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DonLibes
Premium,ExMod 2001
join:2003-01-19

how close can a cell tower be to a house?

Click for full size
Our neighborhood has recently been invaded by what appear to be cell antennas that are *really* close to homes as you can tell by the example pic.

The questions being asked by residents are:
1) Are there health risks?
2) Should we do something and if so what?

Some residents are also concerned that their property values are going to go down but health is certainly the most serious question.

I checked with the county and they issued a franchise (giving access to the rights of way) that looks fine. But because it was handled as a franchise, there was no notice required for individual property owners; rather, the franchise application simply had to published in some obscure publication that only a county clerk reads to confirm that the franchise application has been publicized as required by law. So needless to say, we had no prior notice.

While our county and the FCC also have cell tower requirements, these were also avoided by instead reusing "existing" telephone poles. "Existing" is in quotes because (it is my understanding that) the local electrical company, which owns the poles, swapped out the regular poles for taller poles. Nonetheless, they are considered existing poles and not towers.

Based on measurements taken by one of the residents, it appears that the antennas violate the FCC max permissible emissions so we have asked the company to do a more in-depth study. Nonetheless, we're wondering if we're going about this in the right way.

I wish I could say precisely which company we are dealing with but depending upon which papers we look at or who we speak to, the names are either: NewPath or NextGen or Crown Castle. Evidently, they're related somehow. (And AT&T is involved as well although perhaps only as an initial user of the infrastructure - this is still unclear.)

Suggestions?


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
No more hazard than from power lines which is zero. I guess you don't hold a cell phone up to your ear or have wireless devices in your home?

Really I would not have any problem with the installation.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
reply to DonLibes
That looks more like a lightning strike proximity detector... not a cell relay tower.


fluffy

@teksavvy.com
reply to DonLibes
thats not a cell tower.
it has no generator/backup system, no relay dishes or fiber link, no visible connection to the tx/rx box (cant see any around either).


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by fluffy :

thats not a cell tower.
it has no generator/backup system, no relay dishes or fiber link, no visible connection to the tx/rx box (cant see any around either).

I think you are right. I missed that.

zurk
Premium
join:2009-11-08
Beverly Hills, CA
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to DonLibes
that is most definitely not a cell tower. there is no power line going to it either (unless its at the back somewhere ?). Whatever it is, the main problem is usually the side lobes of a directional antenna. that thing might just be a passive reflector of some sort.
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_lobe

DonLibes
Premium,ExMod 2001
join:2003-01-19
reply to DonLibes
Click for full size
Here is a close-up of the top as well as a meter at the bottom. (It's not the same pole as the earlier pic - but a similarly configured pole that's I'm able to get much closer to.)

There are some boxes at the base of the pole. I'll get some pics of those other boxes (although I believe they're all unlabelled) but they're certainly big enough to hold a substantial UPS. The county is telling us that this is part of a DAS (distributed antenna system).

All the meters show 4Va and 0kWh. The company tells us the antennas are not yet on but I presume they mean they're in a testing stage and are active but perhaps not fully powered up and not providing service to customers yet.


fluffy

@teksavvy.com
ooh. i think its a electric utility meter reading system. reads all those wireless electric meters.
not a cellphone antenna system.


fluffy

@teksavvy.com
reply to DonLibes
ok. that a DAS.
i found a pic of it.
»richmondsfblog.com/2011/06/21/de···7th-ave/
its tiny cellphone repeater basically.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to DonLibes
said by DonLibes:

Based on measurements taken by one of the residents, it appears that the antennas violate the FCC max permissible emissions

Please post more details. What were the measurements which were taken and what frequency is being used. How was it determined that the antennas violate FCC rules?


Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4
reply to DonLibes
Definitely not cellular. Best guess would be 2.4 or 5Ghz, most likely a version of WiFi. I would go with either for smart-meters or local WiFi Hotspot, but the meters sound more plausable.

Based on measurements taken by one of the residents, it appears that the antennas violate the FCC max permissible emissions

Not to call BS right off the bat, but i'd love to know what measurements. Unless those antennas are causing 'harmful interference', they are well far enough away from any human interaction to be considered safe by the FCC. I work with 10watt 2Ghz transmitters every day and FCC says as long as the dish is more than 6 feet away or not pointing directly at me, i'm safe. And I believe it.

Not to mention the 30kW worth of transmitters i've been known to work around. Those dinky little antennas are no sort of health risk at all.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to DonLibes
It's a DAS, and it is most likely owned by NextG and are for MetroPCS. They use tons of those things.

»forums.wirelessadvisor.com/wirel···-up.html

»sites.google.com/site/merrickgab···00000000

»www.gcnews.com/news/2009-10-23/F···uss.html

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

3 recommendations

reply to DonLibes
Stake a chicken to the ground and see how long it takes til it's fully cooked. Then you'll have a better idea if it's safe to go outside.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to DonLibes
Probably not a single thing you can do about it...


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to DonLibes
It's mini cell sectors to fill in dead zones. There is no health risk.
NextG is a contractor that works for a larger cell company, be it AT&T, Cricket, U.S., T-Mobile, Verizon, Etc...

The only gripe you might have is aesthetics (sloppy install). Of course, the same people crying about the antennas are probably the same ones who piss and moan about their crappy cell service.
Damned if you do and damned if you don't.


