About a year ago we (the family) built a digital TV antenna from instructions on the internet. We put it in the window and it work pretty good, but the favorite channels are weak, fading/freezing... So with the money I save getting free TV reception I would like to put up an antenna tower.
Problem is I don't want to climb a tower or anything like that, at least not to the part on top trying to wrestle an antenna on a mast. So, with some inspiration from the army rigging publications on Iggy's website, I thought perhaps I can make a hinged base for the tower and then stand it up with rigging techniques. Maybe if I use 4 guy wires instead of 3, 2 could be in line with the hinge axis, the rear one would be set the calculated length to tighten up when the tower is somewhat vertical, and the 4th guy wire would be left long to pull the tower up. Perhaps something to level the load and pull the tower up straight, trying to prevent bending loads.
Another possibility inspired by the rigging manual would be to construct a long (maybe 50 feet), light duty (wooden?) boom, pull the boom up, steady with guy wires, and use it like a crane with block and tackle to lift the antenna tower. This would eliminate the need for the hinged tower as the boom would be able to lift the tower and I could lower it onto the base.
An offshoot of this idea would be to set up a sturdy timber that could be used with block and tackle, hoist, or similar that would be able to lift all the load I would want in my Ford Ranger truck. A pole is tempting since one pole with guy wires would be able to handle most of my machinery. An alternate idea is to construct an A-Frame, possibly wood, that I can use with a hoist to lift anything I would want in or out of my truck.
Looking for info on Homemade cranes I came across this one that looked neat for what it is:
The rigging manual ideas can be adapted to rig some handy shop cranes for lifting our heavy toys. Might even be able to make a pickup truck crane with a wooden boom, a hoist to control the angle of the boom, and a winch to lift. Harbor freight already sells something like this, It could probably have more lifting capacity at the extended positions with a come-a-long taking some of the load off the end. Could come in handy at auctions... I guess Iggy can just trailer his forklift to the auctions, but for the rest of us poor folk....
On 1/23/2012 8:35 PM, RogerN wrote:
You are trying too hard to get the antenna up higher. What leads you to believe the reception will be better with the antenna up there? Digital and analog use the same UHF frequencies so why a "digital" antenna?
If you are sure you want higher, use a 40 or 50ft push up mast. each section being 10 ft, only 1 foot is overlapping.
Set up the fully nested masts with guying at the 10 ft level, using 3 guy wires and good ground anchors. Adjust until the set is exactly vertical. Then attach the antenna to the top of the top mast, and/or attach the antenna rotator. Then attach three guy wires to each of the remaining sections guy rings while the set is still nested. Use a step ladder to reach the mast tops.
Then climb up the step ladder so you can pull up the innermost/top section and lock in place with a cross pin in the matching hole of the next larger section.
Then do the same with the next larger section, and then again with the next one. If the very first section is properly guyed and is exactly vertical, the whole thing will stand by itself.
Then begin attaching each of the guy wires to the same ground anchors, or other anchors, if you wish. Adjust each set so the mast remains vertical.
In about an hour, you can have the whole thing all set up. Next time you can do it an half the time.
"mark" wrote in message
Google for "falling gin pole"
I saw some interesting youtube videos with failed tower raisings. :-) I wouldn't take failures as a reason not to use a gin pole though, just to be careful using a gin pole. Just like driving, even though there are many wrecks I still drive a car, I just make extra effort to be careful but realize an accident can still happen.
This is a good question, and you can check the calculations in advance at "tvfool.com" Simply plug in your address and try out various antenna heights to see if you can expect any improvement in your reception.
"Jack Myers" wrote in message wrote:
I have looked there before and knew I could get more stations & channels with a better antenna setup, but I never compared at various heights. I tried the tvfool.com signal calculations and found out I should be able to get nearly as many stations with a 20 foot height as I could with 40 foot height. Maybe if I can get an antenna around 20 feet up with a mast or tower and a rotor I should be able to get 13 digital stations versus 14 for a 40' height.
I can get the channels tvfool.com says I should at my current antenna elevation (4 digital stations) but since my house has aluminum siding the signal is mostly through the window.
