WIFI on a Skirted Tower

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rich wood
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WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by rich wood » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:37 pm

Howdy, A customer has a folded mono-pole for his AM antenna and a WIFI outfit wants to put up a small dish and a transmit panel antenna above the top of the skirt. Has anyone had experience with this type of service on an AM tower with a skirt feed system? I think they want to use shielded cat 5 up the tower, which needs to be bonded at four points, I get that part. But if the radio is up at the antenna, will it be affected by the AM?
Could we power the radio on the tower, eliminate the cat 5 runs and have a second link dish pointed to a grounded mounted station?

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Deep Thought
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by Deep Thought » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:55 pm

It should work, but you'll really need to pay attention to grounding and shielding. Conduit would be preferable but if you are careful you should be able to keep the AM RF out. I did this for a client years ago on one tower of a DA...they used a tower lighting choke to get power across the base insulator, but your tower is grounded so you won't have to mess with that.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by kkiddkkidd » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:21 pm

Deep Thought wrote:It should work, but you'll really need to pay attention to grounding and shielding. Conduit would be preferable but if you are careful you should be able to keep the AM RF out. I did this for a client years ago on one tower of a DA...they used a tower lighting choke to get power across the base insulator, but your tower is grounded so you won't have to mess with that.
What he said...

I have a UBNT PowerBeamAC radio above the unipole skirts on an AM/FM tower. The AM doesn't bother it in any way that I have found but the FM is causing intermittent problems with the wired segment. I am going to try a ground mounted client attached to the tower mounted AP for local data. I believe that the problem is FM RF into the radio LAN port or short exposed Cat5 jumper.

I also have another AM/FM combo site with the STL AP at about 150ft on a series fed tower. The other end of the path is about 7 miles away. The tower mounted AP is a UBNT NanoBridge, the ground mounted client is a NanoStation pointed generally in the direction of the AP dish. I am absolutely sure that there is some loss of bandwidth due to being terribly off axis but it works well and 100% reliable. The AP is powered thru the existing lighting choke.

I typically use rodent proof Cat5 cable for tower runs even if it is in conduit. It has a fairly heavy copper "shield" that is easier to ground than common shielded Cat5.

All in all, putting it in conduit would be the best choice.

Later,
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Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
WD4RAT
AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
http://www.kkbc.com

ChuckG
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by ChuckG » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:28 am

One of my AM towers has both a skirt feed and Wireless Internet installation. (Marshfield) I don't know what they did for shielding/grounding with the CAT5, but the AM doesn't cause it any problems, nor vice-versa.
The Radio itself appears to be part of the antenna, power is supplied from the Xmtr building via the Cat 5. You are welcome to come take a look anytime.
<><><><><><><><><>
Chuck Gennaro
Central Wisconsin

rich wood
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by rich wood » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:35 am

Chuck, Thanks I may take a look at the Marshfield site.
Kevin, Rodent Proof Cat 5? Is that a trade name?

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by kkiddkkidd » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:28 am

rich wood wrote:Chuck, Thanks I may take a look at the Marshfield site.
Kevin, Rodent Proof Cat 5? Is that a trade name?
No it is a type of outdoor / direct burial Cat5. Superior-Essex made what I purchased from Tessco. It has a solid copper shield wrapped around the Cat5 bundle. I typically use little "universal" ground kits which are pretty cheap but you could just use wire and waterproof the connection.

I slightly mis-spoke... It is termed "rodent resistant" not proof.

Cable
https://www.tessco.com/products/display ... sku=315167

Ground Kit
https://www.tessco.com/products/display ... ventPage=1
--
Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
WD4RAT
AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
http://www.kkbc.com

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Deep Thought
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by Deep Thought » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:21 am

Bringing this one back from the dead to report that Kintronic Labs has a very nice solution which converts the Cat5 to fiber, crosses the base insulator with that and standard lighting chokes, and then converts it back to Ethernet all in one turnkey box. It is a very neat solution and is competitively priced.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Jim Sofonia
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by Jim Sofonia » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:00 pm

Deep Thought wrote:Bringing this one back from the dead to report that Kintronic Labs has a very nice solution which converts the Cat5 to fiber, crosses the base insulator with that and standard lighting chokes, and then converts it back to Ethernet all in one turnkey box. It is a very neat solution and is competitively priced.
How does this system power the electronics on the "hot side" of the fiber?

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Deep Thought
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Re: WIFI on a Skirted Tower

Post by Deep Thought » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:02 pm

It uses a standard tower lighting choke to pass the DC power across the base insulator.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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