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[TowerTalk] What I Bring

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Subject: [TowerTalk] What I Bring
From: (Fred Hopengarten)
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:21:39 EDT
Fred Hopengarten  K1VR               781/259-0088
Six Willarch Road
Lincoln, MA 01773-5105
permanent e-mail address:

                    What I Bring
                Fred Hopengarten, J.D., K1VR
             Copyright 1998 by Fred Hopengarten
     If you should find yourself packing up to appear before
a Planning Board, Board of Appeals, Architectural Review
Board or the like, perhaps you will find it useful to know
what I keep in my permanently packed three ring binder:


Public Law 103-408, October 22, 1994

     Congress finds and declares that--
     (3)  reasonable accomodation should be made for the
effective operation of amateur radio from residences, . . .
and that regulatiopn at all levels of government should
facilitate and encourage amateur radio as a public benefit.

[Use:  To counter claims that neighbors should not be hurt
for a private benefit, i.e., a hobby.]

47 CFR Section 97.1  Basis and Purpose

     "voluntary non-commercial communications service,
particularly with respect to emergency communications"

[Use:  To allay concerns that the tower is going to be a
commercial use.  Useful when an ordinance against towers is
badly written but can forcefully be argued was intended to
regulate commercial uses, not amateur radio.]

47 CFR Section 97.15(e)

[This is the summary of PRB-1.]

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A, Section 3

[The Massachusetts statute which adopts 47 CFR 97.15(e).]

Code of Massachusetts Regulations (780 CMR Relevant

-- The entire text of every section of our state building
code dealing with antennas and towers, roof mounted or free-
standing.  (Actually just four sections, but building
inspectors keep this on their desks, and you can be sure he
brought it with him too.)


Letter from MA Assistant Attorney General Henry F. O'Connell
to the Town of Andover (September 8, 1981).

[States that "A local community may not legislate in this

Letter from FCC (Ralph Haller, Chief, Private Radio Bureau)
to Hempstead, NY (25 October 1994).

[States that towns "may not. . . base their regulation of
amateur service antenna structures on the causation of
interference to home electronic equipment . . ." and "there
is no reasonable connection between requiring Mr. Nadel to
reduce the height of his antenna and reducing the amount of
interference to his neighbors' home electronic equipment.
On the contrary, antenna height is inversely related to the
strength, in the horizontal plance, of the radio signal. .

Letter from FCC (Robert L. Petit, General Counsel) to
Pierre, SD (February 14, 1990)

[States that "Congress has preempted any concurrent state or
local regulation of radio interference pursuant to the
provisoions of the Communications Act."]

Antenna Height Restriction: Electromagnetic Interference
Potential by SBARC/SBEIAC

[Has great illustration of 1/r2 law "How Distance Reduces
Received Power"]


Importance of Antenna Height, by Paul Steffes, Ph.D.,
Department of Electrical Engineering, Georgia Tech.

[Important to counter idea that low antennas can work.]

Antenna Height and Communications Effectiveness, by N6BV and
K1TD (Latest Version: 1998)

[Important to counter idea that low antennas can work.]


Generic tear jerking letters from people who have been
helped in emergencies by local hams, pointing out that were
it not for effective communications made possible by high
antennas, bad things would have happened to a them or a
relative.  You must, of course, draft these for those
people, and keep it to one page.

OET 65

A printout of information from
showing various sample situations.


"Electric Transmission Lines and the Selling Price of
Residential Property," The Appraisal Journal, October 1979,
pp. 490-499
-- shows no effect on prices of homes more than 50 feet away
from power line towers.  (And point out that, unlike power
company transmission lines, ham radio antennas go away when
the ham moves, so there is no possible permanent effect.
NOTE:  If anyone finds an article later than 1979 in a
serious appraisal journal, please let the rest of us know.)

"Communications Tower Site Specific Impact Study" (November
10, 1997) prepared for a Sprint PCS special permit

-- shows no effect on prices of homes in several high value
towns near major radio and TV tower clusters

(I have provided a copy to

The Study prepared for NQ0I's law case (from ARRL CLE


MA Audubon Society letter from Field Ornithologist saying
"those of us who love birds are not concerned about small
towers" (less than 200 feet).

Wild Bird Center letter from a retail bird feed and supplies
store, saying towers "do not present an unusual or increased
risk to birds."

Query to Readers:  If you pack a document which is not on
this list, could you please tell me about it, and why you
bring it? Also, if you haven't yet provided a copy of useful, re-usable
documents to, please do, so that he can include them in the
PRB-1 package and Continuing Legal Education materials dsitributed by the

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