Documentation to Assist With the Installation of Radio Amateur Antennae and Supporting Structures
|Canada's National Amateur Radio Society|
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The attached documents should be used as guidelines only and should be modified as necessary to meet the specific criteria of your installation. These documents have been generated after discussion with Industry Canada, municipalities and radio amateurs and are provided to you to assist you in following the guidelines imposed by Industry Canada.
Radio Amateurs of Canada Inc. by no means warrants or guarantees that by following the process you will be able to erect the antenna and supporting structure that you desire, but it should provide a good basis in assisting you in dealing with land use authorities and your neighbours.
* This Notification is based on a document prepared by Fred Hopengarten K1VR.
Description of Antenna #1:
Description of Antenna #2:
Description of Antenna #3:
Description of Antenna #4:
The cover page follows.
[Name of Province or Territry]
Town/City of [Name]
NOTIFICATION TO A LOCAL AUTHORITY
INSTALLATION OF AN SUPPORT ANTENNA STRUCTURE
[Name of Applicant]
[Address of Applicant]
[City, Province,Postal Code of Applicant]
Home telephone: [Area code and telephone number of Applicant]
Work telephone: [Area code and telephone number, or omit]
Table of Contents
Appendix: Potential of Television Interference
Exhibit: Permission of Owner
Exhibit: Manufacturer's Specification Sheet for Proposed Antenna Support
Exhibit: Manufacturer's Instructions for Guying
Exhibit: Plot Plan
Exhibit: Industry Canada Document CPC 2-0-03
Exhibit: Sample letter to Neighbours
Exhibit: Specific comments from neighbours and [Name's] response.
[Note to Applicants: Remember to remove sections from the Table of Contents
which are removed from the submitted text.]
This is an notification to a local authority for the erection and maintenance of a private, non-commercial antenna system for personal use by the Applicant, an individual licensed by Industry Canada. [Name] is the holder of an Amateur [Basic/Advanced] Class licence, Call Sign
[______], and has been licensed by the Government of Canada since [year].
[Name] is the [an] owner of the property.
[Name] has the permission of the property owner to erect this antenna system, which permission is attached as Exhibit ___.]
An amateur radio antenna system is normally carried above the roof-line, and amateur radio, inherently non-commercial, is an ordinary accessory use of a residence.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED SYSTEM
[Name] proposes to erect a support manufactured by [Delhi/Tri-Ex Manufacturing Company], Model number [ ], to a height of [___] feet. A copy of the manufacturer's specification sheet is attached as Exhibit [__].
The support will be guyed at [__,__,__, and __] feet, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions for the proposed height, see Exhibit [__].
The tower is unguyed at this height, as the tower is designed to hold the weight and windload of the proposed antennas without guying under such circumstances.]
In addition, the support will be bracketed to the house at a height of __ feet.] The system has been designed for windloading of  lbs. per square foot, equivalent to a windspeed of [86.6] miles per hour.
When installed as designed, the support, according to the manufacturer's specifications, is capable of holding  square feet of antennas at the top.
The following antenna(s) will be mounted on the support:
* A [Mfr] [Model] [Yagi, Vertical], weight: [__] lbs., windload: [__] sq. ft.;
* A [Mfr] [Model] [Yagi, Vertical], weight: [__] lbs., windload: [__] sq. ft.; and
* A [Mfr] [Model] [Yagi, Vertical], weight: [__] lbs., windload: [__] sq. ft.
Total windload of the proposed system: [__] sq. ft. Safety factor: ___.
Windload is the equivalent horizontal force that will act on the structure. It is directly related to the surface area of the antenna.
Safety factor describes the ratio between the maximum resistance load and the normal load. For example, if the windload is 10, and the structure can withstand a windload of 20, the safety factor is 2.
Specification sheets on the proposed antennas are attached as Exhibits [ ].
Any wire antennas which may be hung from the structure are inconsequential, and not included in these calculations, as the wire itself will break long before any damage could be done to the support.
