- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | Tri-Ex W-51/WT-51 Help

Reviews Summary for Tri-Ex W-51/WT-51
Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $1,335.00
Description: 51', 3-section, medium-duty, self-supporting, crank-up tower. Hot-dip galvanized steel construction. Requires concrete anchor base. For info contact: Karl K. Tashjian, Civil Engineering 2183 S. Highland Ave Sanger, Ca 93657 (559) 495-0307 Fax (559) 495-0557 Mobile (559) 284-9707 e-mail
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Tri-Ex W-51/WT-51.

<— Page 2 of 2

KE6US Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2004 20:33 Send this review to a friend
Workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
My W-51 has been up exactly 20 years with a TH7DX on a 10' mast, and anchored in 2 yards of concrete. I have never had a moments problem with it. It looks as good now as the day I put it up.

Here in the Inland Empire we frequently get Santa Ana Winds with gust of 45-50 mph. At least a couple of times a year I see gusts of 60+ because of a small mtn pass aimed at my house!

I usually crank it all the way down when I expect these winds, but a couple of times I have been surprised in the middle of the night. Once with 60 mph gusts I went out to crank it down, but the force of the wind bound everything up and it would not crank down. The elements on the beam looked like demented palm fronds in a hurricane whipping around and bending downwind. Scared the crap out of me, but I couldn't crank it down. Next morning I expected to scour the neighborhood looking for my antenna. Everything survived perfectly.

I also climb it all the time when it is cranked down (looks too much like a foot guillotine otherwise). I use a safety belt and feel perfectly secure on it.

Terrific product. I'll post about it in another 20 years.
AB2KC Rating: 4/5 Feb 10, 2003 12:43 Send this review to a friend
Solid and reliable  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I mounted a full size Home brew 3 element 20-15-10 Meter quad with a 18' boom, with the heavy duty 1.5 dia one piece Cubex spreaders. It's also 4 elements on 10M. I calculated the wind loading at 14 square feet, worst case. At this load, I decided not to go any further with antennas on this tower. I also went only 4 feet above the thrust bearing. I have seen the tower with 40+ MPH gusts and I did get a little nervous, so I cranked it down to 30 ft. I don't think I would leave it full up at 50 MPH, since it is a little overloaded by spec. When I hear weather reports at +30 MPH, I drop it down Ten feet. Greater than 40 MPH, I drop it another 10 feet. If we are to get an Ice storm / hurricane... It's comming all the way down! I dread the day of a hurricane. I will add safety guys prior to a landfall. If I'm going away, or will not be operating for a few days, I drop it down. Be safe. Nice tower.
George AB2KC
WB2WIK Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2001 14:51 Send this review to a friend
Incredible value  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned three of these over the years, at different locations. Unfortunately, when Tri-Ex was acquired by Will-Burt two years ago, the fixed amateur communications towers products were discontinued, and this product is no longer sold "new." However, the W-51 and WT-51 were manufactured for about forty years and there's obviously thousands and thousands in the field, often selling "used" in the ham market.

This is definitely a "best buy" if you find a used one in good condition, which should sell in the $400-$800 range, depending on age and accessories. It is an extremely strong tower that will support most reasonable amateur antenna systems, up to about 10 SF on a 12' mast, without strain. Many hams overload this tower with 15+ SF of antennas, often on 18-24' long masts, and the towers, remarkably, usually survive unless extremely strong winds are encountered.

Its base _must_ be anchored in 2+ cubic yards of concrete, and I usually recommend 3 yards, unless the ground is extremely rocky and the last mechanism to compact the soil was the Ice Age. The tower, weighing only 385 lbs (without rotor, mast or accessories), is easy to handle for one person, if two strong furniture dollies are used to roll it. (It's obviously easier with two people.) Tilting it up on its base, once the base is anchored and conrete cured, is about a 4-man operation; but with four men properly positioned, this can be accomplished in 60 seconds. No crane required for most installations.

When nested, the tower is safely "climbable," and I've climbed W-51's for my entire adult life without incident, using a climbing belt, of course. Standing near the top of the tower (when it's nested) and using a strong belt, it's easy to hoist antennas, masts or whatever and plant them securely. A well-anchored W-51 does not budge with the weight of even two 200 lb men handling another 150 lbs of antennas up there.

The only parts that require any maintenance at all are the winch, the cable, and the pulleys, all of which should be periodically greased. I just erected my _third_ W-51 at the new home I recently purchased. It's a 20 year-old one recently removed from the home of a Silent Key, and it works like new. In lieu of a Tri-Ex base, a similar base from U.S. Tower will work, or one can be homebrewed by a welding shop if you provide them with precise dimensions; the cost of doing so is in the $150 range. The base is made of 1/4" thick steel plate (for the actual mounting surface, where six 3/4" bolts hold the tower on to the base) and standard "re-bar" available at any lumber/cement yard.

I love this tower. It has to be the "most bang for the buck" ever manufactured for a ham radio antenna accessory.
<— Page 2 of 2

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.