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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | Aluma Tower Help


Reviews Summary for Aluma Tower
Aluma Tower Reviews: 12 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Manufacturer of Standalone and Crank up Amateur radio towers based in Florida.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.alumatower.com
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N2KNL Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2016 12:57 Send this review to a friend
My Aluma T-50H Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm Bill N2KNL My wife Elaine KB1VAJ and I purchased our Aluma T-50H Tower June 2011 and it's been in service for almost 6 years now. It's been some time since there has been an update on the tower. As many of you hams know, Aluma Tower Company manufactures an excellent product! The T-50H has been through all kinds of weather here on Cape Cod. High winds (wind gust to 73 MPH), extreme temperatures, moisture..rain, snow, sleet and sun. We have added equipment on the tower, a Davis Vantage Pro2 6152 cabled weather station and 3 wired cameras with a great 65 foot high view. I'm almost 60 years old and lowering/tilting over the tower for maintenance is essential. My climbing days are over! lol :) Thanks Aluma! See our tower at
http://n2knl.com/alumatower/
 
W4KNY Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2015 10:06 Send this review to a friend
Fabulous Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the first summary here and that was posted 8 years ago. The tower is just as great today as it was nearly a decade ago. It has aged a bit from the FL sunshine, but it's still fabulous. What great folks the Aluma Tower people are. As I said 8 years ago, if anyone wants the best, treat yourself to an Aluma. Bob - W4KNY
 
N4QT Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2014 17:12 Send this review to a friend
great tower & light weight  Time owned: more than 12 months
My 35 foot Aluma Tower was installed in 1996. We restrung the crank up cables in 2010. We also replaced the rope lines. I have a Mosley light weight 4 element beam on the tower. I have had no problems with this tower. Not cheap but well made for the long haul.
 
W8SPM Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2012 19:31 Send this review to a friend
Aluma TM-12 Portable Crank Up Tower  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After over 30 years of operating portable with all kinds of devices to get antennas in the air I decided in late 2011 to order a Aluma Tower Company 50' Trailer Mounted Crank Up Tower! I called Aluma Tower and talked to VP Ron Diniz at length of exactly what I wanted ! He designed a upgraded TM-12 50' Trailer Mounted Crank Up Tower for my needs! I made the trip to Vero Beach,Florida to pick up the trailer a day early! Ron Diniz gave me the grand tour of the facilities and I must say I was really impressed! The company has true craftsman that really take pride in building American Made Products!I saw some of the finest TIG Aluminum welding I have ever seen!
The 1000 mile trip back north went off with no problems at all ! I hardly knew I was towing a trailer!
If you are interested in a home tower product or portable tower Aluma Tower is a high class company to take care of your needs! They truly build High Quality Products!
I hope in the future To operate my trailer from the highest point in each state in the lower 48 in VHF-UHF-HF operation! A Picture of my tower is shown at QRZ under my call W8SPM

Samuel P. Maze W8SPM Parkersburg,WV
 
NT4Z Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2011 19:11 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this tower in September, 2007 and I have used it for many contests. When I purchased it, there was a "big foot plate" that you would put your rear tire on. I have a ladder rack on my truck. I drive onto the big foot plate with my left rear tire and then I use a boat winch that I have set up on the top of my ladder rack to pull the mast up vertically. I attach the mast to my ladder rack and then crank it up to between 35 and 40 feet high. I have never had any problems with it and with an aluminum canoe carrier I can push or pull this mast all over my property with no problems. It is a great mast. The people were very easy to work with and if I ever need another, I am quite sure it will be one from Alumatower. I do not beleive they use the big foot plate anymore but it is a great idea. With the set up I have, I can set the mast up in about 30 minutes. If I need to lower it (due to lightning) it doesn't take a very long time to get it back on the ground. Great product!!! By the way, my call sign is N4RWH now as I changed it to a vanity call in 2010.
I highly recommend this tower.
 
