This morning we made sure we had electricity and water at the ready for the pouring-the-ham-radio-tower-base project. My husband and I emptied the back of the truck of the 16 sixty-pound bags of Qwik-Crete, stacking them on the ground close to the form. I then went back to Yeagers to get 14 more bags.
By the time I got back, our good friends Dave and Laufrain were here. We started at 10:00.
The concrete mixer would handle up to 3 sacks at a time. Most of the time we kept it to 2 sacks. But the mixer did a wonderful job. They also brought a vibrator, which was an electric vibrating pole-looking attachment that got the bubbles out, made sure the mix was good, and really did miracle work for us. There was very little hoeing to be done – mainly to move the poured concrete to the opposite side of the form when necessary. Dave finished the top off with a regular concrete smoothing tool, encasing the metal attachment base in its proper place in the middle of the concrete.
The tower base will attach to the metal we encased today. It is meant to ‘open up’ allowing one to ease the tower down on its side if necessary, and then be pulled back up into position.
We’ll bring all the parts of the tower (4 ten-foot sections) plus the huge antenna top, and will lay them out, ready to be cabled and then put together on the ground. The actual antenna will be off the ground, supported on ‘something’ so that my husband can be sure it’s responding to the correct band width level before we haul it up into place.
We’ll install guy wires on stakes pounded into the ground to keep it secure.
Here are some close up pics of the base.
My husband wanted me to put the date on one side
and his call sign on another. He was okay with me using my finger.
When the concrete sets up a bit more, we’ll use a brush on the metal in the center to get the concrete off.
We would have been dead trying to mix this much concrete by ourselves, with hoe and wheelbarrow. Our friends made it a much more bearable process. Dave will also bring another tool he has that will help us stand the tower up when it’s ready.
As partial payment for our friends’ efforts, my husband is going to replace the rickety wooden ‘arms’ on the cart the mixer is on with some nice metal arms that will probably outlive all of us. :0)
We’re lucky to have such great friends.