How High Is It?

Last Updated by Lucie Raposo on

tower We share a 1,000-ft tall tower with WJAR NBC 10 and WLNE ABC 6; they are moving their frequencies at this time, too. Our transmitter will be located at about the 700-ft mark, below the other two, so work for us placed us third in line. We were hoping to have everyone up and running again by October 19 -- and we were ever so close! However, the recent heavy rains and high winds made it unsafe to work, delaying our return.

The tower on which the three antennas are being installed requires fortification and then mathematically precise placement of this heavy equipment. Our engineers have been at the site almost every day. Last week, Chief Engineer Richard Dunn took some stunning photos.

winch The yellow structure in the first photo is a Gin pole. What’s a Gin pole? I didn’t know either, so I looked it up.1  

Gin poles are used for the erection of transmission line or telecom towers. Together with lifting winches they function similar to crane arms. Once the tower has been erected up to a certain height, the Gin pole is lifted and anchored within the tower structure for further erection until the complete tower is mounted.

ginpole-3-1-600x600.jpg So, a gin pole is the arm of a crane – without the crane. It has a pulley on one end, through which a cable is laced to draw up heavy pieces. It is attached to the tower by a frame or harness (photo below).

Need to go higher? Once the tower piece is securely installed, the gin pole is lifted and anchored within the tower structure and is ready to lift other tower pieces. This fascinating but precarious choreography continues until all the tower pieces are fit into place and secured permanently to the tower beneath.

gin pole and John According to our folks on the site, the gin pole for this project is about 40 feet tall. Here it is on the ground. Engineering’s own John Souza is the man in the center of the photo. He is 6’1” tall. Now that is perspective!  

The orange cylindrical object is the WJAR antenna. It will go at the very top of the tower, at approximately 900 feet above ground level (AGL). WLNE ABC 6 will be situated at about 830 feet AGL. Our antenna will be installed at about 790 feet AGL.

WJAR antenna We can all understand rain delays, but at these heights, it is easier to also understand how wind affects installation. Good luck, Crew!

Barring additional inclement weather, Plan to Scan on Halloween, October 31.

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Tower segment, with 6'1" John standing near for comparison. Notice the circle of holes around a larger hole? The piece fits to the WJAR antenna (pictured below)
Tower Segmenttower segment

The full length of the WJAR antenna, on the ground.
WJAR antennaWJAR antenna

WJAR antenna close-up.
WJAR - close up

Antenna array and copper cabling "tubes."
WSBE array and tubing

Basket that attaches to the Gin pole to lift people and objects.
basket

"Harness" that attaches the Gin pole to the tower.
harness
 

1http://zeck.co.th/index.php/product/structural-design-of-zeck-machines/