090328 - Was
back out there today, taking another look around. I've
scanned in a map I got from the Township. I've
superimposed a line that is approximately 200 yards
long. This will let me approximate the size of the
field I've got to work with, and how far apart I can place
the towers, poles and antennas.
090318 - Went
in and talked to the Township yesterday. They have
asked that I make a presentation to Council on what my plans
are. I will do that, not asking for permission, but
identifying what it is that I plan on doing. The plans
aren't finalized yet, as I need to get into the field and do
some more measurements with a Yagi on a portable tower.
I've also put together a bit of a proposal for the brothers
that own the farm, and I want to try and get in to see them
this weekend, and see if we are on the right track to a
workable deal. I have some concerns about seeing
Council - but if I make it clear I am there to tell them
what I am going to do, not asking for their permission, it
should be ok.
I've been continuing
to work on the plans - the size of the 'Pad', interior
designs of the shipping containers (C-Cans), stations, how
we would position the towers to maximize the directional
antennas, as well as where we would position wire antennas.
I think I have worked out two decent beverage antennas
running along the fence lines.
We need to get
into the field for the next tests, but it is really wet in
there. I took Judy down to see the 'farm' and she met
the neighbours, Frank and Bernice, along with their dog
Bonnie. I think they are going to be okay with what we
are trying to do with our remote station. Stay tuned.
Drove down to the farm at 5:30ish this a.m. with the van.
I had tested the setup on the van and it worked fine last
night. So got down there, and I backed all of the way
down the lane, almost to the gate. There was still an
inch or two of snow, so it was a bit difficult getting out
of the lane when I was done. I tuned up on 40 meters,
and the band was busy. Lot of Short Wave stations
coming in, and quite a bit of CW. I found one group of
guys talking on SSB, and they were coming in pretty good.
I was paying attention to my conference call, so was more
just looking for what the 'S Meter' was doing. I can't
tune 80 meters with the ATAS, but I had a good listen up
there. I went all of the way down to 6 meters.
No noise floor at all. The international time signal
was booming in on two bands.
On the way back from
the field, I stopped almost under the power lines. As
expected there was some interference, but it wasn't that
bad. So my hopes are still up that I can make this
work. I'm away for most of the next week, but I'll
target next weekend for getting a dipole down there, in the
middle of the field and we'll have a listen again.
back from the township yet ;>}}
090226 - My
plans have changed for this weekend and I am going to have
to fly to Toronto on Sunday. In addition, my brother
Paul has asked me to come to Gibsons to help him with his
new house on Friday evening and Saturday morning. I
had planned on going to the proposed site this Sunday and
doing a site survey. Drive out into the field with my
jeep and using a vertical antenna, look at the noise floor.
If it looked okay, I would set up a portable dipole and do
the same test. So, knowing I was going to be out of
the box on Sunday, I decided late this afternoon that I
would take a run out to the field in my car, and using the
Yaesu 897D and the ATAS 120 would listen around for the
noise floor at the end of the road. It wasn't a great
plan, but it was a plan!
Took a run out
there, and got set up. The darn ATAS wouldn't tune.
The ground on the antenna must be corroded after the winter
we have had. I came home and threw the antenna and the
radio in my wife's van, and it immediately tuned up.
So - before I
left the proposed site, with the antenna in the full down
position (i.e. not tuned) I listened to 80
meters through 50 Mhz. There was no noise floor.
Zero, zip, nada. I heard signals, and listened to the
time signal on several different bands, which were booming
I've got a 5:45
a.m. conference call tomorrow a.m., which i am going to take
in Judy's van heading to the 'Farm'. I will spend a
half an hour listening to various bands and see what the
noise floor looks (listens) like. It was a cold, clear
day today. I'm guessing I was parked about 1 KM from
the 500KV power lines. This won't be a perfect test,
but it will give me some clue if I have a problem. I
will have to arrange to get a portable tower into the field,
closer to where my proposed installation will be, with a
Yagi antenna on it and that will give us a much better
understanding of the noise floor.
