eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
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
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | US TOWER MA-550 , MA-770 SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS Help


Reviews Summary for US TOWER MA-550 , MA-770 SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS
US TOWER  MA-550 , MA-770 SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1400, 2400
Description: Tubular crank up / down tower series, freestanding or bracketed.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the US TOWER MA-550 , MA-770 SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS.

K2GAV Rating: 4/5 May 19, 2015 07:01 Send this review to a friend
Good product, poor customer relations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'd have rated this tower a 5 except for the very poor customer relations and communications.

The tower itself it very well made and of commercial quality. I think it'll last a long time.

The irritation was with shipping and communication with UST. The tower was shipped on a flat bed semi with absolutely no protective bracing. My tower is the MA-770MDP, the one with the motorized extension and positive pull-down retraction. The heavy duty motor and drive transmission were above the mast, causing it to try to rotate while in transit. There are two limit switches mounted on ears at the top of the base section. Rather than make a simple wooden yoke to prevent these two switches from being damaged in handling, the tower was simply strapped to the bed by the trucker while it sat on 4x4 timbers. Nothing kept it from rotating on the timbers until a limit switch body, and its conduit elbow, hit the truck bed. I noticed the upper limit switch was knocked out of alignment, bending the switch mounting bolts. I was met with silence when I asked UST to provide the Tubular Tower installation manual (they provided a lattice tower manual by mistake). I never got any reply by UST, so I contacted their sole dealer (HRO) and they were eventually of some help. Why this is not easily available as a PDF on their website is an enigma. I expected the manual to have good information about the limit switches, cabling, thrust bearing locking ring, etc. I found NOTHING in the manual about the switches and their alignment procedure. Also, the tower is marked with stickers announcing that the lift cables must be replaced every three years. When I asked for a cabling diagram (it isn't obvious by looking at this tower how they string it), I was eventually presented with a release form to sign before they'd provide that information. I wanted to ask them about cable treatments, like Pre-lube 6, but I gave up trying to communicate with them.

The manual is sparse with information, and it appears this company is all "lawyered up". Be prepared to be treated as suspect when trying to talk to these folks.

Finally, I was clearly told by UST how the time of the truck arrival at my location would be communicated. NOTHING I was told happened. It arrived a day later than they indicated. However, the trucker was nice to work with once I finally had a means to contact him.

Good product - lousy customer relations and communcations.

If you can deal with the poor service, I'd recommend this tower.
 
K3XT Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2013 17:40 Send this review to a friend
MA-550 MDP  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Ordered the US Tower MA-550MDP with motor drive, rotor base, and Remote Control Unit from AES Florida. AES just takes the order and then from then on you call US Tower in CA with any questions. You will deal with a Vicki (sales) and Remi (engineer, very helpful). The tower manual is written as if you have installed towers before. Adding critical details would have lessened the call volume to Remi. I am very grateful for W6LQPs web site where he photographed in great detail the installation of his MA-770 tower. From the time of the order to delivery it took 3.5 months. The reason is US Tower supplies the towers for the troops in Afghanistan, I was told. My tower was manufactured at their Kansas facility. There was a shipping issue because they used an extended flatbed 18 wheel semi for my residence. The driver was upset because he was only licensed for an industrial destination. The crane arrived and removed the tower from the flatbed. Fortunately the crane operator was a nice guy and helped the driver back out of the neighborhood. They helped me install the Freestanding Base onto the four mounting bolts (4x4x6, 10,000 pound concrete with rebar foundation). The crane moved the 700 pound tower section (three nested sections & 1 HP motor) onto the base and then we cranked the tower to vertical. From this point onward I finished the installation of underground cabling, extensive grounding, and installed the antenna by myself (40 hours).

Subjective Comments:
A little common sense goes a long way here. If you buy a tubular tower it is because you are dealing with ascetic issues for your neighborhood, HOA, zoning, and your own residence. And you no longer want to climb towers. This is a self supporting tilt over tower that has minimal visual impact. If you have modest antenna requirements these towers will get your antenna up in the air. A workaround to structural rigidity is the ability to lower these towers. For the MA-550 it runs (mast not included) from 22 feet to 55 feet. I have the remote control unit where I can raise or lower the tower from the radio room. It takes 2 minutes to run the tower from full down to full up. I keep my antenna at 30 feet and raise it when I am on the air. The signal strength difference between 30 and 63 feet (mast) can be as much as 1 S unit. Then lower the tower when off the air. No fear of high winds damaging an extended tower. Extra care is needed for coax/cable routing because of the vertical motion. Yes, it is an expensive installation but it satisfies all the extraneous requirements to get on the air and stay on the air.
 
