Skycrane And Skyline: Changing Out A Television Transmitting Antenna Over A Quarter-Mile Up!

Skycrane And Skyline: Changing Out A Television Transmitting Antenna Over A Quarter-Mile Up!

Okay, let’s make this official: there are parts of my body that were going into full fear mode just by watching this video. The helicopter part of this story doesn’t scare me in the least. The guys who are installing the antenna for this 1,516 foot tall tower in Florida…yeah. Their job scares the hell out of me even whe I’m sitting in my office chair watching YouTube. What you’re about to see is a job that you hope with every fiber of your being has a spectacular life insurance policy attached to the terms of employment, because this is the kind of job where dropping your wrench means that your day has gone straight to hell in a handbasket, no questions asked.

If you are squeamish about getting on your roof, then all I can do is apologize. Working under a helicopter that’s sling-loading an item out like that Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is actually a pretty straightforward affair once you understand why static electricity can be an issue. But doing so on a platform about the size of the bucket of the lifts we use for livestreaming, as you look around and see multiple counties and the curvature of the Earth? I don’t care if you do go first, I don’t care just how much money you’re prepared to put into my bank account. you can take a great photo of me flipping you off at ground level before you even think that I’m about to go up there.

There’s only so many ways this job can be done. Using a Skycrane to sling-load the heavy bits to the top for quick assembly is about the fastest and safest option these workers have, even if it means working in the gale-force winds created by the rotorwash. All so you can catch the game in crystal-clear HDTV. Bless them for the work they do, better them than me.

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2 thoughts on “Skycrane And Skyline: Changing Out A Television Transmitting Antenna Over A Quarter-Mile Up!

  1. Loren

    As “kids” we would haul six-packs of beer up transmission towers at the top of the mountains on Friday nights sometimes, feel the cold and wind, stare at the city lights and listen to the electrical hum. Only a couple hundred feet though, the drive up and back was probably just as dangerous the way it was done. That got shut down with some nasty barb-wire fences eventually. RF couldn’t have been good for us.

  2. 12AU76L6GC

    If you were within a few feet of an older analog TV antenna you were probablly absorbing more RF than if you jimmied open a microwave oven and stood in front of it. The analog stations used dual 60 Kilowatt cabinets into a diplexer and used 24 bay antennas, therefore 120 KW divided by 24 = 5 KW per antenna element. A microwave oven is 1 KW. Are you feeling OK? Maybe premature white hair? High microwave radiation can cause cataracts in 30 seconds…

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