Homebrew projects for radio & electronics enthusiasts

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Here are some interesting photos of my own tower installation and of others I have found. I don't have photos of each stage of construction, so you may have to use your imagination and the information in the the tower summary document. Hope you enjoy the view and learn something, too.


Connecting the hose to the pipe to make it into a drill
Making 3/4" copper water pipe into a drill with a garden hose. I hammered the ends almost flat to form a nozzle.

Sinking the ground rods in the radial trenches
There are two ground rods in each trench, with more 3/4" pipe for connecting radials.

The lower right radial trench is extended toward the house
The three trenches are better seen in this overhead view. One of the ground radials (lower right) is extended to reach the house and tie into the service ground.

Making an all-copper joint
To tie in the ground radials to the tower, I made a transition to flexible refrigeration tubing. Two sections in parallel add surface area and reduce the impedance while remaining flexible. By separating the nut and the anvil of the split bolt, the anvil can be reversed in the slot to reinforce the bolt head and help it hold. Copper-filled anti-seize makes an effective antioxidant, completing the all-copper joint.

Once each ground pipe is sunk, the ends and radial pipe are flattened and drilled for the modified copper split bolt.

Each joint is wrapped to seal in the antioxidant paste. Two out of the three radials are ready. By the way, this is a pier-pin base. Below grade, it is 24" diameter and 24" deep, with a re-bar cage. It extends 4" above grade to protect the tower from lingering moisture.

First 3 sections up with rope guys
I put the first three sections together on the ground and tied on some temporary rope guys. Three friends and I had no problem standing it up. The reason for the big grin: my first tower is finally going up!

Here, I have just completed placing section #4, to which the first set of permanent, steel guys will be attached. The guy attachment bracket is already installed, just above my right hand. The gin pole is still attached to the 3rd section, but retracted.

8 sections up - time to move the temporary guys
In this photo, I am just below the second guy point, which is at the 70 foot level, to retrieve the yellow polypropylene temporary guys and take them up to stabilize section #10 above.

Here, I am on section #10, at 100 feet, and the last section, with mast, top plate, two thrust bearings, and a counterbalance weight, is coming up! Since the top section will have the last permanent set of guy cables, I am using temporary guys to stabilize section #10 while I wrangle the last, heaviest section into place. The view from the top is getting pretty awesome. The big hickory tree just to the left of the tower, is 90 feet tall.

On to tower picture gallery 2

Good luck and have fun with your tower project!


Have you found something useful here? Got a comment? Drop me a line: n1lo (remove 'nospam' from address when sending)

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