W3DIY Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2009 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Neighborhood Friendly  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great light duty tower especially suited for a suburban neighborhood or ham who cannot climb.
With the rotor at the base the entire tower rotates....motor maintenance is easy.

Caution!
Do not exceed the designed capacity by guying this tower.

If you want a tubular tower to support a SteppIR, a Skyneedle would be a better choice. The MA 770, which costs much less, is designed to support the Force12 C3 or another brand with similar wind loading.

Purchased my MA770 MDP used....previously installed near a coastline. Galvanizing was in excellent condition but the hardware and cables were rusty.

Vicki at US Tower provided excellent customer service...all parts were available and with a ham discount.
 
NH7O Rating: 3/5 Jan 24, 2007 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Good for light wind areas  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
These towers tend to sway rather frighteningly in any significant wind, which is frequent at my QTH. I have placed three stout rope guys on my 55' footer and things are much more stable. Dacron is best. Also, the cable has been upgraded to a stainless wire rope of about twice the tensile strength of the stock cable. Some are concerned about guys putting excess strain on the cable, but at moderate wind speeds it isn't a problem. Even with the guy ropes one still wouldn't want to leave the tower up in anything much over 50 mph. I put a slip ring at the top to attach the guys, which still allows the tower to turn.

It would be a good choice for light wind areas that require a low visual impact. They do look slim. Get the motor drive, as it is a lot of work to raise and lower, and that can need to happen on short notice if a storm blows up. The rotor base is good for keeping the rotor at the bottom where it is easy to work on, but the crude slip ring bearing is again not good in the wind, and needs constant lubrication attention in rainy areas. You need an oversize rotor to overcome the friction.

I like the tower as a way to test and adjust beams easily. But I am wary of it...
 
K7HIL Rating: 3/5 Dec 21, 2006 16:13 Send this review to a friend
Great til it came down!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I gave my MA-550 a grade of 3 as an average of a 5 and a zero. Puchased used and loved the tower until it bent at the twenty foot section in an "advertised" 30mph wind. Could have been locally higher (I guess). I had six #10 wires at the top to augment the "freestanding" tower. There are two advertised wind loads: On-line is 70mph (9 sq' wind load) and 50 mph in the manual. Cost me the tower, a 4 element SteppIR and a new roof.
 
K0HPS Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2005 19:01 Send this review to a friend
Great multi-puropse tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a MA-550MDP tower (with rotor base) I purchased from a SKs estate. Other than the unbelievable hassle of getting it out of his back yard (thanks guys), which had grown up and been built up around the tower, it's been great. I operate satellite and HF so I installed a Yaesu G-5400B rotor system with the AZ portion in the rotor base and the EL portion at the top of the outermost (largest) telescoping section. There is a heavy-duty 12 ft. crossboom with large satellite antennas on the EL rotor and an HF tribander on a 12' mast at the top. It's been great for over 12 years now. It worked great for working the 2/10/15 meter RS satellites because I could point the tribander and the 2M sat. antenna at the same time (no EL for the tribander... doesn't need it). An excellent setup for someone wanting great satellite antennas and good HF capability on one tower.
 
WM7N Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2002 14:52 Send this review to a friend
MA-770 MDP  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had my tower up since October 2001 and really love it. I live in a new subdivision with covenants, and the low profile and motor drive opeion allowed me to get permission for the 70 ft tower. I had great service from US tower and the product is very good.

It was a pain to get off the truck and lower down a 70ft slope in the yard, but 10 guys helped indeed. The MAF raising fixture really is great. I also have the mrb rotating base with a sx-1000 rotor. the antennas are a force12 c3ss and cushcraft 2/4/6mter beam combination. I aslo have a diamond 144/440/50mhz verticle and wind guage.

I needed a tower just like this and it fits the bill fine. Better documentation and instructions for install would have been helpful. If you need a tower that you need to raise and lower, this is a very nice way to go. I would rather have a a three sided tower, as it does not sway in the wind like the ma-770. If you need photos or input, please let me know

The photo in the header is my tower
 


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