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Radio Shelter Relocation

This forum is for discussions regarding System Infrastructure and Related Equipment. This includes but is not limited to repeaters, base stations, consoles, voters, Voice over IP, system design and implementation, and other related topics.

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Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby dxon2m » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:21 pm

Hi all,

We currently have a 10'x15' radio shelter with a 60 ft ice bridge connected with two microwave dish and several 800 MHz antennas on a 150' tower on a mountain top. Our agency have been contemplating on relocating the radio shelter and are debating to place it 15 ft closer to the tower but on the other side of the ice bridge (meaning a new ice bridge needs to be built). There are several items that our finance wants to know but I want to engage our friends here before engaging vendors:

- We have four 1 1/4" heliax coax, can they be reused (cut, then re-terminated, followed by cable loss and return loss tests) or are we required to run new lines
- We have two microwave backhaul antennas with dehydrators connected to the waveguide, can the waveguide line be reused like the 1 1/4" heliax?

Any suggestions are welcome. thanks

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Re: Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby RFguy » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:06 am

Yes, everything "could" be reused. Should they is another question.

Factors such as age of the existing feedlines, current condition, how critical this system is to your operation all would factor into it.

Karl NVW
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Re: Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby Karl NVW » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:51 pm

If you decide to proceed, YES, you can and should reuse the Heliax lines and pressurized waveguide runs. But first I urge your department to understand the timetable of relocating the shelter and require all affected parties to sign off on the extended period of time that the entire site will be completely out of service. That means NO microwave and NO 2-way!

You will effectively be constructing a new co-lo site with new building footings and slab, a new AC power feed, new generator and fuel tank pads, new fuel lines, phone line entry, new ground system tied to the old, etc. And you might need an EIS and SHPO reviews before you can even start, but no FCC or FAA mods - lucky you! After the concrete has hardened you'll hire a crane to move the structure and gen without hitting any tower guys, then build the new ice bridge to the tower, relocate all the lines and waveguide without kinking any of them. Oh, yeah, you'll also need temporary wiring to keep your tower lights running during the entire work period. And you might be told to remove the old pad, wiring and plumbing, and put up new fencing.

These are only about 10% of the major tasks, and my Moto PM coworkers taught me well that the devil is always lurking in the details. The entire work plan must be well-managed and executed precisely in sequence, with contingency plans at the ready, because SHTF events happen. The big ugly is still the total lack of user radio comms for umpteen days (or longer) while the building is disconnected, moved and reconnected.

Now think about the job again: Why is it so darned important to move that shelter? The site is working for you now, so we know for sure it's not the line losses! Is there another way to achieve the same goal? How much money is finance going to save over the remaining life of the site lease?
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Re: Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby com501 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:24 pm

If you reuse the building, will it meet now current code or will it need to be upgraded? Is it 2019 style secure with bulletproof security? Fire Code up to date?

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Re: Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby Jim202 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:39 pm

There have been some good comments already made about your planned shelter move.

But you haven't provided any good reason to move the shelter. Just what are you expecting to gain by all the effort and expense involved with this move?

Having worked in the cellular construction field for many years, I am well aware of all the logistics and financial problems your going to be faced with. The other issues are going to be the outage of both the microwave and radio systems for some time. This is going to be several days or more of total down time. Don't forget the running of new electrical lines from the generator and power company feed.

Your going to have to re-build your grounding system with this move. This is another expense you probably have not thought about. Depending on how old this installation has been there, it may need an entirely new grounding system.

I don't think you really understand the mechanics of this move and trying to get everything come together at the same time. Just moving the feed lines from one side of the tower to the other is a major issue.

Then don't forget trying to get a crane to the site and set it up so it can move the shelter. It may take lifting the shelter 2 times with also moving the crane and setting it up a second time to get the shelter in the final location. The crane will have to work around any guy wires if this is a guyed tower. If it takes moving the crane, it's going to cost more.

You didn't mention if there is any telephone lines that need to also be relocated to the new shelter location. This also is not going to happen in a short time frame.

Better start making a list of all the issues and sit down with your general contractor to work through it all. Then see what the bottom line is going to cost for the foundation and all the other items that need to be taken into account.

You didn't mention where your located. Winter is coming on and if your in snow country, this isn't going to happen this year. My guess is you may not even have the funding available for this project if it is a public safety project. This means several bids will be needed. One for the shelter foundation, one for the electrical work, one for moving the antenna feed lines and one for the crane to move the shelter. That means a budget cycle which will put you well into the middle of next year.

Good luck on your project, but make sure you have all your ducks in a row.


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Re: Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby dxon2m » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:46 pm

Wow thank you all for the really great inputs.

Luckily the site has sufficient coverage from the neighboring sites (the system was designed with overlap coverage) but certainly it is one of the factor will be taken in place.

Telco and T1s will most likely be an issue for us but one of tasks is to move circuits over to a IP infrastructure so at least we can set up PTP links as a workaround.

to be continued!

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Re: Radio Shelter Relocation

Postby desperado » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:19 pm

If it's Motorola gear remember that it has to be R56. So the building will need a new ground halo installed around it.
I guess my biggest question is why move the shelter? Is there some reason for the relocation?
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