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TV Antenna Tower

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#1
First Post!

So, I'm taking the test next week to get my HAM license and I'm looking for places to put a VHF antenna for my home base.

I'm looking at this tower that's already installed to my house and I'm wondering if it will work. I currently use the TV antenna. The top part of the tower is a little bent from wind so I'm going to replace it from another pole that my neighbor gave me. I'm not exactly sure but I believe it's a 30' tower and I want to mount the VHF antenna above the TV antenna.

So will this work? My only other option is to find a tripod base to mount to my roof; or mount it to the chimney.

(in case you're wondering the lower antenna on the tower is for our wifi receiver.

My neighbor is really into HAM radio and he has a huge tower in his back yard (probably 250'). I believe he owns the repeater for our county's SKYWARN frequency.

Thanks!
 

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Joined
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#2
Just a guess but it looks like the mast is already overloaded (maybe even the tower). Putting any antenna above the TV antenna is asking for trouble. Do the math to see what and how high you can put the antenna's.
BB
 
Joined
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#4
Just a guess but it looks like the mast is already overloaded (maybe even the tower). Putting any antenna above the TV antenna is asking for trouble.
He stated he was replacing the mast with one his neighbor gave him

First Post!

So, I'm taking the test next week to get my HAM license and I'm looking for places to put a VHF antenna for my home base.

I'm looking at this tower that's already installed to my house and I'm wondering if it will work.
Congrats on the first post and welcome to Radio Reference. :)
You tower will be just fine with the new mast installed, put your tv antenna on it and place you ham antenna on the top.
One thing to note, coax selection will make or break your reception on ham radio. My suggestion would be LMR 400 coax, It is a good coax and inexpensive with very acceptable loss at higher frequencies, your neighbor can give you advice on that.
 
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Joined
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#5
+1 with what Danny posted.

The tower will do just fine; and remember this: make your budget buy the most efficient antenna and coax that you can afford. You can have a transceiver, but the antenna and the coax is what gets your signal out.
BTW, is that tower anchored into concrete base? With guy wires? Just asking; mine is up to 35 feet and in concrete and guy wired because of possible hurricanes down here. If you don't have too high of winds where you live, you probably will do ok.

edit: forgot to welcome you to RR and going for your license. Should you ever have a question, always feel free to ask; most of the members here are great people and enjoy helping others.
 
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#6
Wackodrumr,

I have, what appears to be, the same tower as in the picture. Except for the fact that mine necks down as you go up, and doesn't have that bent mast. I bought mine used and didn't notice, until it was assembled, that there was a severe bend in the tower. Shaped like a banana. But, the bend was relatively easy to remove.

The tower is aluminum and very light. You can easily lift the whole tower fully assembled. With mine, I built a hinged base out of large fence hinges and rebar. Then I sunk base into a 2' x 2' x 3' deep hole and poured in some concrete. With the hinged base, I can lower the tower easily in about 10 minutes.

At about the 10 foot height, I have a angle iron brace securing it to the barn roof. I live in the high desert (~5,300 ft) and regularly get winds of 50-60 miles an hour. I haven't seen any issues that required any extra guying. Mine peaks out at 35' and holds the center of a multi-band trap dipole. I secured some pulleys at the top so that I can raise/lower the antenna without the need to lower the whole tower.

Overall, it works great. I can hit Europe on 15 or 20 Meters without trying. And it still works fine on 80 and 40 Meters. I have a 2 Meter Yagi that I need to put on top, when I get the chance.

Good luck with your tower.

Martin - K7MEM
 
Joined
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#7
Thanks everyone for the welcome.

My suggestion would be LMR 400 coax,
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into that. I have a Kenwood TK-7360 HVK that work gave me because it's obsolete. With that as a start, I'm ahead with my budget. Just need a power supply, antenna, & cable.


BTW, is that tower anchored into concrete base? With guy wires?
It has a concrete base. No guy wires, just the base. We bought the house with the tower already installed; I'd like to have seen it strapped to the house near the roof but it's not.

I've been Googling a lot here lately for antennas. Wind isn't really too bad of an issue where I live. I live along some of the higher terrain in my county so I think I should be good with height. My only concern will be trees blocking my signal.

Thanks again!
 
