Cell phone tower in my backyard ....

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aph1975

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Hey all just had a question, Sprint / Nextel has a cell phone tower almost literally in my backyard ( about ten yards from my fence ) I was wondering if that at all would help me receive greater reception on my handheld scanner .... I dont know if its normal but I receive suburbs as clear as day that are 60 + miles away. The tower has always been there since I have purchased my scanner and I really havent had it out with me yet to judge the reception w/ or w/out the tower. Any idea guys?
 
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N_Jay

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aph1975 said:
Hey all just had a question, Sprint / Nextel has a cell phone tower almost literally in my backyard ( about ten yards from my fence ) I was wondering if that at all would help me receive greater reception on my handheld scanner .... I dont know if its normal but I receive suburbs as clear as day that are 60 + miles away. The tower has always been there since I have purchased my scanner and I really havent had it out with me yet to judge the reception w/ or w/out the tower. Any idea guys?

My guess is you are on top of a hill.

Good for cell towers and good for reception.

Correlation does not indicate cause.:lol: :lol:
 

jim202

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With the cell tower located there, the major problem I would expect is that it would overpower your receiver on some frequencies. `Most of the cell comms today are mixed in with the public safety channels. Once the rebanding is done, it should make things better.

On the other hand, some of the cell comms is on 900 and 1900 MHZ. So if that is where the back yard tower is functioning, it probably won't bother you at all.

Jim
 

16b

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What frequencies are you listening to on your scanner? I would expect your scanner's receiver to get trashed if you were listening to 800MHz because that is what Nextsmell uses.



To answer the above, a Sprint/Nextell tower would be pumping out RF on both 800 and 1900MHz.
 

aph1975

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I usually listen to Chicago Police on the 420.000 band and most of my local agencies are on the 150 and up band all are perfectly clear and the far sububrbs I receive that are 60 plus miles are on the 470 bands. I havent programed any of the trunking or 800-900 frequencies but when I do a limit search I always manage to pull down alot of convos that are really clear. I also pull down tons of Mil - Air frequencies.
 

kb2vxa

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Hi aph and all,

Consider yourself lucky to have ANY reception with transmitters so close to your listening post. Cell towers or any towers or tall structures are known in the biz as vertical real estate so they usually are bristling with antennas.

"take advantage of it and mount your antennas on it!"

Yeah, putting your antenna in that forest without proper filtering and expecting to hear anything but crap is like standing on the freeway at rush hour and expecting not to get run over. Then too hams put repeaters up there but we have to PAY for it, so "What's in YOUR wallet?"

Mocom, Phil, turn around and place your hands against the wall. OK men, FIRE! (;->)
 
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OpSec

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Subtracting Warren's sarcasm, he makes a valid point.

Most cell towers are 200 foot tall interference generators. In your case, since you are so close you may not be suffering the usual effects since the panel antennas are shooting most of the RF right over your head. I have a friend out in California that lives about 3 blocks from a telephone CO that has two towers out back with various cell carriers on it, and they really dick with reception of public safety and ham channels...even on my Motorola portables when I'm out there.

I'm pretty sure that the issue in his case is the lack of height that the cell antennas are mounted at. This site is in the middle of the SJV, south of Sac, so the towers are only ~100 feet tall and some of the antenna platforms are only ~40 feet above ground. I don't know much about cell site hardware and power output, but the RF overload is present .
 
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kb2vxa

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Hi State and all,

Thank you, that statement just saved you from the firing squad. Sorry I forgot to put a smiley in there, my ascerbic wit was mistaken for crass sarcasm. I feel an edit coming on, thanks.
 
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Rayjk110

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One of my ham friends was offered by Sprint/Nextel to have a tower in his back yard. Per his agreement with him, they actually supplied the coax and the antennas, and mounted the ones he wanted on the tower for letting them have it in his back yard. After 6 months, they pay him about $200/month for having the tower on his property.

Kinda cool how he got free hardline and commercial antennas mounted and everything. The actually have done that at our local fire department, as well, upon a cell request, and then mounted the station antennas up there as well.
 
