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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | US Towers TX Series Crank-ups Help


Reviews Summary for US Towers TX Series Crank-ups
US Towers TX Series Crank-ups Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $3,054.00
Description: U.S. Towers TX-455
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ustower.com/
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WB6Q Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2004 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Would But Again  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned the TX455 for about 5 years in California and had no problems with it. I understand they have changed the base configuration and the size of the concrete base to increase the windloading which should make the tower an even more attractive buy. When winds were expected in the 40 mph range I always cranked it down for safety. Cranking it back up while not difficult always made me wish I had motorized it.
 
KA4P Rating: 4/5 Sep 7, 2004 12:46 Send this review to a friend
Nice tower, good service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I saw a few reviews on the US Tower crankups recently so I figured it was time for my 2 cents.

I have owned a TX472MDPL (motor drive version) since April of 2003.

General Observations:

It takes a good bit of work and planning to dig the hole, set the rebar, set the base and pour the concrete. Better plan also on how you expect to remove the tower from the truck and attach it to the base. My version of the tower weighs 1210 pounds.

I was lucky in that I have a neighbor who is a tree cutter and I was able to rent his crane to move the beast around.

After the pour, I let the concrete set for a full month before attaching the tower to the base. This is not a project for the impatient. I understand you can actually order the base before you take delivery of the tower.

I also ordered the raising fixture for the tower which allows me to crank it over for service. I would highly recommend this accessory.

Pros:

The tower is well constructed. All the cables were intact and in good shape. All associated hardware was there and fit all the appropriate holes.

The people at US Tower are very responsive to questions and concerns. I had problems described below and they helped me through every step of the way.

Cons:

I had problems with the motor drive almost from the beginning. Sometimes the motor would refuse to start, just sitting there humming. Other times it seemed to work just fine. I went from a 14 gauge extension cord to a 12 gauge. This seemed to help a little but did not eliminate the problem completely. One day last fall I was having difficulties and the electrician at US Tower suggested changing out the starting capacitor. I was surprised to find that the compartment holding the capacitor was full of water......NOT GOOD!

After replacing the capacitor and sealing up the compartment, problems continued. This spring I went out to lower the tower and the motor just sat there humming. I removed the drive belt from the motor and found that I could keep the motor stalled with my bare hand. The electrician at US Tower offered to exchange motors with me.

As I removed the motor from its electrical connections, it became apparent that there was water inside the motor itself. The electrician at US Tower reported to me that the inside of the motor had extensive corrosion. Obviously this motor had a leak somewhere! FYI....this motor is manufactured by Marathon Electric in Wisconsin.

In any event, the new motor arrived and I installed it without difficulty. Even with the new motor I still had problems with the thing wanting bog down when trying to raise the tower.

Eventually, I went to 10 gauge wire and this seems to have solved the problem. My electrical run is 125 feet and I would strongly recommend using 10 gauge wire for anything greater than 100 feet. If I had to make a run to the tower longer than mine I might consider rigging the motor for 220V. (This is fairly easy to do.)

Another problem I encountered was with the rotor base plate. The holes in the plate would not exactly fit my Orion 2800 rotor. I actually was aware of this problem before I bought the Orion. I am not sure where to place the blame for this one as I understand other rotors such and Hygain and Yaesu fit the plate just fine. After a little drilling, I got the Orion mounted. Also with Orion rotors, make sure you specify the round and not the oval mast clamp. The oval clamp will not fit inside the TX series towers.

Conclusion:

This is a strong, heavy, well constructed piece of equipment. It is just the thing for a ham like me who does not like to climb anymore.

Much planning and patience is required during the installation.

I saw one reviewer complaining about cable problems leading to crashes. The documents with the tower recommend periodic inspections and lubrication of the cables and pulleys. They go on to say they recommend replacement of the cables every 3 years. I don't know if I would attempt such a task this often, but I will certainly do the inspections to make sure they are in good condition.

Anything with moving parts requires maintainence.

I am happy. In spite of some of the difficulties I had, I would buy another, and the folks at US Tower are fine people.

73 to all, Tom, KA4P
 
WB6MMV Rating: 4/5 Sep 3, 2004 18:59 Send this review to a friend
Great Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a TX-455 tower two years ago with the tilt down feature. I have a 3 ele steppir yagi on it. I have taken the tower down and tilted it over a number of times in the process of putting up my antenna. The quality of construction of the tower is good, the welds are acceptable, and the cabling is fine. I had my tower sitting in a rainy environment for almost a year prior to putting it up and it shows no sign of rust or corrosion anywhere despite being on the ground. I find that cranking the tower up and down is by far the only thing that I dislike about the tower. We get high winds in my area on occasion and with a light antenna like the steppir, the tower easily handle the wind load.

