I had seventy feet of tower holding all kinds of Aluminum in the sky. The key word is HAD. There was a severe storm on July 09, 1999 that turned the installation to scrap metal.
The National Weather Service said winds only reached 60 MPH. In spite of what they say a neighbor states his weather station recorded burst of 90 MPH! I am inclined to believe the neighbor because in addition to the tower destruction, I lost an apple tree ten inches in diameter that was TWISTED off about one foot above the ground! The powered roof vent was ripped from the roof of my home. My neighbor lost three healthy trees between 8 and 16 inches in diameter!
As a result of the storm I lost antennas that covered 50 MHz through 2.4 GHz. The largest was an 8-element 6-meter beam that was 36 feet long. It was turned into what amounted to a corner reflector of sorts. It was folded in half and essentially destroyed. All of the other antennas were either damaged or destroyed. The tower was bent and twisted from about 25 feet up. In spite of all of the damage nothing fell off the tower!
This is Tom KA8YKP working on the 6-meter beam at the top of the tower in the summer of 96 when all was still well.
The mast pipe was cut with a sawsall and every thing above the 6-meter beam was lowered to the ground. This is element 5 of the 6-meter beam after the remainder of the mast was cut above the bearing at the top of the tower. In this picture the boom of the beam has been cut so that it could be lowered to the ground in two pieces. Notice the bend in the mast pipe and it is readily apparent how the force of the wind folded up the boom of the 6-meter beam!
This is a view of the tower. The bend doesn't appear to be that bad. Look at the picture below for a view from the base.
This is another view of the tower and antennas after the July 9th storm damage. Marty Baker (N8XPK) of Baker Tower in Akron Ohio had placed some temporary guy ropes at three levels in an effort to prevent the installation from falling.
I am now preparing to install a new tower. I took the plunge in August of 1999 and called Universal Manufacturing Company ( 810-463-2560) and ordered a freestanding 80-foot aluminum tower. The tower was delivered and was stacked in the back yard awaiting the digging of the hole for the foundation.
The tower required a 5X5-foot hole with a depth of six feet! I ended up with a larger one due to the walls collapsing about thirty minutes after the digging was complete. I ended up with eight yards of concrete instead of the recommended six yards. In order to make the installation pleasing to my wife; I had to use another two and one half yards in making an eleven by sixteen-foot patio. This has resulted in both of us being very pleased with the installation of the ten and a half yards of concrete. Wow, talk about hiding your money in the back yard! Even a couple of the neighbors stated they thought the installation looked great!
Stay tuned for additional info and photos of the construction and installation of the antennas and feedline.