So, I agreed to do this takedown, as I sometimes will or do, for “salvage value,” meaning I do not charge anything, simply keeping all the pieces/parts & hauling them away.
I had agreed to do this because I’ve sold all my Rohn 25G (the closest thing we have to a “universal” tower, & wanted to have some on hand, just in case). So…Joe & I headed off to do this work–thinking we were taking down 50-ft of tower, along with a 2M vertical, a Hy-Gain TH-3JR, & a Cushcraft 2M boomer. What we found was not only surprising, but shocking, to say the least.
There were six sections of tower, not the usual five, because some of the sections had been “cut down” & spliced back together using water pipe nipples. Some sections were installed upside down, again using the pipe nipples to mate them. The single set of guys was 1/8-inch hardware store cable. The rotator (an HD-73) was stick in a large hole chopped out of the accessory shelf. The mast was 1.5-inch water pipe. ALL of the antennas were either bent or broken or had missing parts. In a word, there was exactly ONE section of salvaged tower left at the end of the work day. That’s it. Nothing else remained of value.
I am quite often amazed to find things hams have done or installed to be “not quite right,” or not according to various manufacturer’s guidelines, etc. But this installation was, without a doubt, the most outrageous I’d ever encountered. That it lasted (& apparently worked!) as long as it did is not only a testament to Rohn & other vendor’s wares, but perhaps an indication that there is some Supreme Being watching over all hams everywhere.
If you are contemplating a tower or beam installation, please either read a book or ask some other experienced hams in your community for help. And do things right. Later, when things have to be dismantled, the crew & climbers will thank you.