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Flying near antenna towers

jazar

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Anyone have experience flying around antenna towers? Does the energy emitted from the antenna interfere with the drone flight? I have been tempted to fly around some cell towers and even a radio tower, but not sure what to expect. I want to keep a safe distance, but don't know what distance might be too close.
 

Skiergd011013

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Anyone have experience flying around antenna towers? Does the energy emitted from the antenna interfere with the drone flight? I have been tempted to fly around some cell towers and even a radio tower, but not sure what to expect. I want to keep a safe distance, but don't know what distance might be too close.
i watched a youtube video from one of the big drone guys (forgot who) and he does it and said its completely different frequencies. No issues, just don't go right up to it. I personally wont do it however. A lot of those towers have the support cables which can be hard to spot.
 

FlyGuy8675309

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Anyone have experience flying around antenna towers? Does the energy emitted from the antenna interfere with the drone flight? I have been tempted to fly around some cell towers and even a radio tower, but not sure what to expect. I want to keep a safe distance, but don't know what distance might be too close.

Check your local laws. In Florida, cell towers are considered "critical infrastructure" and are to be avoided.
 
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Congoblue

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I would keep away at least 50 metres - although it's true that the frequencies are different, if you get close then the radiated power is very high, enough to swamp the input of the radio receivers so it won't be able to "hear" your control signals. There is also a chance of damaging the electronics.

There is a reason that they shut down or reduce power to the antennas before sending guys up for maintenance...
 
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gnirtS

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Can easily interfere with various systems. Sometimes at a big distance if you happen to go through a microwave link between masts.

Near where i live there's a mobile phone mast, not particularly large but if i go within 50m of it (even directly above) it causes an in-flight gimbal reset. Every single time.

Signal interference and GPS interference are common near masts as well (depending to an extent the bands the masts radiate). A lot signal combined with a lost or degraded GPS is not a good place for a drone to be given it cant come home.
 
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gnirtS

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i watched a youtube video from one of the big drone guys (forgot who) and he does it and said its completely different frequencies.

Whoever he is, he clearly has no idea about electronics or radio theory. Final transmission frequency is a tiny tiny part of the calculation. He seems to think harmonics don't exist, intermediate frequencies dont exist, internal timers and local oscillators dont exist in the circuits, induction effects dont exist, RF "quietening" from being swamped by a huge signal doesn't exist.
In addition to being completely wrong about that subject matter he's also completely wrong about mast frequencies - a large number will use 2GHz area for a mobile band and in addition most masts have microwave beams to adjacent masts that can be in 5GHz or harmonics thereof as well.
...and thats assuming its a cell phone mast. There could be any number of different spectrum users on a mast or sharing a mast.

A "big drone guy" is probably the last person i'd listen to when he's talking about something he has no qualifications in such as RF theory.
 

Norm62

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This was the tower he said he had problems with. Tower issues start at 5:20 in the video. I steer clear of all towers. Rather not chance it.

 

Dvanhoose

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Anyone have experience flying around antenna towers? Does the energy emitted from the antenna interfere with the drone flight? I have been tempted to fly around some cell towers and even a radio tower, but not sure what to expect. I want to keep a safe distance, but don't know what distance might be too close.
I just flew near our 1200' tower in North Dade County. No problems, the Mavic never skipped a beat. The transmitters are on VHF channel 7 and 10 and pushing around 150kw. I flew about 150 feet away from the tower and used the digital zoom at 1280 resolution. No problems.
 
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Thwyllo

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Can easily interfere with various systems. Sometimes at a big distance if you happen to go through a microwave link between masts.

Near where i live there's a mobile phone mast, not particularly large but if i go within 50m of it (even directly above) it causes an in-flight gimbal reset. Every single time.

Signal interference and GPS interference are common near masts as well (depending to an extent the bands the masts radiate). A lot signal combined with a lost or degraded GPS is not a good place for a drone to be given it cant come home.

As if that lot wasn't enough, here in rural France, where you'd expect no interference, there are towers dotted around with wide beam microwave emitters on top for domestic 4G broadband (there are still many rural areas here without even workable copper broadband). I haven't had any issues to date but it doesn't mean there won't be any. I just try and avoid the bloody things like the plague.
 

Jeff7577

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“He seems to think harmonics don't exist, intermediate frequencies dont exist, internal timers and local oscillators dont exist in the circuits, induction effects dont exist, RF "quietening" from being swamped by a huge signal doesn't exist.”

“A "big drone guy" is probably the last person i'd listen to when he's talking about something he has no qualifications in such as RF theory.”

You know some words and a tad bit of theory. Application in the real world is quite different. I’m not sure why you would list IF, it would drive their frequency even lower and away from 2.4ghz. Just stick to drones.
 
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Underdog1964

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You know some words and a tad bit of theory. Application in the real world is quite different. I’m not sure why you would list IF, it would drive their frequency even lower and away from 2.4ghz. Just stick to drones.
Also worth mentioning that Mr. Heron has a background in Broadcast Radio.
Likely he knows more than most of us. Well, at least me! ;)
 

Prmath

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i watched a youtube video from one of the big drone guys (forgot who) and he does it and said its completely different frequencies. No issues, just don't go right up to it. I personally wont do it however. A lot of those towers have the support cables which can be hard to spot.
Is the height of cell towers basically all the same......
I wonder what that height is?
 

Dapepe777

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i watched a youtube video from one of the big drone guys (forgot who) and he does it and said its completely different frequencies. No issues, just don't go right up to it. I personally wont do it however. A lot of those towers have the support cables which can be hard to spot.
My experience is somewhat different. Mavic Air will not rise higher than the cell site (35m) which is about 160m away from me. The controller will read 'Aircraft signal lost" and hang there until the battery runs down and it commences a forced landing irrespective of where.
 

dirkclod

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Some have cables and some don't you just have to check em out before you fly one.
When ya live where I do you really don't have no good subject matter so ya fly what ya got .
Have never had any issues here with these .
 

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