The proposed site, see plot plan attached as Exhibit [__], was chosen because [mounting against the house provided a rigid mounting a significant way up the support / the site is approximately on the mid-line of the property / the site minimizes visual impact on neighbors / and permits location of all guy supports more than 25 feet from all lot lines / the Town setback requirement virtually dictated the choice / in addition, the height of the structure does not exceed the distance to any property boundary].
WHY THIS HEIGHT?
For communications at frequencies above 30 MHz, trees and buildings cause significant signal loss. Thus, antennas which are above, free and clear of such obstructions, permit the amateur to use significantly lower power levels. These are the frequencies at which most local emergency communications are conducted. In addition, doubling the height of the antenna is considered to be approximately equivalent to doubling the power output. Considered together, these two factors are strong arguments for higher antennas and lower power. For communications at frequencies below 30 MHz, the height of an antenna has a controlling impact on the angle at which signals are transmitted. Unless the antenna is high enough, some paths are simply not open. In other words, communications to certain parts of the world will be strictly limited, or nonexistent with lower antennas, especially lower antennas which are not very directional.
See Utlaut, W.F., "Effect of Antenna Radiation Angles Upon HF Radio Signals
Propagated Over Long Distances", J. of Research of the National Bureau of Standards--D. Radio
Propagation, Vol. 65D, No. 2, March-April 1961, pp. 167-174, and Epstein, M.R., et al, "A
Comparison of Long-Distance HF Radio Signal Reception at High and Low Receiving Sites",
Radio Science, Vol. 1 (new series) No. 7, July 1966, pp. 751, 762.
GOOD ENGINEERING PRACTICE
The antenna system will be erected in accordance with good engineering practice and will be permanently and effectively grounded in accordance with the applicable Building Code.
[Name]'s standard homeowners policy [renter's policy], [Section __], provides for personal liability and medical payments coverage due to failure of an amateur radio antenna structure, without additional premium.
Research by Amateur Radio Organizations has failed to discover a single study in appraisal literature, or anywhere else, which has tends to show that home values are harmed by the presence of amateur radio antenna systems.
[The following is an optional paragraph which should be included only if the amateur has the facts
to back it up.]
[Name] wishes to call attention to the many other amateur antenna systems in [name of municipality], of varying heights, which have existed for some years now.] Abutting and nearby homes have not suffered a decline in value, and have not risen at a slower rate than comparable properties when sold in the open market. Rather, they have increased in value in proportion to property value increases elsewhere in [city/town]. Furthermore, the assessment of those properties has not noted any effect by degrading assessed value on that [those] property [properties]. Nor does [Name] believe that an assessment will reduce the value of this property after the installation of the proposed antenna system.
[Name] wishes to call attention to Federal law which can effect the ability of a municipality to regulate in the area of support antenna structures.
The RadioCommunication Act provides authority for the holder of an amateur radio licence to operate within the limits of that licence. Industry Canada has set out environmental and consultation information and the holder of an amateur radio licence must follow in erecting a support antenna structure. A copy of Industry Canada Document CPC 2-0-03 is attached as Exhibit [ ].
You will note that amateur stations are considered Type 2 stations and are not licenced on a site specific basis. Industry Canada has no specific procedure for those who do not request site specific radio authorization such as radio amateurs. In general, radio amateurs must ensure that:
1. There stations are installed and operated in a manner that causes no adverse environmental effects, and
2. that they consult with their land use authority and their neighbours prior to the installation of the antenna and its supporting structure.
There is no specific procedure for consultation nor is there any requirement to receive prior approval from Industry Canada for the installation of an antenna and its supporting structure.
With respect to environmental concerns, Industry Canada expects radio amateurs to follow a document published by the Department of Health and Welfare in 1991 referred to as Safety Code 6, Limits of Exposure to Radio Frequency Fields at Frequencies From 10khz to 300 ghz. Field strength and exposure time is used to determine if the signal emitted by a radio transmitter can be considered safe.
