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Microwave Antenna Question...

Discussion in 'Cell Tower Hunting Club' started by marklar, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. marklar

    marklar New Member

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    I just moved to LA from NorCal and just started noticing all of the microwave antennas. I was wondering if the FCC had any verbage in the contracts that the carriers sign when they put up an antenna that allows the government to use it for any purpose. If so, under what circumstances could they use it?

    I was also doing some research on H.A.A.R.P. and the ionosphere and wondered if these microwave antennas caan be utilized for that. Can the microwave antennas produce E.L.F., (Extremely Low Frequencies?) Last question; Can anybody direct me to some papers or studies that have been done on the effect(s) on human beings that these microwave antennas are capable of causing? I am doing this for a paper in school and am very curious. I know that microwaves cook food so I always wondered why that is the technology used in cell phones. It seems like it can be extremely harmful. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!
     
  2. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Microwave antennas are heavily used here because of their lower long term costs for the carriers. The microwave links take the phone company out of the loop so network problems can be solved completely by the carrier versus having to be dependant on the telco to solve a problem.

    As for the big brother stuff, I wouldn't think that far into it. They've got much easier ways to monitor you.
     
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  3. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    There is a nut job named Sherry Shriner (google her name). She does all kinds of 'big brother' preaching about the use of cell towers to spy on us and Aliens tracking our thoughts...you know, Wear a tin foil hat, kind of nonsense. :D

    If you want real data on the effects from exposure to RF, go to the FCC website and search the supporting documents of Bulletin OET 65.

    http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/

    Or check out the website of fellow WA member, Jonathan Kramer:

    http://www.kramerfirm.com/rfsafety/index.htm
     
  4. Road Lizard

    Road Lizard New Member

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    I have never seen any microwave radios that operate at anything other than micro - waves freqs, No ELF. I suppose that there are some manufactureres that offer an ELF type vers, but there an unliscensed band there or not?
    I recently did a study on high T1 and D3 costs for an operator and it was outrageous. Depending on the demand for T1s and needed traffic for the tower they ranged from $200 to over $2,000 per month! A microwave link costs about $1600 per link not including the tower rental if they don't own the tower, usually about $200 bux.

    I have had installers tell me that their fillings and the rivets on their jeans heat up when they are near a high power dish.
     
  5. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Road, you're assessment regarding T1s v. microwave may be correct as to dollar costs, but local governments also place a very high value on aesthetics, especially for a project that will be in place for many years or decades.

    I regularly see carriers propose microwave back-hauls to nowhere. Huh? Nowhere? Yes. One carrier in particular proposes a microwave dish at every site, but uses T1s for backhaul. I regularly recommending striking microwave antenna project elements where a wireline solution is available, and most carriers agree in short order. I had one project in SoCal just this morning where the carrier proposed a microwave dish, but intended to use T1s for back haul, anyway. I sent the rep an email indicating my intent to recommend the element deletion, and the rep responded in just under 4 minutes with the following three word answer: "Consider it done."

    Best regards,

    Jonathan
     
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  6. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Hahaha I think I know who you're talking about on that one they do also have an impressive microwave network compared to the other carriers, at least in this market.

    I don't blame the carriers for trying to get approval. Even it if goes nowhere now, if you can get it approved what the hell. As you intimately know the approval is the hard part.
     
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  7. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    Look for more and more wireless backhaul with the increase in bandwidth requirements, lack of fiber at sites, and the acceptance of technologies such as free space optics....plus the merger of Fibertower/First Avenue.
     
  8. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Robert:

    I don't blame the carriers for trying, either.

    I may have sounded a bit harsh in my previous post about microwave v. T1. Let me explain a bit more. Our guidance to governments is where an active microwave is proposed and the dish is hidden (behind a faux parapet, for example), then there's no additional visual loading by the project, then the microwave dish element should be okay. Where there's no T1 or other suitable back haul option, then, too, the microwave dish element should be okay.

    In this business there are no brightline tests, but simply sound planning judgments that still respect the TCA goals. Life's a balance. So is siting. ;)

    -Jonathan
     
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  9. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    I recently processed a Fibertower applicant for one of my Illinois governments (yes, I do work in many states, not just California). They proposed a microwave solution built into an open frame clock tower. Quite interesting, and a design that 'worked' with the supporting structure.

    As for optical back haul and wireless back haul, the planning consideration is the same as for microwave. Can the overall visual loading of the project be reduced by the use of wireline or other non-visual elements? If so, and the alternative is additional visual loading of the project, then go with the non-visual elements. It's not just a "microwave thang!" :cool:

    For example, look at this image posted by Yankee:

    [​IMG]

    Compare the above with my photosim of the same site, minus the unused panel supports:

    [​IMG]

    I think most would agree that the lower picture is a far more attractive result. In the real world, this is an example of the negative impacts of unnecessary visual loading of a project.

