Monday, September 12, 2011

American Tower Company

Because I am an amateur radio operator I am always interested in towers, antennas and other apparatus that sticks up in the sky that I encounter during my travels.  Not far from where I live I noticed a strange installation made up of six sections of tower each spaced few feet apart in a row paralleling a state route.  Adjacent the array of towers is a parking lot and a large industrial building.  I have been by this site many times and have only gotten away with a quick glance as I was always at the wheel and passing at 50 mph.

I've been meaning to stop and check out the towers and this past Saturday morning I had a little spare time so I grabbed my camera and headed to to the location.  I have long surmised that the tower stubs must be part of a sales display of a tower distributor.   

Affixed to each tower was a nameplate with a model number and nomenclature that read "American Tower Company"  Sure enough when I returned home and Google searched the name I found that the place was not just a distributor but the site of the actual manufacturer.  
American Tower Company
located in Shelby, Ohio makes everything from the lowly residential TV tower to gigantic commercial structures. 

American Tower Company product display

As it turns out the tower attached to my house has seen better days and I fear it will soon require replacement.  A couple factors have helped me to decide that when the time comes this may be the place where I spend my money.  First and foremost my money would stay in the area helping the local economy.  Just as important is the shipping issue.  Four ten foot sections would easily fit on my flat bed utility trailer for the short 15 minute trip home.

A nice tower is every ham's dream or at least it should be.  The antenna system is the make or break part of part of an amateur radio station.  My current tower works fine for hanging wires from but the top pipe that holds the mast is shot and cannot hold the weight of even a small antenna.  So if I wanted to experiment with any kind of directional antennae I will certainly have to put up a new tower.


  1. Pretty awesome that American Tower is a local business for you! Any customized features you would design into your tower?

  2. recumbent conspiracy theoristSeptember 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    Hey phattire, re: customized features, not really. My needs are pretty basic. My 1/2 acre lot limits the size and scope of any antenna projects so it would not take much to make me happy. American has a line of acessories for their towers so I'm sure anything I could possibly need they could provide. (Stuff like rotator plates and such.)

  3. I imagined some sort of quick disconnect junction box for running different antennas but I think, if my memory serves me, you have some sort of desk top unit which lets you select which antenna you are using. I believe you posted about such a box this spring/summer.

  4. You are correct. It's a four way switch box with a neutral position to ground. It works nice for multiple feed lines. The neutral position is nice because it connects all antennas to ground preventing a buildup of static electricity in the systems.