Tower Project Overview

Antennas and Towers
Station Photos
Big Tower Project
SteppIR Interface Project
When completed, the "Big Tower" will be 110' of Rohn 55 with a Cushcraft 40-2CD at 110' rotated by a Hy-Gain T2X, and a 3-stack of 4-el SteppIRs at 34'/64'/96' on TIC rings.
This page shows the temporary tower that preceded the big tower and the view from our property. Constuction details for the new tower may be found under the links on the left-hand side of the page.
I've gotten a lot of help on this project, especially from experienced people who hang out on Tower Talk and the YCCC reflector. The most help has come from W1ECT, who has been my Elmer since 1983. In addition to much valuable advice, Mike has put in a lot of backbreaking work coiling 1-5/8" heliax, digging and squaring holes, building rebar, building forms, smoothing concrete, prepping tower sections, installing guy brackets, installing rotors, installing rotor plates, etc. He manned the winch for all section raising. He also rigged the slings for tramming the antennas and ran the winch for that part of the project. Many thanks to Mike and all who have helped.
AB-577 with Force12 C3E, circa 2000

AB-577 with Force12 C3E
click on image to enlarge

The new tower will replace this AB-577.
For the past seven years, I've used three AB-577/GRC portable military masts and a U.S. Tower MA-770MDP. I've had various antennas on these "tubes", with varying degrees of success in DX contests (top ten in the big CW contests, but no wins.)
This picture of the main AB-577 was taken about six years ago, when the mast was at 50 feet and supported a Force12 C3E. A couple of years later, I replaced the C3E with a 40-2CD, and about three years ago I put together an extension kit that took the mast to 75'. Two years ago, I replaced the 40-2CD with a 4-el SteppIR.
The new tower will be located in the same spot as the AB-577. The location plots well in HFTA compared with other spots on the property (e.g., where the crankup is located), and it's fairly well hidden from the house and neighbors by a stand of tall trees. The slope of the hill is evident in this photo, but it's really steeper than it appears. The Northwest guy for the new tower, located about 110' feet downhill from the tower, will be about 25' below the base.
The View

The View
Click on image to enlarge

(And I don't mean the TV show.)
Here's why the new tower, and all towers on my property, have to be hidden behind trees. This is only a small portion of the spectacular view from our picture window. The hills of Vermont are visible across the Connecticut River. To the right is a nice view of the river. A pretty apple orchard lies to the north of the house (further to the right.) The primary goal was to minimize the hardware visible from our windows. Another important goal was to minumize the metal visible to our close neighbors, who are about 1/4 mile away.
We came pretty close to the goal. It's difficult to hide 110' of Rohn 55, especially when it's in a cleared field. The tower is not visible from our picture window or our master bedroom window. If you look carefully from our master bathroom window, you can see the tower lattice between the branches of trees when the leaves are down. I don't think it will be visible when the foliage comes out in the Spring. I thought the guys running out of the north orchard would be visible from our bathroom window, but it's not as bad as I had thought. They're somewhat visible now, with the leaves down for the winter, but they'll be almost completely hidden when the leaves come out.