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N_Jay

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Rayjk110 said:
One of my ham friends was offered by Sprint/Nextel to have a tower in his back yard. Per his agreement with him, they actually supplied the coax and the antennas, and mounted the ones he wanted on the tower for letting them have it in his back yard. After 6 months, they pay him about $200/month for having the tower on his property.

Kinda cool how he got free hardline and commercial antennas mounted and everything. The actually have done that at our local fire department, as well, upon a cell request, and then mounted the station antennas up there as well.
It could depend on where he is, but $200 is way low.

He should be getting close to $1000 a month.
 
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Rayjk110

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My bad, I just was actually talking to him about the Peoria hamfest and questioned him about it, I guess it was $200/mo for the first 6 months because of the commercial antennas and hardline install, and after the 6 months it was close to $1000-ish for having it in.

I wish they didn't have so many cell towers in this area, or I'd ask to have one in my back yard, heck, I wouldn't mind.

:)
 

N2MWE

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Rayjk110 said:
One of my ham friends was offered by Sprint/Nextel to have a tower in his back yard. Per his agreement with him, they actually supplied the coax and the antennas, and mounted the ones he wanted on the tower for letting them have it in his back yard. After 6 months, they pay him about $200/month for having the tower on his property.

Kinda cool how he got free hardline and commercial antennas mounted and everything. The actually have done that at our local fire department, as well, upon a cell request, and then mounted the station antennas up there as well.
I remember an article in QST a few years ago, same thing...a ham was in a very desireable area, had the property, so the cell company offered him a tower, antennas, the cable...it was a dream tower setup. He had some setup put together, and the cell company didn't bat an eye.
Wish to hell I could do that! :lol:
 

Thayne

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I have a friend that has a good spot on a mountain that is line of sight for quite a large area; We had a solar powered GMRS repeater there for awhile. Now this company has put a 3 channel VHF LTR system there. All of the electronics is in 2 greenlee gang boxes to keep the wildlife & weather out, & we got 2 talkgroups on the system, 10 portables & 4 mobiles for no cost. Maybe it is worth a lot more to let them use the site, but right now it seems like a pretty good deal. I know they wouldn't pay a grand a month. Only bad thing is it takes an hour to hike up there in the summer, (no way to make it in the winter)
 

kb2vxa

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Hi again Ray and all,

I'll bet you dollars to a cop's doughnuts your ham friend will regret that decision sooner or later. Like I said such structures are vertical real estate, wait until there's an antenna farm up there and his station becomes useless due to constant interference.

Frankly I don't know of any ham equipment that can cope with such a mess with the possible exception of a repeater that operates on a fixed frequency pair and is adequately filtered by the extremly narrow response of the duplexer's cavity resonators. Even so I am familiar with numerous repeater interference cases that have been extremely difficult to resolve when new equipment is installed at the site.

Yup, likely he'll regret letting greed get ahead of common sense and allowing himself to be bought off.
 
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Rayjk110

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Well, I do know that he utilizes commercial equiptment for ham (Namely Motorola), so it won't be AS prone to interference/intermod as cheap ham crap radios that can't stand a cell phone next to them even without making some wierd noise or picking up intermod.
 

kb2vxa

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"...cheap ham crap radios..."

HEY, wait one cotton pickin' minute there Bababooie! I'm well aware of Moto's superiority because it's designed to operate in a harsh RF environment and many hams including myself have used it. In fact a great many repeaters, packet BBSes and other such applications use it for that reason "butcha doesn't hasta call me Johnson." (;->)

On the serious side it all depends on the radio, I have seen some pretty crappy commercial rigs and the Motorola Executive must be about the worst. Someone gave me one and it actually came in handy, I put the 5 section heleical preselector in an old tube type RCA base station and it immediately turned into the hottest, most IM immune receiver I ever used. See? Even Motorola crap is good for something. (;->)

On the other hand my Azden 2M mobile is useless on a certain section of highway because of IM interference while mt Yeasu can sit under a tower and laugh at it. Maybe that's why the Azden became my dedicated packet rig. (;->)

Nah, Moto is OK, I'm particularly fond of the Micor series, good old rugged and reliable. The 100W GE Mastr 2 I retuned for 6M was my favorite. I got plenty of unsolicited comments on it's fabulous audio and it could transmit all day without breaking a sweat, barely got warm even.
 
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