Well it has been an exciting couple of days. I phoned
the township and talked to both the Planning and the
Building Permits department. This was obviously a
first for them, as I was put on hold a couple of times, and
they struggled with my questions on how an Amateur could put
up towers on a rural field. Finally I was told that I
should attend at the Township office, and talk to the
Planner. I went down there, and had an interesting
conversation. The Townships position was that there
was a policy, which they felt I was subject to. I
asked to see the policy, and pointed out that it applied to
'telecommunications' towers, and was addressed to 'Wireless
Carriers'. I am neither. They were insistent.
I then pointed out that a tower under 15 Meters for an
Amateur Operator was exempt from anything this onerous.
Their position was any tower over 12 meters had to go
through a public inquiry. Did I mention the $1,100
I left the
Township office less than satisfied. I sat down and
did my homework, and sent the following email to the
XXX - thanks
for making the time for me this afternoon, on short
notice, to discuss my interest in erecting Antenna
Support Structures at a remote farm location in
Langley. You identified a Township policy that
Antenna towers over 12 meters need to go before
Council. Can you identify where I can find the
exact wording of this policy?
I have a
copy of the Telecommunication Tower Master Plan
Policy for the Township of Langley, which was in the
Bell permit proposal. Is that the policy? If yes,
the purpose stated “To set out the means by which
public utility tower applications are managed for
Council’s consideration” would not apply to me, as
this is not a public utility tower.
the document, under Policy it states “A.
Freestanding telecommunication installations are
permitted in all zones.” I would like to draw your
attention to the fact that what I intend to put up
has nothing to do with telecommunications – it is
for Amateur Radio use. The document further
discusses ‘Wireless Carrier’. I would put to you
that this policy does not apply to Amateur Radio
Antenna Support Structures, or individual Amateur
I have cut
and pasted Section 6 – exclusions, from the
following types of installations, proponents are
excluded from the requirement to consult with the
LUA and the public, but must still fulfill the
General Requirements outlined in Section 7:
maintenance of existing radio apparatus including
the antenna system, transmission line, mast, tower
or other antenna-supporting structure;
or modification of an antenna system (including
improving the structural integrity of its integral
mast to facilitate sharing), the transmission line,
antenna-supporting structure or other radioapparatus
to existing infrastructure, a building, water tower,
etc. provided the addition or modification does not
result in an overall height increase above the
existing structure of 25% of the original
maintenance of an antenna system’s painting or
lighting in order to comply with Transport Canada’s
installation, for a limited duration (typically not
more than 3 months), of an antenna system that is
used for a special event, or one that is used to
support local, provincial, territorial or national
emergency operations during the emergency, and is
removed within 3 months after the emergency or
special event; and
antenna systems, including masts, towers or other
antenna-supporting structure, with a height of less
than 15 metres above ground level.
circumstances vary with each antenna system
installation and modification, and the exclusion
criteria above should be applied in consideration of
local circumstances. Consequently, it may be prudent
for the proponents to consult the LUA and the public
even though the proposal meets an exclusion noted
above. Therefore, when applying the criteria for
exclusion, proponents should consider] such things
antenna system’s physical dimensions, including the
antenna, mast, and tower, compared to the local
location of the proposed antenna system on the
property and its proximity to neighbouring
likelihood of an area being a community-sensitive
Canada marking and lighting requirements for the
It is my
understanding that I qualify under Section 6, and I
am excluded from the requirements to consult with
the LUA and the public. I will continue to include
the LUA in my discussions (which I believe will be
you and your department), per the second part of the
Section quoted above. I will also provide formal
notification in writing in the near future.
guide they specifically restrict LUA from
implementing any exclusion criteria that is more
restrictive than what Industry Canada’s Exclusion
List (CPC-2-0-03, Section 6).
antenna structures (i.e. do not require
Canada believes that not all antenna systems should
be subject to a full land-use or public consultation
process. Subjecting all antenna system proposals to
the full consultation process would place an
unnecessary and significant administrative burden on
proponents, the LUA and the local public.
