Technical Articles

Amateur Radio Tower Safety (Part 1): An Introduction to Climbing

Welcome to the first installment of DX Engineering’s Amateur Radio Tower Safety Video Series, featuring Tim Jellison, W3YQ. Tim is a longtime Amateur Radio operator, highly experienced and credentialed tower climber, certified rescue technician, and qualified climbing instructor who speaks frankly about following safety guidelines—at all times.

He begins the series by explaining the importance of not doing some of the foolhardy climbing you may have done as a kid: “With age comes a little bit of wisdom,” he explains.

In the coming days we’ll be posting more videos covering topics such as inspecting the tower, determining when it’s not safe to climb, critical fall prevention and arrest gear, best practices for ascending and descending, and much more.

Why this series? Why now? We’ve read too many tragic stories of friends in the Ham Radio community who have been seriously injured or killed participating in the hobby we all love. It is our strong belief that even one accident is too many.

Most importantly, understand that these videos are not to be used as a replacement for taking the time to get trained and certified yourself. Consider them a warning of the inherent dangers of climbing—even small and moderate-sized towers. We hope they prompt you to seek certified training or to leave tower climbing to the professionals.

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