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 TCN-9 TV tower to be demolished
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 5:29:59 PM on 1 July 2021.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
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 Postcount: 6516

Over the past two weeks I have watched a crane being assembled not very far from the TCN-9 transmission tower at Willoughby. Wondering that the crane is a little too tall for building the blocks of flats that are about to go up on the old TV station site I did some digging and it appears that Australia's tallest TV tower is not long for the world. It will be demolished over a period of about nine months.

I was to understand that heritage orders protected all three towers but apparently not. Whilst none of the three towers in the area are original, all are of sufficient age to be worth preserving and until recently, the TCN tower was used for transmitting digital TV signals. Digital signals for Sydney now come from the ABN-2 ATN-7/TEN-10 tower, located on the Pacific Highway in nearby Artarmon, previously used as a back-up facility for the TCN tower.

If you want photos of the tower, snap them up now. It will be gone by March, 2022.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 6:30:50 PM on 1 July 2021.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1978

No, all DTV signals now come from the Mowbray Rd site.

The ABN tower at Gore Hill is the only original tower. Or nearly, anyway, it was late arriving, caught up in the Suez crisis, to replace "Little Toot".


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:17:00 PM on 1 July 2021.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4460

If there is one thing of consistency in Australia it is chopping up bits of metal history & heritage for Beer money.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 8:15:27 AM on 2 July 2021.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1002

I wonder if the steel in this tower was originally hot dip galvanized. If it was it should still be as serviceable as the thousands of high tension power pylons about the place, many of which went up when I was a kid, so 60 years old or more.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 8:57:54 AM on 2 July 2021.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4460

There a cathodic methods that also help & sometimes paint can protect. This of course requires it being done.

Steel power poles here removed in 1984 - 2016 were not showing any major structural deterioration. Design and quality of the material has a lot to do with it, as does the environment. Concrete tends to protect steel. Pure Iron, like Nelsons column does not rust away quickly. The main frame of the Statue of Liberty has a fatigue life of 500 years. That had electrolytic problems stemming from the way the sculpture was mounted to the frame.

When the Circa 1925 Alexanderson antenna at 2C0 developed issues, it was chopped up for Beer money. This was the first regional ABC radio station.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 1:34:25 PM on 2 July 2021.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1002

I guess it is coming down either because it has reached the end of its economic life or because the real estate it is on at it elevated location is too tempting for developers.

If only painted, maintenance at height would probably be too expensive. I know people who have done non-destructive testing on Sydney Tower to confirm its integrity and it ain't cheap working at height.
Cathodic protection would not work for that part exposed to the air - might be OK for the footings as gas and oil pipelines usually have an impressed voltage to minimise corrosion.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 7:01:28 PM on 2 July 2021.
Brad's avatar
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 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
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I believe all three Sydney towers are galvanised. Even the 1930s-era 2UE mast at Olympic Park is galvanised and still standing on its spring-loaded footings. It is protected but it seems the TV towers are not, which is a shame.

It's easy to call these things eyesores but they are also a part of our industrial heritage and if they are not in a dangerous condition they should not only remain standing but remain in service. There are plenty of services that could be sent out from these towers, not just television.

If anything, the tallest tower should be the one that remains. Mirvac is going to pay a lot of money to gain about 80 square metres of land and Willoughby City Council will finally win the bitter war it has petulantly waged with Kerry Packer since the dispute over the time it took for Channel 9 to demolish their original tower in the 1970s. The council wants this tower down too and didn't so much as murmur when Mirvac made the application. They just greenlighted the job.

Ian, you might be right about the ATN tower being the now primary DTV transmitter site. I never could trust the SMH to get facts right about things and it would make sense as this is the next tallest tower. The ABN tower is a bit of a munchkin, though oddly, it seems to have the most antennas and microwave dishes attached to it.

About a year ago now, I discussed a rumour I heard about the TCN tower being pulled down with my MATV contractor and he said not to worry and it was unlikely to happen. I think Willoughby Council probably did all they could to keep quiet about it until the crane started to go up. I live in the shadow of this tower and even though its array would land right in my backyard if the wind ever managed to blow it over, I'll miss it.

