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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | Force-12 LPT-1242 Low Profile Tower Help


Reviews Summary for Force-12 LPT-1242 Low Profile Tower
Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1,195 plus $150 for crate plus s
Description: Force-12 produces three towers in the LPT series. These are telescoping aluminum towers made from structural grade square aluminum tubing. The LPT-1242 is the largest of the three, extending to 42 ft.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.force12inc.com/
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You can write your own review of the Force-12 LPT-1242 Low Profile Tower.

W1OU Rating: 0/5 Apr 26, 2015 11:13 Send this review to a friend
Defective product. Zero warranty and customer support.   Time owned: more than 12 months
Here is an update for anyone considering purchase and installation of an LPT series tower from Force 12. Please see my prior posting in product review on E-Ham

After the spectacular uncontrolled collapse described previously which was caused by shoddy workmanship and use of a defective part on the winch of my LPT 42 tower, I received no return phone calls from anyone at the company offering any assistance of any type. The company claims a five year warranty on all products on their web site. Their customer support is totally non-existent, and they do not have the courtesy to even call back as promised when you succeed in making it past voice mail contact. I eventually rebuilt the winch on my own, and decided to live with the ruined defective welds on the side arm coax guides rather than pursue legal action against these turkeys.

The tower has never carried a load larger than a spider beam, and has been retracted when not in use, never raised or lowered during any wind to avoid stressing the structure, and never fully deployed in windy conditions for the same reason.

Six months after the first uncontrolled collapse, The cable raising mechanism failed with no warning during an attempt at cranking up the tower when it reached about 35 feet of extension. This caused uncontrolled collapse of the top two sections, damaged the spider beam, and has now left me with an unstable, partly erect tower that can not be raised, lowered, climbed or accessed without areal equipment for fear of personal injury. The antenna is not accessible for any repair, and is minimally usable. Had I not been wearing head protection while standing on the ground operating the portable drill that was driving the winch I would probably have been killed by falling antenna debris, and the company would be dealing with a substantial wrongful death/product liability suit from my widow.

This latest saga occurred on a weekend, and I plan on having a friendly chat with the company owners this week, but based on previous experience expect no response, warranty support, technical advice financial compensation or anything else from this totally fraudulent outfit.

If you consider buying one of these, be prepared to flush about $5000 dollars down the toilet if you have any difficulty with the device. Also be certain your life insurance is fully paid and adequate to care for your survivors as you may not be as fortunate as I was to escape bodily injury.

I suspect my only recourse will now be legal action, speaking to ARRL to have the company banned from future advertising as they have violated the league’s advertising policy, and doing what I can to block Force 12 from display at as many hamfests as possible on the theory that allowing them to advertise and sell products to unsuspecting hams constitutes endorsement of a fraudulent company, opening the hamfest sponsors to legal sanction in my pending litigation.

If I could assign negative numbers to my rating of this product I would, but unfortunately a grade below zero is not possible on QRZ
 
W1NDY Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2010 13:38 Send this review to a friend
Still a great tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had my LPT-1242 up for 45 months now, absolutely no issues. See my previous review under my old call sign. New call sign more adequately reflects the WX at my QTH, and the tower has never caused any problems. I have a Mosley TA33-JR beam, with the extra WARC element, plus a 2m/440 antenna on top of that, and the tower has been up in winds over 68 MPH, with no problems, It will twist a little, but that's it. Live on the Oregon Coast and the Rogue River, perfect tower for this location. I raise and lower mine using a 9 amp masonry drill, takes about 1 minute. Ocaasionally use the tower as an anchor point for various longwires, no problems.
 
