to determine if a permit and/or inspection will be required.  If so, this absolutely limits your choices.

Also, without guys, the "straight sided" towers will mostly be "out."  Self-supporting towers almost all taper, with the bases wider than the tops, unless they're very heavy duty towers.
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