Some closer to where the tower is located claim they won't miss the lightning strikes but the bottom line is, lightning will continue to hit the area. Many parts of the Sydney Basin lie on top of ironstone reefs, which are well known to attract lightning and if there is one near the tower then the tower has probably saved a few houses from being hit over the years.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 8:50:18 PM on 6 July 2021.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4460

My experience with steel fence posts & power poles and it looks like its the same for ships, is that it is the part in the water & moisture that corrodes fastest. Ships use sacrificial plates & the bridge over the creek here (1988) is using an aluminium rod as it is the sacrificial metal.

Albeit that the thermostat housing on the tractor is Alloy. There was a craze in the sixties to make aluminium water pump housings and thermostat housings from Aluminium based alloy. This with concentration of Glycol inhibitor dropping below 33% or none saw those mounted on cast Iron blocks, rapidly eaten. Conversely my Ute where all fittings are cast Iron and similar with the tractor's cast iron water pump showed no significant corrosive damage when taken out of service; Tractor pump 1970's precautionary replacement 2019 over haul. Ute bearing fail 99,800 miles. Mazda I had were a flop one got to 100K the rest failed bearings after 54K. Vehicle not replaced with Mazda.

Because the other two are not sealed radiators, coolant is run at 40%. Water jackets are clean inside good when one is 70 years old the other 63


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 11:15:29 PM on 10 July 2021.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6516

Some photos of the tower are below.

TCN-9 TV Transmission Tower in Sydney, NSW
TCN-9 TV Transmission Tower in Sydney, NSW


The tale of the tape:-

Height: 233 metres.
Width at base: 39 metres.
Weight: 353 tonnes.
Wind rating: 213km/h.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 2:32:42 AM on 11 July 2021.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4460

Long way up to change a light bulb: Windmill is bad enough.

Lots of Beer money in that one.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 7:44:12 AM on 11 July 2021.
Brad's avatar
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 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
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 Postcount: 6516

The thing that grates me more than the waste of this resource and the erosion of the history is that the second photo shows the view from my back yard. I have to look at this butt-ugly crane for the next nine months. The reality is, the only thing this tower needs is a paint job. All the red and white paint has peeled off since the Big Fella died and it looks a little unloved. Speaking of Mr Packer, he'd be rolling in his grave if he got wind of what was going on.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 9:37:20 AM on 11 July 2021.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 1002

The stress in every element was likely calculated by hand with a mechanical calculator. Such people were called computers.
Now there would be a computer program with inputs probably of height, top load, wind speed and seismological conditions, and it would be done in an instant.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 11:16:43 AM on 11 July 2021.
BurntOutElectronics's Gravatar
 Location: Alexandra, VIC
 Member since 2 October 2019
 Member #: 2392
 Postcount: 210

What a incredible looking tower.
It's a real shame what they've decided to do with it.
I think I've seen some footage of its construction? Or was that another Sydney tower?
I'll try and find it


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 12:34:12 PM on 11 July 2021.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6516

There's a few archived photos of the erection of all the towers, past and present. Sadly, there's not quite enough detail to represent the contribution they have made to our lives.

At this time, the guy ropes for the tower crane are being installed.

Chances are, I will keep this thread alive with regular updates. I've added another statistic to those listed above too - the tower's wind rating.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 1:27:41 PM on 11 July 2021.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6516

TCN-9 TV Transmission Tower in Sydney, NSW
TCN-9 TV Transmission Tower in Sydney, NSW
TCN-9 TV Transmission Tower in Sydney, NSW
TCN-9 TV Transmission Tower in Sydney, NSW


1. A close-up of the antenna array, topped off with the lightning conductors.
2. A close-up of the upper anchor points for the four guy ropes.
3. The crane lifting the fourth guy rope to its anchor point.
4. A close-up of one of the guy ropes with it's 'hook'.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
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