Thank you for choosing to install a Heights Tower. These are the installation guidelines for installing your free-standing aluminum tower. This installation manual covers stacked towers on Hinged Bases and towers with Fold-Over-Kits. Please read carefully. Should you have any questions on these instructions, call Heights Tower Systems at 1-850-455-1210 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Installing the Hinge Base and foundation:
Tape measure (10 ft. or longer)
Combination or ratchet wrenches; bolt-heads require 9/16" or 3/4" sockets.
hammer and rubber hammer
Installation of this product near power lines is dangerous. For your safety, follow the installation instructions. Read through these instructions once through completely before planning or beginning any work.
Make sure there are no underground power lines or any phone/cable lines near the sites where you will be digging the foundation hole. If in doubt, call your local utilities companies, and they will check the site for you or recommend someone who can.
DO NOT install, remove or repair this tower at a distance within one and one-half times its height from any electric power lines.
YOU CAN BE KILLED IF THIS PRODUCT COMES NEAR POWER LINES.
FOUNDATION INSTALLATION PROCEDURES:
Hole Excavation-- Dig the hole size according to the dimensions listed in the calculations and your Detailed Concrete Footing Diagram (Fig. 1). In most cases, the base hole needs to be between 3 and 4 ft. in diameter and from 5’ to 8’ in depth. These sized holes would require from 1.5 to 4 cubic yards of concrete. Concrete is to be 3000# proof or 6 bag.
Our original specs and the illustrations in our brochure show a cylindrical "Sono-tube" tube being installed as forming for the hole. It is not necessary to use a "Sonotube"; you can make a box shaped forming from regular plywood (4’ x 8’ or similar size). Plywood is usually easier to find and buy, and you can build the excavation into a box form with it. The only disadvantage that a box shape has over a cylindrical shape base is it will require about 20 to 70% more concrete.
Another option is to use no form. This is actually the most desirable option from a building code standpoint, if it can be done. Once the hole is dug, you should not wait very long to pour the concrete, to prevent the walls from caving in if it rains or the hole floods, etc.
Rebar Caging -- To conform to building codes, we also specify rebar caging to be installed just inside of the footings walls. The specifications for rebar caging are listed in the Calculations and Footing Diagram (Fig. 1) for the tower. We provide a prefabricated cage for this tower.
The cage should be centered in the hole and raised up a few inches by propping up the bottom bars with small bricks. There should be at least 3" of clearance between the walls of the excavation and the cage frame.
Threaded Anchor Bolts and Hinge Clevises – Position the three legs so that the tower will be able to hinge over in the desired direction for that installation. Tower will ‘hinge’ over on one of the three ‘sides’ of the triangle when base is completed.
To set the threaded anchor bolts in place, set the three rods up with the two triangular flatbar templates, one on each end. Use the triangular with the longer sides for the top of the base; the rods can now be ‘hung’ down into the hole, allowing the top template to support it by spanning over the hole (see diagram labeled "Hinge Base w/ Flatbar Templates in Installation Phase"). There should be 5" to 7" of threaded rod extending above the surface of the concrete when finished. This will allow for a wide arrange of adjustment to the plum of the tower. If the rods extend a little above or below this range, for example at only 4" or up to 8" above the concrete, you should still have enough room to adjust the base legs without negatively effecting your installation.
Each of the three threaded rods will have 4 nuts: 2 will tighten around the bottom template bars (underground) and 2 will clamp around the top template bars (above the cement). Use the plated ones above the ground and the dark, unfinished nuts on the bottom, submerged in the cement. Also, there are three lock-washers with the base rods; these would be use on between one the nuts and the TOP template above ground. The bottom template will not need lock-washers; just tighten the 2 nuts around the bottom template on each leg.
These templates will ensure that the rods will set in the right position when the concrete is cured, eliminating the possibility of incorrect spacing, or incorrect positioning of the clevis angles (since they may be rotated 360 degrees on the anchor rods.) Clumsy tower sections with carpenter levels strapped on them are no longer needed as ‘templates’.
When attaching the steel "U"-shaped welded clevises to the threaded ground bolts, make sure they will be rotated so that all three are in parallel alignment. This will allow the tower to be hinged over for easy erection and section assembly. Small towers may be walked up by one or two persons.
Curing-- Allow concrete to set for 3 to 7 days before installing the complete tower.
It is recommended to first assemble all or most of the tower sections together on the ground. Then attach the upper half of the Fold Over Kit to the large end of the tower. Also attach the lower half of the Fold Over Kit to the Stand.
When mating the tower sections together, attempt to slide all three legs on as evenly as possible, gradually ‘wiggling’ the sections together. Once the bolt-holes start approaching alignment, try to align one completely and insert a bolt through them. Once the first hole is bolted, the rest can more easily be aligned. If it is difficult to align the first hole, a tapered drift pin may allow you to begin aligning any partially aligned holes, and drift them into full alignment for bolt insertion. Tighten the locking nuts snugly, but do not over-tighten.
After you have attached the Fold Over Kit clevises to the bottom of the tower and the top of the Stand, you are then ready to ‘hook’ the back two legs of the Fold-Over-Kit together in order to operate the system.
The large end of the tower needs to be lifted up a little over four feet, so that the Fold Over Kit may be connected as shown in this photo. This will require two or three people, or one or two persons with a mechanical lift or some kind. Or, as an alternative to lifting, the Stand may be lain over and attached to the Fold-Over-Kit on the ground level. Attach the Stand to two of the closest anchor clevises with one of the large (5/8") clevis bolts on each leg. Then the tower and Stand may be slowly hinged or ‘jack-knifed’ up until the Stand is vertical. The remaining large (5/8" dia.) clevis bolts would then be inserted into the Stand legs.
The assembly of the Fold Over Kit, at this point, merely involves the insertion of two 1" diameter bolts through the two hinging aluminum clevises of the Fold Over Kit stubs. Once the two back FOK clevises are bolted together, the Screw Actuator System may then be bolted into the front plates of the Fold-Over Kit. The Screw System comes pre-assembled, but final adjustments may be necessary, as shown in the Screw System Diagram and its separate instructions.
After the Screw Actuator is fastened in place, you can begin to Fold the tower up or back down. You may then install or repair weather instruments at your convenience. (Again, please reread Screw system operating instructions to become familiar with the proper operation of this product).
OTHER BASE CONSIDERATIONS:
Grounding system: All tower structures should be grounded to prevent lightning damage. The simplest grounding system would consist of two or three copper-clad, 8 ft. ground rods spiked into the ground near the edge of the concrete pad, and all connected to the tower legs with heavy duty electrical wire. See ‘Grounding’ diagram. Heights Tower Systems can provide such a kit that will meet your installation’s requirements.
We do not recommend directly grounding to the steel tower legs and rebar cage structure of the base. Our opinion is that a grounding arrangement like this may lead to structural damage of the base, if the base channels a strong enough lightning hit. That is why our typical installation would have the ground rods and cable/plate grounding material outside of and around the actual concrete.