October 1, 2021
The Great Tower Party
Despite the August heat, MARS hams gathered to help Darrell Crimmins, KG5E, remove the tower from his Carrollton home. Ron Reeves, NN5R, volunteered his climbing expertise to help take it down. Tom Yenny, K5LOL, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, Mike Brown, W5MDB, and Liz Brown, K5EMB, descended on Darrell’s QTH to lend a hand.
Before the team arrived, Darrell scaled the tower himself to remove the existing three-element Mosley TA-33 beam with the 40-meter dipole option. The top also had a 2-meter Cushcraft Ringo Ranger, a 2m/440 vertically-polarized beam and an amateur television dish.
The tower was installed over 42 years ago and suffered from the ravages of the wind and weather. It took quite a lot longer to take down than expected. Darrell said, “I honestly thought we would do it in one ‘party’ instead of the four days we needed.”
High in the air, Ron succeeded in removing a couple of sections with the help of a home brew gin pole and the “exceptional” ground crew. But the lower sections would not cooperate. Darrell said he may have inadvertently overtightened some of the bolts, causing the joints to deform. Additionally, the bolts were not stainless steel and were quite rusty. But with a little effort, they came out okay. “I was young and a relatively new ham, being licensed in 1977.”
Despite much pulling, pushing, and pounding, Ron was not able to separate all the sections. The crew ended up lowering the remaining sections by tilting the tower on its somewhat rusty hinged base. Darrell plans to set it up at his east Texas base and make it taller. It will be at least 60 feet tall with the refurbished tri-bander (without the 40 meter rotatable dipole) and a 2m repeater antenna donated by MARS.
Darrell stands ready to answer any questions. Just shoot him an email, KG5E@ARRL.net . Meanwhile check the photo gallery below (click to enlarge to full screen). Darrell wishes to thank everyone involved.