Another Windcharger questionn

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RodeoJack
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Another Windcharger questionn

Post by RodeoJack » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:55 pm

So... One of my clients has just added some stations to his group. One of them has a 190 foot Windcharger, possibly vintage '47.

This is one of two that I now have within the groups I take care of. The other is a 350' stick that's been reasonably well cared for and, though the tower guys don't like sticking their boots through the angle iron patterns, it seems to be OK.

This one, however, is a bit of a pretzel. I don't note much in the way of corrosion... it's mainly the lack of attention over the years.

The rub is that I want to get it straightened out. A couple of tower people have had a look and don't think it's as bad as I do On the other hand, an old-timer engineer from that area told me a scary story about how someone tried to straighten one out and popped a bunch of bolts, thereby ensuring the station would get a shiny new tower. At this point, it could be a bit of an old-engineer's tale... but maybe one of you have had some experience with re-plumbing a Windcharger and could offer some thoughts, one way or the other.

The tower guys are well into 2nd generation and are well-regarded in these parts. Let them at it.... or get a structural engineer out there first?

Or?.....

ChuckG
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Re: Another Windcharger questionn

Post by ChuckG » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:38 pm

I've maintained several sites with 40's Winchargers. The galvanizing on those towers is incredible. It is pretty normal to see minimal corrosion.
I have a complete set of drawings somewhere if you need them.

There are two trouble areas with Winchargers- the bolts and the anchors.
Over the years the towers twist and sway, the bolts loosen a bit and rub through the galvanizing and begin to rust. You can't see it from the outside unless it's severe.
Remove a bolt at the bottom of the tower and have a look. Repeat with a few more on the way up.

The anchors were often cementless auger-type affairs that were screwed into the ground with a Tractor PTO..or a couple guys with a big crossbar.
They take a bit more work to inspect.. checking for anchor creep (pulling out of the ground) is a good starting point. I dug down about 3 feet on mine to inspect the torque rod as well. I figure if the auger is rusted, the torque rod will be too. Both buried in the same earth. (no rust found)

They are probably sitting on Locke insulators which had a too-small drain hole. Hopefully no cracks in the ceramic.
If all looks good so far, have your tower guy straighten the tower, then, once the tower is straight, have them climb and tighten down all the bolts.

I had three Winchargers in a 1947 DA cribbed up, base insulators replaced, guy insulators replaced, towers straightened, all bolts tightened and one leg welded solid. Never popped a bolt. That isn't going to happen unless they are severely corroded...pull a few and look.
Last edited by ChuckG on Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Chuck Gennaro
Central Wisconsin

RodeoJack
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 12:54 pm
Location: Port Orchard, WA
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Re: Another Windcharger questionn

Post by RodeoJack » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:04 pm

Thanks, Chuck. Appreciate you thoughts.

I sent you a PM regarding the drawings.

-Jack

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