June 2012
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Tower take down pictures

A few years ago, I was involved in removing and rebuilding an AM radio station tower in Gainesville, Florida.  The old tower was a hollow leg tower which was rusting from the inside out.  It was installed around 1960 or so, but the actual  records were sketchy, as the original studio building burned down in 1984.  In 2005, the tower climbers came out to relamp it, and refused to climb it because one of the legs was rusted through.  Therefore, a replacement tower was ordered and delivered.

Prior to starting work, a temporary wire antenna was constructed.  Since there were two radio stations diplexed to this tower, it became a bit of a chore to get both signals (980 and 1430 kHz) tuned into the same temporary antenna.  In the end, the components available could not create a good load for the 1430 station, so a separate temporary wire antenna was erected for that station.  Both stations ran at 1 KW into their respective antennas until the new tower was finished.

WDVH, 980 Gainesville, FL.  Top of tower coming down

WDVH, 980 Gainesville, FL. Top of tower coming down

Top section of a 240 foot guyed tower on its way to the ground. This tower had an inner and outer set of guy anchor points. The top section came down after the last guy wire on the outer anchor was cut.

Remains of WDVH tower

Remains of WDVH tower

Truncated tower.

Last section of WDVH tower falling

Last section of WDVH tower falling

Bottom section of tower on its way to the ground.

Old WDVH tower on the ground

Old WDVH tower on the ground

Tower on the ground. In keeping with the theories on tower failures, this tower fell within about 1/3 its height.  The wire antenna supports and the new tower sections can be seen in the background.  It took the tower company about a week to stack the new tower.  This was done in July, therefore the average daytime temperature was about 100° F  (37° C) with frequent afternoon thunderstorms.


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