W5AAT Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2010 06:40 Send this review to a friend
SUPERB!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I waited 3 yrs to post this review because "everything" is usually great when you first use it. I purchased the T50H in 2007 and using the house bracket,installed it with the help of ONE friend in a single day with plenty of time left over for beer and pizza consumption.
We mounted a three element steppIR and a 13 el 2m hrizontally polarized yagi on it. The foldover feature and light weight makes antenna maintenance a breeze. Have no doubts! This is a very strong, well made tower that is very easy to install and will last for years. Mine still looks like new and cranks up and down smoothly. I would highly recommend that you buy a 19v hand drill with a slow speed option. With the proper socket you can just stand there and raise/lower it with ease. One day I counted around 330 hand crank revolutions to raise it. Because the WX changes so quickly here in MS, I found myself sometimes doing the "crank operation" 3x/day!
Too much for an OT like me.
I agree with earlier comments about the staff at Aluma Tower. Dave Neubauer (the sales rep whom I dealt with) called me from his fishing camp in Canada on the day of installation to check on our progress. THAT is customer service! If you plan on operating for more than a couple of years the Aluma Tower is the one to buy. My neighbors even like it, including the HOA president! Really.
Todd / W5AAT
 
N4QT Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2010 09:24 Send this review to a friend
Worth the high price!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a 14 year old Aluma crank-up three section tower model T-135. I purchased it new in 1996. We just did the first refurbishment job on the tower in Jan. 2010. We restrung the metal and rope cables with new cables. After 14 years of cranking the tower up and down many times the cables started to show wear and needed to be replaced. I have a 4 element Mosley MP-33WARC five band yagi on this tower. Never needed guy wires. First section bracketed to house. In high winds and bad weather I crank it down to about 15 feet. Never had a problem with the tower. Very well made. Aluma sent me new pulleys at no cost to me to replace the old worn out pulleys. Tower is very light easy for two people to lower to a ladder when working on the tower and rotor and antenna's. It's back up for another 14 or 15 years of service. Great quality towers not cheap but as another reviewer said you get what you pay for.
 
WV4I Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2008 04:56 Send this review to a friend
Great product and staff  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have to concur with last reviewer, re people and products of Aluma Tower Co, so won't repeat what he said again. We have an Aluma tower, crank up, in use at our aviation community, Wellington Aero Club, Wellington, FL, for some 2 years now. I was involved in the acquisition, also got to visit their facility, meet their people. We crank the tower down for high wind warnings else it holds our wind sock, rotating beacon, pcl antennna,, etc. High quality tower that will still be there long after most of us are gone. In this case, you DO get what you pay for.

For you hams/pilots that might want to take a look, we are Private, FD38, located PBI262/12 dme, 20' elevation, 122.85 CTAF, PBI nearby ATIS is 123.75, PBI App 124.6, Rwy 15-33, 4,000' grass x 100', level but can be mushy after lots of rain. PCL on 118.5. Experimental aircraft friendly, spam cans if we must....if landing, do shoot me an email ahead of time to callsign@bellsouth.net or else low approaches are always enjoyed....

Link McGarity
WV4I
RV-6/N72AT
FD38
 
W4CMM Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2008 17:12 Send this review to a friend
Superb tower  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This company makes several towers and related items. I eventually purchased the T-50H tower (a two-section 50 ft, heavy duty tower), and a few accessories.

I just upgraded to my General Class license, so I needed a good antenna and antenna support system to get on the air. We own our home and we are not subject to any deed restrictions, so that was no a problem. But, finding the space to put up a decent system was a problem. Wire dipoles and the like were out because of the configuration of our driveway, trees, and the electric lines. A large vertical dipole was possible, but, it would have to be in the front yard towards the street so that the RF from my soon to be acquired linear would not be a danger (a perceived danger, anyway). A permanent steel tower would have been great, but, the county required that all permanent structures, including towers, be engineered to survive a 140 mph storm. Since we have no room for guy wires, a 140 mph un-guyed steel tower would have had to have been massive and very expensive. Then I saw some comments about Aluma Towers’ all aluminum crank-up/tilt over towers. I investigated.

