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Mobile phone masts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Espen, May 5, 2016.

  1. Espen

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    Hi All
    PFAW holder and have been given a job in a tricky city centre location. Using Inspire PRO.
    Site is closed off so will just about have the clearance to roads and public.
    I am however concerned about two mobile phone aerials on the top of one of the buildings under my control. I will be flying quite close to these, within 10m or so. Does anyone have any experience with these? Do they create any interference?
    Cant upload a photo, but they are of the rectangular upright kind.
    Like these: [​IMG]
     
  2. crashedice

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    @Espen I can't see your images. Are you in the UK? Do you have a picture of the particular masts or have any more information on them?
     
  3. Espen

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    Hi
    Yes I am in the uk. I will try to upload some tomorrow.
    Pretty regular looking sort. Rectangular as said previously. Any experience?

    Espen
     
  4. slim.slamma

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    Location:
    nyc, ithaca
    I fly by them often
    Recently posted a video, it was so controversial nobody noticed them.
    They used to be a problem depends on firmware.
     
  5. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    No, you should be fine with these.
    You CAN get interference from some microwave links IF you are directly in the Fresnel area of the concentrated beam. These are the kind that are circular and look like drums.
    Again, most of the time they won't cause problems but you should be aware of them.
    If you are concerned I would suggest a flight up to near the antennas and hover. Then take a look at both your signal strengths at the top of the app page and also pop into the spectrum analyser to see whether there is a badly increased noise floor by flying close to them.
    Since effectively you will be closed off on the area and have permissions a quick recon flight up the antennas wouldn't hurt.
    You should be fine though.
     
    slim.slamma likes this.
  6. RaptorMan

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    I try to avoid radio towers if possible -- you probably won't have an issue but if you do...


    Brian
     
  7. Andy_S_T

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    I fly very close to cellular antennas a lot as it's part of what we do. Within a couple of meters you may find that you get a bit of GPS signal strength reduction but other than that you will be fine. As mentioned above stay away of flying directly in front of any dishes though as they can swamp the signal.
     
  8. Plingboot

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    Well worth purchasing the RFExplorer unit. The 6G version covers 15mHz-2.7gHz and 4.85gHz-6.1gHz - Shop around for the best price, I got mine on Amazon for about £235.

    Just screw on the antennas, switch on and you'll quickly see whether there's anything transmitting on or around your control frequency which might cause issues or if anything is emitting a massive signal. I usually do a test with the Inspire off and then with it on.
     
  9. AndyD

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    Location:
    Prudhoe, Northumberland, UK
    I've got the RF Explorer unit that Plingboot mentions. I've not had any flights near masts yet but have done near power/telephone lines.
    So far 2.4Ghz is roughly -80 to -60 dB and 5.8Ghz roughly -85dB, all with SUAS powered off. When it's on, you can see the power levels spike. Note that I got this for my Ph2V+ and still fly it so it's still part of my SOPs to do 5.8Ghz.
    The point I'm trying to make is that one of these spectrum analysers will remove the doubt; you can walk right up to the mast with the RF Explorer on and take the readings and then again from your home point; it'll give you an idea of what to expect before you fly.
     
  10. Espen

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    Thank you all for very helpful replies.
    I think I will do a test flight as mentioned to check the spectrum analyzer at the worst case position in the hover.
    The problem with a handheld spectrum analyzer is that you only measure at the point where you are standing, and not where the drone is which is the critical point.