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Tower Construction.



Current tower.

This is the old tower.  Not much of a tower actually, it was two 12 foot poles joined together with a coupling.  Stuck into the ground and attached to the house with a bracket.  It did however withstand three hurricanes back in 2004.  It is however not tall enough for us to get good wind readings so we are installing a new one.  The new one will also have an FM antenna as well as an AM antenna on it.  We will be able to talk on both bands weather your flying a balloon, driving a chase truck or want to talk to the Truckers on Interstate 4.  We can do it.




Towe in it's crate as we picked it up from shipper.








Second section attached. Ready to level.








Base secure.








Third section on the way up!







Sucess!  Third section in place.








Top of tower.

Well here it is.  You can not see much here in the crate but its 5 sections each is 10 feet long and there is a three foot piece that goes into the ground.  That will be the first thing we will put together.  Gina will love the wood for her burn can.

Kim McCourt is helping me with this project.  While I ran to Lowe's for some last minute parts he has dug the hole and assembled the 3 foot ground piece with the first section of tower.  We have stuck it into the ground and are installing the wall mount.  Once we have done this we need to level it.

At first we tried to use a level but each of the legs have a slight difference in them and the galvanized coating made it real hard to find a level.  Once we leveled one leg another was out and so on.  So we used the old fashioned method.  We used a plumb bob.  I stood up at the top and lowered the plumb down to the base where Kim was.  I held it in the center of the tower frame while Kim moved the bottom around till the plumb was in the center of the bottom.

Now it is time for concrete.  We have 14 50lb bags.  That is 700lbs of concrete.  We will mix it by hand in the wheel barrow at 100 lbs per batch and then pour it into the hole.  Gina and Kim did this dirty job while I ran to the radio shop for the antennas we will need to install on the last section of tower.  Since this is so high up we will have all the antenna and weather sensors already mounted on the last section before we take it up.  Here is the concrete going into the hole.

The next step will be putting the third section of tower up.  We will be installing a 12 foot pipe on the side of the tower with U clamps.  Once we have this pipe secure we will use a pulley attached to the top of the pole to pull up the next section of tower.  Kim will position the tower section over the other as I will lower the section into place. 

Our pole we used to lift the next section into place did a bunch of bending but it did the job.  We will be using a thicker pipe for the forth and final sections.  Next task will be putting in the guyed wires.

We were smart enough to think ahead and installed the guyed wire bracket on the top of the third tower piece before we put it up.  So now all Kim has to do is climb up to the top and install the wires.  Once we have this done we need to install the brackets on the house and the auger in the yard.

We had to cut and create the guyed wires for each leg.  We have a bracket that goes on the side of the house to keep the wire from touching the roof or eve and damaging the house.  We have used concrete lag anchors to attach the end of the wire to the side of the house.  In the yard we used a 48" auger style anchor.  There are 5 turnbuckles to adjust the tension on the wires. 

I will use my pull tester to determine tension on the wires.  From what I have read the tension needs to be about 10% of the breaking strength.  Since we are using 1/8 inch steel cable with a 650 pound breaking strength I will tension each wire to about 65 pounds of pull.  This seems to me to be more than needed.  In fact the instructions for this tower do not even require guyed wires but we live in Florida and our storms are real strong and we do get hurricanes so going above the requirements is a good thing.

Here is a photo of the top of the tower as I begin to install the antenna and weather wind sensor.  This will be the fun one to pull up.  Getting dark out for the day so we will resume with the rest of the install on Tuesday.

Here we are on Tuesday.  After running my errands Kim and I are back at it.  Section 4 is going up and we are bolting it into place.  Kim has been the biggest help with this.  I tried to figure out a way I could say thank you so he would understand.

 Timing is a wonderfull thing.
Section 5!  The tower is UP.

Tower connected to base and in hole.









Concrete made by hand.








Hope this pole idea works?








Get it in the hole KIM!!







Installing the guyed wires.








Section four going into place.  One more to go.





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