Like all good things in life, a new antenna system with
a tower begins with a hole in the ground. This hole measured
3' X 3' X 5' and was dug through three layers of calichi'. Calichi
is a mexican word for "mud concrete". It is extremely
hard and very difficult to dig with any known impliment. I used
a post hole digger and a set of buckets. The system was to dig
with the post hole digger until the buckets were full. Then climb
out of the hole and carry the buckets to the back yard and dump
them. Needless to say it took me two weeks to dig the hole. Once
the hole was done, then came the Rebar and the bolts. The bolts
connect the concrete to the tower base and the rebar reinforces
the concrete. The sheet from the concrete company says the materials
to make the concrete weighed 7250 pounds before the water was
added. That tower isn't going anywhere, unassisted.
Once the hole is filled with concrete then you can attache
the base of the tower to it using the bolts that you placed in
the concrete. This is where you find out how good your measurement
skills have been. Luckily, my tower base fit perfectly on the
bolts. and the tilt over base was mounted.to the concrete. From
here on, the tower project was getting easier. The telescoping
mast was attached to the base and the cables were hooked up and
the mast section was raised to a upright position. The City inspector
was called and the tower passed it's inspection. Next came the
antennas, coax, coax arms, rechecking all the bolts were tight,
and worrying about the winches being able to lift that load.
But it all went up and up and up. The system seems to be working
as now the DX stations answer me when I call them. Now it all
seems worth while, but when I was digging that hole through the
very hard clay, I HAD MY DOUBTS.
The Great Tower Modification:
A new 15:1 ratio winch for the Lay over winch
The two pictures below show the new winch installation.
My original lay over winch on my Wilson 40 foot tower was
a Fulton KR1000 winch. It had been installed for about 25 years
but still worked very well. The problem was that the 5:1 ratio
was getting difficult for an "old man" to crank the
tower over and back up. The modification consisted of buying
a Fulton KR2500 braking winch and install in place of the KR1000.
To provide extra support, a 1/4 inch piece of steel plate was
mounted underneath the winch and on top of the lifting arm. The
pictures below show the installation. It was the best thing I
have ever done in that laying the tower down and up is much easier
with the 15:1 ratio of the double action winch.