Based on measurements taken by one of the residents, it appears that the antennas violate the FCC max permissible emissions so we have asked the company to do a more in-depth study. Nonetheless, we're wondering if we're going about this in the right way.


I have to call total B.S. on that one. I'd like to know what equipment he used for "measurements", and exactly how did he know what to measure? As you can plainly see by the electric meter, this has not been turned up yet!
--
...because I care.


macsierra8
Baby Newfoundland
Premium
join:2003-11-30
Minden, NV

2 edits
reply to DonLibes

Italian Cypress
In the Sierras they have been installing cell phone towers that look just like fir trees. In fact it's hard to tell the difference from 500' or so away.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to DonLibes
said by DonLibes:

2) Should we do something and if so what?

Put a pole or tower on your property as close to it as you can.

Mount a conductive panel to block the RF from your house, and thus a substantial part of their radius, and watch how fast they move it.


macsierra8
Baby Newfoundland
Premium
join:2003-11-30
Minden, NV
said by peterboro:

said by DonLibes:

2) Should we do something and if so what?

Put a pole or tower on your property as close to it as you can.

Mount a conductive panel to block the RF from your house, and thus a substantial part of their radius, and watch how fast they move it.

Building code height limits, engineering, city aesthetic codes, etc would make that totally impossible and impractical at best. Even if it did work you would be interfering with vital communications.
--
Jimmy Hoffa’s dad was the last shovel-ready job..
Will Rodgers never met Harry Reid..

Why was I Anti-Obama before it was cool?
Saul Alinsky was also a community organizer & Marxist..


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms

1 recommendation

reply to macsierra8
Click for full size
Click for full size
They (Clear) put several of those stupid tree towers by my house. Those are the most ridiculous things I've ever seen! In no way, shape, or form do they blend in with the MO/IL landscape.

A simple monopole tower would be less of an eyesore than these.
--
...because I care.


nss_tech

join:2007-07-29
Edmonton AB

1 recommendation

reply to DonLibes
Cell towers can be as close as ON the house itself. Many high rise apartment buildings / condos have cell towers built in and you can see the pieces mounted around the perimeter of the buildings. Most people just don't look up to see them.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to macsierra8
said by macsierra8:

Building code height limits, engineering, city aesthetic codes, etc would make that totally impossible and impractical at best. Even if it did work you would be interfering with vital communications.

The same codes would preclude the initial cell tower install then and "vital communications" is open to interpretation.

As more evidence emerges of the harmful effects expect to see more opposition.

This is just the leading edge like the tobacco and asbestos industry bought off experts and suppressed studies a generation ago.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
said by peterboro:

The same codes would preclude the initial cell tower install then and "vital communications" is open to interpretation.

Utilities are not subject to height limitations.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
said by John Galt:

Utilities are not subject to height limitations.

In the OP a comparable, or strategic trajectory deflection, in height to block the house at least may be achievable and remember height restrictions are not uniform across North America.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

1 recommendation

said by peterboro:

said by John Galt:

Utilities are not subject to height limitations.

In the OP a comparable, or strategic trajectory deflection, in height to block the house at least may be achievable and remember height restrictions are not uniform across North America.

I agree that there may be other options for the OP in that regard. Utilities are, almost without exception, unrestricted unless there is some overriding issue, such as proximity to airports.
--
»www.archive.org/details/Meatpies_1984



toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
reply to DonLibes
I wish a cell company would come and install one near my house.

In big cities these are very common, they made to look like drain pipes, church crosses, steeples, anything.

The more of these small cell towers, the lower the power from the larger towers, so people should be happy, if that is what they are concerned about. More RF hits you when you use your microwave or watch your tv.


Dude111
An Awesome Dude
Premium
join:2003-08-04
USA
kudos:13
reply to Pacrat

 

I wonder if it has camara in it?? (Could be why its so close to houses (To be used as a monitoring point))


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Having a next generation mind control device embedded in it would be a better explanation for the proximity.
--
Wacky Races 2012!


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to John Galt

Re: how close can a cell tower be to a house?

said by John Galt:

said by peterboro:

The same codes would preclude the initial cell tower install then and "vital communications" is open to interpretation.

Utilities are not subject to height limitations.

The utilities still have to apply for zoning permission here but they can easily override the town if they say no by going to the state PUC.


Reality

@cox.net
reply to peterboro
They could come out today and say with 100% certainty that some percentage of us will get cancer at some point due to this, and most folks would say so what. We ain't gonna get out of this alive. Wireless is now woven into the fabric of society.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to DonLibes
I'm going to say it's not a micro-cell site; and is more likley a DAS for smart meters, public transport, or some other use...

There's no microwave uplink visable (usually a small "drum" 12-20" across) to link the site to a larger network... Cell repeaters can't operate uplinks across the same antenna sectors used for cell service; nor is it common to feed fibre to a micro-cell site.

As for the safety - I'm a firefighter, a telephone/cellular tech, and have wrenched on and painted race cars for years. I'm getting cancer at some point - there will be no way for me to tell which of my potentially risky exposures, if any, will be responsible... I don't believe there's any great risk from Wifi or cell exposure; but we'll only know for sure in the future, after the technology has been around for 30-40 years...