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Site Maintenance Checklist

Drew Lepple

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**Under the title of this post is a printable copy of the Site Maintenance Checklist App Note. Print it out and bring it to the field!**


Bi-annual visits to your Tower site are an important step to ensure that everything is functioning normally and the site is safe.  Another time to schedule a site visit is following a major weather event. Ice storms, heavy winds, & blizzards have been very active in North America during the winter of 2013/2014. 


No matter what type of met tower you own or are responsible for, if a significant weather event has passed through your area, it's time to visit the tower site.  A site visit is important and can be efficient if you go prepared.




Tower Maintenance

o Observe the tower from a distance and see if it looks straight.




o Check how plumb the tower is.  Using a level and eyeing up the tower, determine whether the tower needs to be plumbed and straightened again.


    Extreme weather can stretch guy wires causing the tower to lean in different directions. It is important to straighten the tower and re-tension the guy wires.




o Check on the tower base.  Does everything look normal?  A significant change in the baseplate can cause the guy wire tensions to also change.




o Check guy wire tension at all levels.  Equal and proper guy wire tensions are critical to a safe tower.




o Check wire rope clips.


    Are they all tight?

    Are they rusty? It might be time to change some of them.




o Check anchors.


    Do the anchors look the same as when originally set? If they have moved the soil or have risen out of the ground, it may be time to move or fix the anchor location.




o If your tower is many years old, how do the guy wires look at the anchor points?


    Have they started to fray?

    Are there any signs of corrosion beyond superficial rust? If the guy wires are showing extreme wear in the form of fatigue or corrosion, it may be time to (carefully!) lower the tower and change out the guy wires.




o Check that the shelter box is still securely fastened to the tower. Does weather or wildlife seem to be making its way into the enclosure?  If so, take steps to prevent this.




o Are the ground wires still properly attached to the base plate, ground rod and logger?




o Visually inspect all of the booms and sensors to make sure the alignment is correct and nothing appears to be broken up tower.




o Are the sensor cables that lead into the shelter box organized and secure? 




Logger and Sensor Maintenance


o Press the [Home] button on the logger and make sure it wakes up. Press [Home --> 2. Status --> 1. Logger Status] to check on the logger.


    Battery voltage should be between 1.5 and 2.0 V and should say "Good". If otherwise, change the D-Cell batteries.

    The batteries should be changed every 9 months or more frequently if in cold climates.




o Press [Home --> 2. Status --> 2. Mem Card Status] to check on the memory card.


    The screen should say "Card Inserted - Logging" and report how many files are saved, and how many more files can be written to the memory card.




o Press [Home ? Measurements] to view all of the logger channels in real time.


    Scroll down to view each channel and confirm that the sensors are working correctly.




o Check the iPack Status by pressing [Home --> 2. Status --> 3. iPack Status.


    The iPack should be register Home or Roaming. The battery voltage should ideally be above 11v.




o Press [Home --> 3. Utilities --> 4. iPack --> 1. Call Now] to force the iPack to make a call.


    Watch the screen as the iPack calls. Look up any errors in the SymphoniePLUS3 manual or contact Technical Support (802) 482-2255 ext. 3.




o If the logger's memory card (MMC or SD) has not been changed for a while, swap in a new card by pulling out the old one and inserting a new one.


    Wait and watch as the memory card is initialized. If it fails, do not use that memory card. Double check the memory card status after inserting a new card (as mentioned above).




o Close everything back up making sure it is weather tight.


Suggested Tools and Resources


o Laptop computer with Symphonie Data Retriever software.


o iPack Programming Kit to connect to Logger and iPack.


o Adjustable wrench


o Socket set with 9/16", 5/8", & 11/16" sockets.


o Small flat head and Phillips head screw drivers.


o Spare D-cell batteries, iPack batteries, data cards.


o Spare wire rope clips.


o Spare Logger and iPack (if troubleshooting these components).


o Super 60 & 80 meter towers: Small hand winch (come along) to help tension guy wires.


o Super 60 & 80 meter towers: Chicago grips to help tension guy wires.




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