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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing gear | US TOWER MA-40 SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS Help


Reviews Summary for US TOWER MA-40 SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS
US TOWER MA-40  SERIES TUBULAR TOWERS Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $$1,565.00
Description: The MA-40 Tubular tower is the smallest of our tubular towers at a maximum extended height (without mast) of 40'. Its minimum nested height is 21'6" and the tower weighs 242 lbs. This tower consists of 2 sections, the top one being a 3" square tube and the bottom being a 4 1/2" OD tube. The MA-40 comes standard with a hand winch, a flat base with qty. of 2 -- 1/2" x 10" anchor bolts, an eve mount bracket and a 4' ft. rotor mast, to allow placement of your rotor at the top of the tower.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ustower.com/
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K9PLK Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2015 16:47 Send this review to a friend
BEST FOR MY APPLICATION MOSLEY TA 33  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the Mosley TA 33 and a Comet CX 333 UP On this tower for over 15 years. NO PROBLEMS! I am using a Ham IV for a rotator and the antenna Mosley is mounted 2 ft above and then the Comet CX333 above that! We had 85 MILE an hour gusts here and again no problem. Keep in mind though with the gust she is cranked down to 25 ft . Other than that GREAT TOWER!
 
K2MK Rating: 5/5 May 20, 2014 11:28 Send this review to a friend
Very happy with MA40 & MARB40 combination  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My installation consists of the MA40 mast, MARB40 rotator base, MAF40 tilt-over option, and the CX2M cable guides. The lead time was 16 weeks from the date of order placement (with Texas Towers) to the date of actual delivery. Delivery was via dedicated flat bed truck.

I had absolutely no problems with any of the components. Everything fit perfectly. Installation was quite easy with 2 people and probably could have been done safely with one person.

Iím using a Yaesu G-1000DXA rotator in the base unit and it fit perfectly.

Iím supporting a SteppIR 2 element yagi which only weighs around 30 pounds. Cranking the mast up to 40 feet or down to 23 feet requires very little effort. This antenna has a short boom permitting the mast to be tilted fully horizontal. Cranking the winch on the MAF40 tilt-over option, however, requires a two handed effort until the mast is around the 45 degree point. Cranking then becomes much easier.

Iíve posted some photos on the Crankup and Tiltover Yahoo Group here:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CrankupTiltoverTowers/info

 
KD5OM Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2014 11:16 Send this review to a friend
Happy Happy Happy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my MA-40 direct from US Tower in 2006. I've been very pleased with it. I had to replace the tilt-over winch once when the slip clutch started freezing up. Northern Tools had an exact replacement for a very fair price. I've had a Yaesu G-800DXA top mounted and a Force12 C3SS on ever since I've owned it. When the bad T-Storms are approaching I will tilt it over and lean it on a step ladder. See my page at: www.kd5om.com/tower.htm
 
W2OSR Rating: 4/5 Mar 16, 2014 06:07 Send this review to a friend
Goog low profile tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got mine used. I had to help take it down from the roof of a yacht club. Got lucky and found a local ham who had the tilt over base. I re cabled the tower with steel rope from Home Depot for less than half of the US towers price. Had a local shop fabricate the lifting device for $30.00. Added a $20.00 Chinese winch and was set to go. I have had it 7 years it was new in 1986. Still in very good shape. I had to drill the rotor plate to accept a Yaesu G1000 rotor. It is topped off with a CushCraft A3S.
 
W3ETF Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2012 20:15 Send this review to a friend
Great Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought an MA-40 from World Radio Labs when it was advertized in their catalog way back in 1968.The company was called Tristao before U.S. Towers bought them out and would you believe I paid $99.00 dollars for it with free shipping from california to my pennsylvania QTH.
I cemented 4 feet of a 7 foot pipe in the ground with the other 3 feet above ground. The pipe was an 1/8 inch smaller in circumference so i slid the MA-40 over the pipe and secured the top half to my garage with the supplied U-bolt.
The tower was 70 feet away from the house with a 4 element 15 meter beam and my 40 meter doublet attached to it and was never lowered in the 4 years I lived at that QTH even during windy conditions both summer and winter.I sadly had to sell it when I moved into a community that didnt allow towers or antennas outdoors. I now operate with a doublet hidden in the attic. I sure miss the tower,beam my youth and the good band conditions back then.
 
K6ATZ Rating: 2/5 Jun 11, 2012 09:54 Send this review to a friend
Nice design for its time, but quality and support not the best   Time owned: more than 12 months
Kudos to the original designers of the MA series tubular crank-up/tilt-down towers. I think that was done at Wilson in the 1970s, and it must have been a big advance back then. I'm happy to have this tower, any tower, and this design is clean, convenient and neighbor friendly. But the MA-40 is a compromise choice, manufacturing quality and support in my experience were shockingly low, and for many of you there are probably better choices.

