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Rohn25G Tower




 
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WB4AM
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« on: June 23, 2020, 12:48:46 PM »

   
Hello to All,

    I have a question or maybe I am looking for opinions on a tower idea.  I placed this topic under Technical thinking it does fall under a technical matter, just not
technical, electrically.  But maybe this is not the correct subject location?
Anyway, I'll get on with my question or concerns.

    I have several Rohn25G tower sections that I would like to install.  I have enough for one tower being 70 feet which is in good condition.  This leaves me with enough to build another tower about 40 feet, but I would like to find another section to make it 50 feet.  The 40 feet of sections are just okay, meaning they will need to be cleaned up from the surface rust and then I will repaint them with an epoxy paint.  I have 4 quarts of very expensive epoxy paint that I was going to use on a vintage car that I no longer have in my possession.  Reason for having the paint that I can now use on the tower instead.

    However I really don't know the condition of the inner diameter of each hollow tower legs and so this started to have me thinking.

    The inner diameter I think is 1 1/4 inch but there is that top section of the tower sections that is swedge to allow the fitting of the other tower sections. 
This inner diameter if I measured correctly is a tight 15/16.

    I have been contemplating about inserting 50 feet of rebar that is just under 15/16 down through each leg of 5 sections and perhaps passing through the bottom and having it installed in a way into the concrete base.

    Of course with this procedure, this will prevent the sections to be bolted.  But I don't believe they would need to be bolted with its own weight of each sections and the weight of the antenna and perhaps a rotor adding to the weight to keep them from separating enough to do any damage even with high winds.

    The only mishap that I can think of, if I ever need to take the tower down, I probably would have to cut it down.  It would be to difficult to separate the sections having to slide them up through three 50 feet of rebar unless perhaps using a crane per sections, but that isn't my concern right now.  But this does bring up the issue of how will I install it too.  But again this is not my concern either at the moment.

    I have also thought maybe I could construct this to become a free standing tower at 50 feet or 45 feet with 5 feet of pipe sticking out of the top.

    Anyway I know there are many other people who have a lot more experience then I have here, the reason I am asking what anyone may think of this idea.

    Please keep in mind I am thinking just because it has never been done, doesn't mean it shouldn't or it may not be worth it. 
I am a person who also believes anything is possible!

    Anyway I would appreciate any comments just the same.  I always believe too that a lot can be learned from what people say why not to do something.

Thank you for your time and your valuable information.

Ken







 

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K8DI
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2020, 01:18:29 PM »

I have to wonder, what is your goal with the rebar?  Trying to make a mount without setting the tower into the concrete? Worried about the tubing being compromised by rust? Wishing for some extra capacity/strength? Free standing vs. guyed?

If the tubing is rusted enough that you're worried about its strength, take it to the scrap yard, please, for the sake of  anyone it can hurt on it's way down.

50' of rebar won't stand up straight on its own, without any top load or wind.

Dead straight rebar is not a thing; you'll be hammering it through the sections.

All of this seems like a really bad idea.

Ed


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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2020, 01:59:35 PM »

Ken...  Schemes like the one you describe scare the stuffin right out of me.  First off, thin surface rust on galvanized tower is not necessarily bad if it can be removed with mild abrasive (not a grinder!) or wire brush.  I would much prefer one of the zinc paints  or "cold galvanizing" like ZRC or similar.  If the tower is so far gone that a quick wire brushing won't clean it up...it's too far gone to have up over your head, or worse yet, under you with you climbing it.  It might make a nice trellis for your string beans.
I am also concerned that your epoxy paint, no matter how pricey it may be,  may add too much thickness and make difficult the task of nesting the sections.   The towers that I have installed that were painted were all flange and bolts construction, not like the Rohn series of swaged and nested. And not bolting the sections together is just asking for trouble.
For the past few decades, and I'm nearing the end of a fun career, I have installed towers and HF and MW antennas all over the world, mostly for various governments.  The watchword for tower modifications has always been...if the manufacturer doesn't specify it, or if you can't get a competent structural analysis done to OK the mods...  then just don't do it.  And if your insurance company finds out about it, either before or after some "event", they will probably just forget they ever met you.
Carefully sort out the sections, including sighting down the insides of the legs for crud or corrosion, ZRC the surface, and put it up like the book says with decent quality guys and hardware and concrete.   The number of good sections you have in possession is how high you can go.  And depending on where you live, it's probably not too late to put in a crop of string beans.  I like Rattlesnake for good rich bean flavor.  In some parts, they call them Preacher Beans.