WN7L Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2008 07:44 Send this review to a friend
Can't beat it for HOA acceptance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This tower (LPT-1242) is definitely the low profile tower of choice. I live in a newer development with minimal restrictions on ham antenna installations. However, there are limitations on stowing the mechanical crank-up when not being used (when is that?). The tower-antenna should be cranked down and nondescript from the street. Well the LPT-1242 is an excellent candidate. When it is nested it fits perfectly in the valley between my garage and house and you have to crane your neck to see it from the street. I had mine powder-coated (desert sand) and the close neighbors have been very complementary of it's appearance. The tower is a brute and very nicely constructed. I opted for the cable managements "eyes" which I feel are a must. Also I mounted mine on a tilt-over base built by Force 12. I think one could use it on the Statue of Liberty! The tower is built to last longer than this ham. I have mine bracketed to the garage and secured to an approximate 1000 pound reinforced concrete support. Can't imagine it will do any moving in the weather. It supports a Cushcraft MA5B Mini-beam and an Arrow "J" pole on top of the mast. I am convinced the tower doesn't know it's holding up this antenna so I feel it could do much more. I have chosen a Yaesu G-450A as the rotor and so far so good. This is a fine antenna support where performance and appearance are important.
 
K7UA Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2008 14:02 Send this review to a friend
Fine piece of equipment  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my LPT1242 up for about two years with a SteppIR 2 El Yagi on top. I poured a concrete base as recommended and fashioned a house bracket. I also elected for the green powder coat finish. The whole thing tucks neatly just above my rain gutter on the back of the house. I was expecting some neighbor trouble with an antenna. That is why I carefully chose this setup. No problems. I can put a ladder up to my house eaves and stand on the roof to work on the antenna. Very slick. I put it up all by myself including walking it vertical. It would have been better to have had two people for that step. I just upgraded my antenna to the SteppIR 3 El Yagi. That is about max for the tower's wind load. I am very pleased with the LPT. I highly recommend it for anyone in a situation similar to mine.
 
K6USN Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2006 21:11 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Third year with this tower. Cranks up and down with a smooth reduction gear, and performs flawlessly in heat, cold, wind and rain. Radios come and go, as do antennas. This tower is a keeper.

The low profile tower (powder coated green) keeps my ham radio activities alive and well in a deed restricted California neighborhood. I nest it on the roof when not using the radio, and crank it up for operation. It holds a Mosley tribander with
minimum guying. (two guys to the eaves of the house and four bolts into a 3 inch concrete patio deck).

Expensive, but worth every dollar if you are looking for quality, appearance and ease of operation.

Liked it when I brought it home, and love it even more now.
 
W7PTT Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2006 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Tower  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am very pleased with my Force 12 LPT-142 tower. The best thing about it is that it does not look like a typical ham radio tower. I am sure if I had put up a lattice type tower, I would have gotten complaints.

Cranking the tower up and down is easy with a cordlesss drill motor. I have a Traffie 5 Band Hexbeam Antenna Mounted on it.

73

Bill
W7PTT

 
K3YF Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2005 17:08 Send this review to a friend
Easy up and down  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I live on a cliff overlooking the Oregon coast. The salt air and the winter storms take a toll. I lost an AB-577 mast in a 70 mph storm. The AB-577 was easy to take down if you only did it a few times a year otherwise it was an ordeal and the joints were corroding together.

I looked at all the options and the LPT-1242 seemed the best and priced right. I had them add a 10' section so technically it is a LPT-1252.

To raise this by hand crank would not be fun. They have it rigged to also go up and down with a hand drill, although I needed one with 7+ amps. If you go too fast you can smoke the winch. Even so, going slowly it only takes a few minutes. You do need to keep oiling it.

I installed it on a concrete slab and cemented the bolts in so technically it is still portable to my county planning office and if you keep it to its 14' nesting height nobody gets upset.

Nothing is corroding so far and it would of been by now. There is rust on the barrel of the winch which is disappointing but none on the cabeling so far.

The big negative is what everybody knows about Force-12: They do not keep their delivery promises and I had to keep calling. Tom initially said 2-3 weeks. It was three months. It may have still been sitting there crated and ready to go if I had not lucked on to talking with the warehouse manager who was suppposed to be somewhere else at the time, but she took pity and found the mast sitting in a corner gathering dust and it was delivered shortly after that. She actually sounded exasperated and upset that this was happening. I hope they keep her. It is for her I still give the LPT-1242(52)a 5 and not a 3 or 4 because of their customer support. It is a great tower.
 
