Ham Radio Tower Project at KD5OM - U.S. Tower MA-40

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I finally made the decision to put up another Ham Radio Tower. It's has been since 1986 I have had a radio tower in the backyard and the choice was made on a telescoping tilt-over by U.S. Tower model MA-40. I no longer at this age have any desire to climb an antenna  tower. This is the reason for the tilt over. I just crank it down across the backyard and then I can make adjustments to the antennas or rotator.

Due to Hurricane Katrina and Rita, I had to wait about 3 months after I paid for the radio tower to have the tower delivered. Which was alright because we had to get engineering, building permits, dig the hole, set the steel, pour the concrete then allow the concrete to set and cure for 28 days. U.S. Tower did send me the anchor bolts ahead of time along with a template so when the tower did arrive all I had to do was bolt it down and crank it up. The Engineer required us to drill a pier 12" diameter x 10' deep. The city didn't accept U.S. Tower's engineered plans for 2 reasons. First the Engineer was licensed in California not Texas and second, the seal on those plans had an expired date on the engineer's seal. No problem. $200.00 paid for a local engineer to come up with the footing plans with a good Texas Professional Engineer's Seal that the city would accept. 

On our way to the 10' depth we hit rock at 6'-6" and continued for another foot to 7'-6". The Engineer accepted that as good enough. Thank goodness for my sons who were a great help in the heavy work. The box is 36"x36"x30" then the pier continues to 7'-6" below the surface and 12" of that is into limestone rock. Renting the Bobcat was a little expensive but we believe we're not going to have a tower leaning after a few years. All this expense and work so I can talk to people I don't know, my wife asked.

The amateur radio tower is 40' high at it's full extension. The beam is a Force-12 C3SS fed with about 80 feet of LMR-400 coax. Right below the rotator I have a 80 meter / 30 meter dipole.

Eldest son Dustin operating the Bobcat. Have we struck oil yet? We hit ROCK! My sons mixing and pouring the concrete.
 It's nice to have cheap labor. 27-80 pound sacks of concrete and a nice smooth finish. Concrete was Maximizer Concrete from the Home Depot, 5,500 p.s.i. and each sack yield one cubic foot of concrete. I also rented the mixer from H.D.
The Force-12 C3SS out of the box.
Each element was bundled together.
Very easy to assemble and get on the air. I received excellent reports from LY80R and SV9CVY right off the bat. The 20 meter reflector was the largest and most difficult element to assemble, but still went together easily.

Here's the most precarious part of this MA-40 tilt over tower. That's a 3/4" steel bolt holding the weight of the whole tower, rotator and antenna. I would have liked to have seen a larger bolt along with a bushing through the lower section. Sort of like one of those 1" steel bolts embedded in the concrete base. I'm going to get me some aluminum Rustolium paint for those steel bolts. Tower in tilted position. Outside the picture I have a step ladder holding the weight of the tower. Now I can easily reach the antenna and parts with out being high up a tower. Here is a view of the base with the tower tilted over. When we have severe storms approaching, I tilt the tower over. Here in Texas, we can have wind gusts over 60-70 MPH. Better safe than sorry.

Click here to see another MA-40 Tower installation