73 de Norm W1ITT
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WB4AM
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 02:04:33 PM »

Hello Ed,

Thanks for your comment.

The rusted section are quite strong really, but I don't know how anyone would really know even on any used rohn tower section how strong any sections actually are.

But my main idea of thinking, it would really give the tower sections strength.  The rebar would be one continued length through out each leg.

Lets forget about my thought above about even having the thought of making it free standing.  I am just thinking with the rebar installed at lease with
guide wires as usual, it would stiffen the tower up a bit.  Lets assume a guide wire would snap over the years, perhaps the rebar would save the day from the tower
folding over for the moment.

I understand there would be more given weight in the equation, but having three rebars internally, I would think it would allow more strength in some degree.

Lets say the rebar thickness was 7/8 of inch thick.  Having three of them spread the distance of the tower legs with the tower legs themselves being the extra
strength aiding the rebar would strengthen the rebar and the rebar themselves aiding in the strength of the tower legs, I am thinking it would be an advantage not a disadvantage.

Now I understand the cross bars that make up the tower is not connected to the rebar which is where the tower legs actually get its strength.

I wonder if there is a software program that can simulate structural towers in a way there are programs that simulate the electrical construction of antenna gains and such.

I appreciate your comment in every way.  The gathering of information is what creates the data to determined the out come.

Thank you Ed.


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WB4AM
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2020, 02:34:45 PM »

Ken...  Schemes like the one you describe scare the stuffin right out of me.  First off, thin surface rust on galvanized tower is not necessarily bad if it can be removed with mild abrasive (not a grinder!) or wire brush.  I would much prefer one of the zinc paints  or "cold galvanizing" like ZRC or similar.  If the tower is so far gone that a quick wire brushing won't clean it up...it's too far gone to have up over your head, or worse yet, under you with you climbing it.  It might make a nice trellis for your string beans.
I am also concerned that your epoxy paint, no matter how pricey it may be,  may add too much thickness and make difficult the task of nesting the sections.   The towers that I have installed that were painted were all flange and bolts construction, not like the Rohn series of swaged and nested. And not bolting the sections together is just asking for trouble.
For the past few decades, and I'm nearing the end of a fun career, I have installed towers and HF and MW antennas all over the world, mostly for various governments.  The watchword for tower modifications has always been...if the manufacturer doesn't specify it, or if you can't get a competent structural analysis done to OK the mods...  then just don't do it.  And if your insurance company finds out about it, either before or after some "event", they will probably just forget they ever met you.
Carefully sort out the sections, including sighting down the insides of the legs for crud or corrosion, ZRC the surface, and put it up like the book says with decent quality guys and hardware and concrete.   The number of good sections you have in possession is how high you can go.  And depending on where you live, it's probably not too late to put in a crop of string beans.  I like Rattlesnake for good rich bean flavor.  In some parts, they call them Preacher Beans.

73 de Norm W1ITT

Hello Norm and thank you for your comment as well.

I understand Norm if the tower rust is just surface rust or not and if it is not then the tower would not be worth the construction.

As for the epoxy paint I would not paint over the sections where it would join.  These have no surface rust at all on them.  Also I understand the idea of being careful how to remove surface rust if needed.