    =Jonathan=

    j
     
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    #9 Jonathan Kramer, Aug 12, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2006
  10. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    Mr Kramer: While I agree that aesthetics should be a consideration, I don't think it should drive operational and financial decisions. As someone who has spent most of his career on what is apparently the other side of the zoning table from you...it is your opinions that drive up my project costs. While I agree we should not be ugly, I find that many times people use it as an excuse to illegally supercede the existing provisions which my team is following to the letter only to be blindsided by additional after the fact requirements and hearings/town meetings.

    Sorry, it is a very sore subject with me. I have done many stealth sites simply because the carrier chose to not have a protracted legal battle to appeal the towns attempts to go beyond the written zoning regulations.

    I have also been involved in some winning carrier battles (and some losing ones....if anyone is familiar with the Tenleytown site in Washington, DC).

    I guess to end my rant...when building my deployment teams, I go to great pains to hire top zoning folks who research the jurisdictions we are to be in, and to have that money go out the window when a town decides to get creative is very frustrating. By right is by right, damnit :D

    Oh well, that was then. Now I deal mostly with Federal gov't. and Military stuff so my hands are much less tied and the budget is a little looser (in times like these).
     
  11. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Wirles, pleas call me Jonathan.

    I'll reply to each point, below.

    You've just summed up in one sentence why planning reviews are performed. ;)

    Yes, I agree that planning and design reviews can drive up costs for an applicant, but were those checks and balances not in place most every applicant would approach a project by thinking, 'Okay, how do I shave every penny on the job regardless of how it looks? I only care how it works!' Project planning is the counter balance to that approach

    A very interesting point...illegally supercede. To frame this for you, darn-near every community has a planning code that sets design standards, but at the end of the day, if you're dealing with a discretionary permit process (for example, where a project busts the planning or zoning code, and you're asking for special permission to construct the project, anyway) you may go through the process simply to get to a NO, rather than to a yes. Is that illegal? Again, you have to look at the codes and ask a local land use lawyer (I'm not one, yet, but check back with me in a few months :browani: ).

    While I don't suggest governments go beyond their legal limits, what those legal limits are is often an matter of opinion. One side says yes, the other side says no. There are rarely brightline tests as to what's permitted. That's why we have judges, attorneys, consultants :wink: , and the like!

    I don't know that case off the top of my head. What are the details?

    Yes, by right is by right, but most often (and especially in California:p ) those rights are unclear and changing.

    Finally, I didn't read your post as a rant, but simply as someone, like me, who's a part of a difficult process that is, at least for now, akin the to Chinese Curse: "May you live in interesting times!"

    jlk
     
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  12. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    Johnathan: The 'illegaly supercede' comment was in relation to our application adhering to by right regulations without the need for special exception, yet because it is a tower (even falling under the pre-existing guidelines set by the municipality) we get thrown into the hearing process and in many cases required to proffer things (blackmail in my book).

    The Tenly case is quite interesting. I am suprised as part of the LSGAC you have not come across it. The city issued a permit (after much review) for this 756' tower that was to replace the shorter 50+ year old Western Union tower (old stratcom design). The city rescinded the permit, and issued a stop work order after about 350' went up when some a civic group (local residents) complained. It just so happens that this group was very affluent and connected, and their homes were less than miles away from the site. I had moved on before the battle ended, but I believe the final outcome was ATC had to remove hte structure and the city had to pay a large sum ($M) for their part.


    Here is a link to the dismissal of the civil suit by American Tower against the Mayor of DC.

    http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/00-2436c.pdf

    The settlement press release (although it doesn't contain much detail):
    http://tenleytown.net/tower/index.html

    I am sure if you ask anyone at Opryland (PCIA) they will have stories.;)
     
  13. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    You jogged my memory with the description of it. I recall hearing about that one several times a few years back. That one got really nasty between ATC and the locals.
     
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  14. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Wirles: Thanks for the links. I'm going to read them with great interest.

    My work on the LSGAC was focused on RF safety evaluations, leading to my co-authoring and editing the guidance for local governments posted at http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety.

    Interesting that you mentioned Opryland/PCIA. I'm a guest speaker there this year. I'm on the mock zoning panel session on Tuesday afternoon. Does it come as any surprise that I'm the 'government hearing officer' in the session?:browani: Will you be there? If any of the WAer's are going to PCIA please let me know so I can meet you in person!

    Best,

    Jonathan
     
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  15. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/2.0 (compatible; MSIE 3.02; Windows CE; PPC; 240x320) BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    I am not sure if I am going to be there. If I go, you will know.
     
  16. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    An update on the random off topic part of this thread. People have been saying the Tenley tower is finally actually coming down. A friend says crews were out there starting the removal.
     
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  17. wirles

    wirles I'm baaaaaaaaaack
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    The government of the District of Columbia paid American Tower $350k to settle the dispute, and I believe permits were issued and the deconstruction has begun. I will take some pictures when I go downtown his week.
     
  18. Jonathan Kramer

    Jonathan Kramer Telecom Atty/RF Engr.
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    Sorry we weren't able to hook up at PCIA/Nashville. I had a great time there, and I really enjoyed my role in the mock planning hearing as the Hearing Officer. Hopefully they'll invite me back for a third time, and this time I can play the role of an Attorney. :browani:

    j
     
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