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Reviews Categories | Towers, masts, accessories, climbing & safety gear | Rohn HDBX-48 Free Standing Tower Help

Reviews Summary for Rohn HDBX-48 Free Standing Tower
Rohn HDBX-48 Free Standing Tower Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $$999 - $1600
Description: The Rohn HDBX series towers are the heaviest, and strongest of the BX series. Available in heights of 24' to 48', they consist of the bottom sections of the full 64' standard BX tower. The legs are of beaded channel. They have X bracing that is riveted at the ends and in the middle.
Product is in production.
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WD0DQL Rating: 4/5 May 16, 2018 13:43 Send this review to a friend
Repair of BX towers  Time owned: more than 12 months
This tower is just what it is, an inexpensive way to get stuff up in the air. I have installed many for hams and people who want tv antenna up.

It does have it's limitations, however, staying within the design limits will last a long time.

But, hams (me too) have the Tim Taylor "more power/bigger" is better mantra.

Annual inspections and replacement of aluminum rivets with g60-g90 zinc grade 5 or 8 bolts with accompanying lock washers and nuts. AND torque them not just by feel.

Painting with commercial zinc paint is always a good idea.

Be careful of generic stainless steel bolts, the cheap ones vary widely in tensile and shear. the more expensive ones are harder, sometimes to the point of failure by micro-fracture.

The rivets are smooth and the 'plate' shear on the smooth surface, not so with bolts, they shear on the tops/points of the threads. unless you use shoulder bolts. you are relying on the compression of the bolts to make up for threads in the hole.

I have successfully for decades used longer boom antennas than the recommended 10 feet, by putting the rotator at the base. this reduces the torsion on the tower.

empirical evidence has shown no repairing rivets or bent towers, as compared to others near me.

K4TK Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2018 13:43 Send this review to a friend
mine has been in service for me almost 30 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine has been three different locations ....for almost 30 years now. And, I bought it USED. It had been up several years for the previous ham.

I have stacked on it....two HF beams (see my QRZ page). A Hygain Explorer 14 with the 40 meter kit (that element alone is 42 feet 2 inches long) and a Mosley TW-22M. The Hygain has a 14 foot boom. The Mosley, only a 7 foot boom. Between the two, i have over 100 pounds up on the top mounted to a 10 foot heavy duty mast. The wind loading is well under the design spec of 15 sq ft (that was the spec on mine....remember, it's over 30 years old).

I have both climbed it and gone up in a bucket truck numerous times just this last year. No issues up top I can see. Ever 3-5 needed ....I touch up spray paint it with Rustoleum Smoke Grey paint. I have seen some rust over the many years, but again...the paint holds things in check for several more years.

It has survived:

Hurricane Hugo (135 miles at my location/Cat 3 Hurricane at my location)

Dennis - 70-80 mph winds at my location

Ivan - 90 mph winds at my location

Opal - 80-100 mph winds at my location

and of course, NUMEROUS thunderstorms! It's been struck by lightning NUMEROUS times. It discharges into the two ground rods I have at the base....then discharges thru the nearby ground....gets into my chainlink fence about 10 feet away....then "arcwelds" all the gates shut. I have to beat the gate handles with a maul to free them after lightning strikes. But my tower, antennas, and gear (always unplugged)...have always fared well.

I'm actually thinking if I ever have to replace the Explorer 14 (also over 30 years old), I'll do so with a Mosley Pro 67C....which has a 24 foot boom. The wind load would be under spec. But the 24 foot boom....of course, would be the question. It's really about how much torque/twist it puts on the top.

I actually think this tower could stand the Pro 67 C....mounted JUST above the top with the thrust bearing.

Time may tell..............but I have ZERO issues with my tower....other than, as many others have noted....CLIMBING those Xbraces. It's a foot killer. I tried Combat Boots from my military career....won't fit in the small top sections. No way you do it with tennis shoes. I resorted to wearing my work shoes....a pair of Rockports that have a steel shank in the sole....but...are about the size of tennis shoes. they fit in the Xbraces....and give my feet some support. Still, the older I get (and yes, HEAVIER too), the harder and more painful it is!
KI3R Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2017 13:26 Send this review to a friend
25 years up  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the HBDX at the old QTH for 25 plus years. I am aware of the manufactures limits on boom length. The yagi was a TH-6 ... not exactly a small antenna. I did move the rotor mounting plate to the base of the last section so as to distribute the rotary torque over a greater area. I never had one rivet pop or move. If there was a minus it was in the realm of ankle comfort. Standing on the last section is akin to a bed of nails experience. I gave the tower away as I am not comfortable climbing as I once was. There is, now at the new location, a crank up - fold over unit. Sure beats climbing.

