Tower installation

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Installation of towers and masts

The equipment can be mounted on a tower or mast, depending on the conditions and context of each installation and community. A tower requires a much higher amount of investment as well as labor. However, a mast can be easily installed on the roof of a building, is easy to build and much less expensive than a tower. Rhizomatica, when possible, uses a mast with a hinge at the base, which allows us to mount the equipment and tensor wires with the mast on the ground. Once ready, we can easily hoist up the mast on the hinged base, and then finally fix the tensor wires.

Mastil.JPG

Rhizomativa does not install towers. Each community is responsible for hiring an outside company to build and install a tower where the cellular equipment can be installed. Nevertheless, it is important to take into consideration some safety issues when installing a tower.

Torre.JPG

First, it is important to remember that the cellular equipment emits and receives wireless signals and radiation, and it is therefore recommended that the tower or mast be installed in a place that is not heavily transited. Another safety consideration is that any tower be installed away from trees or high-tension electric cables as these can cause a potentially dangerous situation in case of storms or strong winds.

When a new tower is installed it must be properly anchored with long, strong bolts to the ground, preferably to a large cement block foundation buried within the earth. It is also important to create cement foundations for at least three tensor wires that will use braided wire and expansion bolts or pre-installed hooks in the foundation to steady the tower. The tensor wire anchor point should be at a distance of around 60-80% of the total height of the tower.


Depending on the height of the tower, it is recommended that a red light be installed at the top in order to alert passing airplanes or other aerial vehicles. It is also of utmost importance that the tower be properly grounded electrically-speaking. This might include a lightning rod, but certainly includes grounding rods.

Grounding the tower is of utmost importance in three ways:

  • Protects people who handle the different electronic equipment and wiring from damage.
  • Protects electronic equipment against electrical discharges caused by atmospheric phenomena.
  • Protect electronic equipment and structured cabling itself against electromagnetic interference.
Pararrayos.jpg

For more information about grounding and lightning protection go to this external link:

http://massatierra.net/download/ABC_Sistemas_PuestaTierra_y_Pararrayos_v03-03-12.pdf

For more information about tower installation go to this external link:

http://www.xe1rcs.org.mx/galeria/torre/

As a further reference, in the USA, the regulation of new tower installations falls under the auspices of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), whose equivalent in Mexico is the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT):

https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/tower-and-antenna-siting

Anyone climbing or working on a tower should use a harness as an absolute minimum safety measure. Before climbing any tower one must visually inspect that the structure is solidly anchored and is safe both for the person climbing and those below. For example, if the tensor wires are loose they should be tightened before climbing.

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