We have finally broken the ground and started the construction of a new 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 (Nashyei@aol.com) 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.
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.
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.
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.
The guy anchor blocks were a “free pour” directly into the holes.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- First Tower Part 2 – Tower/Antenna System Design Details And Equipment Ordering
- First Tower Part 3 – More Excavation For Feedline Conduits
- First Tower Part 4 – Tower/Antenna System Analysis And Design (Planning And EZNEC)
- First Tower Part 5 – Tower/Antenna System Analysis And Design (HFTA Analysis)
- First Tower Part 6 – We Have A Tower!
- First Tower Part 7 – 100 ft Tower Completed!
- First Tower Part 8 – VHF/UHF Antenna System Design
- First Tower Part 9 – Feedline Conduits And Electrical Power Complete
- First Tower Part 10 – Building Yagis (70 cm)
- First Tower Part 11 – Building Yagis (2m)
- First Tower Part 12 – Building Yagis (SteppIR DB36)
- First Tower Part 13 – Building Yagis (SteppIR DB36 Continued)
- First Tower Part 14 – Building Yagis (SteppIR DB36 Continued II)
- First Tower Part 15 – Building Yagis (SteppIR DB36 Completed)
- First Tower Part 16 – Building Yagis (Second SteppIR DB36 Completed)
- First Tower Part 17 – Feedline Breakout System
- First Tower Part 18 – Antennas On The Tower (Preparation and Upper Yagis)
- First Tower Part 19 – Antennas On The Tower (System Integration)
- First Tower Part 20 – Antennas On The Tower (System Complete)
- First Tower Part 21 – Antennas On The Tower (Final Odds and Ends)
– Fred, AB1OC