Industry Canada’s process, certain proposals are
considered to have minimal impact on the local
surroundings and so are excluded from public and
land-use consultation. Industry Canada believes that
consultation requirements should be proportional to
the potential impact of the proposal, as viewed by
the community. When establishing a local protocol,
LUAs should consider the types of proposals that
have minimal impact and so would warrant exemption
from land-use and/or public consultation. It should
be noted that any exclusion criteria established by
the LUA can only augment those established under
Industry Canada’s Exclusion List (CPC-2-0-03,
agree that the Township should be able to say this
has to go to Council, impose a $1,100 application
fee, and require me to write a costly and detailed
report, and endure a public inquiry for something
that is federally regulated and for which I am
already licensed. In addition, the requirement for
a structure over 12 meters to go before council,
when Industry Canada has indicated structures under
15 meters are exempt from this process, is not
right. This would be, in my opinion, the equivalent
of exclusionary zoning. The Township is making the
process for approval too onerous for the average
Amateur Radio operator, holding them to a standard
expected of a Wireless Carrier or communications
company earning many billions of dollars per year.
with many of my fellow Amateur Radio operators, are
heavily involved in Emergency communications for
both the Township and the City. We give
significantly of our time, our equipment and our
knowledge without compensation of any kind. These
Antenna Support Structures are an integral part of
our ability to provide communications in the event
of a natural or man made disaster.
a group of us are working closely with VANOC on
Special Event stations for the upcoming Olympics,
for which these antennas would be a valuable
contribution to how world wide Amateur Radio
operators would view Canada’s ability to communicate
I do thank you for the time you made for me today.
I would appreciate if you would review the
information that I have provided, and the associated
links, and advise me if Langley Township’s position
is still the same with respect to the erection of
Antenna Support Structures for Amateur Radio use?
continue to consult with the Township on this
matter. I want to ensure that my installation is
safe and structurally sound and that my request be
dealt with in a fair and equitable fashion, as
Industry Canada intended.
I am looking to install Antenna Support Structures
in a remote field on a 75 acre farm which is in the
ALR. There are no neighbours that can see the
proposed installation, and there are trees
surrounding the site that are higher than the
proposed structures. There is no public access to
the proposed location, which is on private land.
for your attention to this matter. xxx a couple of
lines on my home address, number, etc.
Townships acknowledged receipt of the letter and
said they would take it under advisement.
been hunting for an option to expand my HF Radio experience.
There is no way that I am going to be able to put up a
decent tower and antenna at my home QTH. I don't have
enough room, and it would definitely put an end to my
marriage, my daughter wouldn't talk to me anymore, and a few
neighbours might be somewhat less than thrilled as well.
So - I've been
looking around, and I think I may have found an option.
It would involve renting / leasing access to some property
in South Langley. I would build what could become a
pretty decent station over time. We would have access
to the property, so we could operate on site, and we would
have high speed Internet, so that we could access the site
I think I have
found a site. It is closer to some high voltage power
lines than I would like, but the next steps are to go down
there and try a vertical antenna and see how it works.
After that, if it still looks good, I'll try and borrow one
of the two club's that I belong to, mobile tower. We
can set that up, with a Yagi on it, and get a much better
feel for how the noise floor is there. Ideally, this
is something that we could leverage for a few other hams,
not just myself.
link will take you to some
Microsoft Earth Views of the property. Where it shows
a scale, I'm not convinced it is right. The power
lines look a lot further away than shown on pictures.
Daniel and I went to the site today, and we took some
pictures. The link to them is here.
Talking to the
older couple that lives about 150 meters away, the dead end
road has been a problem in the near past. There are no
lights at the end of the road. They have had people
drive through the gate into the fields. They have had
stolen bank machines dumped there, and it is likely a bit of
a 'lover's lane'. The lady indicated that she thought
people were doing drugs up there. Daniel, my son,
pointed out a used syringe on the ground at the end of the
road. The lady indicated that she was concerned about
what was going on there. I suggested that a call to
the Mounties, on their non-emergency line, would likely get
the type of response that would discourage individuals from
using the end of the road for dubious purposes.
