Radio Communications of Charleston, Inc.

Radio Communications of Charleston, Inc.
Your Professional Wireless Solutions Provider

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Towers and their associated pluses and minuses !

Oh well, you now have this new tower site.   And, to add insult to injury, you're expecting it to be the save all or fix all of your communications system.........Yeah....Right !

I've written on this subject previously, so this information isn't new from my perspective.   But, it deserves repeating to those that wish to invest in or have already invested in a "new" tower site.

There are basically three physical characteristics of importance when designing or otherwise using a tower site.   In order to get maximum advantage, one must consider location, height and transmitter power, in that order.


Location ~
   This the most basic of all physical attributes and sometimes the most overlooked.   If your tower isn't near your area of need, why even consider it?   Makes sense doesn't it.   Well, you'd be surprised how many people purchase a tower or decide to use one that just isn't near their area of need.  

Height ~
   Ironically, this parameter is more important than high power output of your transmitter.   It also serves a high purpose in developing better receiver sensitivity.   Both of those needs are very important.   But, you just won't get them until you have some height, adequate height.   It's worth considering what type of antennas you plan to install on the new higher tower at the correct location.   Some antennas are 20ft long or more.....so, you should consider that and how many more of them you plan to install on the tower.   Vertical separation is a must, so just do the measurement math and see what you get.   Keep in mind that the lowest antenna on your tower is your new height.....hmmm.

Power ~
   After the above attributes are available, power is an important issue.   But, I must say, if you have a lot of power and neither of the above attributes, you're sunk.
  2-way radio power for a repeater is typically 100 watts.   So if you want it to perform properly, you will need the first two properties plus the appropriate power output....100 watts.



Tower sites nowadays must have a lot of issues solved in order to be constructed properly and legally.   Like it or not, this mechanism is an environmental issue, at least if you consider the opinions of those that want to protect you from the ferns, birds, swamps, and probably yourself.

So plan for this or you'll never make it in the tower business.   You will never even get the permits to carve out the road thru the woods to get to your prospective tower site.   That's a lot of data for another conversation.

Good luck with your new antenna site...

Till next time, happy radio range.

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