Tower Work




I got a call from my cousin on Saturday afternoon, asking me if I could stop by in the next day or so and climb his tower (60' freestanding) to see if I could determine the problem he was having with has Yagi antenna (it was spinning on the mast and most recently had a bit of a tilt to it as well). I called him back later in the evening to tell him that I could stop by on Sunday afternoon for an hour or two to examine things and make repairs if possible. He informed me when I called him that he had found part of a U-bolt on the ground...

The problem was quite...interesting, with a lot of luck (we call it "Golden Horseshoe"):

The antenna is held onto the mast with two 1 1/2" U-bolts, an upper one and a lower one. The upper bolt was broke on the left side, so it was basically working like a hook, with the right side still attached. The lower bolt was just the opposite, the right side being broken and the left side still attached. The antenna had slid down the mast about 4" and stopped when it reached a piece of tin that is attached to the mast to deflect the rainwater running down the mast from all entering the rotator.

I had climbed the tower with the two replacement U-bolts in my pocket, figuring that only one of the two bolts was broken, and that I should be able to remove the broken one and replace it with the good U-bolt, and then remove the remaining good U-bolt and replace it with a new one for good measure. However, because of the way that the antenna was attached (or rather not attached), there was no easy safe way of making the repairs. The correct answer would have been to reattach the antenna temporarily to the mast some other way (or at least hoist it in place), then remove and replace the broken bolts. I simply didn't have the equipment to do so however. I was afraid that moving the antenna much at all would cause the whole thing to come down, cleaning everything that was on the tower below it off (including me). The wind was already causing it to move more than I was really comfortable with.

Our solution was, well, not the prettiest, although it should keep the antenna on the mast for another week until he can make the repairs:

He will end up renting a 80' lift to make the repairs (that how the antenna was installed in the first place). It's an expensive repair, but as he put it, just part of owning the tower.



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