Warm weather is here, and I'm back working on my tower again. The tower was destroyed during a storm back in April of 2016, that also did considerable damage to our home. At that time, the tower was cleaned, stripped of all antennas and cables, and cut off just under the 70' point. In November of 2016, it was restored as a simple dipole support for 40, 80, and 160 meter antennas to keep me on the air through the winter months.
Over the weekend of June 10-11 2017, I decided it was time to get busy. Debbie AC4QD was my ground crew, and she worked to pull lots of things up to me with the garden tractor (and even by hand!!), depending on the weight. On Saturday, I had to climb to the 70' point, pull up a tag line and pulley, hoist a heavy duty electrical cord (for the AC drill) and tie it off on the tower top, and pull up various hand tools and supplies. A batch of 6" long, schedule-40 3/4" galvanized nipples were drilled, fitted, and double bolted into the top of the 70' section. This would serve as splices to allow the next tower section to be stacked. This stuff is hard to drill, and required 18 drill bit changes...not to mention lots of me straining my back while strapped into the top of the tower. Needless to say, my hands were raw after that piece of work. Once I finished that task, I came down the tower, assembled the gin pole, laid out all of the ropes, and prepared everything for the next day's work.
On Sunday, Debbie and I fired up the lawn tractor, tied it to the pull cable, and hoisted the gin pole to the top of the tower. It was attached to the top of the 70' section, Debbie snapped the rope to the next section of the tower, and used the lawn tractor to hoist it up. I got the 80' section set in place, and drilled / fitted / bolted... it had to be fastened to the splices I had installed the day before. Once again, it required loads of drilling, including another 18 drill bit changes. Wow, my hands were beginning to protest. Folks have said "why don't you wear gloves?"... I don't like the loss of dexterity from wearing gloves while on the tower.
I'm almost ready to stack the rest of the tower. Some guy wire adjustments are in order before I go any further. I'm currently soaking the turn buckles in penetrant, as they've been in place since 1993 (24 years!) and are a little rough to turn. Once the guy wires are adjusted, I'll pull up more tower. I'd love to get this thing finished soon, I'm anxious to get my antenna farm back up!