Tri-Ex LM354 Tower
Page 1
The ultimate thing a Ham can have is a tower! Of course the bigger and taller, the better. Being limited in budget and relatively close to high voltage power lines, I reluctantly realized that a 50 foot tower was all I could fit. I happened on a used Tri-Ex LM-354 54 foot crank-up in pretty good condition. The only piece missing was the base. I called Carl at Tashjian Towers (he bought Tri-Ex) and he set me up with a new base and coax arms. Next was applying for the permit. That of course turned out to be a hassle but with Carl's help, a legal threat, $271 and several trips to City Hall, I received the permit in 3 months, just in time for winter. The following pictures help to document the project. The actual installation took place from December 2004 to January 2005.

Area where tower will go

Close view where tower center will be. 3 feet from wall and A/C pad. 10 foot Ground rod behind A/C is visible. I'm tired of having to look at the dead tower just lying on the ground.

Grass marked for tower

The the sweet spot.


Assembling tower base

Assembling the rebar cage on the new base.

Wiring rebar on tower base

I used creative wrapping.

Completed tower base

The completed cage.


Bobcat on flatbed trailer

Help arrives. We needed our driveway replaced and these guys offered to dig the hole and do the cement work for a reasonable charge. So I thought I'd take the easy way out this time and let someone else do the hard work. As it turned out, I should have dug the hole and installed the base and let them just handle the concrete.


Getting ready to start drilling

Placing the auger.


Driving bobcat into position

Starting the hole as the tower watches.


Placing auger over marked area for hole

First dirt.


Bobcat with auger starting hole

Going down.


Bobcat with auger drilling into ground

That's about 3 feet now. Not much dirt coming to the surface however. As it turned out, the ground was just too soft and wet so the drill just spun around without bringing up the dirt. Ended up having to dig it by hand after all. The Bobcat did help to loosen the dirt and managed to tear up the rest of the lawn with the wheels and its weight. Oh well.


Removing dirt with a shovel

All the auger did was loosen up the dirt. Now to remove it by hand.


Drilling into hole

Loosen up a few more feet.


Drilling further into hole

Still just spinning in the dirt.


Digging in hole

Back to removing more dirt by hand.


Standing in hole and resting

Break time.


Building frame for base

Now set the form in place. Tower base inserted to check depth. The nice lawn is history.


Overhead view of frame

The hole was supposed to be 3'x3'x6' but ended up at 3'3" square so we made the form 3'6" square.


Adjusting tower base within frame

The contractor and his help decided to "hang" the base from the 2x4's using rebar wire. The thought was that they could more easily adjust it into position as the concrete is added. I was worried about this plan. They decided to do it this way on their own and not follow the tower base installation instructions.


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