Roger, sorry for a dumb question, but is it possible that you have a local ordinance limiting the height of your antenna? You do not want to find out after you erected the pole.
I may need to check, but I live outside city limits out in the country on 4-1/2 acres of land. There are tall poles all over my land from the power company, they have a substation across the street and a main line running across my property. I doubt if anyone would even notice if I put up a pole, mast, or small tower. However I should check before I find out I should have checked!
"Paul Drahn" wrote in message
Currently I get a few channels good, more channels not too good, and other channels if I position the antenna a certain direction out the window. My window won't handle much bigger antenna so I'm wanting to use a bigger antenna outdoors. Where I plan to locate the antenna would position my aluminum sided house between the antenna and the station unless I elevate the antenna above the house. I plan to get a new roof this year so I don't want to mess with a roof mount at this point.
I thought I read something about digital channels on the upper VHF band and UHF. If that's the case then eliminating lower VHF should eliminate the need for the largest elements on the antenna.
I've pretty much settled for a lower height, maybe 20-25 feet or so. I'd have to figure out the total price for the mast versus a short tower, sounds like mast needs a lot of guy wire. I don't care for the idea of leaning a step ladder against a pole and trying to climb it with a rotor and antenna, sounds worse than climbing a tower unless I rented a man lift or bucket truck. It would be a lot easier to rig to stand a 20ft mast or tower. I guess my preference over all would be a free standing pole or tower and a winch crank up carriage that raises the antenna, rotor, and signal amp to the top. No climbing and can crank down for service!
That's line of site transmission. I'm not sure more height will help unless the antenna is in the shadow of something. A bigger antenna would help. How about an array? Karl
wrote in message
I want to get high enough to clear the house but I have huge Oak trees, 36"+ diameter at base and taller than any tower I want to mess with. I'm thinking maybe best bet is under the heaviest part of the foliage but over the house might be my best bet.
I have thought about an antenna array using directional antennas pointed in the direction of the stations instead of a rotor. I'm not sure what I would need in channel filters to pass only the channels I want from each antenna and block noise from interfering with the signal from the other antennas.
Try searching for "amateur radio antenna tower" and you'll get a lot of hits for towers. see http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/Towers / or http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/Towers / for examples.
Even got some articles about building your own. With pictures even.
-- John B.
I'd suggest a street light pole. They are made of stainless and are light for thier approximately thirty foot length. I hoisted mine up using the standard rigging methods onto a concrete pad with four leveling bolts. No reason not to have an antennea on there instead of the light. I may *pay* (gulp) to have the bulb changed if it ever burns out.
My HDTV antenna evolved from hinging down to telescoping. When lowered the rotator is at the ground and the antenna is within reach on the roof. The antenna raises to 50 feet. https://picasaweb.google.com/KB1DAL/Temporary#5312751829689947138
The rotator is hinged to the triangular base that slides up and down in simple guide rails. It no longer needs the hinge but I think the rotator should be free to wobble and self-align if the mast isn't straight. A block and tackle raises it.
The guy lines are visible only as the three faint light diagonals crossing under the handrail below the round twinlead standoffs. They pass over pulleys at the top and down the mast to tieoffs at the base, where I can adjust and tighten them all at once. Each has a small weight attached under the standoff that keeps the diagonal run from sagging and catching on shingles when I lower the antenna.
I'm in a metro area and the local transmitters are on a mountain, so I get by with a 20' mast with an amplified saucer on top for OTA channels. My place has aluminum siding, too. I just made a T with some treated 2x4s and bolted a roof tripod to that. It and the mast tubing are from RS. It sits on a concrete slab that originally had a storage hut on it and the mast has 3 ground anchors and 6 guy wires. Has been up for about 10 years now in 100+ mph winds. Have to tighten the turnbuckles occasionally, but no maintenance otherwise. if I need to, I can tip the thing down across the top of the T, very easy to get up and down. I used hooks on one end of the turnbuckles. Have the satellite dish on it now, too. The wooden T just sits on the concrete, it's not bolted down at all. Very handy when adjusting rough satellite dish orientation, just tap the leg the desired direction, then tighten up the turnbuckles.