While Industry Canada expects radio amateurs to meet the requirements of Safety Code 6, generally most amateur installations will never exceed the recommended exposure limits. There are many reasons for this including the fact that most amateur installations are operated at relatively low power levels (typically 100 watts), are not on a 100% continuous duty cycle and the amount of transmission time is often limited.
It should also be noted that to meet the requirements of Safety Code 6 it is often necessary for the antenna to be elevated as high as possible. [Name] has reviewed Safety Code 6 and confirms that his/her installation meets all of the safety guidelines.
Industry Canada expects amateur radio operators to address the concerns of the community in a responsible manner and to seriously consider all requests put forward by a land use authority. Industry Canada requires that the land use authority of the municipality be notified of the proposed installation for information purposes only. It is generally considered that the regulation of antenna and the supporting structure falls exclusively within the domain of the Federal government. The policy followed by Industry Canada for the erection of support antenna structures by radio amateurs does not have the effect of conferring any federal power on the land use authority nor does it confer any right of veto. The municipality is referred to a study prepared by the Department of Communications (the forerunner to Industry Canada) by Prof. David Townsend entitled Canadian Municipalities and the regulation of Radio Antenna and Their Supporting Structures. This study provides an overview of the law in this area and confirms the right of the Federal Government to exclusively regulate support antenna structures.
[Name] in accordance with Industry Canada guildelines has notified all of his neighbours as identified on the enclosed plot plan [Exhibit ___] of his intention to install the antenna and support structure. A sample copy of the letter sent to the neighbours is attached as Exhibit ___.
You will note that in accordance with the guidelines [Name] has invited any of his neighbours to contact him/her for further information. Exhibit ___ identifies neighbours who had specific comments with respect to the installation and the response that [Name] made to that neighbour.
[Name] is aware that by-law ___ [identify the by-law] purports to limit the height of antenna and antenna structures to ___ [height as set out in the by-law]. [Name] for the reasons outlined above submits that [name of local authority] does not have the authority to regulate in this area and would question whether the by-law as enacted is ultra vires.
[Name] would point out that a number of municipalities across Canada have recognized their limited ability to regulate in this area and have arrived at a compromise and enacted a suitable by-law in consultation with radio amateurs. For example, reference can made to by-laws enacted by the City of Edmonton, Alberta and the County of Strathcona, Alberta which enacted by-laws arrived at in consultation with Industry Canada and local radio amateurs. While a municipality does not have the ability to formally legislate in this area, the by-laws enacted are examples of how consultation with Industry Canada and radio amateurs can result in an effective compromise.
In accordance with Industry Canada guidelines, [Name] is more than happy to answer any questions that you may have with respect to the installation of the antenna and support structure. [Optional]
[Name] does intend to follow the procedure enacted by you for a development permit for the antenna and supporting structure solely for the purposes of furthering the consultation between him/her and the local authority. [Name] by agreeing to follow this procedure and paying any fees with respect thereto is not in any manner accepting the jurisdiction of the local authority to regulate in this area.
For the reasons set forth above, [Name] submits he/she has complied with Industry Canada directives with respect to consulting with the local authority and neighbours. This document is intended to address any concerns the local authority may have.
Should any questions arise, please feel free to contact me. Respectfully submitted,
Appendix: POTENTIAL OF TELEVISION INTERFERENCE
Nonetheless, amateurs generally, and [Name] in particular, are prepared to offer aid beyond the requirements of law, working closely with neighbors who may be affected by radio transmissions and scientific experiments. [Name] pledges his cooperation with any individual who may be affected, whether or not an abutter.
The erection of this antenna system will have a tendency to DECREASE, not increase, the likelihood of television interference, as higher antenna systems, with directional arrays, are farther away from neighboring sets, and transmit over nearby homes. Lower, wire antennas, erected in trees, or from a house to a tree, for example, have a greater likelihood of interference, as they would direct more energy toward a neighboring TV set.
The proposed transmitter output is [____] watts. The maximum legal limit is 1000 watts.
As an amateur radio station, and a hobby of [Name], the transmitter will be in intermittent service.
