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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | AB-577 Help

Reviews Summary for AB-577
AB-577 Reviews: 14 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $$400
Description: Military surplus 50 ft tower.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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W7UIV Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2001 18:41 Send this review to a friend
Looks good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm giving this a 5 only because I have to give it something, and I don't want to knock it down unnecessarily. This is mainly to give a brief description of how this thing works, and a source of supply for them. Mine just arrived about two weeks ago and isn't in use yet because I need to do a little digging as I want to make a concrete base for it. (although that isn't needed if one uses all the guy cables)

I recently came across a surplus supply in eastern U.S. that has some of these. It looks like it might work in my antenna restricted area because it is, after all, "portable", and the restrictions here are worded in such a way as to restrict rooftop antennas, or those attached to the property in a perminate way.

This is a portable tower (tube mast type) that can be easily hauled in a pickup for use of a pretty good sized beam, if that's what one wants it for. The entire assembly is about 200 pounds, but can be split into two main assemblies for easier handling. (there is also a bag of guy cables and other needed materials). As I recall it will support two microwave feedhorns in an environment with 1/2" of ice and 75 MPH wind.(don't have my manual at hand)

What the AB577 amounts to is an aluminum sectionalized mast. Each mast section is five inches in diameter and five feet long. They are supported and cranked up by a device called a "launcher". The launcher is eight feet high and held to the ground with large spikes driven through the holes into the ground. The launcher has a crank to operate an elevator. Each section is cranked up with the elevator, through two "thrust bearing" type assemblies and then temporarily locked in place with a hand brake.

The elevator is let back down to the bottom of the launcher to allow installation of another five foot section under the one(s) that are locked above. A clamping device is installed to lock this new section to the one above, the brake is released, and the elevator is cranked to push this added section up with the rest of them, etc, etc, until all 8 sections are in. There are several guy cables used to keep this thing up, and they attach to thrust bearing type guy assemblies so as to allow the mast to be rotated inside the guywires, manually from the bottom. Or a remote rotor could be mounted at the top. (naturally one would want to mount the rotor and beam to the adapter on the top section before crankup. This adapter reduces the top of the mast down to about 2.5 inches O.D. and if that's too big for the rotor to clamp to, a piece of 1-7/8 inch pipe will fit down inside the top adapter and you can drill the added section to put a 3/8 inch bolt through it to match existing holes in the top adapter.)

There are some more details, but just thought to give a general description of the idea of it. You can e-mail: for more information. They seem to have spare parts, manuals, and sometimes the extention kits that take these up to 75 feet. Price on mine was $350, but I saw one go for $265 on ebay last month. Guess the range of price depends like anything else surplus.


W7FL Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2001 15:56 Send this review to a friend
Great Tower, great price  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just put up the AB-577 with a Yaesu G-800DXA rotor and Tennadyne T-6 antenna. The rotor and antenna combination are about 35 lbs. I did the installation on a hill and did almost everything by myself. The only thing I didn't do was carry the launcher/base up the hill by myself, although I could have. The installation was easy and very safe. I am very pleased with the quality and strength of this tower.

Years ago I had an AB-577 but I didn't know what it was. A friend had brought one back from Germany after a hitch in the Army and ran a small beam on it. He passed it on to me and I had it for about 10 years with a 2 element quad. I was told that the Army had run some large Log Periodic antennas on these towers at times. I ended up giving it away to a club when I moved to a QTH that prevented it's further use..

Recently I rediscovered the AB-577 and that Ontario Surplus had them for sale. I bought a used /reconditioned model and had it shipped to SoCal. In spite of large shipping costs the total came to a little over $600. I consider this to be a great value. It's very high quality construction and very very strong(I've seen 100+mph winds with the quad and the tower didn't notice). I'm sure that it would carry a much larger antenna and rotor than what I'm currently using. It doesn't require a large amount of real estate to put up. It can be raised and lowered very safely by only one person. And you can put an antenna up 50 feet or as much as 75 with an available extension kit!!

K8DNP Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2000 09:01 Send this review to a friend
Great tower  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ran the A3S for about 2 months. Added a small rotor at the top and everything worked just great. I would recommend this tower for small systems and temp systems.
If you have any questions feel free to email
K8DNP Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2000 15:11 Send this review to a friend
great tower  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Put it up the first time by myself in about 2-1/2 hours. No problems and no climbing. It appears that it would hold 6 or 8 sq ft of antenna no problem. I'm putting my A3S up this week. 50 ft and cheap at the price.
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