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Author Topic: Ham Antenna Installers in the Chicago, IL Area  (Read 2067 times)
N6INM
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Posts: 5




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« on: January 03, 2013, 08:39:08 AM »

Hi--Am looking to put up a 3 Element TH3jr with rotor on a Two Story House in the Spring on a roof tripod....looking for an installer in the Chicago area who can do the job...or refer me someone equivalent.

Please email at N6INM@yahoo.com

73's Glenn N6INM/9
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KC4MOP
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 05:13:18 PM »

Just some tips, Glenn
The roof tower will require extensive work inside the attic to make the tower part of the house.
They will have major work to create bracing that really holds that tower with your Yagi on top.
I had a 15 foot Glen Martin on my house with a Cushcraft A3S and the 3 element 12/17M Cushcraft yagi mounted on my tower and it never flinched through some strong winter winds and the tail end of a hurricane. The tower company took two days to complete.
I hope you find a good crew who understands the process.
Fred
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N6INM
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 07:21:17 AM »

Fred actually it will be a tripod roof mount with a TH3Jr which weighs only 25 pounds with with rotor.  My house is 2 stories.  Had it tripod mounted when I lived in the 80's and it worked great on a one strory house that was built in 1959. My house in Illinois was built in 1992.  Decided not to go with the tower solution because a TH3jr is fairly light as oppossed to a TH7 for an example.  I own a TH3jr which I bought in 1984 and had been in stoarge since 1999.  Doing parts inventory and all is there...need new weather caps for the traps which I can get from Hy Gain Also looking for a 17 meter add on kit which I can't seem to find for the TH3jr...Do you  think a small tripod will require any attic work?  Yes installers are not easy to find but TV antenna installers are.  I just can't climb on roofs due to a recent injury...
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K3VAT
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 11:14:43 AM »

Hi--Am looking to put up a 3 Element TH3jr with rotor on a Two Story House in the Spring on a roof tripod....looking for an installer in the Chicago area who can do the job...or refer me someone equivalent.

Please email at N6INM@yahoo.com.   73's Glenn N6INM/9  

Glenn, Fred has some good points.  So, which tripod roof tower do you have in mind with the TH3jr?  This tribander is fairly large: three ~26' elements on a 12' boom with nearly 3.5 ft^2 of windload.  It is suggested that for your Chicago QTH that you should consider nothing smaller than the Glenn Martin RT-424 due wind velocities and ice/snow loadings.  This is a quad-pod, much more stable than a tripod and the rotator mounts within the tower.  Tripod mounts are usually for rotary dipoles, verticals, and VHF/UHF yagis.

As I posted on this reflector several times, it is best to have someone very familiar with roof tower systems, like a PE (the local radio club might have contact info for you) to do an engineering feasibility study.  This includes actual physical inspection of the proposed mounting area, including type/condx of roof tiles, felts, underlayments, and what type of sub roofing material is the main covering - is it plywood, OSB, and what is the thickness.  An inspection needs to be done of the rafter system underneath the proposed location of the roof tower.  Structural determinations need to be made to ascertain if additional reinforcing is needed.

Additional considerations are:
1. roof pitch - how steep and how safe is the working area?
2. how are you going to get the roof tower to its location, then the TH3jr to the roof tower?
3. does your district require you to obtain a building permit and subsequent inspection (many do, especially in urban settings)?
4. what is the plan for running control cable and coax between the shack and the antenna?

GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT

« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 11:17:54 AM by K3VAT » Logged
W9GB
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Posts: 2599




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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 12:46:09 PM »

Glenn --

There was a Lake County ARC, at one time,
 but I have not stayed current with resources in your area (near Motorola Mobility - Libertyville offices).

The North Shore ARC is in your area.
Rob Orr, K9RST is club President, 847-724-5228 (office)
http://ns9rc.org/board/

The Technical Director should be able to advise you of local resources.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 12:50:26 PM by W9GB » Logged
KC4MOP
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 05:02:35 AM »

I googled TH3jr and that is not a small antenna!! Seems a tad smaller than my Cushcraft A3S.
When I see those elements flapping in high winds, I'm glad I invested in a sturdy mount in its present location.
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NJ3U
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 09:37:53 AM »

Glenn,

I would suggest looking at a four legged roof tower and stay away from the tripods.  I researched many options prior to installing my Mosley TA33jr on my roof top and in that process came to the conclusion that none of the tripods available met the needs for a Tribander similar to mine or yours which is very close in design.

