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Flying near a mobile phone tower

jarnie

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I have read that the drone should not be flown near radio masts due to possible interference.
I have a perfect (large) park nearby but in one corner is a mobile/cell phone tower.
Just how close to too close? Would 500 feet away still be too close?
 

zocalo

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I've done a fairly close pass on a TV/Radio tower (50m) without noticing any issues at all, and I'm pretty sure that would have been pumping out orders of magnitude more RF energy than a cell tower. I did take a *very* slow and steady initial approach and was prepared to bail at any hint of control issues though!

However, what matters will be the frequencies in use by the tower (and their harmonics), whether those align with anything within the aircraft or with the RC-Aircraft comms, and (obviously) how much power is being broadcast. Generally speaking, broadcast power will go up in the following order: cellular, radio, TV, microwave/RADAR, so it's going to depend very much on the specifics of the individual tower and what their coverage area (power requirement) is.

I'd also be extra wary of any drum like (usually grey/white) devices as these are probably going to be point-to-point microwave links and if you sit in the path too long will have the exact same effect on your drone that leaving a metal object in a microwave oven has; a lot of sparks and a very hot metal object! A lof of rural cell towers have these for their backhaul rather than a fixed fibre link, so you'll spot one soon enough if you've never noticed them before. They're unlikely to be an issue if you keep moving or at a reasonable distance, but if you sit in the path of one long enough you are quite likely to start having problems.
 

itsneedtokno

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I'd also be extra wary of any drum like (usually grey/white) devices as these are probably going to be point-to-point microwave links and if you sit in the path too long will have the exact same effect on your drone that leaving a metal object in a microwave oven has; a lot of sparks and a very hot metal object! A lof of rural cell towers have these for their backhaul rather than a fixed fibre link, so you'll spot one soon enough if you've never noticed them before. They're unlikely to be an issue if you keep moving or at a reasonable distance, but if you sit in the path of one long enough you are quite likely to start having problems.
Oh no! 5G!

LMAO

I've got the little 5G masts everywhere around here, and just maintain safe operation altitude and distance... Not willing to risk it
 
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jarnie

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Thanks
To the best of my knowledge the only 'aerial devices' on the tower are those long rectangular ones and certainly no microwave (drum like) antennae. I'll make sure I check out the tower before attempting my beginner flights.
 
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zocalo

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Thanks
To the best of my knowledge the only 'aerial devices' on the tower are those long rectangular ones and certainly no microwave (drum like) antennae. I'll make sure I check out the tower before attempting my beginner flights.
Yeah, the rectangular ones are going to be cellular antennae: GPRS, 3G, LTE, etc. Those will be fine to get quite close to without any problems at all.

Oh no! 5G!

LMAO

I've got the little 5G masts everywhere around here, and just maintain safe operation altitude and distance... Not willing to risk it
Except for those - you wouldn't want your drone to catch Covid-19, would you? :D
 

jarnie

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Or my drone to go off course and end up in Melbourne 🥵 - is it possible to sanitize an AIR 2?

Is there any app which will display strength of radio waves in the surrounding area?
 

itsneedtokno

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Yeah, the rectangular ones are going to be cellular antennae: GPRS, 3G, LTE, etc. Those will be fine to get quite close to without any problems at all.



Except for those - you wouldn't want your drone to catch Covid-19, would you? :D
20200630_191222.jpg

Good or bad?
 

Motorcycle Rider

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I live not far from a giant tower, full of all sorts of antennas.
I have flown within 100 feet of it, not any issues at all.
 

Juggler

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I have read that the drone should not be flown near radio masts due to possible interference.
I have a perfect (large) park nearby but in one corner is a mobile/cell phone tower.
Just how close to too close? Would 500 feet away still be too close?
depends if you plan on making a local or long distance call..📞☎