I have also painted tower sections with combining a coat of zinc and then a coat of cold galvanized paint but I don't necessary remember the order or the number of coats either.
I do remember reading about it somewhere for the reason I had given it a try.  It held up pretty good too until I needed to do it again many years later.

I hear you on the manufacture details, I am listening to the comments, the reason I am asking.  Also any tubular tower with thin wall structure is not really a sound tower to begin with in my opinion.  These hollow legs can get clogged with bee nests or what ever and slow down the dripping rain water.  During the rain in the winter time causing the rain water to freeze and expanding causing the tubular tower legs to split, I have seen this on several towers.  Towers such as a tower made of something similar to angle iron construction would be much better compared to thin wall tubular tower legs.  I have two crank up towers that are also tubular and the freezing rain has always been my concern.

Well although I am listening to any comments and I surely appreciate them, I am not yet convince on my theory of thinking.  I am a hard head and I am not afraid to admit.
But I do understand stupid !!!

By the way I do like String Beans but I never heard of Rattle Snake or Preacher Beans.





 

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W4AMV
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 02:58:58 PM »

Hi Ken,

I can only comment from my experience. I had a 70 foot Rohn 25G fold over tower in Fla. It was 30+ years old when I purchased it and re installed. Up for another 15+. Any rust was all surface rust and usually found around various bolt together sections. I used a wire brush and plenty of elbow work to take care of each 10 foot section. I used Rustoleum Rusty Red primer and then their galvanized rusty paint coating over that. I think I spent a month of preparation just cleaning each tower section before putting this system up. I replaced all nuts and bolts with stainless. I used hurricane power pole augers for tie downs of all guys. The tower had 4 guys at the 30 foot point and 3 guys at the 70 foot point. The antenna was a TA33. The base section was sunk down 3 feet in concrete.

It was left up during Hurricane Andrew and a quick calculation on wind load said leave it up. The system took 130 mph winds at my QTH. The antenna and tower stood as erect as ever. NO REBAR.

If I did it again, I would do the same. Don't like guys, but after going threw a Hurricane... Boy was that worth the effort.

Alan
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WB4AM
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 04:16:25 PM »

Hello Alan,

Yep I understand, if it is not broke don't fix it, makes sense.

Besides the manufactures creating a tower as such and if it is not broke don't fix it, I get it.  But I am hoping to hear reasons why the idea will not work or reasons why it would for that matter.

This may not be the right statement, but I am trying to learn the physical reason why this will not work.
I understand the reasons why someone would not do it, but what is the actual reason or reasons for this theory to fail if you will?

I just cannot see a failed reason why this will not work.  In ones view it may not be a reasonable reason to attempt it, but that does not explain why it will not work.

I am just not coming to the conclusion that it will not work.

There has to be more reasonable data one way or another I would think?

One thought I had with the rebar being in the legs of the tower, this would create less space for water from moisture or rain water getting in and having more chances of freezing and expanding in the winter time causing the outer legs to split.  This would be something  I could chew on to understand, but I have yet to to understand why the rebar theory will not work.

Sorry for my stubbornness, sometimes this is the only way I can learn.









 



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KB5MD
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 05:19:50 PM »

Placing rebar inside the tower legs will probably cause more rusting due to disasemler metals causing galvanic action.
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 06:25:43 PM »

Rebar in the tower legs is a bad idea.

It's not going to be tight, so you run the risk of it flopping around.  Which over time will weaken the metal.

It's a dissimilar metal, as another pointed out.  Therefore, it will cause galvanic reaction.....  And start rusting.  From the inside.  Where you can't see or do anything about it.

If it where me, I would have it tested, cleaned and hot dipped again.

Too many people have died in the last year from tower accidents.

Is your life, or the life of someone on the tower, really worth saving the money?