Even when an amateur is active, transmissions occupy less than 50% of the time of activity, as amateurs listen more than half the time.
By contrast, typical FM broadcast or AM broadcast stations use from 5,000 to 50,000 watts, continuous duty.
Nonetheless, using the output power at the antenna, after feedline losses, and solving for energy per square cm., the standard unit of measurement in these matters, this amateur station, in a worst case scenario, will have only [__] millivolts per square centimeter of power, or [__] percent of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standard at that frequency (the worst case frequency), as measured to [the property line/the nearest home].
In this case, if [Name] were to put up his antenna at a lower height, power required for the same reliability of communications would increase significantly.
Required for: Height
Power Level Proposed
Half of Proposed Height
One Quarter of Proposed Height
See Exhibit [__] for the engineering calculations supporting the statement above.
It should be pointed out that present guidelines exclude amateur radio stations from the need to do Environmental Assessments.
The careful reader of this application will note that the height of the proposed antenna structure is greater than the distance from its base to the nearest property line. Despite this fact, the site was carefully chosen with the best interests of the Town in mind. Accidents involving such structures are rare.
The most likely method of failure occurs when a nearby tree falls, as a result of a storm, on a guy wire. The tower is then pulled in the direction of the guy wire which was struck. As it comes down, the antenna system and the tower catch on trees and branches of trees, and the antenna structure remains up, but at a 20-40 degree tilt. As the antennas atop the tower are likely to have a "wing span" of 20-50 feet, this is the most likely scenario. Something will catch, and the system never reaches the ground.
The other failure mode, which may occur when an antenna system is completely out in the open, involves a tower twisting and buckling. In effect, the structure corkscrews onto the ground. Towers do not fall the full length of their height, like a pencil. Instead, a failure occurs during the fall at a point of particular stress. This phenomenon is well known in physics, and is usually demonstrated in physics textbooks with a photograph of a falling chimney. As an example, see Fundamentals of Physics, 2nd Edition, by Halliday and Resnick, page 174, published by John Wiley & Sons:
When a tall chimney is toppled by means of an explosive charge at its base, it will often break near its middle, the rupture starting at the leading edge. The top part will then reach the ground later than the bottom part. We note that as the chimney topples, it has at any instant an angular acceleration [A] about an axis thorugh its base. The tangential acceleration [At] of its top is given by [At = Ar]. As the chimney leans more and more, the vertical component of At comes to exceed g [gravity, or 9.8 m/s sq], so that the bricks at the top are accelerating downward more than they would in free fall. This can happen only as long as the chimney is a rigid body. As the chimney continues to fall, internal tension stresses develop along its leading edge.
In nearly all cases rupture occurs, thus relieving those stresses.
It should be noted that incidences of damage caused by a falling antenna system are so rare that the presence of an amateur radio antenna system has no impact on the cost or availability of insurance for the homeowner.
In addition to the reasons founded in physics as to why concern about the proximity to a border is unnecessary, the neighbor concerned has been consulted, and has authorized the applicant to represent that there is no objection to the placement of the antenna system.
It should be further pointed out that, while the casual observer might, at first, think that a setback to lessen visual impact is always better, this would be wrong. Take the example of a self- supporting tower placed one foot from a rear lot line. If the lot to the rear has four square miles of woods, then the least visible siting for the antenna system would be the site closest to a lot line.
Exhibit: COVER LETTER TO A MUNICIPALITY
50 Neighbourly Road
Anytown, Any Province
City/Town of ____
Anytown, Any Province
Installation of an Amateur Radio Antenna and Supporting Structure
I enclose a document entitled Notification to Local Authority of the Installation of a Support Antenna Structure. I am the holder of a valid amateur radio licence issued by Industry Canada and in accordance with Industry Canada guidelines I am notifying the Town/City of ____ of my intention to erect an antenna and supporting structure.
The attached document should provide you with sufficient information with respect to my installation and meets with Industry Canada guidelines. However, please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any further questions with respect to this installation.
