No, not THAT tower… but what ham out there doesn’t dream of a 100′ tower with a huge beam on it? Neighbor-relations and spousal acceptance aside, that dream necessitates a rather large financial investment that I just don’t have.
After much late night web surfing and researching, however, I have decided that a hex beam on a roof tower is within my reach. To purchase all the pieces outright is still a pretty good chunk of change, but I’ll be DIYing as much as possible.
The towers I was looking at were from Glen Martin. They seem very well-built, but then I wound Roger Cox, W8IO. Roger has designed a roof tower that looks every bit as strong and well-engineered as the Glen Martin units, but more affordable. Taking it one step further, he has published some very good DIY plans and a materials list to really do it all yourself. He’s also very helpful when you email him and ask questions, including the nice little tip that OnlineMetals.com often offers 20% discounts near the holidays, which I was able to take advantage of. =)
So, I purchased the materials online with the aforementioned 20% discount, and I also was able to purchase the stainless steel hardware needed to assemble everything on black friday at my local hardware store. (30% off there)
Did you know that you can cut aluminum with normal wood-working tools? I did go and purchase a new saw blade for my chop saw at Harbor Freight, and this project was also a good excuse to purchase a digital caliper. (also Harbor Freight… with a coupon!)
another evening I made a bunch of holes…
and before you know it, I had a tower. =)
Stay tuned for more news as I build an antenna to go on the tower and then get the whole mess up on the roof…