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Author Topic: How much should I pay someone to put up a 50 foot tower?  (Read 5837 times)
WALTERB
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« on: May 12, 2011, 10:41:22 AM »

I want to put up a Hexbeam on a 50 foot tower.

If I supply the tower, what would be a reasonable rate to pay someone for the labor?

thanks
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 10:41:52 AM »

What is the model of the tower?
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WALTERB
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 11:07:04 AM »

What is the model of the tower?

Lets say this one.  I saw it last night. I'm not going to buy it but for an example it will do.

http://cgi.ebay.com/50-foot-wireless-network-radio-tower-DOWN-GROUND-/140547003070?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b94112be

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AD4U
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 12:40:49 PM »

Who is going to dig the hole?  Who is going to supply the concrete?  How much concrete will it take?  What kind of tower are you installing?  Is the tower "new" or is it used and maybe a bit rusty?  Does the installation have to be inspected and approved by the local building inspector?  Are you required to provide a PE (professional engineer's) certification and seal on the final installation?

The answer to these questions will have a lot to do with what it will cost.  The cost will vary many, many times over depending on these factors and the area of the country where you live.

Probably the best you can do with a qualified person who is willing to help would be several hundred dollars, if you supply EVERYTHING.

Dick  AD4U
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 01:53:58 PM »

What is the model of the tower?

Lets say this one.  I saw it last night. I'm not going to buy it but for an example it will do.

http://cgi.ebay.com/50-foot-wireless-network-radio-tower-DOWN-GROUND-/140547003070?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20b94112be



Well, it certainly makes a big difference.  The eBay auction tower looks like American Tower light duty, painted steel, house bracketed.  Depending how and where it's installed, installation costs can vary enormously (like by thousands of dollars).

If the installer has to dig the hole, add re-bar, install a base and pour concrete, and you buy the re-bar and the base (whatever that might be), this part is probably $750-$1000.  It will take a second trip, a month later, to actually put the tower on the base (28-day cure time for concrete).

If it is like the tower shown in the eBay auction picture, that can be house bracketed 20' above ground and then guyed with one set of guys very close to the top.  If you buy the house bracket and the guy anchors, cables and other hardware and an installer only has to put up the tower, install the brackets, screw in three guy anchors and add the cables, this is probably another $750 or so (not including materials).  But the difficulty of assembling and installing towers varies a lot.  Rohn 25G tipped up as a 30-footer and then the last two sections installed with a gin pole is a pretty easy job for a crew of two.  Some other towers may not be.

Self-supporting towers need bigger foundations; very well guyed towers hardly need any foundation, as the guys do all the work and the foundation is only to keep the bottom of the tower from digging itself into the ground. Smiley  But complex guy systems can be laborious and costly, especially if screw anchors won't work and T-bars with concrete need to be used.

I doubt anyone can quote a tower job without knowing exactly and specifically what tower it is, what hardware is on hand and what is needed to be purchased, and exactly where the tower is going (site survey).
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 02:00:39 PM »

I forgot to mention the "Hexbeam" part.

Assuming you provide the Hexbeam and assemble it yourself (this takes a couple of hours), and supply the coax, the mast, the rotator and the rotator cable, and all someone has to do is install the rotator, the mast and the antenna and bring down the two cables:

This should add probably $250 or so to the overall tower job cost; pretty reasonable because the Hexbeam is fairly light and not hard to handle.  And I'm assuming the same person who installs the tower would then install the antenna, while he's already there.
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W3DIY
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2011, 06:05:59 AM »

This is an impossible question to answer accurately without a site visit.

A more important consideration...who should do the work.

I own a KIO hex beam, the install is comparable to a large UHF/VHF TV antenna. Get bids from local, licensed, TV/Satellite antenna installers...you assemble and test the beam.

Better to have the install done properly in accordance with local regulations.
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WALTERB
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 02:20:51 PM »

This is an impossible question to answer accurately without a site visit.

A more important consideration...who should do the work.

I own a KIO hex beam, the install is comparable to a large UHF/VHF TV antenna. Get bids from local, licensed, TV/Satellite antenna installers...you assemble and test the beam.

