Tracing back towers

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tilt404

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I've been wondering about a large antenna installation on top of a apartment/condo in Windsor Ontario and how much power it is putting out since I lived in that building just one floor down from the top where the tower is. I attached an old photo of the tower installation, but it looks the same today.

I did a search using the geographical area search using lat/long date from where it is located which is:

42.19.31 N
82.59.21 W

Only one showed up closest to that directional data and came back to Paging Network of Canada Inc. transmitting at 940.625/901.625 Mhz @ 15-22w. Then I see they do messaging for EMS.

Pagenet

It says the antenna is 15m above ground level though which doesn't make sense because its a apartment building 9 floors high. That sounds more like the tower height. Does anyone know if that antenna structure looks like it could be for paging? Or how I could find out more info about it? Since I can't find any concrete info about its location I wonder if its something unlisted.
 

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mikewazowski

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The panel antennas indidicate that its probably a cell site. The round microwave antennas would be used for linking sites.

The smaller pyramid shaped antennas indicate its probably a CDMA site which uses GPS for synchronization.

Check out one of the webpages that indicate the location of cell sites and you'll probably have your answer.

Can't really comment on the power levels because every site is different.

As far as safety goes, you would have to be standing in front of one of those antennas before you got anywhere near the allowable limits.

Since the antennas are all directional, you wouldn't have much to worry about living near the top floor. Cellular reception in the building would be spotty as most of the signal is directed away from the building.
 

tilt404

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Thanks Mike, Didn't think of looking at a cell map site since I didn't see any cell companies in my search at the sd.ic.gc.ca, but I only searched up to 1300Mhz. Then I went here:

Canadian Cellular Towers Map

And found it there listed as "Bell 1900Mhz", so went back to the Canada Government site and search for that higher range and found it listed:

1980.000000 1900.000000 30 13.9 Bell Mobility Inc. (CENTRAL)
1980.000000 1900.000000 30 13.9 Bell Mobility Inc. (CENTRAL)

30m high which makes sense now, and around 14w of power. More power than I thought, but its good to know what it is now. I remember from my ham radio exam, the higher frequencies are more damaging so maybe that's why it is quite a bit above the rooftop compared to other antennas I see around.
 

DaveH

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Only one showed up closest to that directional data and came back to Paging Network of Canada Inc. transmitting at 940.625/901.625 Mhz @ 15-22w. Then I see they do messaging for EMS.
The power levels are in dBw, which is not watts. 15 dBw = 30w and 22dBw = 160w
(approx.) I see one in Markham which is 31.4dBw (nearly 1.4kw). Majority seem to be
100w or greater.

Dave
 

EJB

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I found the black smoke in the picture to be more interesting, was that a fire? Detroit?
 

tilt404

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I found the black smoke in the picture to be more interesting, was that a fire? Detroit?
was in windsor across the river from detroit, just a house fire
 

tilt404

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The power levels are in dBw, which is not watts. 15 dBw = 30w and 22dBw = 160w
(approx.) I see one in Markham which is 31.4dBw (nearly 1.4kw). Majority seem to be
100w or greater.

Dave
Thank you Dave, now i'm really confused though why the levels are so high. For cellular especially. I always thought they just needed low power since towers are close. On the government site it says total ERP (effective radiated power) is 27.9 dBW. It's not even that high up. Seen from street level in the photo. Pointing in all directions. Wish I knew more about this stuff. Been living not far from it for almost 20 years now, almost at eye level with it. I guess even at 160w its not so bad since I did use 100w on HF from my balcony but that was HF not these high frequencies it uses which are more damaging. Still new to ham radio so learning as I go.
 

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mikewazowski

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That's paging that your looking at the output power of.

Keep in mind the limited antenna size of the pager, the fact it's usually worn tucked against a body and should work indoors even underground.

Paging sites generally aren't close together.
 

tilt404

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That's paging that your looking at the output power of.

Keep in mind the limited antenna size of the pager, the fact it's usually worn tucked against a body and should work indoors even underground.

Paging sites generally aren't close together.
I thought it was paging though until I looked at the cell map site, and showed the proper address, so it really is Bell 1900Mhz, CDMA I believe. Not the paging I found first which was on a different frequency and address. But like you said I think the higher frequencies still need you to be close to the transmitter source. I'm probably about 400m away I think. Just wondering about my discone outside and if that will cause trouble with my scanner, but my scanner doesn't even receive up that high.
 
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exkalibur

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I wouldn't 100% rely on the TAFL listing as being correct. I've seen sites mis-reported with wrong locations, or sometimes a site will get "moved" in TAFL for whatever reason.

Keep in mind, ERP (Effective Radiated Power) isn't the same as the actual transmitted power. ERP takes into account gains/losses in the transmission/antenna system (IE, loss in the coax, gains in the antenna). As an example, a repeater might put out 100W, but by the time it goes through 300 feet of hardline, there might only be 75W at the antenna, but if the antenna has gain, you could "make up" for that loss by using either a directional antenna or one with some sort of gain.
 

tilt404

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I wouldn't 100% rely on the TAFL listing as being correct. I've seen sites mis-reported with wrong locations, or sometimes a site will get "moved" in TAFL for whatever reason.

Keep in mind, ERP (Effective Radiated Power) isn't the same as the actual transmitted power. ERP takes into account gains/losses in the transmission/antenna system (IE, loss in the coax, gains in the antenna). As an example, a repeater might put out 100W, but by the time it goes through 300 feet of hardline, there might only be 75W at the antenna, but if the antenna has gain, you could "make up" for that loss by using either a directional antenna or one with some sort of gain.
I live right next to it though so can see what is here. So I believe this is correct. Been here 20 years and saw them in the last 5 years or so use a huge crane to change out one of those components on the 10th floor rooftop. I think I took a photo but have to track it down. I'm mainly just concerned about something overloading the front end of my scanner but I know it would have to be very close and at high power. My scanner doesn't even pick up 1900 since it stops at 1300Mhz. So I guess all is well.

Canadian Cellular Towers Map

That's the site I used to find it, then I used the TAFL to get more info. There's no other antenna site like that in the area they said here. Still surprises me at the power used but I guess at higher frequencies they sort of need it since from being new to ham radio I've seen that the higher you go in frequency, the range isn't as good. Its all a learning experience for me though as I try to learn more about what is transmitting around me, and what are the consequences of it.
 

tilt404

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ford motor co in house paging will be pounding you in that location FWIW
yup. was just going to look again at the power and placement but i know its down the street. tafl site search is down at the moment. wish there was a map of all static tx antennas for this area. so far the comet discone i have outside is working well with my psr800 and getting no pager noise when scanning or intermod.
 

loxcel

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A much simpler way to get cell tower ERP

Thanks Mike, Didn't think of looking at a cell map site since I didn't see any cell companies in my search at the sd.ic.gc.ca, but I only searched up to 1300Mhz.
Hello,

Have you tried the Loxcel cell tower map at

Loxcel Canadian Cell Towers Map

It provides all the information as the other, and a whole lot more including ERP (in Watts), azimuth, etc.

Please give it a try and let me know what you think. Email contact info is at the loxcel website.

The Loxcel celltower map also works great on your smartphone, so you can check the Loxcel map when you're outside standing next to one.

Thanks
 

tilt404

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Thank you so much. That's way better than the other site I was using. It told me more in a few seconds than an hour I spent looking before.
 
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