Islandia casino operators won’t allow ham radio antenna on the roof

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15plus1

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Article from Newsday (New York). Casino is located in Islandia, a village on Long Island.

Islandia casino operators won’t allow ham radio antenna on the roof | Newsday

Preston Waterman holds a hand held amateur radio near the Islandia Marriot which will soon be operated as a casino, in Islandia, Jan. 12, 2017. The new Islandia Marriott casino owners are getting rid of a long-standing ham radio antenna on the roof of the Marriott, and the amateur radio community is upset and says this is a threat to public safety communications during disasters. (Credit: Ed Betz)
The operators of the new Islandia casino do not plan to maintain a long-standing antenna atop the Islandia Marriott hotel building, upsetting members of Long Island’s ham radio community who use the antenna for reception.
 
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jim202

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As with most building owners where there is a ham repeater installed, your at their wish and demand. Unless there is a legal lease to be there and that lease lists who has access, you can run into problems.

Having free access to the radio location without informing the building management your going there is always asking for problems. With the way this story was wrote, that seemed to be the action that caused your problem and is causing the action of being thrown off the building.

Maybe a different approach would be to try an sit down with the local manager and try to work out some sort of agreement. That person may be under strict guidelines that he or she doesn't have the authority and it has to go through the corporate office. Either way, slow down and don't demand anything. Try to work on the negotiating road and work calmly through it all. You may still end up being told to take a hike. But it's worth the effort.

It may also be the attitude of the person from the ham community that is doing the interfacing. Remember this is a business community your dealing with and they expect any talks will be on a business level. Having been in your shoes many times, I know how frustrating it can be. But it's their sandbox and you have to play by their rules. If you can't be cool headed in your talks, find someone else in your ham group that can. Maybe even a lawyer who knows the ropes on negotiating. Remember, trying to put demands on the property owner is the fastest way of being shown the door.

Have you tried to even ask the manager there what changes it would take to continue to have the ham repeater there? Maybe your approaching the discussion in the wrong terms. Remember that you catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. Just walking into the place and heading to the roof without signing into the front office is the best way to get thrown out. They are concerned about anyone being on the roof and maybe jumping off. the liability is their main concern. Sounds like you pissed them off and have to work through that issue.

Hope you can work something out. I have used that repeater several times when I have been out on the island. It has good coverage and a number of well knowledgeable people that use it.
 
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wrath

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Well it shows the unfortunate reality the casino is there to get inyo the people's wallets and could really care less about the greater community around them, as long as they make money , they don't care about the community, spread the word to other operators and their families TO NOT VISIT THE ESTABLISHMENT, a lack of community support will drive them out of town to somewhere they can make money, no community wants someone who is not willing to help out especially when all we are talking is an antenna, it shows the companies lack of real care about the host community , enough bad PR will turn them from destination to designation to avoid, that is the loudest message we can send them , effect their chances of success at making money and they might just change there tune , be sure to attend town/city council meetings and make it known they are a greedy , profiteering corporation who cares only about the bottom line and themselves, I once lived near a casino that acted similarly we got the message across to them by tuning into there security comms and letting customers "over hear" the behind the scenes action, of course this was before encryption hut it got the message across, join the community or lose its support ,because truth be known it's not the tourist from out of town that supports most casinos it's the local towns people who they count on to say I got "five extra bucks let's hit the casino" people rarely exercise self control and overspend in hopes that they will get lucky and hit that elusive jackpot . Good luck with getting thru to them .

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Thunderknight

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Just down the LIE by exit 57 is a tower for WFRS-FM (according to Google Maps). I wonder if they have approached the station about use of their tower (assuming the station owns the tower)?
 

15plus1

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Just to be clear.. I have no involvement or association with anyone in that article. I merely posted as a story of interest to hams.
 

MSS-Dave

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Well it shows the unfortunate reality the casino is there to get inyo the people's wallets and could really care less about the greater community around them, as long as they make money , they don't care about the community, spread the word to other operators and their families TO NOT VISIT THE ESTABLISHMENT, a lack of community support will drive them out of town to somewhere they can make money, no community wants someone who is not willing to help out especially when all we are talking is an antenna, it shows the companies lack of real care about the host community , enough bad PR will turn them from destination to designation to avoid, that is the loudest message we can send them , effect their chances of success at making money and they might just change there tune , be sure to attend town/city council meetings and make it known they are a greedy , profiteering corporation who cares only about the bottom line and themselves, I once lived near a casino that acted similarly we got the message across to them by tuning into there security comms and letting customers "over hear" the behind the scenes action, of course this was before encryption hut it got the message across, join the community or lose its support ,because truth be known it's not the tourist from out of town that supports most casinos it's the local towns people who they count on to say I got "five extra bucks let's hit the casino" people rarely exercise self control and overspend in hopes that they will get lucky and hit that elusive jackpot . Good luck with getting thru to them .

