Antenna Mounting Goes Sideways for 4G
In progressively addressing the Long Term Evolution (LTE) of the revolutionary smartphone industry, the nation’s leading wireless carriers are seeking sophisticated antenna mounting solutions on top of strategically located water tower tanks to optimize the increased signal positioning frequency range and speed capacity required for 4G network coverage. As a result of increased competition, the real estate on top water tower tanks and handrails has risen to a congestive premium to accommodate the myriad of carriers’ next generation 4G network speed capacity antenna signal range requirements.
At the forefront of the wireless technology boom, the nation’s second largest wireless carrier AT&T recently sought out an advanced antenna installation solution to replace and expand their 4G network service range for their Los Angeles Market District 3 (Site ID LAD447) at the Irvine Ranch Water District. The IRWD’s 1 million gallon water tank towers 25 feet high and provides potable drinking water services to a region encompassing nearly 181 square miles extending from the Pacific Coast to the foothills. The tank features no external tank-top flange to attach antennas to; thus ruling out traditional tank-top mounting so a side-tank mounting solution was required for the installation.
AT&T’s existing antennas were mounted using epoxy bond on the sides of the water tower tank and were loose due to extensive tank movement and a permanent solution was needed to replace them and accommodate their expanded range of 4G antennas. Because of the unreliability of epoxy mounting, the IRWD had mandated an alternative mounting solution-also ruling out time consuming Capacitor Discharge (CD) welding and spot welding; both of which would require tank shut down for draining and also presented potential EPA issues involving maintaining the integrity of the tank’s membrane seals.
MAGNEMOUNT SIDE-TANK MOUNT SOLUTION / SPECIFICATIONS:
AT&T’s LA Market District Field Operations Department enlisted their RF contractor Diversified Communications Services, Inc. (Santa Fe Springs, CA) to source out a permanent, modified turnkey mounting solution to the problem. The goal was to meet IRWD’s installation mandates while also expanding their 4G network frequency range from 700 MG to 2 GB by utilizing 8 foot antennas vs. the existing 4 foot antennas.
Diversified’s VP/Founder Steve Hurley immediately contacted Metal & Cable Corp., Inc. (Twinsburg, OH) who had developed a patented (Patent No.7,624,957), non-invasive, high-capacity magnetic solution called the Magnemount Antenna Mounting System. The system is engineered with a series of permanent magnets that combine with an independently suspended mounting system to provide a non-invasive solution to adhere to the steel surfaces with varying curvatures of water towers-including side sectors.
Available in five (5) modifiable designs, Metal & Cable Corp. leveraged its newest model; the Magnemount Side-Tank Mount (Model-STM) design for the AT&T / IRWD installation.
Because the system is entirely magnetic, and the bottom of the magnets are covered with a Mylar pad, it requires no epoxy coating or invasive welding which could adversely affect a water tank’s protective surface coatings and bladder seals; thus meeting IRWD’s mandate. Additionally, the Model-STM is specifically configured for a water tower tanks’ side sectors and features the following foot print specifications which accommodated the 4G network performance requirements:
? Model-STM / 8 Total Magnemount plates
? 12 foot long mast accommodates 8 foot antennas
? 8 base-plates holding 4 antennas each on the side of the water tower tank
? 24" x 24” square footprint with 24 100# pull magnets (Lifetime warranty on all magnets)
? 300 grade stainless steel and anodized aluminum construction
? Independent testing resulted in passing stringent seismic / mechanical tests
SPEEDY SIDE-MOUNT ASSEMBLY / RESULTS: The Model-STM’s cost efficient profile offers a quick, clean installation which requires no welders, painters, or special tools. Assembly begins on the ground for each installation as each base plate is mounted to a horizontal shank that attaches to the vertical mast with u-bolts which are tightened to securely hold the final antenna pipe and assembly.
After a swift hoist up the water tower with bearing and rope, installers simply pick a desired surface location and place the base plate. The magnets are then loosened-up to automatically orient themselves to their maximum capacity. The lock-nuts on each magnet need only one turn with a hand wrench to secure the mount in place. Once secured, the antenna is mounted and the installation is completed.
According to Diversified’s Purchasing Agent/Equipment Manager Aurelio Gonzalez, “The system installed within two hours tops-then AT&T was live on air. The whole sector could have been shut down otherwise as this could have taken days or even weeks if it was spot welded- which would require grinding, shooting studs, fabricating mounts, possible tank draining, and even involve specialized toxic painting.”
Diversified’s Steve Hurley noted the systems value, “The Magnemount Side-Mount system delivered vital speed to market and expanded the 4G network coverage for AT&T’s customers as the new system covers four of their bands in one antenna.”
For more detailed information, visit the Metal & Cable Corp., Inc. web site at: www.metal-cable.com
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
February 1, 2012