Ham Radio Tower Guide
Sometimes a ham radio operator needs (and can afford) a ham radio tower.
The selection and installation of a tower must be planned carefully.
When you do your homework properly, the tower will give you many decades of safe and reliable service.
My 15 meter (48 feet) free-standing, heavy-duty tower has been up since 1977!
It was dismantled and re-assembled once, in 1987, when we moved to the country, from the suburbs of Montréal (QC, Canada).
It still stands proudly (and safely) after more than 30 years of service.
Notice I do not have a beam on top. I just use it as one of the supports for my Carolina Windom 80 and for my 160 meter inverted-L.
Essential ConsiderationsFirst ensure that your local town authorities allow ham radio towers where you live! If the answer is yes, you are a lucky ham radio operator!
Armed with a copy of the local bylaws and ordinances, you will then be able to proceed to the next step. The selection.
Here are the first essential limitations to consider.
Further Practical Considerations
The tower should be sturdy enough to withstand the wind load that the size and weight of the antenna(s) will impose on the tower.
You may only be able to afford a small HF yagi tri-bander now ... but you will eventually want add a multi-element VHF yagi, a UHF yagi and/or a larger multi-element HF yagi!
You can either buy/install a heavy-duty tower now, or plan to replace your first light duty tower in a few years ... because you will want to put up more antennas in the future! Trust me ;-)
If this is your first tower, you should ask for the opinion of other hams in your neighborhood and local club. They will supply priceless advice ... and likely even help you put the tower up!
Ham Radio Tower Types
There are four main types of towers. Each type has its specific installation requirements. Many are available in light, medium or heavy duty.
When you buy a new tower,
the manufacturer will normally supply detailed installation instructions.
Follow them to a "T"!
Click Here To View
A list of tower manufacturers for ham radio.
Before buying a used ham radio tower, inspect it for rust (or paint covered rust!) and wind damage (warped).
This is when you most definitely should have a few experienced hams to help you with the selection and installation.
Author: Claude Jollet - VE2DPE