I found US towers to be responsive and accomodating when I needed drawings with a PE stamp for my state. The additional material was sent immediately and at no cost.

I have had the tower up for a relatively short period of time, however during that time I find the tower to be well worth the money.
 
WB1S Rating: 1/5 Sep 2, 2004 20:50 Send this review to a friend
Mechanical Junk  Time owned: more than 12 months
These towers always crash unless the cable is replaced after a few years. I had an HD-555, everyone I know who has these towers has had a disaster story to tell. The manufacturer charges for everything, switches, prints, its a real expensive proposition. Not recommended
 
VY0PW Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2004 01:01 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have a TX-455 first US crank up owned.

The customer service is just fantastic. Workmanship no problem and all worked out ok.

Highly recommended in every aspect.
 
N4KZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2003 17:08 Send this review to a friend
Excellent tower  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My TX-455 55-foot free-standing tower with the TRX-80 raising fixture has been up about two months. I am very satisfied. The tower is very well made. A very wet spring delayed my tower installation but U.S. Tower was very cooperative and stored the tower for me until I was ready -- about 2 months behind schedule.

I have a 3-element SteppIR yagi for 20-6 meters and two 2-meter yagis on the tower, plus an inverted vee for 160-30 meters hanging off the side. It's gone through some very high winds without any problem whatsoever. And if I am going away for a few days and see bad weather in the forecast, I just crank it down to about 30 feet or so. Cranking down or up is no fun but it's good exercise for us desk jockeys!

This is my 2nd U.S. Tower. What can I say -- I liked the first one well enough to buy another one. I would have liked to have an aluminum tower but thought they just cost too much money.

See you on the air!
73, Dave, N4KZ
 
KU7I Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2003 07:12 Send this review to a friend
OUTSTANDING  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the super short crank up that cranks all the way down to 12 ft. It cranks all the way up to 33 ft (I think). The one I have is rated at 18 sq. ft of wind load. There is another one identical to this but rated at 24 sq. ft. Mine is used to support a 4 element 5 band quad Lightning Bolt quad. I use the manual winch to crank it up and down. I mounted the Yaesu G-1000 rotor inside the top section, it sits on the rotor shelf. I also made a modification to where I installed a Rohn TB-3 thrust bearing to the very tippy top of the top section. Not an easy task since you have to drill holes in the top of the top section that match the pattern of the thrust bearing. The steel used in that top plate is THICK and a real bear to drill into. It was worth it though, knowing that the thrust bearing well absorb the shock of the wind and xfer that energy to the tower and not the rotor. Overall this tower is great and built to last. Has been in a salt air environment for 11 years with no signs of decay. This tower has the most bang for the buck. To do quad maintenance I just crank the tower down all the way and use a 10 ft step ladder to work on it. A real nice crank up. If you are using a quad, you do not need a tall tower for superior results. The boom of the 4 ele. quad is only around 32 feet off of the ground with this tower cranked up all the way and it has no competitors.
 
W4ACW Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2002 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Built to last.....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My first tower and I can say that it's built to last.I bought the raising fixture which is well worth the extra money.Three man job installing start to finish abt an hour or so.All the bolt holes lined up fine from the base to raising fixture to tower.Costumer sevice was excellent.Planing ahead is important.Setting the tower base atleast a month before delivery,having a tow truck with a extendable boom there at time of delivery makes is easy to unload and was actually cheapest and safest way of getting it off the truck.I would highly recomended this tower company.
 
N4KAS Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2001 13:40 Send this review to a friend
hdx-555  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the hdx 555 for two years now. Have about 16 sq.ft. of antennas weighing over 350 pounds. There have been two tornadoes within 1 mile and storms with winds over 100 mph. No guy wires, no problem. I wanted a tower I would never need to worry about and U.S. Tower has it. 73
 
AC5E Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2001 20:54 Send this review to a friend
FIRST CLASS CRANKUP  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put up my HDTX over New Years of 1990. 11 years, two hurricanes, straight line winds of over 70 mph, three "estimated at 90 mph," and the last one went well over 100. I have lost three HD chrome moly masts, had serious damage to the quad, but the tower is unbent and unbowed! I will be buying the 80 footer when I get my new house built
 
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