Mobile Phone Antennase - thoughts?

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Mobile Phone Antennase - thoughts?

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:11 pm

The following was posted on the GCNA E-Mail list, send by Mary Kennedy, of Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, Cohasset, MA:

Hello, All -

St Stephens is negotiating with A T & T about the feasibility of installing antennas in the tower.
If you have any experience/knowledge about what to look for and what to look out in terms of impact on the carillon, I would be most grateful to read your remarks - both pro and con.

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Re: Mobile Phone Antennase - thoughts?

Postby JohnBordley on Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:11 am

Make sure that there is still plenty of open space for the sound to get out. Ask to have mock antennas put in place so you can see the effect AHEAD of time. I'd be glad to talk with anyone sometime. We had equipment put in in the last year
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Re: Mobile Phone Antennase - thoughts?

Postby TimSleep on Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:13 am

We have two companies with antennae(?) in our tower in Naperville. We have an open tower so we weren't concerned about blocking the sound.

Our original tower plans accommodated antennae and called for fiberglass mullions to hide them, but due to our circumstances those were not included when the city finished the tower.

We did have them mount dummy antennae so that the visual line of the tower wasn't disturbed. We also had them paint them to match the tower more closely.

Subsequently, live antennae replaced the dummy ones as they needed bigger antennae. I believe that the companies pay a tidy sum each month for the privilege of placing them in the tower. I also believe that they were initially granted a 15 year contract which was recently extended.

The other item to consider is a room(closet) for them to house their equipment. We have a sizable generator near the tower to prevent loss of signal in the event of power failure. They also have their own electric meters for their power needs.

A number of scientific type people looked into the emf output of the antennae or any other fumes/rays/energy sources that they may give off. The consensus was that people in the tower were not in danger. Our tower is open for public tours 6 months of the year, about 3,000 people climb the tower each year.

I think I have heard comments from other carillonneurs that their installations caused issues of access to the bells and/or playing cabin due to the cabling. I don't remember who made those comments. Retro fitting an older tower could present some significant issues.

Often times maintenance is done by subcontractors who seem not to know much about the original contract, the City has to contact the carrier when major changes to installation are made(color, overall look, new cables, etc.). You need to keep a watchful eye out.
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Re: Mobile Phone Antennase - thoughts?

Postby TerryMcGee on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:44 am

I'd certainly want the matter of potential health impacts checked out by an independent consultant. Mobile phone antennas are highly directional, so little energy should be directed downwards. (They're a bit like bells in that respect!) And power levels are relatively low, compared say with FM transmitters. But, best to assume nothing and get advice before, and testing after.

Secondly, consider that your in-house electronics may suffer some interference. The usual rule is whoever causes the interference fixes it, but get that in writing.

Thirdly, consider lightning protection issues. I imagine the company will for their own sake; Thor can be very unreasonable when provoked.

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Re: Mobile Phone Antennase - thoughts?

Postby FrancesNewell on Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:11 am

I would suggest getting a clear agreement that you must be notified when they want to come and do maintenance on the antennae, and that you will have a right to say "no" to an inconvenient time.
You would not maintenance guys banging around just when you are trying to practice for, or perform, a concert!
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