I am aware that the Town/City of ____ has a by-law, being by-law No. ____ that purports to limit the height of antennae and supporting structures to ____ . As indicated in my notification, I believe that the Town/City of ____ does not have authority to regulate in this area. Industry Canada has adopted a consultation process that radio amateurs must follow, and the attached documents are aimed at furthering that process.
In order to further the consultation process, I will apply for a development permit as set out in by-law No. ___. However, for reasons outlined in the Notification, I am not accepting the Town/City's jurisdiction to regulate in this area.
John Q. Amateur
c.c. City/Town of ____
Exhibit: COVER LETTER TO NEIGHBOURS
50 Neighbourly Road
Anytown, Any Province
City/Town of ____
Anytown, Any Province
Re: Installation of an Amateur Radio Antenna and Supporting Structure
As you are likely aware, I am an amateur radio operator (or "ham" radio as it is commonly referred to). My licence is issued by Industry Canada under the authority of the Radiocommunications Act.
In order to operate within the limits of my licence, it is my intention to erect an antenna and the supporting structure. The regulating authority requests that I inform you of my intention to erect this structure and answer any questions that you may have.
What is the proposed structure?
The structure will be a tower manufactured by ____ at a height of ___ metres. There will be no guy wires on the tower. At the top of the tower I intend to erect what is called a yagi antenna which consists of a boom approximately ____ inches in diameter and ____ feet in length.
Running perpendicular to the boom will be a number of "elements" approximately ____ feet in length and ____ inches in width. The antenna can be rotated at the top of the tower.
Is this structure really necessary?
Yes it is. As an amateur radio operator I may operate within the limits of my licence and for effective communication it is necessary for the installation of this type of structure.
Why is that?
The higher the antenna, the more efficient it is to communicate. By having the antenna at this height, I can communicate more effectively and reduce the amount of power that I need to operate. Having the antenna at this height will also reduce radio frequency interference and will assist in meeting safety concerns.
Why can you not continue to use the antenna which you are presently using?
There are many reasons for that. The installation I have at the present time is ____. This type of antenna is not very efficient which requires that I use more power. In short, the type of installation I presently have is not allowing me to operate within the limits of my licence.
Is it really necessary to have an antenna that big?
Actually, this installation is very much a compromise for an urban area. Amateur operators typially have towers 100 to 150 feet in height with much larger antennae. However, I recognize that that type of installation would not be suitable in an urban area and I have scaled back my antenna and supporting structure to a generally accepted installation for a urban area. At a height of ____ metres, the antenna will not seem as large as described. This type of antenna is very common and very efficient. It can be rotated and pointed in a specific direction where I am attempting to communicate. The "elements" attached to the boom of the antenna help reflect and direct my signal as effectively as possible.
Why does the antenna have to be at that height?
In order to communicate with minimum power and efficiency, the antenna should be as high as possible. The height at which I will be installing the antenna represents a fair compromise between the most efficient height of the antenna and one that is suitable for an urban neighbourhood.
You mentioned the height of the antenna would help with interference and safety concerns?
That is correct. The higher the antenna the less likely it is that there will be radio frequency interference. I believe my station meets all Industry Canada guidelines for reducing or eliminating radio frequency interference ("RFI"). For example, my station is well grounded and has the appropriate filtering devices installed. Unfortunately, there is no national standard in Canada that manufacturers of electronic consumer devices must follow to ensure such devices are not subject to radio frequency interference. Some less expensive televisions, radios and other electronic devices may suffer from what is called "breakthrough" even though my station has been properly grounded and filtered. In those circumstances Industry Canada requires that I work with you to try and eliminate or reduce any "breakthrough", but in some cases due to the manufacturer's design it is impossible to completely eliminate this interference. If you do suffer from RFI, I would be more than happy to work with you to try to rectify the problem. In addition, Industry Canada has a very informative video which explains how one can reduce or eliminate interference to consumer equipment.
What about safety?
