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Xringer 06-14-11 09:02 PM

I have a lot of shielding trees north of my tracking array and
a sudden gust from the west took it right over. I heard a roaring noise and look up
to see it lifting up and tipping over..

I had planned on waiting a little while longer before driving in some anchors,
bad mistake! Could have cost me much more than some bent aluminum..

Daox 06-15-11 07:20 AM

Well, the record GUST is 81 mph, so I'm really not worried. The panels will be in a little alcove that I'll cut out into the treeline in my yard, so there will be trees on three sides plus my house and garage to the south and east, and another tree line beyond them. It'll be pretty protected.

Daox 06-15-11 09:32 AM

So, I got my first quote back on 2 yards of concrete for $276. Sounds a lot better than mixing it all myself. I'm still not sure I really need that much though. The quikrete site says if you have a 4" pole, you need a 12" hole. I'm not sure what it means when you have a 2x6. I also don't think I'll be sinking the 2x6 into the concrete. Talking with some of the guys here at work they think it would be better if I sunk some steel into the concrete and bolted to that. That would make the wood last longer since it won't be exposed to as much moisture. This sounds good to me since it will be easier to make the holes, pour the concrete, and line things up afterwards instead of making some framing to hold everything in place while I pour. Any recommendations? I'm completely new to this.

Xringer 06-15-11 12:04 PM

One of these things?

Or, if you had some very large angle iron. Put some bolts or steel rods
under the surface to hold-down, and 3" lag bolts up top..

Or, a pair of angle irons cross bolted together (with a 4" spacing)
under the concrete, so the 4x4s would fit between them, up top.
Use 3" lag bolts or drill the 4x4s and use 3/8" or 1/2" carriage bolts with washers & nuts.

Daox 06-15-11 12:16 PM

Yeah, I was thinking of going with jusT a single piece of angle iron. It would bolt to the 2x6s with two bolts.

Xringer 06-15-11 01:40 PM

Here's what happened before.

I put 4 steel rods into the ground at an angle, to hold down the legs of my tracker mount.
But I was still very worried during the reason tornadoes were had around here.
The winds were wicked strong in the back yard. The old tracker was swaying big-time.

Daox 06-15-11 01:57 PM

How far did your rods go into the ground? The front of my posts will be 40 inches deep, and the rear ones will be 56 inches deep. That is what is recommended (1/3rd the full height of the post should be underground).

Xringer 06-15-11 02:11 PM

My setup is not going to hold up to 80 mph winds. The 4 foot rods (5/8" steel) were driven in at
45 degrees and are not deep enough to hold up in serious winds.

But, they did keep the array from flipping over during the tornado weather we had.
Plus the winter winds we had this past January and March.
It's not what I should be using, but it's 90% better than nothing.

bennelson 07-11-11 08:24 AM

I like what Xringer stated in post 14.

If you ever need to make any changes to the system, it would be a little easier.

Should make it a little less work to set everything up.

When are you inviting me over to get this set up? I refuse to dig holes, but I'll help with the woodwork! :D

Daox 10-04-11 01:03 PM

I'll be back working on this project in a few weeks. The father in law is coming down and wants to help with something. I still really want to get these things up before winter, but I'm not going to be able to do it without help. So, I'm finalizing the rack plans. There are a few changes since my last update. I changed the vertical risers to 2X6s vs 2x4s for some extra strength and only about $30 extra in material cost.

I am still debating weather to sink the wood risers directly into the cement, or to bolt them on. The father in law seems to think that sinking them in will be easier. I'm not so sure. Anyone know the pros/cons to using metal in the cement vs just putting the wood right in?

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