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Wow. That sure was a professional way to handle things.

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mikewazowski

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If they do that much work for the community, you would think the local government would secure them a replacement spot. Hmmm.
 

jim202

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Just down the LIE by exit 57 is a tower for WFRS-FM (according to Google Maps). I wonder if they have approached the station about use of their tower (assuming the station owns the tower)?
Trying to make any other radio gear work in a very high environment like an FM tower site is next to impossible. Their signal and audio gets into everything and near impossible to shield and filter out. Found that out way back in my early days with a remote public safety radio that just got moved to a tower about 1000 feet away from an FM broadcast tower. Never want anything to do with those type of problems again.

The best thing you can do is find a different tower that has less problems.
 

W9BU

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Trying to make any other radio gear work in a very high environment like an FM tower site is next to impossible. Their signal and audio gets into everything and near impossible to shield and filter out.
I can't begin to count the number of amateur radio repeaters that are located on broadcast TV and FM radio station towers in Indiana. Commercial grade antennas, quality coax, and good engineering practices when it comes to every aspect of the installation is the key.

As for this Islandia situation, the article seems very clear. The new owner/operator of the building does not want to allow uncontrolled access to the elevator equipment room and the roof for security reasons. From the article, it seems that people were going to the roof or elevator equipment room to attend to the amateur radio repeater without even telling the management they were up there. The new owner/operator has offered to move the amateur radio repeater antenna to a new location. Unless I missed it, the article does not say if that new location is some other building or some other location on the roof of the Islandia building. I suggest that the amateur radio operators involved with this repeater understand that they are guests of the building owner/operator and act accordingly.
 

jim202

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I can't begin to count the number of amateur radio repeaters that are located on broadcast TV and FM radio station towers in Indiana. Commercial grade antennas, quality coax, and good engineering practices when it comes to every aspect of the installation is the key. .
Unless you have personally been involved with trying to overcome the RFI problems at a Commercial FM tower site, you have no idea of just how hard it is to clean up the ham repeater audio path. I have been involved in a number of them around the country. Using RF chokes, bypass capacitors, ferrite cores and all the shielding tricks, it is a very time consuming job. Even when your through, there is sometimes some low level audio leaking through.

Been there, fought with the problems and given the choice, I would stay away from those type of tower locations. All the radios that I have had to fight with have been Motorola commercial grade equipment. Even the best of radios are not immune to the high powered FM stations causing co-location problems.

Using new antennas, heliax coax and type N, silver plated connectors don't help much. Yup grounding is up to the R56 standards at all the sites I have fought this problem at.
 

AI7PM

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.....I suggest that the amateur radio operators involved with this repeater understand that they are guests of the building owner/operator and act accordingly.
Bingo! We are our own worse enemy.

The stories I could tell from my grid square.....much of the above same operating traits.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Roof tops are managed a lot differently that they were 25 years ago. Usually the space is managed by a tower company that wants exclusive control of the site. There are good technical reasons for this, Inter-modulation, R56 compliance, space and power. Mostly though, it is profit driven. If you want access you are now a tenant.

Arguing Public Safety will get you no where. I worked with a Public Safety client (Sheriffs Office) in the Florida Panhandle who wanted to expand receiver sites for their dispatch. They did not budget any tower structures because the client was convinced she could simply talk her way onto any of the dozen or so cellular towers in the county - for free. Not so, no free lunch. In the end, we had to sacrifice money budgeted for UPS systems to pay for some used tower steel to go at existing fire houses.

If the hams want access to this rooftop, unless the building owner has carved out some contingency space in the agreement, they will likely have to work directly with the air space manager and lease the rooftop. Then be prepared for upgrades to meet technical requirements.
 

MTS2000des

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15plus1 said:
the amateur radio community is upset and says this is a threat to public safety communications during disasters. (Credit: Ed Betz)
The operators of the new Islandia casino do not plan to maintain a long-standing antenna atop the Islandia Marriott hotel building, upsetting members of Long Island’s ham radio community who use the antenna for reception.
This is just laughable. "threat to public safety communications during disasters"?

So how does some ham repeater, likely co-located with part 90 equipment at a managed rooftop, any more of a value than other stuff there? How will it continue to operate if that "big one" comes and wipes out the building?

