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Author Topic: Telescoping Tower Cable Management  (Read 1957 times)
K0AU
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Posts: 11




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« on: July 19, 2013, 10:58:53 AM »

Any suggestions for best practices managing coax and rotator cables on a telescoping tower?  I have standoffs, but looking for suggestions on how to support the cables at the top and capture them at the bottom.  Cables are LMR400 coax + 8 conductor rotator cable.  Total cable dead weight will be under 30 pounds.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 01:03:15 PM »

I just use 3 of the standoffs.  Where the weight of the cables is supported at the top standoff I used a lot of tape to make a long bundle, along with a length of scrap wire to attach to the standoff to support the weight and allow the creation of a gentle-radius bend. 

I'm not sure LMR would be a good choice here unless it's the flexible stuff.  The cable will be bent and unbent as the tower is raised or lowered.  Maybe not a big deal but I chose to use RG-213 up the tower, with a fixed run of heliax from the tower to the shack.  I like LMR400 but not in applications where the line is flexed.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K5TR
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 02:37:19 PM »

Any suggestions for best practices managing coax and rotator cables on a telescoping tower?  I have standoffs, but looking for suggestions on how to support the cables at the top and capture them at the bottom.  Cables are LMR400 coax + 8 conductor rotator cable.  Total cable dead weight will be under 30 pounds.

My friend N6TV has a US Towers crank up tower.  It has standoffs that run up the tower - and he attaches the coax and control cables to the top standoff. 
You can see that in these photos:

https://picasaweb.google.com/rawilson/Sigma180SInstallationAtN6TV#5071747420455347570

https://picasaweb.google.com/rawilson/Sigma180SInstallationAtN6TV#5072000114856208626

At the base of the tower he has mounted a large fish net.

As seen in the background of this photo - the cables just fall into the net when the tower is down - you can see cables in the net.

https://picasaweb.google.com/rawilson/Sigma180SInstallationAtN6TV#5071748288038741746

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George
K5TR
KF7P
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 10:00:03 PM »

I like to use....the coax arms I build!  Grin  http://www.kf7p.com/KF7P/CoaxArms.html  Two styles are available....one that lets the coax slip through and self coil on the ground, and the other style keeps it all off the ground on the arm(s).  See pictures on my site. 

Chris
www.KF7P.com
Custom Tower and Grounding Accessories for Amateur Radio
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WA7KGX
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 02:08:21 AM »

I run a spring loaded guy wire from the top of my 53' crank-up to a spot
several feet to the south of the tower.  The coax and rotor cables are
taped to that guy wire every several feet.

It's a simple system I'd read about and it works for this 53' crank-up.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 11:12:19 AM »

use black zip ties on the cable in multiple places up top to keep the strain off the connector, and at the bottom a plastic trash can with a brick in the bottom to hold it in the winds can catch and "auto coil" the coax and tag line and rotor cable.  one of those big grey ones Will work just fine.  try it, it really works.
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K0AU
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2013, 12:37:10 PM »

Thanks everyone.  Great suggestions.  I can endorse Chris, KF7P.  He made me a beautiful cable entry box.

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K5LXP
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2013, 01:59:17 PM »

...he attaches the coax and control cables to the top standoff.  You can see that in these photos:
https://picasaweb.google.com/rawilson/Sigma180SInstallationAtN6TV#5071747420455347570

This is exactly what I wanted to avoid in my installation by using a separate wire to support the bundle.  The bend on the top support in the photo there is much sharper than coax should have and with the weight of the bundle on it, it will only continue to kink the line over time.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K0AU
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2013, 08:22:11 PM »

Any experience with cable grips like this one:  http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/search.shtml?searchQuery=6d231&op=search&Ntt=6d231&N=0&GlobalSearch=true&sst=subset

Looks like it's designed to hold cables hanging from the top of a tower, and solves the radiusing problem.
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KG7CLM
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 04:20:40 PM »

I use such a device, called a hoisting grip, for LMR-400 going up to the balun of the dipole. The LMR-400 uses a crimped connection, so should there be strain on the cable, it will help resist it better than a soldered connection, at least I hope. The hoisting grip is designed for hoisting cable up large tower installations. Mine fastens to the top of the balun at the same connection point. A hose clamp like device at the bottom of the hoisting grip makes sure it won't slide down. At least I hope.

Oh, and by the way, those things work like the Chinese finger hand cuffs, and are woven quite tightly. Don't experiment by sticking your finger in them, especially if you're by yourself, or are too embarrassed to call for help because you've gotten your finger stuck in a metal device that's specifically designed to keep your finger in it. One that hurts like heck, and keeps sucking your finger into it like a black hole of agony. But this never happened to me, just a friend of mine.

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PD2R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 09:42:43 PM »

ROFLMAO! Cheesy
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