--Shane
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K1JJ
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2020, 08:35:22 PM »

It's only 50' high, so sure, chances are it will probably work without incident, but what are you gaining?  There are too many variables to consider unless it was modeled using 100 MPH wind stress, unbolted sections, added weight of the rebar, etc.   I wouldn't do it.

That said, I learned the hard way that as far as rigidity and unwanted movement, a hollow pipe is just about as good as a solid one. The solid one will be stronger and resist breaking more, but the diameter is what counts.   I have five towers here and two are 190' self supporters, and two are guyed Rohn 45 at 100' and 150'.  I designed and built them myself with some help from a pro mentor. (K1JCL sk).  My point: I once built a pair of 60' boom, 300 pound log periodics and mounted them on the Rohn 45 guyed tower. The one at the top had too much twisting movement in the wind due to a mast that was too small in diameter.  I added a solid piece of steel shaft inside the mast, bolted it thru and it had little effect. Diameter is what really counts and adding solid cores does little, just a waste of weight and material.

Rohn 25 is pretty wimpy to start with and adding heavy rebar inserts and losing your bolts / fasteners is a big compromise. The test is how much does it sway without guy wires before and after adding the rebar. I say it will be weaker and have more failure of the lattice work (weld failures) with the heavy rebar. And the rebar isn't even anchored to the structure... it just floats.

I would clean it up and use ZRC galvanizer paint mush. Put it up with 25' guy spacing, IE, two guy levels will be FB for a 50' tower.  Keep it stock as per Rohn's design.

Good luck with the project.

BTW, a pin to let the tower base float is the correct way to hold a guyed tower in place. A section anchored in concrete will put huge stress on the tower when the guy wires later become unbalanced for pull tension. Like a long lever with the fulcrum near the base.  Just picture pushing an anchored sell-supporter at the top and where will it break?

Also, the tower should have "leak holes" at the base (under the floating base plate where the legs join) to let condensation drip out. The top of the tower needs a top section to seal off any rain.  IE, you don't want any standing water in the tower rails at all. Towers have failed due to water accumulation at the base from both ice and rust.


Tom, K1JJ
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2020, 10:42:47 PM »

I'm not a structural engineer, but I play one on TV? No.

But, putting reybar down the legs? Huh?
You can't put in any bar that is a tight fit to tubing, especially tubing that has
been welded. Not without reaming it the whole length. And even then, very iffy.

So what do you have?
Reybars standing inside a tube?
Does zero to stiffen anything.
Adds extra weight.

Reybar has little resistance to bending.
Its only strength really is in compression or in some instances, expansion.
Shearing? Perhaps, but that doesn't come into play here.

The principle of a tower is to send the load dead bang straight down.

The guy wires keep the tower lined up and prevent any lateral loads from
affecting the vertical, up/down transfer of load.

Towers that are prone to twisting because of a big antenna at the top, they
use arms that in effect make the tower look like a larger diameter at the top
and give a lever advantage to the guys in so far as controlling the rotating force.

So, what you can do is find a high quality welding shop and see if they will magnaflux
the legs and see if they're ok or not. I think this is what would work. But I only play
a weld shop owner on TV. Not.

I think the danger is rust inside the tubes, not outside.

Another option is inspection with fiber optics. They sell long fiber optic inspection
units that just plug into a smartphone or computer. You can pass it up the legs and
look at the bore. If it is smooth and still has galvanize on it, you can be quite confident
I expect. If it's rusty and flaking? I'd be concerned.

(epay has some long cheap ones...)

More than painting the outside, I'd want to cold galvanize spray the bore, the inside.
Especially at the bottom... that's where the water likes to be.

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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 09:28:07 AM »

Rebar is a really bad idea.  You must bolt the tower together.  Be careful that the paint on the swedge will prevent it from fitting together.

The tower uses one 1/4" and one 5/16" bolt on each leg.  The bolts are fine thread, no washers and no lock washers.

If you never installed towers I suggest you seek some help from someone with experience installing towers the correct way.