Better to have the install done properly in accordance with local regulations.


thanks. 

it was too open a question.

I had in mind to assemble the antenna, and provide all the hardware and do all the ground work includng setting the concrete base.  All I wanted someone else to do was build the tower, climb the tower, put the hexbeam on the tower with the rotor and test the rotor. the ground would would be me alone. (and a buddy).

 local regulations aren't really the problem where I live.  I live outside the city, and I only have to worry about country regs.

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 03:39:06 PM »

This is an impossible question to answer accurately without a site visit.

A more important consideration...who should do the work.

I own a KIO hex beam, the install is comparable to a large UHF/VHF TV antenna. Get bids from local, licensed, TV/Satellite antenna installers...you assemble and test the beam.

Better to have the install done properly in accordance with local regulations.


thanks. 

it was too open a question.

I had in mind to assemble the antenna, and provide all the hardware and do all the ground work includng setting the concrete base.  All I wanted someone else to do was build the tower, climb the tower, put the hexbeam on the tower with the rotor and test the rotor. the ground would would be me alone. (and a buddy).

It's still pretty open, as towers vary a great deal in difficulty of assembly, weight and other things.  The tower you "linked" on eBay, if it's 50 feet, requires a set of guy wires -- absolutely, positively -- even though it is house bracketed.  Without the house bracket, it needs two sets of guy wires.  So, the guy anchors, cables, turnbuckles, clamps etc. add to the system cost and also to the labor required to install them.  A guyed tower is also trickier to install the Hexbeam on, since the beam can get tangled in the wires so special techniques must be used to prevent that from happening.  Free-standing towers are easier, don't require guys and such, but may require a much larger foundation.  You really have to know exactly what tower it is.

 
Quote
local regulations aren't really the problem where I live.  I live outside the city, and I only have to worry about country regs.

I guess you mean "county" regs, and they can be onerous.  Have you looked them up?  (They can range from very restrictive to non-existent!)


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WALTERB
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2011, 05:17:37 PM »



I guess you mean "county" regs, and they can be onerous.  Have you looked them up?  (They can range from very restrictive to non-existent!)




No but a few people in the area have HUGE towers and they are actually in the city limits.  I figured I would double check before I get too far down the road with this project.

thanks
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2011, 09:35:41 AM »

You can't really go by what others might have up: In some cases, the towers might be up for decades and were installed before there was any zoning prohibiting them, so they're "grandfathered" in.  In some cases, they are lawfully installed but the owner had to get a Conditional Use Permit or Zoning Variance, which can range in cost from "nothing" to several thousand dollars, depending on the location.

Here where I live, the application fee for a conditional use permit is $2600.  That's non-refundable, and you pay it up front, whether the permit is ever granted or not.  Many hams have paid that, but most didn't need to since amateur towers are permitted here anyway -- so the CUPs were for very large towers that exceeded the limits of the standard zoning.

You can search on line for zoning ordinances and regulations, as many municipalities and counties do have them accessible on line.  Some don't.  In some cases, even when all the regs are on line, they're hard to interpret.

Having installed a lot of towers in a lot of places over the years, I've found the easiest way to find stuff out is to go to the applicable Building & Safety Dept. (or whatever they have) office, find a clerk, and say, "I'm installing a tower for my amateur radio station.  Do I need a permit?"  And if they say "Yes," the next question is, "Okay, can I get the application here?"  If a permit is required, also ask for a copy of the local code or ordinance so you know what it is.
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W4VR
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2011, 01:55:19 PM »

Don't know, but before you put up anything check with the county and home owners association to find out if they allow towers in your neighborhood.
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N3ZC
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 06:08:09 PM »

Ask John Crovelli W2GD..he does it for a living (and does a great job too..used him a few times myself). 

   73'...  Tom N3ZC
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2011, 09:39:47 PM »

Ask John Crovelli W2GD..he does it for a living (and does a great job too..used him a few times myself). 

   73'...  Tom N3ZC

I think the problem is we don't know where "WALTERB" is located.

I know installers all over the country, including John, but most won't travel too far without being paid for the distance they travel, and that can cost as much as the installation.
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