Aluma Towers is one of a very few manufacturers of aluminum crank-up, tilt-over towers. And, it was located in my home town of Vero Beach, Florida. So, I called Aluma Tower’s general manager, Ron Diniz and quizzed him endlessly on the phone about Aluma Towers. He was as helpful as he could be. He said to come over and see the towers. So, I did. I meet with Ron and Aluma Towers’ main engineer (and assistant manager), Craig Davis.

I was impressed with the products I saw when I visited the factory. Building towers for hams is just a small part of Aluma Towers’ business. I saw lots of towers destined for local governmental emergency management operations, FEMA, and the U.S. military. I wished that I could have afforded the tower attached to the air-conditioned (what looked like) mobile hamshack. But, is was not to be. Ron suggested that Aluma Towers’ heavy duty 50 foot two section crank-up, tilting tower would be best for me. It would support my 3 element SteppIR (on order). It has two twenty-five foot sections and an eight foot mast. They are all heavy aluminum. Since the sections overlap, and the mast is mounted partially inside the tower, it all equals fifty feet when fully extended. I asked Ron what extras I needed, and we discussed how I was going to use the tower.

First, there was the question of mounting. Normally, these towers are set up to be placed with the vertex away from the mounting surface, bracketing their back legs to a horizontal portion of the edge of the roof (the fascia). They then fold on the left legs at an angle of sixty degrees to the right of the wall of the house or on the right legs at an angle of sixty degrees to the left of the wall of the house. Because of my peculiar lot shape and how the house was sited on the lot, I needed a tower that would fold at a ninety degree angle from the house. Because a gabled end of the roof faced the road, I also needed the bracket to mount to the wall of the house, not to the roof. So, in walked Craig the engineer, and said: we can do that! He leafed through some old drawings and picked out one and said we can modify this one for your needs. Great! A company that actually will make a product for what I need. So, he designed a bracket to mount on the wall of the house, with the vertex of the tower towards the house, and to pivot the tower on its back legs towards the street.

Second, I asked Ron about mounting the rotator. The tower comes with a universal mounting plate which will work with many rotators. I wanted to be sure that my Yaesu 1000 DXA would mount within the upper section of the tower and that the tower would still fully nest. He said: we have this modification we can do on the tower that will give you a little more room (replacing the top aluminum tubes on the top section with flat aluminum), but maybe you don’t really need it. (Wow, a company trying not to sell someone something he doesn’t need). I did some specification checking, and decided I didn’t need it. When the tower came, I put the rotator on the rotator plate, it fit perfectly, but sadly the control cables extended outside the triangle of the upper section preventing the tower from fully nesting. Maybe I should I have spent the few extra dollars for the modification? But, wait! The rotator has mounting holes arranged in a square, the control cable is not in the middle of the distance between two of the mounting holes, it is close to one of the mounting holes, and the tower is a triangle. So, I removed the rotator and turned it ninety degrees so that the control cable exited near one of the tower legs. Then I used a cable tie to secure the cable to the leg. A perfect fit, and now the tower fully nests. I have seen complaints about the difficulty in installing this rotator and then in nesting the tower fully - turning the rotator ninety degrees is the solution.

Third, I asked about the Yaesu thrust bearing sold and installed by Aluma Towers. The tower comes only with a piece of PVC to support the mast at the tower’s apex. Ron said that Aluma Towers could can supply a Yaesu thrust bearing for me. I asked about the cost. It was way too high. So, I bought the thrust bearing from a ham retailer and Ron just set up the top of the tower to accept my thrust bearing (at no additional cost).

Fourth, I didn’t like the PVC rollers used on the tower cross members to allow the tower sections to nest. I thought they would wear out and act as insulators between the tower sections. No problem. The tower was made for me with aluminum rollers and Craig made sure that the lube used on the rollers was conductive.

