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These rules have been derived from experience gained in over 30 years in two-way radio.

Originally by Doug Pelley WB7TUJ, edited by Michael Morris WA6ILQ
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Editor's Note from Mike WA6ILQ: Over the years there have been a few requests by members of the Repeater-Builder@YahooGroups mailing list for a radio site rules list. A while back I was made aware of a web site belonging to Doug Pelley WB7TUJ, who operates a commercial radio site east of Phoenix, Arizona. With Doug's permission, I have copied his "Radio Site Equipment Installation Code" web page, made his requirements generic, and added a few that I learned by experience... for example: On item 5B, I can show you a rack at a mountaintop site that has a contact sheet listing 4 people.   Three have been dead for at least five years. All the phone numbers show an area code that I can recognize is two splits old.

Items 4C and 4D below are directly applicable to Doug's site, but I have left them in since they are descriptive of how things have changed in the business, and as an example of site-specific differences.

Motorola has a 350 page manual called "Standards and Guidelines for Communications Sites", commonly called the "R56 Manual", also known as the "Fixed Equipment Installation Instruction Manual". If you are interested in putting up a radio site, it's worth buying a copy (the printed version is part number 6881089E50, and there is also a CD version, part number 9880384V83.   The price in early 2005 for the paper version was $118 if you don't have a Motorola account, $85 if you do (plus shipping).   The CD version is about $65.   Honestly, you'll want the paper version, although the CD is handy to do word or topic searches (but they don't give a discount if you order both).  Yes, $85 to $120 is a lot for a manual, but if you stop and think for a minute about how much you are going to spend on building a site, with architects, engineering, tower cost, tower installation, building materials, construction labor, fees, etc, the cost of the book is down in the noise level.   This book is a large ring binder with many exhaustively-covered topics.   While it is written primarily as a how-to manual for cellular telephone installations, it also addresses two-way radio sites.   It covers such topics as site acquisition, handling neighbor resistance, environmental issues, political issues, easements, surveying, civil work like roads, fences, buildings or shelters, towers and the like.   All in all, it is an extremely valuable reference.   Here's the R56 Manual (2005).   If you're a renter, it's still worth spending an hour or two reading how the professionals do it right the first time. GE has their own information package in LBI-39148B "Standards For Site Construction/Contrac-Install", LBI-39179B "Fiberglass/steel Comp and Lightweight Comm Shelt", LBI-39184A "Concrete Shelter Specifications-Bullet Resistant", and LBI-39185 "Tower Requirements and General Spec - Installation".   The GE LBIs can be downloaded from this web site.

Note that tower sites are regulated by both the FCC and the FAA.   The geographic location required by the FAA is done to the hundredth of a coordinate second (which is about a foot), whereas the FCC is a bit less strict at 1/10 of a second.   Make sure the geographic coordinates on your license are correct (borrow a GPS and take it to the site and do a sanity check), the FCC will hold you and your license liable even if you, the renter, can prove in writing that the landlord gave you the wrong information.   There have been cases where the coordinates on a license were as much as five miles away from the actual site, especially if the site was originally constructed in the 1950s or 1960s.   More on this topic at this web page: Where is my repeater?.

Again note that the list below is only intended as a sample, to let you know what type of rules that can be expected.   Every site is different, and some sites have unique rules: I am aware of one site that the only access is through a cattle ranch pasture (private property).   If a site visit is needed the trip has to be coordinated via telephone at least 24 hours before with the ranch owner so that the cattle can be moved, the gate(s) can be unlocked and those restrictions are written into the site agreement.   Another site is accessible by only one road that goes right through a ski resort, and after first snowfall the road is completly blocked until the snow melts in April or May... in fact one of the most popular ski runs goes right over the site road.   The only site access during ski season is via snowshoe or snowmobile, and all work that cannot be done via snowshoe or snomobile access (i.e. tower work) has to be done off-season.   And they stretch the ski season as far as possible (early and late) with manmade snow.... and look very unkindly to anyone messing up their pretty slopes with snowmobile tracks...

If anybody has any suggestions on this page please let Mike WA6ILQ know - email at (callsign) at repeater-builder dot com

Here's the same document from a different site manager / radio site, and this one has some significant differences: Site-Guidelines.pdf.

And there are some comments on sites on this page.


These are the Site's Minimum Requirements

Specific tenants may have unique requirements and their lease may be different.







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This writeup is a joint project and is copyright © 2003 and the date of last update by Doug Pelley WB7TUJ and Mike Morris WA6ILQ

This web page, this web site, the information presented in and on its pages and in these modifications and conversions is © Copyrighted 1995 and (date of last update) by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors. All Rights Reserved, including that of paper and web publication elsewhere.