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TowerTalk Reflector FAQ

Towertalk is reflector devoted to the discussion of towers,antennas and transmission lines. This reflector was created to accomodate ham radio operators and professionals interested in this subject.

This reflector's archives are available on the WWW at http://lists.contesting.com/_towertalk/.

Guidelines:

This reflector is devoted the discussion of towers, antennas, grounding, and feedlines.   A discussion of antennas that might take advantage of a particular propagation mode would be appropriate.   However, discussing propagation would not.  For sale items are OK as long as they are antennas or towers, but rec.radio.swap is a more appropriate forum.

Operating Practices

Electronic mail is different from packet radio, in that many subscribers receive their E-mail through commercial services such as CompuServe and MCImail. In essence, many people are paying for each byte of every message sent to CQ-Contest. In order to minimize spurious messages, please follow the operating hints detailed below:

  • Put your name, callsign and E-mail address on every message you send. We don't all know everyone by just a callsign, nickname or Internet address. Furthermore, not everyone's E-mail software lets you see all the headers of the message, so it's sometimes difficult to reply to an individual posting without knowing the sender's address.
  • Use a subject line that indicates the true subject of your message.
  • Wait a while before answering someone's question. Six other people have probably answered it already. Most answers should go directly to the person who posed the question, rather than to the list.
  • Unlike PacketCluster, many people pay $$$ when they receive messages. Some people pay per message, some per byte. Therefore, please take this into consideration when writing a response. Would you pay $0.50 to read the message that you just wrote?
  • Eschew flamage. If someone sends a flame to the list and you can't bite your tongue, send your flaming reply directly back to the flaming individual, not back to the list. No one wants to pay $1.00 to read these messages (the original flame + your reply). Treat flamers the way you would 2-meter repeater jammers - ignore them.
  • Make sure there is something of value in each message you send to the list. Avoid messages that are a complete reprint of someone else's message, with nothing but "I agree" or "Me too" added to the bottom -- not much value there.
  • Some people pay by the byte, so when following up to someone else's message, be sure to include only the essential pieces or thread of the note. Don't include those 20 extra header lines that your mail gateway tacked onto the original message.
  • If you are going to make a personal reply, make sure to remove TowerTalk from the header of your outgoing mail message. Otherwise, everyone else on the list is going to see your personal message.
  • There are  many readers who are using dumb terminals, very old PCs and software which cannot deal rationally with the unnecessary and redundant HTML attachment and screwy text formatting that are the normal default settings of the MS Outlook Express mailer.   Turning off HTML as default formatting type in MS Outlook is a good idea. 

What is taboo?

  • Personal attacks.
  • Off subject posts.  You might think that 90% of the people on this list are interested in hearing that 160 meters is open for the first time ever from the east coast to VU2, but it is not the topic of this list. 
  • Personal mail - Thanking someone or the group for help should be done in personal mail and not sent to the entire list.  When responding to a question posted to the list, your reply should be of benefit to the list as a whole.  If the response is of benefit to only the person asking the question, then respond to only that person.
  • Meta-discussion about the TowerTalk mailing list. These should be conducted in private with the list owner(owner-towertalk@contesting.com).

Closely Related Lists & Information Sources:

Tower and Related Equipment Sources (Thanks N1LO for this information, Check here for updates & additions)
Rohn Communications Products 
Glen Marting Engineering Tower Products 
Advantage Communications Tower Services: 
Tri-EX Towers Corporation 
US Tower Corp   
Pirod Commercial Tower 
Polyphaser Lightning Protection 
Lightning Eliminators & Consultants co   

Tower Climbing Equipment Sources
Champion Radio (towers & climbing products) 
REI Outdoor Outfitters 
REI's Bargain Outlet 
Inner Mountain Outfitters  
Petzl Climbing Equipment 
The Roper's knot page 
Nottingham University Caving Training Manual      
The World Outdoor Web 
Blue Water climbing gear 

K5IDX's Antenna Page - Antenna/Tower Manufacturer & Dealer links

Summaries from TowerTalk

George, K5TR, maintains a summaries of discussions conducted on this forum at http://www.qth.com/ka9fox/ant-towers-feed.shtml.  

Notes from TowerTalk Archives by N1LO - Under Construction
The complete text document can be found at http://www.qsl.net/mparc/towers.txt

Guides
Tower Type Selection
Bracket Supports
Mast and Boom Material Selection
Thrust Bearings
Guys
Tensioning Guys
Climbing Gear - Belts, Climbing Lanyards, Carabiners, Carrying Tools, Ropes & Knots, Making Your Own Lanyards
Raising Antennas - Tramming - Removable Tag Lines
Aligning Beams - Finding True North
Minimizing Antenna Interaction
Gin Poles & Gin Pole Rope

Antennas@qth.net:  Antennas is a mailing list (reflector) devoted to discussing, comparing, evaluating, designing, and constructing antennas (aerials) of all types, especially for amateur radio, SWL, scanning, and monitoring.

Tower-Speak@qth.net: Tower-Speak is a mailing list (reflector) devoted to thediscussion of Tower-Speak. * Tower/Antenna Installation * Safety * Anything Tower-Speak Related.

To Subscribe:

Send a message with the word 'subscribe' only in the body of a message addressed to towertalk-request@contesting.com. If your subscribe was successfull, you will receive an information message back automatically stating that you have been added to the list. If you have problems getting added to the list, please email the list owner (owner-towertalk@contesting.com)

To Unsubscribe:

Send a message with the word 'unsubscribe' only in the body of a message addressed to towertalk-request@contesting.com. If your unsubscribe was successfull, you will receive an information message back automatically stating that you have been removed from the list. If you have problems getting removed from the list, please email the list owner (owner-towertalk@contesting.com)

To Post:

To post a message to the reflector, simply address your message to towertalk@contesting.com. Your message will be redistributed to all other members of the list.


Special thanks to Steve, K7LXC for asking me to host this reflector.  It has turned out to be the best source of information on the subject in history.