Tag Archives: ham radio tower base

Ham Radio Tower Base is Done!

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.

 

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The Miracle of Brush Hogging

Our man-for-all-next-to-impossible-chores, Foy Brown, spent most of the afternoon here yesterday, brush hogging. He has a really nice looking Kubota tractor with a front end loader on the front and an 8 foot wide brush hog attachment on the back.

We needed to have the easement cleared where my greenhouse is – and the ham radio tower WILL be. The grass, blackberry briars, and other assorted weeds were my chest high, and sometimes higher. We need to be able to lay the pieces of the tower down on the ground in order, run two kinds of cables through it, test the system, and then put it together and haul it up.

 

 

After Foy finished brush hogging to the east side of the house, you can clearly see the greenhouse!  If you’ll strain your eyes a bit, you can see the wooden edge of the form for the base of the ham radio tower to the right of the greenhouse.

 

This is the view to the north of the greenhouse.

 

 

He then went across the edge of the civilized part of our back yard, where I’ve been trying to lop down and throw weed trees.  He did a wonderful job. We still have weed trees, but they’re growing in extremely rocky ground, between rocks just shoved down the side of the hill when our house was built 30 years ago. You can’t tackle this area with any kind of riding equipment. I’ll lop what I can of the remaining trees.

 

You can see where I’ll need to do a bit of clean up, and then a LOT of spraying with the nice weed killer that is on its way to us.

 

We showed Foy where he could go down past the pile up of rocks and get to the area we would like to have cleared to renew our fire break. He did a lot of work yesterday, but then a part of the hydraulic line broke. He’ll need to get a new part to repair the tractor – now in the back off the edge of our world, ready for him to climb down and repair it. He said he’ll be back before Saturday to finish up what he can do back there.

Between the help drilling the hole we needed for the radio tower and the brush hogging, Foy is worth his weight in gold.

The next step on the ham radio tower is getting 16 bags of sac-crete. Our friend Dave has a concrete mixer!  He’s going to bring it and help us mix and pour the concrete, we think tomorrow. Hooray!

 

 

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Ham Radio Tower Base – Take 1

Our friend, Foy Brown, is helping us get a hole large and deep enough to put stakes and grout slurry in for the base of the 45 foot ham radio tower we bought recently.

He has a compressor and a rock drill, but when I went out there to check on them, they were using all kinds of shovels, picks, pick axes, etc. They THINK they can get the hole deep enough, though it’s one rock after another, making them fight for every inch.

 

Foy said, “Don’t take our picture sitting on our butts in the hole.” :0)  My husband is sitting on the form they’re going to put into the ground when they can get the hole deep enough.

You can see how close the tower is going to be to my greenhouse. I’m not happy about that, but the tower needs to be at the highest point of our land 60 feet away from the closest power pole, and this was the spot. If my husband had found the tower first, my greenhouse would probably have not been built…

The tower will have strong guy wires attached to stakes going into the ground, so we would have to have catastrophic weather to cause the tower to fall on my greenhouse. If we have super bad weather, it’s more likely my greenhouse will lift up and try to wrap itself around the tower.

Since it’s hot outside, rather than overcast as we had hoped, I’m checking on them every half hour or so, bringing cold water and babbling at them so they have to rest a bit.

If we can get the form into the ground, the next step will be buying lots of bags of sac-crete to mix up in our wheelbarrow to fill the form.

More pics to follow as progress is made.

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