Some of my fellow hams really do have an unrealistic view of reality. It's not the equipment that is a value to the community, it's the operator.

And clearly another case of whackerism gone wild here.

No written lease? No guarantees. They got a free ride for years. All free rides come to an end at some point. Find another site, get a proper written lease (and be prepared to pay) and get on with life. Please stop the "sky is falling" whackerific claims of threats to public safety communications.
 

SteveC0625

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This is just laughable. "threat to public safety communications during disasters"?

So how does some ham repeater, likely co-located with part 90 equipment at a managed rooftop, any more of a value than other stuff there? How will it continue to operate if that "big one" comes and wipes out the building?

Some of my fellow hams really do have an unrealistic view of reality. It's not the equipment that is a value to the community, it's the operator.

And clearly another case of whackerism gone wild here.

No written lease? No guarantees. They got a free ride for years. All free rides come to an end at some point. Find another site, get a proper written lease (and be prepared to pay) and get on with life. Please stop the "sky is falling" whackerific claims of threats to public safety communications.
Let me extend your excellent point a bit further.

In the last couple of decades, there have generally been significant improvements in the robust nature of Part 90 public safety communications systems. In many (even most) areas, every transmitter site has a backup generator with plenty of fuel. Dispatch centers built in the last 20 years almost always have critical equipment UPS systems plus whole building generators. And, dispatchers/telecommunicators are trained to much higher standards than ever before. Certainly way beyond what most hams consider high level training. Backup equipment is stockpiled. Most comm centers have a backup facility, and some even two or more. My center has a complete secondary dispatch center in the same building as primary ops PLUS an off-site backup facility of equal capability. Fire & EMS dispatch has further backups among the outlying Fire & EMS agencies.

All that "special capability" that hams claim to have seems very limited now compared to the public safety community's preparedness status these days.

In most populous areas, hams are just not going "save the day" like they did in years long gone by.
 

KC4RAF

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MTS and Steve both make excellent points that many hams have overlooked or don't know about. Most public safety agencies have as pointed out, generators and fuel for times of need. If a company that let hams at one time use their roof or other structures for antenna placement, then decides to change plans to remove said antenna(s) or other equipment, they then have the right to do so, ( unless there's a legal document involved).
I would think that there are other remedies that the local hams could explore into and come up with a viable plan of actions.
One other point; if say, a hurricane took out the building that had the generator and antenna, then the ham emergency radio system is also out of action.
 

mikewazowski

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Bingo! We are our own worse enemy.

The stories I could tell from my grid square.....much of the above same operating traits.
Dictating access to sites owned by other people, trying to bully their way onto towers, not respecting access procedures and touching equipment that doesn't belong to them are all things I have seen by hams.

This is just laughable. "threat to public safety communications during disasters"?
The hams always seem to play that card when it comes to site access. We treat them no different from any other public safety agency when it comes to access. Here's what you're going to pay and here's how you're going to install your equipment. If you truly are providing a service to the public safety agencies, then we expect your behaviour, your equipment and your installation standards to be professional.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Here in Florida the DOT Telecomm division has a number of managers and engineers who are hams and have managed to build an interconnected system called SARNet utilizing spare capacity on DOT microwave towers. This is probably best approach for amateur community, partnering with an agency that if ham friendly.

The rules have changed a lot. When I started out in land mobile decades ago, sites were not environmentally controlled, R56 did not exist and equipment looked like it was lashed together by mad men. And I am talking about commercial equipment! Likewise Hams need to clean up their installation standards to reflect the new world.
 

SteveC0625

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So you are saying that when all else fails, ham radio may not get through?
No, we're saying that the playing field is much different than it was 20 or 30 or more years ago. Back then, it was a fair argument that some hams were much better prepared for significant events than many public safety agencies were. And yes, hams could get through in many circumstances that public safety might not.

But things are different now. Public safety is usually more robust than the average ham, and is much better prepared for major events. Telecomm infrastructure is much more robust too.

The old argument that hams were critical infrastructure doesn't hold the water that it did in the past. Yes, they can certainly be part of disaster preparedness, and no one here is saying otherwise. But they're no longer the end all and be all.

In this discussion, we were looking at infrastructure that was being secured by the property owner. The hams feel they should have open access. Not gonna happen any more. The tech and behavior issues discussed since my previous post are all too common in the ham community, and it's clear that hams will have to play by today's rules if they want to stay in the game.

Personally, I think that the casino securing its roof is the right move. They did offer to help the hams move to another site. That's a lot more than they had to do.
 
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