Fifth, could Aluma Tower arrange for installation? Sadly, no. This was a real problem for me and delayed my purchase for months. The tower was specified to be mounted on a large rebar-reinforced concrete slab. Although I could do it myself. I knew that I could not do it well. I looked and looked, but no one wanted to put in my slab and erect the tower. I did eventually find someone, Roger Boos, who agreed to do it. Roger recently acquired his general contractor’s license and was running the construction business started by his father. He agreed to do the job and we were off!

Crag worked with Roger and Roger got the building permit. (I asked the head of the building department what type of permit I needed, and he said that only the slab needed a permit, because the tower was removable. No 140 mph problem for a slab!) I entered into contracts with Roger and Aluma Tower.

As soon as Roger was ready to do the job, the tower was ready. Aluma Tower coordinated the delivery of the tower so that it would arrive after the concrete slab was in and inspected. I didn’t want the tower laying on my lawn for any longer than necessary, and this coordination was perfect. Aluma Tower’s employee delivered the tower to my home and unloaded it himself. (It only weighed a little over 100 pounds).

It was a thing of beauty. All of the TIG joints were perfect. The rollers were nice and smooth and rotated freely. The tower fit perfectly in the base and in the bracket. Very nice quality. Outstanding, really. Roger’s installation was perfect.

Ron threw in an adapter that allowed the worm-gear winch to be operated with an electric drill. I had a Black & Decker battery powered drill to do the job. Nope. Not enough power to crank the winch. I went to the store and got a Ryobi battery powered electric drill to do the job. Still not enough power. Then I decided just to get the most powerful battery powered drill I could find at the hardware store. The Makita drill I purchased worked like a champ. Raised and lowered the tower in no time flat. But the Aluma Tower adapter did not stand up to the task. It twisted and broke. It needs to be re-engineered. I brought it back to Aluma Tower and they replaced it with no hassle. But, the replacement failed in the same way. So, I brought it back as well. Ron and Craig were very apologetic. They modified the adapter (while I waited) to take out the rubbery piece so that it would not fail. I asked, without the rubbery piece, isn’t there a danger of over-extending the tower? (If you jam the place where the lower section has the wire rope attached into the upper section where the pulley is you can stretch or break the rope requiring service). They thought about it and gave me some extra fluorescent tape to put on the safety stop so that I could easily see when the tower reached its maximum extension, even at night (with a flashlight). (Also, set your Makita drill, not to drill, but to drive screws at torque 8 with a freshly charged battery, or torque 10 with a partially discharged battery). This modification worked perfectly.

Then I noticed that the two rivets that keep one of the rollers from shifting to the side were missing. Somehow this slipped through quality control. Aluma’s production manager came to my house to put in the rivets. Service with a smile!

You can mount the rotator cable inside the tower. I actually mounted it inside the top section and the top half of the lower section, tying it all the way. The bottom twelve feet or so of the cable will either gather inside the tower when retracted or extend nicely with the tower. But the antenna cable will not work the same way. So, get the cable stand-offs. They place the antenna cable outside of both sections so that it accumulates on the ground when the tower is retracted. (Small compromise - twenty-five feet of cable on the ground. But, I wish I could make it neater).

Suggestions for improvement: The drill adapter. The fluorescent tape on the bottom of the safety stop should be standard. The operations manual needs to be rewritten by a technical writer. (A common flaw in ham equipment). An un-guyed 75 foot tower would be nice, 100 feet would be unbeatable.

I would rate this tower on scale of 1-5:
Construction: 5
Engineering: 5
Function: 5
Value: 5
Documentation: 4
Customer support: 5

This is a superior product! Overall, a 5.

73

Clifford M. Miller
W4CMM
 
WX4R Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2007 21:02 Send this review to a friend
Superior Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am an EMA director and in 2004 I put together a Mobile Command Vehicle which included an Aluma crank up tower mounted on top of the vehicle . I have used this tower many times while being deployed to Katrina relief and to events within Ga. I give the rig a 5++. Never a problem. Well designed and craftsmanship is quite noteworthy.
 
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