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

Reviews Summary for US Towers TX Series Crank-ups
US Towers TX Series Crank-ups Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $3,054.00
Description: U.S. Towers TX-455
Product is in production.
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WQ5O Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2018 13:21 Send this review to a friend
TX-455 is a Great Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought a TX-455 a couple of years ago. It's has the electric motor to raise the tower. Heavy bugger and not easily removed from the flatbed that brought it to the house. We did get it off (rented a bobcat with a forklift setup) and into my back yard. The base had been poured several months previously and was ready for the installation. It was a smooth operation with my step-son doing all the heavy lifting. It's an excellent tower. I had an aluminum tower previously but I'm not as young as I used to be and have becoming "tower climbing" adverse. Being able to crank it down and then lay it over is great. It's not something I want to do on a daily basis but when it's necessary it is much easier and I can do it without any help. I bought the NN4ZZ tiltplate and it allows my tower to come down and the antenna to lay flat. Well worth the money. The crank to lay the tower down is the hardest part and I'm still looking for a suitable electric wench to replace the manual one. I have 120VAC available at the tower but most wenches are 12VDC or are not rated at 2500lbs. I'll keep looking, I guess. Bottom line, this is a very good tower. Expensive but it was worth it.
KD6NXI Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2017 13:08 Send this review to a friend
Great tower!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Only negative is they seem deathly afraid of giving you any help or explaining how to do anything. Find someone who knows about doing towers. Cranking it down is fine but tilting it over is a pain. You need two people and a spud wrench, the kind with the long spike on it to jocky the holes around so you can line it up and get the bolts back in. The clearance on bolt installation is very fine. Almost didn't think we'd get one in. No instructions about how to route the cables for the tilt over mechanism either.
K5RR Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2013 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have three 12 year old TX489 towers. None has required any repairs. Very little maintenance has been required, as well. I fully raise them only twice per year, for DX contests. I would get a more heavy duty tower if I was going to keep them fully erected all the time.
K4AAV Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2013 18:47 Send this review to a friend
TX-455, Perfect  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received my new TX-455 tower two days ago. Arrived on time on a flat bed truck as promised. Everything was there. Off load was great the my Kabota tractor with forks. The tower had no damage and in perfect shape. I also had the TX-80 tilt over fixture and 20 ft mast. Installed on pad that has been waiting for a while. Install was no problem, tower leveled out easily and fully extended and retracted with no issues. This is my second tower from US Tower, my first being a TMM-433SS and you get what you pay for. Great tower!

Will, K4AAV
NJ3A Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2012 19:19 Send this review to a friend
Hurricane Sandy Survivor  Time owned: more than 12 months
During Hurricane Sandy my TX-455, fully extended of course and I was out of town...I was very pleased to come home to see my TX-455 standing tall with my M2 KT-36XA,M2 6M7 and OR-2800 rotator without a scratch,ding or dent. Lost one leg of my 40 mtr dipole wire and 2 mtr chimney mount was bent...not my TX-455. I don't think I need to say more.
N3MKC Rating: 2/5 May 11, 2011 19:07 Send this review to a friend
Heavy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a TX-455 with a manual winch this is a job cranking it up and has a lot to be desired for the design of the winch cable set up. A Block setup would of been better. Going motorized is much better but expensive. A big issue is what happens if a cable snaps this is a very bad situation and can cause major damage and hopefully nobody is near it if it goes. Position locks would of been good but you would need a crane if its locked in position and you lose a cable. But that would be cheaper than replacing all your antenna gear. Just my thoughts.
AH6WX Rating: 2/5 Feb 27, 2011 13:55 Send this review to a friend
TMM-433HD+motor...NO INSTRUCTIONS!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Let me tell you a little bit about my unique situation. I live on Hawaii's Big Island in a HOA w/ CC&R's...I know, I know...However after a long battle I won the right to erect a crank up tower. I chose the TMM-433 HD as it was the only one the met all the engineering and setback requirements imposed. And I selected the MDP-750 motor as I'm well into my 60's. This is also my first tower. In addition I purchased the raising fixture, indoor remote unit, outside remote control unit.

I had the entire installation done professinally. The basic tower appears to be solidly built and meets my expectations. Everything else did not. To start with the raising fixture began to corrode from day one. It was not made of galvanized steel as the tower was.

The provided instruction for the basic tower installation and maitenance were very minimal and next to useless. Even the tower installer couldn't make sense of some of them. US Tower apparently is deathly afraid of lawsuits if someone follows their instructions and gets injured. My view is they are also liable if someone gets injured because there are no instructions.

The instructions provided for wiring from the tower to the circuit breaker box do not reflect the proper gauge of wire. I needed 10 gauge wire for a 50' run versus the stated 12 gauge. Fortunately the error was corrected by the electrician during installation.

There were absolutely no wiring diagrams provided for the outdoor remote cabinet, motor, or limit switches. This is criminal!...Well I had problems! The motor burned out w/ no warning after less than five months of use. After considerable hassle, US Tower replaced the motor under warranty. It was determined the probable cause of the motor failure was a limit switch that worked out of the correct position during shipment. Since there was no diagram to inspect, I had no way to check the switch position location.

Installing the new motor was quite a challenge. The provided US Tower instructions refered to some wires that don't exist. After lengthy efforts to resolve that, a US Tower person provided me with the correct wiring over the phone but not in writing.

By trial and error with a lot of continuity checks, I now reasonably well understand the wiring. The new motor is working! However this is a dusty environment w/ fairly frequent high winds. The motor and attached capacitor need to be protected in order to keep the grit out. There are holes on the side of the motor for accessories I think, but no place for condensation to drain. I am concerned that the replacement motor may fail quickly as well due to this poor design.