The dead weight that you mention isn't the concern it's the lateral forces generated by torque during wind. These forces are a function of the square footage of the antenna, its' profile, mast height and local conditions.

Roof decking alone is not strong enough, the underpinning in the attic is essential to a successful install.

For research / I would point you to a couple of links

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,72102.msg513219.html#msg513219

http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f190/dad250/Mosley%20Beam%20Antenna%20Project/?albumview=slideshow

73 Rory NJ3U

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N6AJR
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 02:51:17 PM »

I had a 4 leg Create roof tower on my 1 story house for several years with a  3element Steppir on it.  I did have the roof reinforced like they show on the glen martin site and would highly reccommend it.  You are also going to need to guy it and part of the roof timber is for the additional pull from the guys, and torque from the rotor.  when we pulled down the antenna and moved it over to a 40  rhon 25 tower, ground mounted with a roof eve brace, and guys.  This is the steppir on a glen martin Hazer with the guys attached to the hazer.

when we got the aluminumunuminum tower down  we found that 2 of the 4 sides were cracked completely through and was totally shocked.  this was from the constant left and right flexing from the antenna on the tower.  the rohn do not have  the flex in it.  Yes you need to brace the roof from the underside, and yes  you need to guy it, and by the way, when the wind blows , you will hear it sing to you.  do this properly or you home owners insurance will not pay for the damage when it comes down from a poor install.
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N6INM
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 07:47:18 AM »

Wow...more labor than I thought. Another consideration I move every three years due to my Army career.  The Glenn Martin RT-424 solution is not an option because when I sell myself it will be a gruesome task to have to disassemble.  Maybe a field expedient push up mast like they use on field day could be an option?  Yes the inspection process of the house etc makes it too much of a chore...any other ideas you all have would be welcomed.  I do remember had my TH3Jr on a tripod in So California when I lived there and dealt with the Santa Ana Winds that gusted up to 40 mph at times but did not have the snow etc...I live in the suburbs of Chicago 39 NW of the City as it doesn't get as windy but havent lived here long enough to really know..What other solutions can anyone reccomend? The roof Quad pod is out as it will require too much involved need something simple and easy if there is such a solution... 73's
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K3VAT
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 12:55:27 PM »

Wow...more labor than I thought. Another consideration I move every three years due to my Army career.  The Glenn Martin RT-424 solution is not an option because when I sell myself it will be a gruesome task to have to disassemble.  Maybe a field expedient push up mast like they use on field day could be an option?  Yes the inspection process of the house etc makes it too much of a chore...any other ideas you all have would be welcomed.  I do remember had my TH3Jr on a tripod in So California when I lived there and dealt with the Santa Ana Winds that gusted up to 40 mph at times but did not have the snow etc...I live in the suburbs of Chicago 39 NW of the City as it doesn't get as windy but havent lived here long enough to really know..What other solutions can anyone reccomend? The roof Quad pod is out as it will require too much involved need something simple and easy if there is such a solution... 73's

First, what are your operating goals (working the 'locals', occasional DX'ing, contests, all-out DX'ing, favorite bands, etc.)?  Given your situation, you may want to retire the TH3 until a more friendly circumstance. 

Roof-mounted verticals are popular.  There are several good brands like Butternut and Hygain but you'll need an elevated radial system which is often problematic.  Wire may be your best friend.  Any nearby trees or other structures that could serve as a support for the many different types of doublet antennas?  You already have one support ~ 25' and that is the end of the roof gable.  How much land in the back yard?

This Forum has hundreds of topics on various wire antennas, both horizontal and vertically polarized, both monoband and multiband.  I'd like to suggest that you spend a few hours search the archives and browsing those topics that are appropriate for your QTH.

Then when you've narrowed the field, come back to the Forum and post specific questions.

GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 01:21:22 PM »

We put up a TA33jr on a 28' mast every year for Field Day. One year I wanted to show
that it could be done by one person, but another ham insisted on helping.  The point of
that is that it isn't difficult if you do it correctly.  (We could get it up to 32' if we wanted
to, but don't need the extra height at our site.)  Granted, we don't have the weight
of the rotator, since we just point antennas East from Oregon, and use an Armstrong
rotator if one is needed.

