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Re: [TowerTalk] RF exposure and my neighbor

To: Todd Coulter <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] RF exposure and my neighbor
From: Tom Anderson <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 23:36:26 -0500
List-post: <>

Years ago there was a ham a couple blocks from my old QTH in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that had some irate neighbors who didn't like his tower. They started complaining to the city and any one who would listen. Neighbors alleged that the "interference" the ham was creating was interfering with their cordless phones, garage door openers, sex life of their Sea Monkeys, etc. and almost anything you could imagine to inflame their neighborhood. I was in this ham's home several times and the only problem with the neighbors' argument was none of the coax he had running from the tower inside the house even had a PL-259 or an N-connector attached. In fact the end of the coax wasn't even prepared to attach either connector. The ham just put up the tower (a Rohn BX 40 series), but never connected any radio to it. These neighbors got things so riled up in town that they persuaded the city to enact a tower ordinance and an annual inspection.

Most of the ringleaders in this thing had cordless phones that operated on 49 mHz and in the low end of the 160 meter band. The ham just used a short 20 ft. piece of copper wire on the floor hooked up to his ICOM general coverage receiver and was able to hear all of their strategy, threats, etc. which he taped in case they actually carried out any of the threats.

But the hams did get some pleasure out of this 1. all but one ham tower inspected by a professional tower company engineer hired by the city was ruled in compliance with all building and safety codes with a couple minor problems. 2. The city's fire and police radio tower (the city also inspected all radio towers in the city not just hams) was grossly overloaded with antennas, and 3. the inspection showed that the school district's radio tower was in imminent danger of collapse.

This whole inspection thing got to be such a headache, bother and bookkeeping problem for the city that the new mayor got the council to rescind most of the ordinance a couple years later. The city did keep its 50 foot height limit because that was the highest most anyone could put up a tower because of setback requirements enacted long before the antenna fuss came about.

Also the ham and his XYL, and most of the neighbors who started the entire fuss ended up getting a divorce. (true story).

Tom, WW5L

Todd Coulter wrote:
Well, Jim Idelson K1IR was right on the money. After my discussion with
my neighbor yesterday about the tower, and telling him that I would get
him some information about it to put his fears at ease. I arrived home
from work today to find a card from one of the building officials at the
city on my door asking me to call him. He told me that some of my
neighbors didn't like the way my tower looked and they also had
questions about me transmitting with it. I took some information down to
the city official which included the rf safety evaluations showing that
I would be in compliance with the FCC guidelines, and also a paper that
explained that rf from an amateur's antenna is relatively safe which I
downloaded from the ARRL's website. The building official was very nice
and said that I didn't have anything to worry about, and that he was
only educating himself so that he could answer the complaints. I found
out later that my neighbor called the City Attorney as well. (My
neighbor is also an attorney) My neighbor also wants to get a local
University to come out and take readings when I get the station going.
Well we will see where this goes. I think I will severely limit my
contact with my neighbor for now. Thanks for all of the advice.
Todd N4JRZ

See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

TowerTalk mailing list

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