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End of an era....

I was greeted with a rather surprising sight this morning. The TV aerial which had been towering over the roof for as long as I've been alive had fallen. It was the last antenna in the entire neighborhood.

I wasn't using it for television, and the rotor had frozen solid, but I was still using the mast to mount the wind vane and anemometer for my weather station. Fortunately the whole thing fell to the north, while the instruments were mounted on the south side, so they didn't appear to be damaged.

I'm not sure why it fell, as I didn't have time to climb up on the roof and check, and I won't be able to do anything about it until tomorrow. It almost looks like one of the guy wires snapped.

I want to raise the mast back up, though probably minus the antenna, rotor and coax cable. The mast alone is perfect for my weather station, and now I can put the wind instruments higher up. Unfortunately, I don't think I can lift it into place by myself, the mast is a good 30 or 40 feet tall. Even if the weight isn't a problem, keeping the mast straight while tying down the guy wires is definitely a two person job.


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Dec. 1st, 2005 04:23 pm (UTC)
A mast that long is probably made of three ten foot pieces. I'm amazed that it stayed as long as you suggest. If you are going to put it back up, I strongly recommend that you pay a professional service to do it safely. It should be supported by six guy wires at the very least, three to the top of the mast and three to a point in the middle. The potential damage to your roof if it tears loose in the wind (or injury to yourself trying to put it back up) is well worth the cost of a professional installation.
Dec. 2nd, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
I think this one had 9 wires, connected to 3 points on roof. I suspect that the connection point on the roof is what failed, I can't see all 3 wires on one side breaking. We really haven't had all that much wind lately. I won't know until tomorrow when I can get up on the roof.

Actually finding someone who can do broadcast TV antennas is going to be tricky. All the places I've tried calling so far only deal with satellite antennas, and in one case, it took me several tries to explain what I was after.

I may go ahead and try to do it myself (well, conscripting a neighbor to help), but remove the top segment of the mast. The WMO standard is 10 meters, but the NWS allows as low as 7, and those measurements are from the ground. I also need to install the sensor at least 3 meters above the roof.
Dec. 2nd, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)
*chuckles* I remember a time when the suburban roofline of greater San Diego was a veritable rainforest of the tallest-imaginable TV antennas. You had to have an antenna that high because far-away LA was the only available source of color television programming back then. Even so, the reception was awful more often than not. By the late '60s, the local stations started broadcasting in color, so the über-tall antennas weren't so necessary after that, but it still helped the overall quality of reception. After widespread cable service became available, tho, that heralded out the era of the sequoia antennae. Looks like that era has finally ground down to extinction in your neighborhood. Ah well... 50 years ain't a bad run.
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