As an amateur radio operator, I am required to meet the guidelines published by the Department of Health and Welfare in 1991 referred to as Safety Code 6, Limits of Exposure to Radio Frequency Fields at Frequencies from 10 kz to 300 ghz. I am confident my installation meets all of the requirements of Safety Code 6.
Why is that? I have heard conflicting stories about how safe emissions are from radio transmittors?
There is conflicting evidence as to possible health effects from radio transmitters. However, there is no need to be concerned with my installation. The typical power I run is ___ watts which is the same type of power emitted from a standard household lightbulb. Further, the type of operating I do is not at 100% duty cycle and my transmissions are limited to evenings and weekends. The RF exposure from my staiton will be ____% of the ANSI maximum exposure limit. In short, the transmissions from my station are negligible and in any event will meet all of the guidelines in Safety Code 6. Further, the antenna at the height ensures that any RF transmissions are above the surrounding houses.
How safe is the structure?
The structure is extremely safe. The tower sits in a cement base of ____ cubic metres of cement. The antenna and its supporting structure can survive wind gusts up to ____ kph.
Barring a freak act of nature, it is extremely unlikely that the support and antenna structure will ever fail. In any case, if the tower should fall, it is likely it will not topple like a chimney but will collapse upon itself.
What about lightning?
The antenna and its supporting structure are properly grounded and I have taken all steps to protect my station from lightning. In fact, as lightning will follow the best path to the ground, the support antenna structure will provide a "cone of protection" to surrounding houses from any lightning strikes.
What about safety for my children?
The location of the tower will be in my backyard which is fenced off from other houses. In addition, I will be installing anti-climb devices on the tower to dissuade anyone from attempting to climb the structure.
I am a little confused about amateur radio - is it the same as CB?
Amateur radio operators are licensed in nearly all countries of the world and provide an efficient and secondary communications link. In order to qualify for an amateur radio licence one must pass fairly stringent exams dealing with radio theory, radio regulations and operating practices. Amateur radio provides a vital service to the community. For example, when the tornado struck Edmonton some years ago, amateur radio was the only communications link in and out of the city for some time. Amateur radio operators also assist the local community to provide effective communications for many non-profit events [here make reference to some of the local activities amateurs are involved in].
What if I have any further questions?
I would be happy to answer them or sit down with you to explain in detail the installation. I can be reached at _______ or during the day at ______.
1. Sketch of the proposed installation,
2. Plot plan showing the location of the installation,
3. Copy of my licence issued by Industry Canada.
John Q. Amateur
Documents You May Need
Experience has shown that it is useful to have collected the following documents, and made two copies each, before applying for a permit for your "antenna support structure and appurtenant antennas."
* A plot plan, showing the outline of your house and the site of the proposed antenna support structure. Be sure to include distances from the antenna support structure to the lot lines. Normally, this would be the distance to each side lot line, and the distance to the rear lot line (three measurements). Make sure that the two distances, from side lot line to structure and from structure to side lot line, add up to equal the actual distance from side lot line to side lot line.
Source: Your mortgage papers normally include a plot plan, which should be adequate, unless you've added on to your house.
* A plan showing the lots in your neighborhood and streets. It is best if this plan also shows where homes are located on the lots.
Source: Your town's planning and zoning department.
* A specification sheet from the manufacturer of your antenna support structure for your brand and model. If possible, it should specify: model number, height, load it will bear (weight expressed in lbs. and maximum windload in sq. ft. at a certain windspeed or p.s.f. of air pressure).
* Construction plans for the base and erection of your antenna support structure (including guying, if appropriate).
* A specification sheet for any proposed antenna(s), showing weight (expressed in lbs.) and windload (expressed in sq. ft.)
* A specification sheet for the rotator, showing weight (expressed in lbs.).
* A letter of permission from the landlord (if the applicant is not the home owner).
* A copy of your homeowner's general liability policy, or at least a "cover sheet" from your insurance agent, stating your coverage (which may include an "umbrella" policy).
* Copies of letters to neighbours advising them of the proposed structure.
* A copy of your amateur radio licence.
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