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May 18, 2012

Skylon tower - experimental pioneering from Bothasig Rover Crew


1st Bothasig Rover Crew in the Western Cape, South Africa, have been trying out some new pioneering projects. Here is a scaled-up version of a Skylon flagpole that aims to be large enough to have a crows-nest / deck on top. Devon writes:


"We at the 1st Bothasig Rover Crew have recently gotten back into our 'pioneering-groove' and are keen on trying out pioneering projects that couldn't really  do during our days as Scouts due to safety concerns or lack of resources. Our current current project is a Skylon Tower- basically we want to use the same design as a traditional skylon flagpole, with 1 pole sticking straight up, and then have a crows nest on top of that. This didn't really seem complicated, but we could not find any resources online and nobody around here had ever attempted it on a large scale before so we decided to do a smaller 'test tower' before going to a fully sized one. The goal here was just to determine if standard ropes and pulleys would be enough to lift the heavy pioneering poles off the ground and also to investigate the height, distance away and angle of our support structure... The final height we got the structure off the ground was about half a meter, which was the point where the deadman's anchor we used got pulled out of the ground (our safety lines kept it all upright though). We are currently sourcing steel cables and concrete slabs to use as deadman's anchors and will be attempting the full-sized project in early July, with the goal of attaining a final height of 2m off the ground... The 5 of us were responsible for most of the construction (we had a few visitors show up and do a knot or 2 every now and then), the only time we needed more manpower was when we lifted the tower upright, because we needed guys to lift it up and another 3 to tighten all the guy lines. Construction took us 5 hours, including dismantling at the end. I think it could get done a lot faster as we spent quite a bit of time revising our plans and standing around discussing things."

Devon will update us when they have built a larger version of this tower.

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