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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 04:12 PM
Original message
cell tower (wireless) questions: height, range, power
A local real estate (asshole) wants to erect a 300 foot tower on his proerty. He claims it will be for cell communications and local fire/rescue. However, this is in a very hilly area, and so there will still be lots of river valleys where there will be no reception (I think) no matter the height. Isn't a better strategy to erect shorter towers with shorter range to ensure adequate coverage? Has anyone ever heard of such a tall tower for such purposes?
Where can I go to get more info?

I really want to fight this thing. :mad:
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Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. What does the local zoning board say?
He can't do that without a hearing. Also, if you live in a historical district, he may not be able to build a tower period.

It sounds like you're in Central/Western Mass, and with all the hills and valleys, the reception does suck. There are emergency (satellite) phones that fire and police can use, so what is his argument but a selfish one?
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The town has already granted a special use permit
This is in the Delaware River valley on the New York side. More pertinent, it is in the Upper Delaware National Recreation Area. I still can't believe it.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. He'll also get paid a pretty nice monthly sum by the wireless company..
...which I'm sure factors into it.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. Important passengers in low-flying planes need tall towers...
to be able to use their phones while airborne. You remember those claims about Barbara Olson supposedly calling her husband Ted, from FL 77, just before the "bad guys" had that unfortunate encounter at the Pentagon, which sent everyone to Jesus and Allah? She wouldn't have lost her connection, and had to keep calling him, if there had been a tall tower in the neighborhood.

Keep that aspect in mind, because you never know when a tall tower will come in handy.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Redundancy is better than just one tower
Several years ago the City of Pittsburgh tried to adopt a new police radio system using just two towers. It failed do to the hills and dales in the city of Pittsburgh (The two towers were converted to use by Non-police communications and a another radio system with more towers were installed for the police). The Two towers system worked for most of the City but NOT all of the City, huge areas were missed and thus the two tower's replacement by a system with more towers. I do not see the Delaware River as hilly as the City of Pittsburgh but a better solution would be more towers than one.

Also make the following argument what happens when the tower goes down? In a many tower system you have overlap so that if one tower goes down you still have most if not all service. In a one tower system if the tower goes down you are off the air. An old rule in the Military was expect to take hits. Thus you must plan if the tower goes down. A system of many small towers has the needed redundancy to withstand a hit, a one tower system is just to dependent on that tower being up and running.

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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-02-03 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Upper Delaware valley is very hilly
I just checked the topos of Pittsburgh vs. the upper Delaware and they compare favorably in terms of variety of relief. In fact, they are nearly identical. This only makes sense since geologically Pennsylvania is essentially a gigantic plateau, peak elevations typically around 1200 to 1300 ft. and valleys down to 700 ft.

http://topozone.com/map.asp?z=18&n=4603185&e=497261&s=1...

The attached link shows the approx. location of the proposed antenna and surrounding topo. it's a dumb idea to have one single gigantic antenna. My hunch is this guy wants to piggyback many other transmitters onto this beast. 300 ft. is no ordinary mast.
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Atlant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-03-03 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm afraid you have relatively few legs to stand on.
Wasn't there a law/court decision that says that the rights of
cell phone providers to erect towers trumps all local zoning?

Meanwhile, the strategery here is probably that the cell phone
providers will put up one big cell to cover (say) 80% of the area.
Then, based on complaints of dropped calls, they'll add a few more
towers that cover the valleys. But they'll get most of their bang
from the bucks pumped into this one tower.

Atlant
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-03-03 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. This is in a "National Recreation Area"
I think visual impact will have some meaning here. Also, there are many bald eagle nests in the area, and I think in general there are wildlife concerns. But my main gripe is that technicaly it makes no sense. A very crevassed area such as this demands smaller, localized, antenna locations. I have never ever heard of a 300 foot mast for cell towers.
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Atlant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-03-03 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Oh?
> Also, there are many bald eagle nests in the area, and I think in
> general there are wildlife concerns.

Why? What do the bald eagles care about the tower? It might provide
a good perch for them. The only real wildlife issues are access roads
and power line right-of-ways; it sounds like it's going near this
guy's house; he must already have access and a power R-o-W, no?


> But my main gripe is that technically it makes no sense.
> A very crevassed area such as this demands smaller, localized,
> antenna locations.

I suspect neither of us know what the computer simulations show
for the likely coverage resulting from this antenna mounted 300'
above its local terrain (a hilltop?). But even if it provided
spotty coverage, it may still meet the cell carrier's goals (as
I mentioned earlier). They're still "building out" their systems
and spotty coverage is still better (for their marketing) than
"no coverage". (They won't bother telling anyone it's spotty
coverage anyway.) Even in urban/suburban areas, people live with
"dead zones" for a long time before they get annoyed enough with
the carrier(s) to do anything about it.

Honstly, I think the American cell phone implementation stinks and
all cell phone companies are nothing but rip-off artists, but it
still sounds to me like you don't have much claim to oppose this.
And, as I said, I'm pretty sure that cell phone companies managed
to get a law or court ruling that essentially deprives you of all
of your rights in favor of them.

Sorry, but it's the 'Murican way.

Atlant
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