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Re: Antenna Restrictions in Texas and in Cape Town

Hi Dave

Our provincial (state) antenna regulations do not specify ham antennas at
all and consequently no restrictions for ham antennas exist.  However, our
local city council made their own bylaw to control ham antennas
specifically as they have had some bad experiences in the past with ham
towers.  The bylaw now mentions ham antennas by name and specifies that no
antenna mast may be higher than 3 metres above the highest point of the
house's roof.  The bylaw only specifies the mast height and not the antenna
size or antenna type on top of that mast.  Therefor, a 14MHz inverted-V
would be just as legal as a four element, multiband, HF quad with a 30 foot
boom.  But a mast 3 metres higher than the roof does not allow the erection
of that monster quad.

A properly designed, constructed and installed free standing tower of 75
feet is erected on this site and supports a monster HF quad with a 30 foot
boom.  The tower is fed at the base with a gamma match to load the
structure as a 1,8MHz vertical antenna.  Of course there would always be a
neighbour that complains.

But the council cannot force me to take the system down as I am not in
violation of any antenna law or council bylaw. The reason being that I do
not have an antenna mast, as my 1,8MHz antenna is mounted at ground level
and the quad on top acts as a capacitance hat. Thus, I have only one ground
mounted 1,8MHz antenna.  The bylaw does not specify the type or size of
antenna which may be erected.  In fact, the bylaw does not even refer to
any antenna at all, only the mast.

The council consulted with the technical experts and they all concurred
that this ground mounted antenna has no mast.

I have followed several ham's antenna battles in and around our city and I
ask why the antenna problem is always a "ham" problem?  Any person with an
HF receiver may choose to erect any antenna to ensure optimum reception,
irrespective of the frequency.  This is the approach I use with the
authorities to get them out of the mode of "ham bashing" when it comes to
antenna issues.  Their misconception is that one must be a licensed ham to
need one of those monsters in your backyard.

It is back to the drawing board for our local council, but I doubt whether
they would be able to legislate a specific antenna, such as an antenna for
1,8MHz or any other frequency.  They will open a whole different can of
worms if they try that.  I am not a legal eagle, but it will take years for
any legislation to be amended or upgraded.  Meanwhile, I will stick to my
rights according to the present legislation.

It seems that your crank up tower is a workable solution.  Or perhaps a 75
foot ground mounted 1,8MHz vertical antenna of lattice tower construction
with a capacitance hat in the form of a triband HF yagi.

Good luck
Deon ZR1DQ

----- Original Message -----
From: David M. Tipton, PhD <tiptond@psi.com>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: 01 March 2000 01:35
Subject: [amsat-bb] Antenna Restrictions in Texas

| Ok, this is a bit off topic, but I need some advice.
| I am getting ready to relocate to Lewisville, TX and have run my head
into a
| brick wall on the height ordinances.  I for the life of me can't figure
| one out.  If I want to put a roof mounted structure up, it cannot exceed
| Feet off of the top of the roof.  The highest that a house can be built
| 35 feet.  (2 and 1/2 stories.)  This would give you 50 feet to the top of
| the highest point of the antenna.  (From a fairness standpoint, I can
| understand this.  However, from a practical standpoint, where the hell am
| gonna find a 2.5 story home?)
| The other option I have is to put up a tower with a max height of 25 feet
| the top of the antenna.  Uhmm..  Yeah.. Sure..
| My point is this...  Through PRB-1 and through the Texas law that was
| enacted it stated the following:
| the ordinance or order must: 1, reasonably accommodate amateur
| communications;
| I understand that a simple sat station antenna at 5 feet off the ground
| ok.  However, I do tend to work some HF from time to time and would like
| be able to put up a tribander, etc.
| Has anyone ever successfully challenged the actual limits of what
| "Reasonable accommodation" are?  If I could have separate towers for VHF
| HF, this might be a potential solution, however, you're only allowed to
| the one structure.  Not either or...
| Thanks for your patience,
| Dave, N8KXA
| David M. Tipton, PhD
| UNIX Technical Lead
| Principle Operations Support Engineer
| PSINet, Inc
| (703) 236-5033 Voice/FAX
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