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Cell Tower Antenna's: Can they be modified for other purposes?

Discussion in 'Home Brew' started by wmslayton, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. wmslayton

    wmslayton
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    In a move to another facil


     
    #1 wmslayton, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

  2. W5LZ

    W5LZ
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    Crotchety Old Bastard

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    With work the antennas could be adapted to an amateur band. It isn't necessarily all that easy, but it can be done.
    As for the TMAs, I think that's a lost cause. You could probably convert them to am amateur band, but you are talking about a lot of converting!
    There's an amateur band in the 800 Mhz region, but I have no idea how much trouble it would be to convert an amplifier. Probably not for a 'newbee' thing to do.
    I sure wouldn't say to scrap those antennas or TMAs but you might advertise them as what they are and see what happens?
    - 'Doc
     
  3. towerdog

    towerdog
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    one-niner-seven

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    TMAs are just RX amplifiers, probably made of aluminum with cavity filters milled into it. The actual amplifier boards are tiny, the rest is all like a diplexer, splits off the RX band from the TX, lets the TX pass to the antenna and then amps up the RX sends it back.

    I would say no, TMA's are not modifiable for anything.

    What freq range are the antennas? Some of the 800mhz antennas might be wide banded enough to cover 33cm ham (902-928mhz). Tuning would be out the question, as those antennas are made up of dozens of elements, for bandwidth and radiation pattern.

    Find someone who can run sweep gear and see how they perform on 33cm.

    Other than that I cant think of any ham or otherwise useful freq that even come close to what carriers run their cellular on.

    33lbs of scrap. Your company lets you guys scrap stuff? I could loose my job for turning in aluminum cans, so I hire crackheads to do it for me.

    BTW, you climb?
     
  4. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
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    Glad to see some cell site techs and tower guys as well, I am a cell site tech, I'm working in the Grand Rapids area troubleshooting sprint sites right now. I had the same idea as you but I don't tho k it would be worth the time to use them as they will have to be modded. Are they 800 or 1900mhz antennas or are they quad port 800/1900 antennas?
     
  5. towerdog

    towerdog
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    one-niner-seven

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    W5zl you opened up one of those antennas and looked inside? About a thousand elements phased together. Some are just traces on a PCB while others might be dipoles soldered the older ones might have some meat .

    222. What would you get out of it. You be much better chopoi g up some lmr into 1/4 w resonant sections and soldering them back and forth so 180 out of phase or stacking to get gain.
     
  6. towerdog

    towerdog
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    one-niner-seven

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    And I failed to mention all that stuff is purpose built garbage . They get the contract and they got the carrier by the balls
     
  7. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
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    I would not mess with it, I already have a bunch of 240 cable and some. Lmr 400 as well. I just build all my own jumpers.
     
  8. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot
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    He's not talking about jumpers.
     
  9. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
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    I know what he is talking about believe me I install radio base stations for a living. The antennas are normally junk after they have been removed as they usually get thrown around and not taken care of, but I have no use for antennas anyway.
     
  10. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot
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    I did my share of microwave and communication tower installs myself. I was an outside wire and antenna maintenance tech in the Air Force. Traveled the world installing huge arrays and such.

    Now that I inflated my chest...

    He still wasn't talking about jumpers.
     
  11. 222DBFL

    222DBFL
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    Not sure it would be worth the trouble messing with one like said. I don't have a home base anyway, just a mobile. I have enough stuff for what I need.
     

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