First Tower Part 1 – Ground Broken For New Tower!

We have finally broken the ground and started the construction of a new Amateur Radio tower and antenna system for our station. The plan for our new antenna system is as follows:

  • 100’ Rohn 55G star guyed tower
  • Two SteppIR DB36 beams 40m-6m in an array
  • The top antenna on an M2 Azimuth Rotator, the middle antenna on a K0XG ring rotator
  • 160m Inverted-L installed on side of the tower
  • 80m Loop installed at the apex of the tower
  • Hardline feeders (3) for the two SteppIR beams and the 160m and 80m wire antennas

If all works as planned, we should have a great signal on all bands 80m-6m. We are also making provisions for adding 2M and 70cm long beam antennas or perhaps an az/el UHF array on the top of the tower at a later date.

We are working with a local tower contractor, Matt Strelow at XX Towers to build our tower and antenna system. Matt has a great deal of experience with Amateur Radio Antenna Systems like ours and he has been a great help in planning our project and getting it going. We are also working with a local excavation contractor, Brian Veillette ( to handle all of the excavation work for the tower as well as to install the feedline conduits to bring feedlines from the tower to the shack entry.

We were fortunate to purchase a nearly new Rohn 55G tower kit locally. This not only saved on the cost of the tower but also a significant expense for shipping. The kit is an 80′ Rohn 55G tower and we are adding two additional sections to it to create a 100′ tower.

Amatuer Radio Tower - 80' Rohn Tower Kit

Rohn 55G Tower Kit

The first step was to obtain a building permit and layout the location of the tower base and three guy anchor blocks. Matt from XX Towers was able to find a good spot on our lot that places the tower about 100′ from the entry point to our shack and located the guy anchors about 100′ from it in the woods on the edge of our property. Next, Brian Veillette used his backhoe to dig 4′ deep holes for the base pad of the tower and the three guy anchors. Then holes were fitted with the proper rebar cages and forms.

Hold and rebhar reinforcing for amateur radio tower base slab.

Base Foundation

Amateur Radio Tower - Reinforcing rod and structure for guy anchor

Guy Anchor Ready for Cement

After completing our first building inspection. We ordered 5 cubic yards of 4,000 lb. strength concrete from a local Redi-Mix company. The cement mixer showed up the next morning.

Redi-mix Cement Mixer

Cement Mixer

The weight of the cement truck would have likely damaged our driveway and it could not reach the location where the tower is located anyway so Brian Veillette used his front-end loader to move the cement one bucket at a time from the street into the forms.

Amateur Radio Tower - Pouring Cement for our tower base..

Pouring Cement for the Tower Base

The guy anchor blocks were a “free pour” directly into the holes.

Guy Anchor Block

Guy Anchor Block

We finished the tower base and allowed the cement to set up for two days before removing the forms. We used a brick to smooth the cement on the top and sides of the base to create a nice finish. The threaded rod on the base slab is used to hold the tower base to the slab. This also allows the tower to be removed from the base in the future if necessary.

Finished Amatuer Radio Tower Base

Finished Tower Base

It’s important to keep the cement moist with water for about a week until in cures some to ensure that the final structures reach their full strength. We accomplished this by pouring a bucket of water on the cement structures once a day and keeping them covered with a plastic tarp to keep the cement damp while it cured.

We have backfilled the guy anchors and they present a low profile in the woods at the edge of our property.

Finished Guy Anchor after Backfilling

Finished Guy Anchor

We are both working different parts of our tower project, Anita is project managing the entire project, ordering much of the equipment, and has done a great deal to coordinate all of our sub-contractors working with us. Fred is doing the overall planning and engineering and working with the contractors to build the system. We are both doing work to clear brush, clean up the landscaping around the tower and the shack, and assisting the contractors in their work.

Anita, AB1QB is shown working on our tower project.

AB1QB Working on the Tower Project

The next step in our tower project is to install conduits in our yard to run feedlines and control lines from the shack to the tower. You can read more about our tower project via the articles which follow:

– Fred, AB1OC

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