Joined
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Lebanon Indiana
#8
Welcome to the forum, I've worked with many towers like that one. I would check security of concrete mount followed by anchor at the facia, then inspect for heavy corrosion, broken lattices, then I would slowly climb each lattice to the roof level stepping around putting weight on each side and if all secure, more than likely, but not necessarily same shape above roof line.

as indicated, antenna and feed lines are very critical for performance. I would use brass plated fittings on the tv antenna, mounted with stainless steel hardware, stainless hardware on vhf/uhf antenna. Dont focus on dbi or dbd gain of the vertical, if advertised as "db" gain, avoid that one all togethet. Read your reviews on your vertical.

if at all possible, slide tower down for close inspection, before putting back up, mount a pulley near the top for future tie off for dipole.

Since you have a directional tv antenna, consider a small 2 meter beam just above it, below the vertical.

iIf I lived closer, I would come by to assist you. '73 Harley kc9gld

If you by chance buy an Astron power supply, dont get the meters, bulbs not easily replaced. Mine has been on for over 10 years except for power outages. Antenna suggestions include, Comet, Diamond, Hi-Gain, M2, Cushcraft, or if you're handy with solder, a J-Pole. You migh UT t want to take any suggestions from your liscenced neighbor too. Good luck and be safe. '73 Harley kc9gld
 
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New Orleans region
#10
Before the comment gets buried too far, I want to bring it back into the discussion. it is not a good idea to mount any antenna to a chimney. Especially the way they are constructed these days. Back in the 60's, the masons knew how to construct a chimney. these days, they are built about as cheap as it can be done. This takes away from the ability for them to survive any vibration.

Using a stainless steel strap going around the chimney and then mounting a mast to the bracket the straps support just add to the speed at which your chimney will crack and become a safety hazard. They fall down with a crash and can cause large holes in the roof in the process.

As for trying to mount a ham antenna on the same mast above a TV antenna, this too can be cause for concern. Most TV antennas are mounted on a light duty mast. These masts have a hard time surviving a strong wind with any size TV antenna. Adding any ham antenna to a point above the TV antenna just adds to the loading on the mast and cause for concern.

The photo is hard to see the top of the tower. Some towers have a good sized hole or can have the hole made larger by knocking out a reducer. This allows for a larger mast to be used and it will hold a larger wind load. In your case, I am not sure what to recommend what the best approach is.

Play it on the cautious side. If your looking for an omni antenna that is one thing. If your looking for a directional antenna with a rotator, that would be a concern. Plus if you rotate the TV antenna along with the ham antenna, your going to loose reception TV reception in the process.

So with all these comments in mind, be careful and choose the one that will keep peace in the family and provide you with what your looking to do.

Maybe it would be an idea to take some time and find out where all the repeaters are that you might want to communicate with. Keep in mind how far away they are and in which direction. This will provide some basis to determine what antenna will serve your needs the best.

Work with the group here. There are some very knowledgeable people that can steer you in the best direction.
 
Joined
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#11
as indicated, antenna and feed lines are very critical for performance.
Good info. I've come across some luck in getting some FSJ4-50B coaxial. I've decided to get a Diamond X200A. But with that antenna, I'll have to upgrade my radio so that I'm not restricted just to VHF. It'll be a start great start though.

The photo is hard to see the top of the tower. Some towers have a good sized hole or can have the hole made larger by knocking out a reducer. This allows for a larger mast to be used and it will hold a larger wind load. In your case, I am not sure what to recommend what the best approach is.

Maybe it would be an idea to take some time and find out where all the repeaters are that you might want to communicate with. Keep in mind how far away they are and in which direction. This will provide some basis to determine what antenna will serve your needs the best.
I agree with you. I'm deciding against mounting it to a chimney; I wasn't sure if mounting two antennas (tv under a VHF) that close would work. Now that I know it will work, I'm looking at making sure the mast is stable enough to handle it. I've looked and the top of the tower has a bigger hole than the mast which is why I think the mast bent like it has. This gives me some room to choose a thicker/larger diameter mast.

Also, my neighbor owns the repeater for our county SKYWARN/ARES. It's about 500 yards away from me.

Great advice here. Thanks.
 
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Nankin Township, Michigan
#12
I've seen some good info on this thread, but have not seen the one suggestion that crossed my mind since I read the original post. Go talk to the "neighbor that is really into HAM radio". He or she would be a valuable resource for every question you have, equipment, feed line, antennas, proper grounding, etc. There's a good chance they have done it all before, and have spare just about anything thing to help you out. Including lending a hand, and pulling more hams over, in getting it up the right way. The easiest way to get an tower and antennas up is to tell a few hams there's gonna be an antenna raising bbq. Feed them and they will come.
 
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