To summarize, the basic tower seems well made. But if you can handle a winch, I would entirely avoid the motor. Note if the tower gets stuck in the up position due to a power failure or motor problem, it is an extremely laborious process to manually lower the tower. If you insist on buying the motor anyway, you should have experience with electric motors, an electrical engineering background, and be very proficient with tools and diagnostic procedures.
W7TJ Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2007 06:19 Send this review to a friend
Rugged & Well Engineered  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The TX 455 is an outstanding tower & Customer Support is great. - Practical Considerations B4 your installation:

Living in the Country or owning Acreage, 100ft + free standing towers would be the norm with most, and points contained here would be mute; however many live in areas where if you are going to have a tower, crank ups are the only option as Real Estate is limited.
During my 43 years of Amatier Radio, I have owned/put up Rohn 25,45, and 55G at heights of 50 to 200 feet with big antennas to match...there are DEFINITELY differences everyone considering a crank up installation should factor in to their decision making process. Practical information is tough to come by according to US Tower's Reps ( unless you know someone first hand with an installation ) as {most} Amateur Dealers have not taken the time to learn the details and practical/technical tradeoffs in installing a crankup tower.
Three Key areass demand special Attention:

1. Tower delivery to QTH and antenna site
2. Concrete Base
3. Antenna Maintenance, Repair, Changes, etc....

First, be aware you are not dealing with individual tower section weights, but one large compressed structure weighing 700-1200+ pounds. Mistakes/Poor Decisions can result in tremendous property damage, Injury, and other unthinkable consequences. Arrangements will have to be made for Winch/Boom trucks to off load the antenna at the freight dock or your Antenna site or you will have to have your own antenna crew of big strong folks to do the same. [ keep in mind if you arrange your own shipping, you are on your own if the tower arrives damaged where the Manufacturer will assume this responsibiltiy if you use their shipper] If you have a sprinkler system, or other landscapte amenities, large trucks will not be practical due to weight/size and turf compression.

Second, the Concrete Base is the most important consideration as ALL the tower and antenna weight is concentrated as no guys. There can absolutely be no Compromise here...size of hole, rebar, and concrete ( plan on 1.5 to 2+ Cubic yards ) and leveling must be perfect. Hire a Concrete Contractor. Concrete trucks may or may not have access to your antenna site, therefore your might consider hiring a Concrete Pumper as they can lay hose and "Pipe in " the necessary Concrete quickly filling your tower base and sparing you countless trips with a wheel barrel etc.etc. Allow more than 28 days for a good cure.

Third, it is unreasonable to think you will never have maintenance, adjustment, or repair to your system and even working at a cranked down or "nested height" is not the easy task that most think. The tower cannot be safely climbed in the vertical nested position, as there is no place for feet or hands, let alone another climber..precarious at best. Unless you have access to a low roof, nearby structure, scaffolding,wheeled self supporting ladder, or hydraulic scissors work platforms, BUY the Companys Raising Fixture. This will allow safe lowering of the antenna and tower to the 30 degree position and completely eliminate the aforementioned equipment and necessity of rounding up the antenna crew everytime you wish to make a small adjustment or change something out. Building a jack stand to place under the tower when lowered offers an extra margin of safety as the weight is then supported by the tower's raising fixture,base pivot point, and jackstand, ( treated 4x4s approx. 4 1/2 feet tall with bottom and top cross members will do the trick at a low cost.)
Cranking these toweres up with antenna loads is WORK even if you are in shape. Anything over 55 feet you definitely want the motorized version, with a 55 foot tower one can be ordered or added to the tower winch at a later date.
US Tower will provide an online manual upon purchase, their products and accessories and customer support are outstanding. Carefully consider the practical points prior to embarking on any crankup installation.

Randy W7TJ
K4DTC Rating: 4/5 Mar 30, 2007 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Very well made and reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a used TX-455 with TRX-80 lifting fixture for about 1.5 years. The tower is an older model, and was stored on the ground for awhile before I bought it, at least third hand. The tower had very little rust, and was still in very good shape. Digging the hole for the base, making the rebar cage and installing the concrete was challenging, but worth the effort and dollar savings. The only contact I had with US Tower was in buying the TRX-80 lifing feature. They shipped the wrong parts, and then shipped the wrong parts a second time. Finally, I sent them pictures and talked to a knowlegable person, and they made it right. But it should have been right the first time. Once I got everyting installed, I can say that the lifting fixture, though expensive, is WORTH THE MONEY. Don't be cheap! It is so easy to work on my Mosley CL-33, rotator and cables. No climbing!!! So I am very happy with my tower, which never seems to be strained, even in strong winds. 73!!!
W9KNI Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2007 14:22 Send this review to a friend
Terrific Tower!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just put up a US Tower model HDX-589MDPL. This very substantial tower was not inexpensive, but it offers very good value if you need the capabilities it offers.

The design and execution are spectacular. It truly instills confidence.

I have avoided crank-up towers for years, for reasons of price and safety concerns, instead using guyed Rohn 45, but the terrain of my new QTH does not allow for guy wires, and I am getting to the age where a lot of climbing in years to come is not an attractive prospect. A careful study of the US Tower design removed my concerns for the relative safety of a crank-up tower, at least so far as US Towers are concerned. The positive pull down feature and clearly very conservative wind load ratings gave me confidence in my decision.

I will of course still exercise due caution as appropriate, but having been closely involved in its erection and seeing how sturdy and well built it is I have great confidence in it.

The tower, with the addition of the erection fixture, goes up easily and well, thanks in no small way to its precision manufacture. This is clearly a well engineered and well thought out tower.

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