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we (SAIC) apparently send out the pole dimensions and loading to a third party to calculate the forces at the base and design the specific amount of bolts, their diameters, and the loading on each one. Im assuming they use finite element analysis, which I am unfamiliar with at the moment. Is there a way I can calculate this stuff myself to save them some money? Ive heard FEA is rather expensive, and this is taking quite a while to get the results as well.

Or perhaps, if I could approximate the pole calc by assuming its a cantilever beam, I could get the N, V, and M at the base. But from there Id need a method to determine the correct amount of bolts to use and their respective diameters. Assuming I desiged for a worst case M scenario, then the most heavily loaded bolt would be the furthest from the NA, correct? Also, I can assume it has an eccentric axial load. by the way, the lateral (wind) load controls by a long shot in these cases. in older hand calcs i have access to, its assumed that the shear force at the base is divided evenly amongst the bolts. given all this, it seems as though i have a method for doing this by hand. the problem comes in deciding a bolt pattern. if I could make it decide on an amount and diameter of bolts, that'd be convenient, however im not quite sure if I can do that. furthermore, i dont know if its common practice to only have an even number of bolts. it seems that an odd number makes things a bit more complicated.

perhaps ive just overthought this so much that my brain has given up on trying to find a solution lol. that said, if you have any advice, let me know...and dont laugh at me if this is way simpler than im making it out to be :D