The Tower Finally Arrived!

I recently purchased a U.S. Tower MA40 crank-up tubular tower. The ordering process through the Ham Radio Outlet store in Atlanta was fairly easy and straightforward. I was told there could be a 20+ week lead time when I ordered it, but it arrived earlier than expected. If you are considering buying a new tower, be sure to include the cost of freight in your expense calculations. The cost of freight from California to Georgia was close to a third of the price of the tower itself.

This is a relatively small free-standing tower at 40 ft high, and it’s really more of a super heavy-duty mast. It can be cranked down to 21 ft in the event of high winds or bad weather. I also bought the MAB-40 tilt-over base, which will allow the tower to be completely lowered for very bad conditions or to perform maintenance on the antenna or rotator.

I will be using a K4KIO hexbeam antenna with elements for 20M through 6M, and a Yaesu G-1000DXA rotator. I also need to start work on an entry panel with lightning protection for the coax and rotator cables. I will also route the cables for my existing wire antennas through the entry panel, and leave room for a few more.

I am very excited about the significant improvement the tower and antenna will make to my station. It will take some time to get the tower installed. The town I live in requires a Conditional Use Permit to install any type of tower on residential property. It definitely pays to learn about the municipal codes in your jurisdiction when planning to install a tower. I received some excellent advice through the ARRL Volunteer Counsel program. Fortunately, the Planning Department is supportive and giving me a lot of help to prepare the application, but the soonest it can be presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals is June.

For now, the tower is resting peacefully on the ground at the side of my house. There’s lots of work still to do, but I am getting closer to my dream of adding a directional antenna to the shack! More to follow as this project progresses.