73 Tom KI3R Belle Vernon PA
WA1HZK Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2017 11:39 Send this review to a friend
General information on the current BX towers  Time owned: more than 12 months
The HDBX is the strongest of the BX series. It uses the bottom sections of the BX tower and the top section is a section #3. The HBX uses a section #2 at the top and the standard BX uses a section #1. If you have a tower using the bottom section #8, there is a straight section available to add more height. This goes under the section #8 using the same foundation. These towers are rated for 70 MPH, no ice. There is a lot of information on the site:
WK9U Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2016 00:49 Send this review to a friend
Great Tower  Time owned: more than 12 months
This tower is absolutely just fine. I've had many and it does what it needs to do. I personally like the tapered sections utilizing a wide base and minimizing towards the top. A 30m and 6m beam with 14 +/- foot booms using a 10 foot mast extending out the top bearing is working well. Assemble it correctly, have it plum, and anchored per spec and it's great.

To the clown who left a review a couple down from me, are you a TROLL ? You left 1 out of 5 stars with a comment about a windload statement. Spend some time in the hobby or communications profession and maybe your opinion will matter to this op, anyway. Spend 30 hours each contest turning a rotor every 30 minutes or chasing DX for instance. I have a few towers and have different beams on the appropriate towers. It's all about the install and common sense.
KI0Z Rating: 3/5 Oct 25, 2015 12:21 Send this review to a friend
Keep an eye on the Rivits  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having had 2 towers an "A"&"B" series later, I always questioned the Manual that said "Boom NO LONGER THAN 10' " .Well the engineer was correct after a few years going up to do work on it I noticed a few Rivets were loose & some were not there . so I replaced them with a #5 bolt, Lock washer, and Loctite. This has happened on several towers of other hams I KNOW. SO BE VIGELENT AND CHECK YOUR TOWER OR YOU TO COULD HAVE NO RIVITS ON AN ENTIRE X OF THE TOWER OR WORSE . 73 GL KI0Z..
KI4AX Rating: 1/5 Oct 25, 2015 08:19 Send this review to a friend
Beware of specifications  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just be aware that the Rohn HDBX-48 can only support about 2 sq. feet of antenna load at 100 mph wind. It is a good tower for VHF and UHF verticals.
N5OP Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2015 11:23 Send this review to a friend
An excellent tower for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my HDBX48 tower since 1985. It started with me in CO along the Front range and is still with me in central OK. It holds a Cushcraft 40CD2, a Cushcraft DW-3, an Arrow 2 m/70 cm dual band corner reflector and a KLM KT34a. The 40 m antenna is just above the TB3 thrust bearing, the DW3 and Arrow antennas are at about 4 ft above the top and the KT34A is about 8 ft above the top. To rotator is a T2X. Total wind load is about 15 sq ft. The tower is very strong but the rotor plate is only stamped steel mounted by three tabs, one in each tower leg. In CO, two of the tabs broke off and so I bolted it to each leg using six bolts, one on each side of each leg. I use the BX hinged base with the 4 ft anchor bolts. That has lasted for about 25 years without incident. Max recorded wind speed about 8 ft below the top with this load is 84 MPH. I have since recorded about 76 MPH at 10 m above the ground, so the wind at the antenna level was a fair bit stronger. The tower requires a hefty chunk of concrete: 6 cu yds. I use the I have never found loose or failed rivets anywhere. The tower is quite uncomfortable to climb due to the X braces. Good, stiff boots are a necessity. Better yet, a cherry picker makes any work on it much easier.
W4MEC Rating: 4/5 Sep 14, 2014 07:40 Send this review to a friend
HDBX gives good service.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had the HDBX-48 up for over 20 years now with no problems. It is a bit of a bear to climb, I'm 6'4" with big feet and when at the top I have a foot in each side, but Rohn 25 is just as difficult for me. I have a Wilson tribander, 5 ele. on 6 and 13 on 2 up there, along with a 6 others hanging off the sides for 6 meters and up, mostly ground planes and coaxial style and an aluminum tube 6 meter dipole. I was warned that large arrays will flex the tower and pop the rivets, but I have not seen this occur, but my windload is far below the tower specs. One thing I do for maintenance is to wire brush and cold galvanize the rust as it appears and also use auto body undercoat in a spray can around the tower legs where they exit the concrete. I discovered the comments on this tower while researching the cost of 28 feet of BX tower trying to figure out why MFJ charges so much for the HyTower. BX, HBX, and HDBX are really expensive now-a-days, they used to be one of the most economical towers around, guess they are cheaper than a lot of other options though.
K9WI Rating: 3/5 Dec 28, 2012 19:09 Send this review to a friend
Hell to climb  Time owned: more than 12 months
Tower is a tapered tower, with the top most section only about 10 inches wide. While there is a ladder on this section, unless you are a dwarf, it is useless. Climbing the other sections are no fun either as they are very narrow in width.

Raising the tower was no problem for me since I hired a crane.
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