Fred
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 11:08:42 AM »

Donít know if rebar is a good idea or what, so canít say for myself. But the thing I want to know is just how you are going to this? do you have fifty-foot long rebars? How you going to stuff them down the legs? If you put up fifty feet of 25G then are you going to stand on top the tower and stuff the rebar down the hole? Fifty feet of rebar wonít stay erect or straight by itself and will bend before you can get all fifty feet above the tower leg and work it in down the hole, all sounds sexual donít it! Or are you planning on laying down the sections on the ground and then stuffing the long rebar in the tower legs and somehow raising the tower at that point?
I have tried and tried but just canít see how you can stuff long rods down a standing tower without using a big crane and platform. Think if you wanted to sink fifty-foot-long rods down a pipe fifty feet above grade you would need to raise the rebar one hundred feet above the structure.
What am I missing here?

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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 11:39:26 AM »

I pulled out the old college books, and did some calculations.

Based on 1/2" rebar, in the standard/most common grade 60, and 1020 DOM tubing, which would be appropriate for a tower, although I do not know for sure what they use: 

With an outside diameter of 1 1/4" and a wall thickness of 1/16", you will almost double the weight of the tower. The amount of metal in the tubing will make a solid rod 0.54" in diameter. You will increase the yield strength by about 15%. 

Another way to look at it:  If you take ten feet of the tube, support both ends, and put a side load on it, it will deform (not bend back) at 168 pounds of load.  If you take that same metal and form it into a solid rod, it takes only 38 pounds to deform it. If you use 1/2" rebar, it takes less than 30 pounds.

Solid tower legs have no place. They waste material for very little gain in strength, and huge gain in weight and cost.

You're building a tower that can never be taken down, but that will fall down catastrophically. A tower where the abrasion from installing and sway between the rebar and the tube will remove the coating on the rebar and the galvanizing on the tube interior, where they will then invisibly rust. When it does fall, it will weigh twice as much and thus cause more damage to whatever or whomever it falls on.

This is a fatally flawed idea. Just don't.

Ed

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WB4AM
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 07:43:07 PM »

I pulled out the old college books, and did some calculations.

Based on 1/2" rebar, in the standard/most common grade 60, and 1020 DOM tubing, which would be appropriate for a tower, although I do not know for sure what they use: 

With an outside diameter of 1 1/4" and a wall thickness of 1/16", you will almost double the weight of the tower. The amount of metal in the tubing will make a solid rod 0.54" in diameter. You will increase the yield strength by about 15%. 

Another way to look at it:  If you take ten feet of the tube, support both ends, and put a side load on it, it will deform (not bend back) at 168 pounds of load.  If you take that same metal and form it into a solid rod, it takes only 38 pounds to deform it. If you use 1/2" rebar, it takes less than 30 pounds.

Solid tower legs have no place. They waste material for very little gain in strength, and huge gain in weight and cost.

You're building a tower that can never be taken down, but that will fall down catastrophically. A tower where the abrasion from installing and sway between the rebar and the tube will remove the coating on the rebar and the galvanizing on the tube interior, where they will then invisibly rust. When it does fall, it will weigh twice as much and thus cause more damage to whatever or whomever it falls on.

This is a fatally flawed idea. Just don't.

Ed



    Hello and thank you all for your response.

    All of them were reasonable enough to think about.  Having everything combine helps when you are as stubborn as I !

    But again I will admit I have not been convinced until now reading Ed's info above.  What convinced me more then anything is the idea of how much it will weigh.
That would be a very important consideration.  I did consider the idea of the rebar being rusty and having the rebar come into contact with the inner tower tubing and perhaps destroy the galvanized inner tubing.  My answer to that, I would paint the rebar with the epoxy paint to keep the rusty rebar from coming into contact.

