Fixed The Sagging Span Wire Setup

My span wire setup in the back yard had some issues over the winter. Last summer we fixed it all up, poles were straight, signals were high enough off the ground that I could mow under them. But this spring, the screw in the ground anchors came most of the way out of the ground once the ground defrosted this spring. The middle signal was only around 3 feet off the ground now.

Sagging Signal Span This Spring

So the way I was going to fix the span was to cement into the ground the guy wire anchors. Sounds easy enough, right? I decided I would use 6″ sono tubes, bury them in the ground 2 feet, pound a 4 foot tall fence post into the center of the tube, fill it with concrete and put the guy wire anchor in it. Nobody locally had 6″ so I had to go with 8″ ones. Lets get started with it.

Digging the holes wasn’t too bad. The first 18″ or so of my back yard is pretty much topsoil. After that it is hard packed clay. I dug 2 holes on each end of the poles for 2 guy wires for each side and 1 additional one for the one pole that also doubles as my clothesline pole too.

Holes dug and getting ready to mix. See how far the original anchor came out of the ground.

One of the hardest parts besides mixing the concrete was pounding the fence posts into the ground. They’re steel and 4′ long. The first couple of feet were easy but once they get into the tightly packed clay, it was inch by inch pounding them in. Took a little bit, but got it done.

1 bag at a time
1 down, 4 more to go

After the concrete setting for a week, my friend Phil (aka The Traffic Light King) came up to give me a hand. We used my 4 wheeler winch to pull the poles straight which was much easier that we thought it would be (took a video but it was lost by mistake)

Hooking up the guy wire to the new anchors.

Each guy wire is either 3/8″ or 5/8″ inch diameter steel wire. They are connected to anchors and have clamps to keep them there. We also used turnbuckles to be able to tighten the guy wires much easier. Here’s the first side. This pole stayed pretty much in place over the winter. The other side was the issue.

Took us a couple of hours. Of course it was a really warm day for once, but we got it all fixed. Poles are nice and straight now. Middle signal is over 7′ off the ground. Last year we were happy when we fixed it and it was 6 feet. The 2 single end signals are over 8 feet from ground level now also. Now I don’t have to duck when I’m mowing the grass, though I did the first few times I did since this was fixed.

I was lucky enough to get all the old reflectors and lenses from these signals that were saved from the dumpster when LEDs were put in the red and green lights on these. That was sometime in the mid 2000’s I’d guess. The municipality had them all boxed away and I got all that when I bought these from them in 2018

They look much better with the old reflectors and glass lenses in them I’d say.

Inside the Marbelite 4 way. LEDs and moldy sunflower seeds

Here’s a video of the finished product. Sorry about the haziness on it. Think my lens was dirty from all the work done during the day.

What’s next for this now? I may end up taking last years acquired PCN mechanical controller and mounting it on the pole to run this setup.


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