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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing & safety gear | Universal 16-50 Tower Help

Reviews Summary for Universal 16-50 Tower
Universal 16-50 Tower Reviews: 3 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1829
Description: Self supporting 50 foot aluminum tower - 16sq ft antenna capability to 80mph continuous wind
Product is in production.
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WQ5O Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2014 06:50 Send this review to a friend
Great Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these towers in 2005. I've moved it 3 times since and I'm waiting for the summer to reinstall it in Wisconsin. It's stood the test of time and has never had a problem. I've climbed it many times and it's always rock solid. It's light weight enough that with help (at least additional one person) you can put it up easily. I use a 4 wheel drive Ranger to pull it up. The tower base is concrete and I had a 5X5X5 ft base poured. That was expensive it there was little chance of it falling due to a failed base. The tower has experienced several high wind storms in Oklahoma and a couple of very bad ice storms. No problem. If I could give it a six, I would. While it is expensive the best part is not having any guys cluttering up the yard. Great product. I believe I've gotten my money's worth several times over with this tower. Should I want another tower I will purchase another Universal Tower.
KA4ETV Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2012 11:50 Send this review to a friend
Update on the Universal Tower  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I posted an earlier review here. I want to add to that after the tower has been installed.

Overall the tower gets a 4. This is an expensive piece of equipment. By and large it seems well built, sturdy, and able to live up to the ratings. Some of the welds seem pretty messy and it's not as easy to put up as described. You cannot put the tower up with only one person. No to mention with antennas. You will need several people and a winch or car to pull it up.

Since these are free standing you will also need a lot of concrete. Be prepared this can get expensive. It's a trade off though since not having guy wire all over the place is very nice. A lot of concrete is needed to fill the large hole you or ( if you can arrange it) someone else has to dig. Again though no pain no gain. It was worth it to me to keep the guys out of the picture. A bob cat comes in handy here though.

The documentation that comes with the tower and that's available on the company's website leaves a lot to be desired. I would give this a 2. I'm sure like anything in ham radio there are three dozen people reading this that knew how to put up a tower from birth but for those of us not as fortunate a bit more explanation and some more diagrams would help tremendously. I had the time to do the homework and read lots of material so that was invaluable. However if they could take the time to redo their materials it would jumpstart the whole process a great deal.

The gentleman at the support line was helpful. However he is buried in calls and if the material was better he could be more effective for bigger questions. Very nice guy and he knew what he was talking about.

Overall the tower looks great and seems sturdy. It currently supports an A3s with the 40 meter kit. A Ringo 2 meter antenna, and a couple of dipoles.

I am giving it a 5 since you cannot modify reviews and I gave it a 3 last time since the retailer was such a pain in the rear. It's a real good product so far. They could be a bit more careful with the welds but if she holds up like other commenters have stated then it will be money well spent.

It was easier to deal with the factory direct and not a ham retailer middle man. The product originates from their factory and you have to go to them if there is a problem. So cut out the middle man and put on an extra person that can talk towers and sell direct. The factory staff seems more than capable of representing their products.

Nice product and unless something big times goes wrong thats about all there is to say.
K7NM Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2004 10:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Tower  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Universal are experts in aluminum truss works and do towers as well. The only critical steps to a good experience are to 1) inspect the tower thoroughly for damage or bending during shipment BEFORE you sign for it and 2) keep the numbered legs of the lowest tower section together with the numbered steel base struts. Since it is self supporting it takes a large base. Two of us dug the 4.5ft square and 5ft deep hole in a day. It took 4 yards of concrete. Follow the directions on the web site and it will go smoothly. I bought three 1ft carpenter levels (cheap) and three hose clamps. I installed them vertically on each leg and used them in leveling during the pour. The tower only weighs about 170lbs - even so, I had a truss crane lift it in place since it was there for another reason. It took less than five minutes and the tilt over receiving cup fit perfectly with only a couple minor taps of with a hammer. The truss crane operator was amazed and said, "Now that is workmanship!!!". I have to agree. Now that it is up, it is very solid. I have an M2 7-10-30 Log Periodic on top along with several haning wire antennas. It looks great and has withstood some serious microburst winds so far without a wiggle.

We have just installed a 5-50 at our city offices with the same excellent results. Universal is great to work with and build a great product.

One last point. If you are going to use at thrust bearing make sure you have the plate to accept it welded on by Universal before it ships. It will only cost an additional $25 or so. If there is a down side, their thrust bearings are housed in what appears to be cast iron and does rust easily. I coated mine with several layers of acrylic paint and RTV along the edges before putting it up. Also, it required a sleeve or a shim on the antenna mast so that the two set screws do not push the mast off center. The effects of this can be minimized by placing the rotor a reasonable distance down inside the tower.

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