    One other thing, I was planning to have the rebar continue down through the base and into the concrete.  The rebar would not actually be floating.
But also after reading what you had said Tom (K1JJ) about having the tower pinned, this would be something to consider too.  But I have only seen this installation once on a 150 foot tower.  What I mean by that, I haven't seen this type of installation with a Rohn 25G at 50 feet or shorter.  But I do understand the logic behind it as there was a con-tester in Pa. who had this 150 foot tower (or taller?) and his tower was also pinned and he described all the reason behind it.  I certainly understand and agree.

    I am fortunate that I have learned how to weld.  I would weld the rebar and then epoxy it and place it into the section as I go.  It would take some planing I am sure.

    I have installed several towers on my own and some with help as needed.  As far as I know they are still up or have been taken down for reasons of moving. 
I actually installed two of my towers in Pa that stood for 20 years before taken them down to bring with me here in Tn.  So I have some experience with towers, tilt over devices and such.  All of these towers only being no taller then 55 feet though.  Although I have climbed quite a few taller towers reaching the highest height I believe was 200 feet.  So I have some experience there as well.

Not to toot my horn here, I have created three mono-poles that reached 50 feet that my wife would be able to lower and raise by herself without winches.  They were all counter balanced.  There is what I think of interested story behind this idea that lead me to create these.  For another time of course.

    Anyway I like to think outside of the norm and try to do the unthinkable.  Its fun and its inspiring for me from time to time.  I like to create.

    I was seriously thinking of taking this project on.  Part of me thinks I could make it work.  But after thinking more and more about the weight and some input that you had mentioned above Ed, I now think it would not be worth the effort.  In other words I think the effort of it all will indeed fail before any success comes from it.  The rebar itself would indeed be heavy and after your description I now see it being a show stopper.

    Well I fought to the finish until everyone convinced me! 
Sorry I had to take up some time here.  I figured I might get an answer, but I was hoping it would go the other way.
Time to move on without the rebar!

Thanks a bunch everyone, you are all appreciated.

73
Ken


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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2020, 02:36:18 AM »

Ken,
             Very glad that you changed you mind. BTW, that re-bar of 7/8 inch and at a length of 150 total feet, that weighs 306 pounds all by itself.

Mike

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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2020, 07:42:02 AM »

Ken,
             Very glad that you changed you mind. BTW, that re-bar of 7/8 inch and at a length of 150 total feet, that weighs 306 pounds all by itself.

Mike



Hello Mike,

    Thank you for your concern.  Saying that, thank you to everyone for their concern as well.

    Wow, is that the actual weight, for sure that would be quite heavy.
7/8 solid steel is quite strong.  But I really don't know the strength when it is 50 feet long.  Meaning if it were to stand straight up on its own, would it be able to stand on its own?
Would it start to lean or perhaps buckle in the middle?

    I hadn't put any serious thought into this idea, I was assuming it would be strong enough to hold its own.  But at 50 feet weighing perhaps 100 pounds would change the strength at long lengths.  I was figuring having 3 of them installed and being spread apart (tower width) this would give enough support.

    Also my idea was that the rebar would fit snug into the top narrow sections, not having to pound them in either, but snug.  Then when the next section is placed onto and over the section below it, the next tower section leg would be another layer of steel wrapped around the rebar so to speak.

    Someone mention something about not having any bolts installed.  If the rebar would work out, I would think the weight of each sections along with the weight of
any antennas and the rotor along with two sets of guides would keep everything together.  Sure there may be some upward torque from time to time, but at 50 feet, personally I don't think it would be to serious.  I would make sure there would be some slack in any of the coax and such though!

    Also I had mentioned about rain water, I met condensation from the rain water getting into the tower legs.  I was going to use one of those top sections with the welded pipe coming through the top.  Of course there are the holes that would be open due to not having any bolts installed, so they would have to be sealed too.

    Anyway it is neither here or there at this point.

    Again thank you Mike and everyone else as well, as one might say, a lot of food for thought that's for sure.

Ken



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