Before purchasing my MA-40, I contacted N2CSA to follow up on his eHam review below. I learned that the grease fitting (Zerk fitting) on his rotator bearing turned out to be defective. My bearing was OK, but I encountered three other defects:
* my bearing is at an odd angle because the bolt holes in the base are drilled too low,
* my rotator mounting platform does not fit a very common Yaesu rotator because the bolt slots are cut too narrow, and
* my "rotator drive stub" would not attach to the tower because the bolt holes in the stub and the tower were misaligned.

I've posted photographs of the whole project, including these issues. See the link below. US Tower required N2CSA to pay for a replacement bearing because he was not the original owner. Fair enough. I went ahead and let my general contractor purchase an MA-40 direct from the manufacturer, assuming I could rely on the warranty. It didn't entirely work out that way. There was much confusion, delay, and denial, and in the end they only sent me a replacement part for the smallest of the three problems.

My MA-40 also twists and wiggles just as N2CSA describes, even in very light winds, and I don't have a big stack up there. I have only one beam, using only half the tower's weight and wind load capacity, mounted exactly where it is supposed to be at 39', but both tower sections move around a lot anyway. Maybe they're designed to do that, I don't know, but given the other problems we've encountered I suspect the entire tower could have been manufactured to tighter tolerances. Maybe I'll be able to get more advice on that from a tower expert when I have one out here for maintenance. US Tower refuses to provide full details on major maintenance and repairs, and offers only a very short list of authorized tower service companies. There is only one guy on the list within 300 miles of me, and I'm not exactly in the middle of nowhere. Too bad I couldn't get all the documentation from US Tower before ordering. In fact, I didn't succeed in getting most of the instructions out of them until I'd had the tower for a year and a half. Yes, you read that right, a year and a half.

If you're dreaming of a shining "Christmas tree" stack o' beams, note that the engineering specifications for MA series towers allow only *one* antenna, mounted on a very short mast. Do careful calculations if you want to modify this. I believe the MA-40 is normally used by hams to mount mini-beams like a Cushcraft MA5B or a Hexbeam, or a medium-sized option like my OptiBeam OB6-3M. I think the weight of the new Steppir DB11 is just at the capacity of the MA-40, and probably pushing the envelope. At that weight and above, I would recommend you look at the MA-550. (And by the way, if you think you might want to upgrade to a 550 someday, you can "future-proof" your MA-40 foundation by making it larger and using thicker bolts based on the 550's requirements.) I'm sure there are also other choices, from other manufacturers. I don't know how price, quality and service compare, but for example there are Force 12 Low Profile Towers, and for many of you a less sleek but possibly more more functional lattice tower may be the best choice.

Overall it was a happy and exciting experience to be erecting a tower, but I did it during the construction of a new house and (although that was certainly a nice problem to have) I wish I'd had more time to research alternatives. I also wish I'd had advice and support from more than just a few guys who'd purchased these towers at estate sales. The only contact we had at first was an order clerk in California who didn't seem to know anything about these towers, but I was eventually granted two calls with the factory QA director in Kansas. Unfortunately he seemed to be in deep denial over those defects. Buying through a retailer may get you more support than I did, and maybe they'll go to bat for you with the manufacturer. I don't think US Tower is prepared to deal with individual hams, probably preferring to focus on large government and industry contracts.

On www.k6atz.us you'll find a link to my MA-40 project story, with pictures illustrating the process. Photos of specific defects I've described here are at the bottom of page 2.
 
N2CSA Rating: 4/5 Aug 3, 2007 05:18 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my MA-40 used from another ham who was moving from the area. It included the MARB free standing rotator base. He had it in the air just over a year and I have had it in the air for about the same amount of time. I over-engineered the base using the dimensions required for the MA-550 and added a 20' schedule 40 2" OD aluminum extension so I have a 60' tower. The tower and especially the extended mast move a good bit in the wind, but I had expected that. When the tail end of Hurricane Ernesto came through New Jersey last summer, I did crank the tower down from 60' to 40'. Other than that, it has remained fully extended. The MA-40 sports a Diamond X-500 at the top and 440, 220 and 900 mhz yagis at various points along the 20' mast.

I rate the MA-40 at 4 not because of a problem with the tower but because of an issue with the MARB rotator base. With this base the tower sits on a thrust bearing. Although the bearing housing has a threaded hole on the side, the hole is not open into the bearing nor does it have a grease fitting. Water running down the tower runs through the bearing causing rust to the point that it will freeze up. A replacement is relatively expensive. You must keep the top of the bearing protected with a thick coat of waterproof grease and should make sure the tower is rotated at regular intervals.
 


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