Thoughts - if we
bring power to the end of that road (the property line),
maybe we need to put in a motion activated bright light on
the pole. We could mount a motion activated wifi
camera on the pole and advertise that they are on candid
camera? Definitely, I would want to post no
trespassing and video surveillance signs, etc.
with the brothers today was good. They are willing to
work with me to determine what we can do with the site.
It has a lot of plusses, and only a couple of obvious
potential negatives. We discussed the necessity to put
in an access road, and that the shipping containers would
need to be on gravel. We discussed multiple towers,
and that we would want to put in some utility poles for
dipoles. They have hay in this field, and turn cows
loose in it. Cows like to rub up against things, so it
will be necessary to fence off any towers, utility poles and
around where we have the C-Cans (shipping containers).
Where we can avoid guying towers, it will minimize the
impact on the use of the field for its main purpose, growing
hay and feeding cows. The brothers indicate that they don't
plow the field, so we would only have to go down about two
feet in the ground to put in conduit for coax and control
wire to the towers.
When they cut the
hay, it will be necessary to drive around the fenced off
areas, but they didn't think this would be a big deal, as
they are used to dodging the legs of the massive power lines
cutting through their property.
There is a fair
amount of soft ground in this field. We are going to
have to build a swale around where we put the C-cans, to
divert the water. If we have to build in a road, then
we should make sure that we put in some Big-O pipe to move
the water around the access road. In addition, it
would probably make sense to dig a bit deeper on any conduit
runs that we put in, and put Big-O below it with some sand
on top, and then backfill with topsoil. The brothers
indicated that any 'extra dirt' we get from digging down to
hardpan, we could move it to the lower part of the field to
build it back up. It will likely be May before we
could get into the field with equipment, if everything else
out loud, it would be best to move the C-Cans at least a 100
meters or so from the main road. This might be enough
to make it less attractive for people to 'explore'.
The C-Cans are going to need to be seriously hardened - so
that they are going to be very difficult to get into.
We will likely have a lot of very expensive equipment in
them, and they will be vulnerable. We have discussed
the requirement to fence in the C-Cans, to keep the cows
out. I'd like to avoid putting in a fence with razor
wire on top! We'll need to splash some paint on the
C-Can's to make them fit into the environment.
I expect that we
will need to run in 220 Volt to a 100 Amp breaker box.
This would be an underground run from the property line.
Initially, we will need a single 40 foot Shipping Container.
My research so far indicates that an insulated one might be
the best option. If we have to insulate it and put
plywood walls and roof in it, that will add extra cost.
More research is required. I've done some poking
around on the Internet, and I've pushed up some ideas
here. I definitely like the
idea of having a sliding screen door inside the main doors.
We can unlock the main door, and then there would be a
locking, slider door just inside the C-Can. I've
seen some C-Cans where they have moved the sliding door four
to six feet inside the can and made a bit of a porch.
Nice idea, but I think having the porch outside the can
works for me - we can always put up a tarp if we want to sit
outside and enjoy the sun, flies, and cows.
So - even though
we want to remote into this environment, our thinking is
that nothing beats being hands on when it comes to working a
contest. This setup would give us that kind of access
to the equipment. I've seen some pictures of C-Cans
that have the double locking doors on both ends - that is
attractive, as we could put two stations at either end, and
use the center part for relaxing or for a bunk or two to
catch a few z's if the bands die. The C-Can can face
East - West, so we would get early and late light, as well
as a decent breeze through the container. I've also
seen some interesting ideas on putting windows in, with
sliding steel shutters that are locked when you aren't
there. Ventilation and heat will be a must, as will an
alarm system tied into the local club repeater. There
would be some parking spots if we fenced in the C-Cans, as
well as along the access road we will have to build.