We finally have it! In 2010, the 100' crank-up tower that
seems to have been eluding us for two
years is now ours and the best news is that is
was a free donation from Verizon Wireless!
Jimmie (WD8DCF), Ken (W8SMK) and Dale
(W8KTQ) picked the tower up from the Verizon Wireless
site. We had a little trouble with the trailer hitch
and there was another 100' crank-up in the
way (which we had to move first) but after about
an hour, it was on its way to Jimmie's place
for initial restoration.
We first inspected it for structural integrity and determined what it needed to get it ready for Field Day. The tires and brakes were good, licensing and
registration were completed. It did need trailer lights. It also needed the 3/4 hp electric motor that raises the tower to the vertical position. That was
quickly ordered. The top section won't accept a rotor so we modified that to accommodate Dale's rotor for his beam. Some wooden blocks to support
the outriggers and trailer supports were built and some other minor issues were addressed but overall, it was in pretty good shape.
We did a test "run-up" to 50’ and all worked as expected. Thoughts of taking it higher crept into our minds but safety always prevails, it wasn’t ready
for that yet.
After several years, some minor replacement parts and a lot of work spearheaded by Dale, W8KTQ, the DELARA mobile tower is a regular feature at
our rather large Field Day operation. It’s also available for major emergencies - when everything else has been wiped to the ground, we will be able to
roll in, set the tower, and establish communications.
The Marion, OH, ham radio club also obtained one of these surplus towers with the same successful results. In fact, over the past two New Year
holidays in downtown Marion, the Marion Amateur Radio Club used their tower to drop the celebratory ball marking the start of the new year.