KF6IKC Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2004 17:29 Send this review to a friend
Great for small yards,portable,etc.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Well after moving to a house in the "burbs" I was confronted with the issue of trying to get a station on the air. I have a very large back yard with big oak trees but not very good access. I could not get a boom lift or crane in there. After doing a search for towers on the net,I came across the LPT-1242. It seemed like it could work for my needs. After 4-5 calls to Force 12 I placed my order. It only took 3-4 weeks to receive the tower. It is very light weight.....the truck driver and myself moved it from the truck to my back yard. I opted for the rigid guy kit with my tower. I have a stucco house and did not want to drill into it. I was able to move,install,and raise the tower by myself. But it would be alot easyer for two guys to do it. It took about 7 days for me to dig the footing,pour the cement,and install the tower on the 7th day. I bought a 16' orchard latter that allows me to get to the top of the tower and rotor. I am using a Yaesu "800" rotor. The ant. is a mono band 26' boom 5 ele. 10m ant. Again I was able the walk the ant. up the latter and install it myself. Likewise it is very easy to work on the ant.,set SWR's,etc. with the ladder and the tower nested. I made some hangers on the bottom of the rotor plate and use them for my 75,40,and 20m. inverted V's. I am very pleased with the tower. It raises and lowers very easily with a cordless drill. With it down It is behind my house and trees so it is hard to see. This is a great tower for hard to get to places,portable use,or someone who just does not want to go through to much to get their ant. in the air. Force 12 makes a lot of options for there LPT towers. Check them out befor you decide to buy a tower.
 
ND4AA Rating: 4/5 Oct 23, 2001 17:21 Send this review to a friend
An excellent tower for portable operations.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The LPT-1242 consists of four telescoping 12-ft. square aluminum sections that extend from approximately 13 ft. to 42 ft. (2 ft. minimum overlap between sections). The tower is raised and lowered using an included worm-gear operated winch. Your cordless drill (minimum 0.5 in. chuck) can be used in place of the included hand-crank. A mounting bracket (removable) drilled for common rotor bolt patterns is supplied. The tower is not free-standing and must be either guyed (guys not included) or bracketed to an existing structure (bracketing hardware is included).

Unless you can pick up the tower at Force-12's CA location, there is a charge of $150 for a custom-made crate (plus shipping).

The LPT-1242 is an excellent choice for portable operations. It is a good choice for fixed installations where minimum visual impact is desired. My installation was the latter. Prospective owners should be aware of the LPT-1242's advantages and disadvantages.

ADVANTAGES.

1. The tower is light weight. Two men can carry it.
2. The tower telescopes to approximately 13 ft. (not including rotor, stub mast and antenna). When retracted, my antenna is below my roof line and invisible from the street.
3. Because of its solid-tubing construction, the tower looks neat and "not like a tower" to neighbors.

DISADVANTAGES

1. There is no positive pull-down. Only gravity helps when lowering the tower. This can be a problem on a windy day when the sections tend to bind and not slide freely.
2. When extended, the weight of the load and the upper three sections is on the cables at all times.
3. If a cable breaks, it is necessary to dismantle the tower to effect a replacement. There is no access to the internal mechanism without dismantling the tower. This is awkward for permanent installations.
4. Documentation is very skimpy. There is no parts list. The "manual" consists of three pages of diagrams. If you've never installed a tower before, you might have problems doing so with the meager info supplied.

The rotor mounts to the tower using the supplied mounting plate. Because no thrust bearing can be used on this type of installation, the antenna must be mounted as close as possible to the top of the rotor using a stub-mast (not supplied). Users should resist the impulse to get "just a few more feet" of height by using more than a stub mast. (Mine is just long enough to fit in the rotor bracket and provide enough space for the boom-to-mast bracket.)

When extended, the tower flexes and twists somewhat in the wind. This is unavoidable since some clearance between sections is required.

There is no provision for cable management. Rotor and signal cables simply dangle in the wind. I fabricated some simple cable management brackets that attach to the tops of the bottom three sections.

I feel that this tower series was designed primarily with portable operation in mind. As such, it is an excellent choice. For a permanent installation such as mine, the tower is a good choice providing the user knows its limitations. I needed a neighbor-friendly tower that was corrosion-resistant (I live near the sea). The LPT-1242 does the job.
 


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