You could do something similar, then bracket the mast to the eave of the roof.  It does
require a bit of space to get it up - you'll have to see how well it fits your situation.

We use the 4' military mast sections, actually intended for use with camo netting.  They
are available from a number of sources, including eBay, local surplus stores, and advertisers
here on eHam.  Get the aluminum ones:  the fiberglass is OK for wire antennas and such,
but not for beams such as this.  We use baling twine for guy ropes:  you'll want guys when
you put it up, and, depending on the height above the roof support point, it won't hurt to
have them on the final mast as well.

We start by tying off the guy ropes to roughly the desired distance and length.  Mount the
antenna and rotator on the top section (along with the attached guy ropes) and add a second
below that, then walk it back away from the house until the guys are tight.   With just 8' of
mast you should be able to rest the beam on the reflector end to add the second section, then
tip it up into place.  If everything is set properly you should be able to lean it back against the
two guy ropes and it will stay upright.

Now comes the fun part:  pick up the mast, holding it vertically, and slip another section on
the bottom of the stack.  Then set it back down.  Because of the pull of the guy ropes, you
will have to move a little bit towards the house as you lift the mast, and as you do so keep
it leaning slightly against the guys to hold it upright.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  You keep adding sections in the same manner:  pick up the whole
assembly vertically (while moving a little closer to the guy anchor points so the mast and
antenna leans slightly against the guys to hold it up, slip another section on the bottom of
the stack, then set it back down.  Once you get it as high as you want, you can tie off the
last guy to hold it in place.

Because the mast moves in this process, you aren't always sure where it is going to end up.
When we put up the beam, we first raise JUST THE MAST, move it to the desired position (by
picking it up and carrying it vertically, or moving the base over a bit at a time and readjusting
the guys to make it more vertical), get the guy ropes secured where we want them, then
taking it back down by the reverse method.  Then we put the beam on top and put it back
up again, knowing it will end up in the right spot with the guys properly set.

If you don't have enough clear space to do this with the beam on the tower, then you may be
able to stack the mast sections against the house and secure it, then have a bucket truck
put the antenna on top.

For a permanent installation, a second set of guys further down the tower may be a good
idea if it isn't attached to the house.  If you get moved to a place with a back yard, you
can put up the antenna there with just the guy ropes.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2013, 01:53:12 PM »

an alternative to this would be something I used for a while and had pretty good luck with   I had an MA5B beam on top of a push up mast. It was mounted just above the rotor and I set the base of the push up mast in 2 bags of concrete and a pipe that the push up mast fit into.  I also had it bracketed to the house at the fascia into some stud ends that supported the fascia ( lag screws) and then I had guy wires at the base of the rotor.

 the rotor was a medium duty rotor, (perhaps a ham VI or such) mounted on the top of the push up and like I said, guyed and the antenna just a couple inches above the rotor.I broke the guys in to non resonant lengths with egg insulators.

The ma5b at about 25 feet above the ground, and perhaps 12 feet above the roof,  worked much better than I expected it to.  with 2 elements on 10/15/20 and a rotatable dipole on 12/17 it really amazed me in how well it worked, for what it was.  perhaps an MA5B is in your future.
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N6INM
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 11:37:27 AM »

Well I called the Glenn Martin Company and they have an installer in the Chicago area...Don't know what they change but that may be one solution earlier I said that wasn't an option.  Would rather hire a professional to do the work, pay good money and get it done right.  Regardless I will be putting something up and workig DX has already been my taste.  But hate working pileups rather have my own frequency and call CQ and go fishing so to speak....seems the pile ups you never get to rag chew and really meet the person you are talking to.  Also thinking of selling my TH3Jr and get a Mosley CL-33 that will work 10,15,17, 20 meters...they have a 4 element mini one and the boom length is less than the TH3Jr....Glenn N6INM/9
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K9KUZ
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 07:09:06 PM »

I had a TA-33JR with HAM2 rotor on a tri-pod for years with no problems in Central Illinois.  One leg of the tripod bolted into a roof rafter, then I ran a 2x4 between two other rafters, using long bolts and attached the other two tri-pod legs to it.  A fairly simple installation that works.  The rotor was on top of the tri-pod.  I am sure there are hams in your area that can do the job. Contact all the local clubs. Good luck.
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