Raising an antenna mast is a necessary task after installing an antenna on the top. There are two main types of antenna masts that can be raised or lowered: crank-up masts and hinged masts. Regardless of which type of mast is being raised, efficiency and safety must be taken into account to prevent serious injury or death. When raising, care must be taken to ensure the antenna mounted on the top portion isn't damaged during the lifting process.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 3 to 5 helpers
- Tape measure
Analyse the location where the mast is to be raised to ensure the top of the antenna will not come to within less than 50 feet of any overhead power lines when raising, if raising a hinged mast. This should be taken into consideration when pouring the cement base on which the hinge mechanism is placed, but should be remeasured to be certain.
Place the hinge pin or bolt through the base hinge and the mast bottom and double-check that the pin is secured per the instructions that came with the mast. The hinge pin must not be able to be pulled out of the hinge mechanism with even the lightest amount of force.
Position one helper at the top end of the mast where the antenna is mounted. Position an additional helper every 10 feet along the mast.
Instruct all partners to begin lifting the mast upward, having all of them walk toward the base of the mast as it is being raised. This technique is called "walking the mast." Instruct all partners to maintain two-hand contact with the mast at all times.
Insert the locking pin into the hinge once the mast has been fully raised. This locking pin must be secured as it will be holding the mast in place.
Hinged Antenna Mast
Be sure at least 50 feet of clearance is available between the antenna on the top of the mast and any overhead power lines.
Release the locking lever at the bottom of the mast where the crank handle is located. The lever is connected to the crank gear box.
Begin turning the crank lever slowly and observe whether or not the crank is operational safety. This safety will move outward when each gear cog presses against it and will then come to rest between two cogs locking the gear from rotating the opposite direction (lowering). This safety mechanism is designed to prevent the mast from falling downward if control of the crank handle is lost.
Crank the mast to the desired height and set the permanent locking lever to the locked position. Never allow the safety locking mechanism to solely hold the mast in the air. Be sure the permanent lock is set before leaving the base of the mast unattended.
Tips and warnings
- Never allow any more helpers near an antenna mast than is necessary during the raising process to prevent third-party injury and legal difficulties.
- Never lift antenna masts of any type in wet or snowy weather, or when you are able to hear thunder to prevent electrocution by lightning. If thunder can be heard, it means a storm is close enough that lightning could possibly strike the mast.
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